A month ago, I had a look at the first half of Series Four of Death In Paradise, concluding that the series had taken a strong lead, beating me 3.5 to 0.5 – I half got the surfing one. So I had everything to play for in the second half – could I possibly catch up with the devious writers who had really upped their game from the previous series.
And of course, Humphrey’s team has gone a change of personnel from the first half of the series, with Camille having departed for Paris, leading to Florence’s promotion to Detective Sergeant and the arrival of J.P, a young police officer. With such a shake-up, could the series continue its strong run?
Of course it could. Kris Marshall’s central performance is so full of charm, you could probably watch an episode where he just does his shopping, and the rest of the cast work so well together, you wouldn’t believe that there’s been such a change. Florence fills Camille’s shoes nicely, replacing Sara Martins stunning looks of withering disdain with a look instead of genuine amusement at Humphrey’s quirks. It looks to me that the romantic plot in the next series will be going in the other direction, as it seems to me that Florence is quite taken with our hero…
Anyway, on to the episodes – did they trick me this time?
Episode Five – The Rock Group One. Actually found myself drifting off a bit in this one, but the central idea was pretty obvious. Due to sleepiness more than anything else, the murderer escaped my notice, so I’ll claim another 0.5 on this one.
Episode Six – The Volleyball One. I thought this one was very clever, if you overlook the notion that the time of death might have made something pretty obvious. Still, he said a little smugly, I spotted this one. Well done me, that makes is 4-2. Still in with the chance of a draw.
Episode Seven – The Training Weekend One. Now, where have I seen this trick before? Seriously, the central idea rings so many bells in my head but I just can’t place it. Can anyone help? Cracking episode, but I did work it out (mostly) so that’s 4-3. Could I possibly draw level?
Episode Eight – The Courthouse One – Oh dear – a call-back to the “work it out before the opening credits” problem of the first series. Obvious, this one, very obvious. A lot of good character work and some good laughs, but plot-wise… nope. And the Puzzle Doctor draws level, 4-4.
I really should insist that they quickly produce a ninth episode for a tie-breaker, but I’ll have to settle for a draw. But it’s been a great series, a big improvement, plot-wise, from the third series. It may be 4-4 but to be honest, it was only episode 8 (and possibly 5) that didn’t stretch me in solving – or failing to solve – the mystery.
And – great news – Series Five will be along next year. Here’s looking forward to another set of mysteries with Humphrey, Florence, J.P. and the wonderful Dwayne.