10 July, 2012

Summer Replacement Joy

PBS has rescued my summer by adding a new series, Pie in the Sky, a series which manages to combine my two favourite things: mystery and cooking.

Police detective Henry Crabbe (played by Richard Griffiths, Uncle Vernon Dursley in Harry Potter films) wants to retire from the police force so he can open a restaurant.  Unfortunately for him, his last case, just days before his retirement, casts a cloud of suspicion over his involvement in a money fraud  scheme, providing his weaselly, lazy, unscrupulous superior officer with the ammunition he needs to blackmail Crabbe into remaining "on call" even after the restaurant opens.

Pie in the Sky doesn't have the dramatic flair of Sherlock Holmes or Inspector Morse, but it skillfully balances suspense and humor, with some mouthwatering meals thrown in.  Crabbe's accountant wife, who eats only out of necessity, prefers a chocolate bar to her husbands steak-and-kidney pie,and seems to lack a single drop of aesthetic blood, is the perfect foil to her husband's exuberance.  But who wouldn't love a man who buys a ridiculously expensive hen house for the back yard just so he can have fresh eggs for the restaurant?

I'm disappointed that this is not available in book form, but the full five series of the BBC production are available on DVD.  Hint, hint - Christmas isn't that far away.

Check your local PBS listings.  It's worth giving a try. 

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