Doc On The Box – Death In Paradise Episode 9.1

It’s off to Saint-Marie for the ninth year in a row – nine years, crikey! – and it’s New Year’s Eve! Party time indeed, but it’s no surprise that murder is just around the corner. When a businessman leaves his wife getting ready at their house to go to a big party, she is confronted and stabbed to death by a figure wearing a devil mask.

Suspicion falls on the man’s brother, but when he too is attacked by the devil, DI Mooney and his team find a number of suspects all of whom have cast-iron alibis…

As I’ve said before, Death In Paradise is hands-down my favourite whodunit television show, and part of that is the cast. With no changes from the end of last series (although we know one won’t make it to the end of this one), Ardal O’Hanlon continues his strong performance from last series as DI Jack Mooney. He’s the first of the lead characters to really try and fit into the community outside of his police colleagues – this week, he’s trying to learn to rumba. Aude Legoastelois as DS Duma fits right in, with a hint of backstory that might lead somewhere and Tobi Bakare continues to shine as JP. The star of the team is still Shyko Amos as Ruby – I said it last year, but it would be so easy for her character to be annoying, yet she plays it with such skill and charm… Also, as I said last year, Duane who?

The mystery this week – well, you’re going to spot it or not. I think you could make a good case that even when you spot the crucial thing – which I did pretty quickly – then it perhaps takes a little guesswork to spot the who, especially as… how to not spoil this… one aspect of the motivation seemed to not really be strong enough as a motive for murder.

There’s strong performances all-round from the guest stars, and some nice chemistry between O’Hanlon and newcomer Nina Wadia – and of course, the class added by the peerless Don Warrington is always a joy to watch. So while I did work out/partly guess what had happened, a bit too early than I would have preferred, it’s still such a treat for the show to be back. But as I do, for a reason that I’ve long forgotten, keep score, it’s 1-0 to me, I’m afraid. Game on.

6 comments

  1. Great review! This is a show I’ve had on my list for awhile, but haven’t made it to it, yet. Since my youngest child came along, I find my TV time is nonexistent. Everyone recommends this show, though, so I may have to move it up the list and try to get caught up.

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  2. I thought that the mystery in this one was pretty straightforward and I figured out what was going on almost within the first 5-10 minutes. To be fair I am fooled by Death in Paradise more often than not, but they were using a method that has been used in various books, films and TV pretty frequently. Still I hope that they will get back to their usual standard of puzzle in the next episodes.

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  3. No signs as yet of the new season airing here, although doubtless it’s on its way.

    Is Nina Wadia joining the regular cast?

    I couldn’t disagree with you more about Shyko Amos as Ruby. You say “it would be so easy for her character to be annoying.” It certainly would. For me Ruby is like fingernails on a blackboard. Mind you, for me nothing’s been right since Sarah Martins left . . .

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  4. I found this disappointing especially for a season opener. Like Keith above I guessed the trick about 5-10 minutes in; five or ten more and I had my pick for whodunit. There didn’t appear to be any attempt at an ‘impossible’ angle to the mystery, which i thought was to be the distinguishing feature of this show. I always enjoy the cast, this Inspector is my favorite of the three, and the production and locations are terrific. Hoping for better next week.

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  5. I was surprised that the season opener was not an impossible crime and I picked the solution quite quickly. I also knew the who but not the how of episode 2 as it was quite similar to an earlier episode which I’ve recently watched.

    Somehow I never watched the show when it was originally transmitted up until Season 8 last year and then watched Seasons 5 and 6 on Drama over Christmas and New Year – I got 2 from 16 of those so my success rate is not that good. I’m looking forward to seeing the first seasons with Ben Miller at some point.

    I have read all four books as based on your reviews I bought them for my sister who was watching the TV show and then I was able to borrow them back.

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