Grantchester returns to PBS for season two this weekend, and I am VERY EXCITED, so let's talk about other mystery books that should be TV shows, and what networks they belong on! I look forward to hearing your ideas.
1. I've said this for years, but Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books are much better suited to an open-ended show than a frankly rather terrible movie franchise. (I'm pretty attached to that scene where Jason O'Mara makes her an omelet, though.) If USA still made what I think of as USA shows, this would be perfect for them, but these days I guess I'd give a female-driven soapy procedural to ABC.
2. J.D. Robb's In Death series of futuristic procedurals with a romantic suspense angle would also be perfect for an open-ended TV series. Anything sci-fi makes me think Syfy at first, but this would actually be perfect for Fox - it's like a mix of Bones and Almost Human. They could launch it off Bones's final season. They need something. Now I'm angry they're not actually doing this.
3. I feel so strongly that Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series would make the perfect anthology mystery series - one complex case per season, rotating protagonists with some cast overlap - that I text friends about it at least once a week. (It has been optioned but there's been no news in quite a while.) I don't know enough about Irish TV to know if there's someone suitable there to make and export it, but if not, let's give it to ITV.
4. P.J. Tracy's Monkeewrench series, about anti-social game developers helping the cops solve murders, sounds a lot like CBS's Scorpion when I put it that way. Huh. It has a more adult feel to it, though, and involves less action, and . . . let's give it to TNT. After CSI: Cyber I don't actually trust CBS to make anything that not intensely stupid about programmers.
5. Jane Haddam's Gregor Demarkian mysteries, about a retired FBI agent who returns to his Armenian-American neighborhood and starts freelance consulting on murder cases, are probably my favorite series that virtually no one I know reads. (Though someone must, as there are almost thirty of them and you don't publish that many books if no one's reading.) The complexity and standalone nature of the cases lends itself to the traditional British model of short seasons of movie-length episodes (think Poirot or Foyle's War), even though these are American. Hey, PBS is trying to do more original drama. Let's put this on Masterpiece! Mystery.
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