Last night in Houston, there was no Masterpiece Contemporary aired on our local PBS station. The previous two weeks had the riveting "Collision" by Anthony Horowitz, creator of the always fascinating "Foyle's War." I have to admit, I was seriously hankering for a traditional mystery, British or not. I scoured my local Blockbuster and found hardly any. When I tried to explain what I was looking for to the helpful Blockbuster employee, he thought I was referring to shows aired in the 50s and 60s.
Which brought me to a quandary: what is the "official" definition of "traditional mystery"?
Here's my take: I've always taken it to mean there is a murder, usually off screen (or off page). A detective is brought in to solve said murder. The detective can be a police official or a private detective. Usually there is more brain power used rather than bullets. The creators of said traditional mysteries give the reader/viewer all the clues at the same time as the detective and the reader/viewer can solve it ahead of time, given the right amount of deduction.
While I struggled over that definition, I wanted to know what other kinds of TV programs were available. I checked the Masterpiece Theater's website and only got previews. Hulu doesn't have much. So, my next question:
What are some good television shows and books that fall under the definition of "traditional mystery"?
Regarding TV, it seems the British have a lot going for them, what with "Prime Suspect," "Foyle's War," "Inspector Morris (?)", and others. Oh, and, of course, Periot and Marple. What are some other good ones?
Regarding books: I know about Christie, James, and the like. What are some other good authors and titles? And I don't mean just British ones either. I'd like to know some American authors/books, too.