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NYCed
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I agree with Jessy; BROADCHURCH had an enormous amount of promise but ultimately failed as an example of a good mystery because it was so poorly plotted (even the writers admitted that they were just figuring things out as they went along, akin to publishing a first draft). It's the same trap that shows like LOST fell into. Not as much of an issue for a regular drama--which can meander and linger and twist at will--but a good mystery needs a solid underpinning, and an audience has to trust that they're in good hands. When that trust is broken, well, it's hard to regain.
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Re #4--I'd also argue for "pique" there
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No Chinese food, but Christmas night movie-going has been a long-standing tradition in my Catholic family. For sheer entertainment value, I think Sherlock Holmes II or The Muppets might be our winner this year.
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Jeff, I'm actually really shocked that you say you've come across such positive blanket statements in regards to cozy mysteries; I find it's much harder to get these books the attention and respect they often deserve, because so many readers turn up their noses at the very idea of them.
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Ooh--First off, I have no ties whatsoever to Swierczynski or his publishers, so this is just as a fan: I also have to reccomend DS's first (?) book, SECRET DEAD MEN. Lively, dark, weird and fabulous--hard-boiled noir with a nod to Philip K. Dick, if that's not redundant.
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