Investigating Death in Paradise

Finding New Meaning in the BBC Mystery Series


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About the Book

First televised in 2011, Death in Paradise remains one of the most popular shows in the U.K. The detective series is frequently ignored, panned or belittled by television critics, but viewers disagree. Bringing in more than eight million viewers a season, it is accessible in more than 235 global territories. This first book-length assessment of Death in Paradise offers a fresh take on the popular BBC drama. The book positions the show within broader contexts that illustrate its origins and timeless appeal, from the first conceptualizations of “paradise” in ancient cultures to the creation of the classic detective story in the 1920s. The detective inspectors on Death in Paradise come from a long line of fictional eccentrics who excel at finding quirky clues, seeing surprising connections and employing help from other officials and agencies. Through exploration of these narrative elements and more, the author reveals deeper themes of justice, inclusion and environmentalism.

About the Author(s)

Robin Andersen is a media writer, commentator, award winning author, and professor emerita of communication and media studies at Fordham University. Her media analysis can be found at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting,

Bibliographic Details

Robin Andersen
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 246
Bibliographic Info: 39 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8886-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4943-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface 1
Introduction: The Long Dream of Paradise 9
1. Finding and Losing Paradise in the Caribbean 23
2. Women on the Island and on the Screen 33
3. Exploring Guadeloupe and Finding Death in Paradise 54
4. Paradise, Harry, the Shack on the Beach, and the British Detective Inspectors 70
5. A Different Kind of Police Officer 92
6. Eccentrics, Quirky Clues, Surprising Prompts, and the Detective Dénouement 109
7. Swimming Pools on Death in Paradise and Visual Storytelling 123
8. The Hard Work of Producing TV in the Tropics 136
9. Meeting Don Warrington at the Fort Royal 148
10. Filming the Geography of Paradise and the Interior Landscapes of Character 160
11. Season 10: A Decade of Death in Paradise 173
12. The 2021 Christmas Special: A Close Reading 183
Conclusion: Casting Shade on a Sunny Island 199
Chapter Notes 217
Bibliography 229
Index 231

Book Reviews & Awards

• “If the late celebrity chef, author, and travel documentarian, Anthony Bourdain, had written a book about the TV series, no doubt it would have read a lot like Investigating Death in Paradise.”—Arthur Hayes, Fordham University

• “Eloquently penned…an entertaining read…casual and avid fans will love and understand the series even more after reading this book. If you have been a scathing critic of the show, Andersen just might nudge you to take a second look.”—Traveling Wild