"Blue Murder" is a good, if not phenomenal, British police series which ran from 2003 to 2009 (5 seasons all in all). The main character is Detective Chief Inspector Janine Lewis, of the Manchester Police, who has a messy home life (separated from her husband, she's raising her 4 kids on her own) and a busy career (she is in charge of murder investigations). The rest of her team consists of Detectives Richard, Butchers, Shap, and others who come and go as the series moves on; the regulars make a good team, and all the men respect their female boss. The Manchester locations give this series a feeling of freshness, the characters are all believable and well-played (I think Nicholas Murchie may be the best as the cynical Shap), and the cases themselves are 90% of the time unpredictable and engaging. By the 5th season, the series does start to feel a bit formulaic, however the very last episode, the two-parter "Private Sins", suggests some ways that might have shaken up the formula, if the series had been allowed to continue for a 6th season. My favorite episode, and a great representative of how complex and twisted the mysteries could get, is "Up In Smoke" from Season 2. Some episodes have terrific titles - how can you not love "Not A Matter Of Life And Death"? One minor (?) complaint, though: some supporting characters are built up as important, then disappear without a trace.
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