My husband and I sort of put off watching the first episode of this because I knew this British television series is based on a “not necessarily Cozy” mystery series (written by Ann Cleeves). I received several comments and letters from Cozy Mystery readers suggesting I watch this TV mystery show. Am I glad we finally did!
This British mystery series is set in Northumberland – and features a rather cold, desolate area. Vera (played beautifully Brenda Blethyn) is usually seen donning a rumpled overcoat – somewhat reminiscent of Columbo’s. She wears her trademark floppy fishing hat almost every time she’s outdoors. Vera is a Detective Chief Inspector heading an office of detectives. She is a no-nonsense type of boss who doesn’t go in for normal everyday pleasantries. She doesn’t remember the names of her subordinates’ children, probably because their names aren’t important facts in a case. She often asks questions, but doesn’t listen to the answers since she’s off on another tangent.
During the first four seasons, Vera was very capably shadowed by Detective Sergeant Joe Ashworth (David Jean). One of my favorite characters throughout the first six seasons is Detective Sergeant Kenny Lochhart (Jon Morrison). His relationship with Vera seems to go way back. He is the person Vera is most likely to joke about – however we never actually see him outside of the office with his many women – the subject of many of Vera’s needling jokes.
Another favorite character of mine was the forensic technician, Billy (Paul Ritter). Vera and Billy also shared a past. They were almost “equals” which doesn’t happen very often with Vera.
There are no female characters of whom I can write. It seems like as soon as the viewer becomes familiar with a female on the show >>> she’s gone. Sometimes her absence is explained, other times I’m left asking my husband “What the heck?”
If you’re looking for a new mystery to watch that isn’t flashy, sexy, or full of beautiful people – but rather a series that is realistic, and centers on a believable mystery, then I suggest you try Vera. My husband and I are glad we did!
(By the way, Vera is available for streaming on Acorn TV – which is how we watch it.)
Also, if you’re interested in taking a look at some other good mystery shows, make sure to go to my Cozy Mystery TV and Movies page.