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84 out of 92 people found the following review useful:

A Highly Underestimated Mystery Series

10/10
Author: mrwiseman-1 from United States
14 May 2007

The BBC Series is based on novels by Elizabeth George and original scripts. The stories are about two seemingly mismatched London detectives. He is the polished DI Thomas Lynley the eight Earl of Asherton, and his parter is Barbara Havers a sloppy, working class DS. His colleagues think he is a rich, spoiled, golden boy who is a detective as a hobby. She is thought to be difficult and unmanageable. Both have troubled home lives and both are overly dedicated to their jobs. They bicker and they fight, but all while a real respect grows.

I really great series that has yet to get the respect it deserves from the BBC. It is fun to watch this partnership that was thrust upon them by their bosses (with the hopes of getting rid of both of them),click right from the beginning. If you watch it from the pilot "A Great Deliverance" to through to the most recent series, you can see the partners' relationship really develop nicely. In many ways they are more alike them different. Both use the job to avoid the problems in their personal lives. Some even argue that the actor have brought romantic chemistry to the TV show that is not in the books.

Really worth seeing.

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21 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

I actually bought the DVD's

9/10
Author: chocolategenius from United States
30 April 2008

I have really enjoyed this series. I have not read any of the books so I cannot comment on how true it is to them and really do not care. As a stand alone series I love all of the characters and I especially think Nathaniel Parker is a beautiful man and he and Sharon Small have an excellent chemistry. It is a dark show and the characters are neither perfect nor brilliant and they solve crime the old fashioned way. In other words, it is very non-Hollywood. I don't know how indicative they are of how crimes are investigated in Britain but I assure you CSI isn't even remotely close to how things are done in the US. I also like that the characters are not in their 20's and are mature, seasoned people. This is the only series that I have actually purchased. I cannot praise this show enough. I did not give it 10 stars simply because I know it isn't perfect.

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12 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Navel gazing

Author: tedg (tedg@FilmsFolded.com) from Virginia Beach
2 January 2011

I have now rewatched several of these, and have refined my appreciation.

The usual models for these sorts of projects is to distribute the episodes among different directors and screenwriters, assuming that the continuing characters are what matters. This series is different. The producers kept a firm hand on the way the episodes are framed; there is a consistent framework carried from one to the other that understand George's structure perhaps better than she does herself.

There is a murder or two. The dynamics of this murder happen in their own word, a world of madness or unraveled anger. The sense behind this is fantastically abstract, and is framed by a sort of soap opera centered on the events and characters that are suspects.

A more human, immediate layer — an entire third world — is the soap opera of a quite different nature in the lives of the continuing characters: Lynley and Havers. He is derived from Peter Wimsey, a second order aristocrat engaged in justice for his own reason. He has friends and lovers. Havers is an abrasive young lower class woman, struggling with family issues. This world is layered as well between Lynley and Havers.

One can easily imagine George seeing herself as Havers, watching and commenting on Lynley as he tries to understand the dynamics of the world he has entered to solve the crime, and find the embedded "world of motive."

This layered narrative format is understood by the producers of the series. Significant attention is paid to camera distance to register intimacy or lack of it. In particular, Havers is always the omphalos of the thing. Sharon Small is the actress who has taken on this central role and she is simply magnificent in it. She has the job of being a person in the thing, but that is an ordinary chore for an actor. She also has to be the observer and observer of the observer as the writer's surrogate. We never lose sight of the fact that this is a novelist's construction and she has included herself in the world as its origin.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

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12 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Better than the books by far

10/10
Author: ejev from Rhode Island
18 December 2008

Having seen the television version before reading the books, I can heartily recommend the video version over the print one. It takes liberties with stories, as any script-from-a-book would, but stays close to the characters. The chemistry between Lynley and Havers grows nicely, with a wall that will never go away that keeps any romantic entanglements out of the picture. As much as some might like to see that, it would ruin a really good friendship between unlikely people. The episodes are well shot, in beautiful locations, and constructed in a way that keeps you wondering how they're going to find their way to the end of this episode. The shame is that they were cancelled before being allowed to have one wrap-up episode. A good watch, but don't worry about reading the stories.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Underestimated and compelling detective show

9/10
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
20 April 2010

I do admit it is not my absolute favourite of all detective shows, Inspector Morse gets that honour, but The Inspector Lynley Mysteries is a very underestimated and compelling one, made possible by the superb performances of Nathaniel Parker and Sharon Small, who play two somewhat mismatched detectives Tom Lynley and Barbara Havers. Their chemistry was very believable and grew in the show's run. All the episodes were very well shot, and the locations were beautiful. The story lines were interesting, some are slower moving than others, and there were one or two disappointing final solutions, but other than those two minor problems the stories are fine. The dialogue is well written and delivered, the banter between Lynley and Havers always working a treat, and the direction of each episode is convincing enough. Overall, a very good detective show, not the best, but the worst? No. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Very Enjoyable Series

8/10
Author: PolarBexar from Denver, Colorado, USA
15 July 2009

I find this series very satisfying. It is character driven and has compelling dialog between Lynley and Sgt Havers. Havers is the real star of the show. She has very real problems in addition to working with her ponce of a boss. She lives paycheck to paycheck while caring for her parents, who suffer from dementia. How she juggles this situation with the need to be seconded to different locations to work on cases creates real angst in her character. In comparison, Lynley's problems are more social, as he frequently moralizes over dilemmas in his love life. Still, the rich detective and the hardscrabble sergeant work well with one another while solving cases that are twisty and intelligent. Like CSI, many of the cases are fashioned after recent cases in the news, so to say they are far fetched is not true. Try it out. You'll like the series.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

if only he weren't so hung up on HELEN

8/10
Author: blanche-2 from United States
14 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I love Inspector Lynley (Nathaniel Parker). In this, the beginning of season 4, Lynley is trying to get Helen to talk to him. Long distance, of course. I can't figure out why those two got married. Maybe the actress who replaced Lesley Vickerage when she left the show due to pregnancy won't grate on me so much.

In this episode, Havers has recovered from being shot at the end of season 3, and joins Lynley in investigating the shooting of a beautiful woman in a village. She turns out to have cheated on her husband with more than one man, so naturally they're suspects, along with the husband. However, a tragedy which occurred many years ago ties into the current murder, and it's up to Lynley and Havers to figure it out.

This is a good mystery, with Lynley and Havers in fine form, with Lynley attempting to advise Havers on a windfall of money she is receiving due to her injury. He doesn't recommend a cruise.

Entertaining.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Yo-Yo Series writing-wise - mild spoilers

7/10
Author: newatt-2 from Toronto, Canada
7 March 2013

I've just finished watching the whole series over a period of a month or so. This series is hard to rate, due to inconsistency -- not the actors' fault - the writing for these series is distinctly weird. It starts off as a pretty good series, then sometime around the middle or end of S2 it becomes distinctly bad, then for s3 and maybe early s4, almost too bad to watch, then it gets tolerably good again.

I didn't mind the replacement of Helen, in fact I thought the last Helen was the best of the lot. If she had been Helen all along, the series would have been better IMHO.

I haven't read the books and, given the horrible clichéd writing of many of the episodes that were based on the books, I am disinclined to.

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Disappointed - again

2/10
Author: rosalindteam
27 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw my first episode a couple of months ago. I loved it ... until the last ten minutes. The end was plain disappointing. You were left with a strange feeling of hopelessness, rather than anything being (properly) ended.

Then last night we happened to come across another episode as we were flicking channels, looking for something to watch. It looked promising, I thought. (I had forgotten about my previous experience with this series.) It was going so well. The acting was great. The plot was beautifully crafted, I thought. I would have given it a 9 out of 10 - but for the ending. (Here's the spoiler, sorry.) One of the main characters died. I can understand that happening in a series when it is the last episode of the season & the producers need to write out a character who'll be unavailable for the next season - but that wasn't the case in this episode. It was more as if, the viewers *have to* be given something miserable and pointless - yet again.

I don't know who the writer is, but I can only guess that when he/she went to film-writing school, the class on How to Write a Good Ending was at 8 am or similar - that is, far too early, so this writer slept in and missed that class every time.

It has great acting & a good beginning and middle - but that cannot make up for miserable endings which leave a nasty taste in one's mouth.

I give it only 2 out of 10.

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21 out of 143 people found the following review useful:

Yawn

1/10
Author: Thorsten-Krings from Germany
23 April 2008

This is about the worst cop series on British TV I have ever seen although not as abysmal as the books. Here we find stereotype after stereotype although the BBC at least managed to keep out the worst misconceptions about British police work. The characters are two dimensional but still the script tries to give them a depth which they simply do not have. The stories are very contrived and not particularly realistic, the pace is very slow and nothing really breaks that pace. It's exquisite boredom and the series gives itself an exaggerated air of seriousness. To me, the Lynley series, both the novels and the TV shows, are the most overrated items in crime fiction.

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