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5 Shows like Death in Paradise: Light amongst the Darkness

Louisa Jordan itcherDeath and comedy really shouldn’t go together, but ‘Death in Paradise’ is a light-hearted comedy-mystery. The amazing scenery and the chance to escape for an hour, basking in the warm glow of the Caribbean sunshine is a winning combination. It’s not depressing and dark like some of the hit Scandinavian dramas, and can be watched by all of the family. Looking for more light hearted murder mystery TV shows like ‘Death in Paradise’? Then make sure that you check out ‘Midsomer Murders’, ‘Inspector Montalbano’ and ‘Vexed’. ~ Louisa Jordan

Sun, Sea, Sand and Sleuths

‘Death in Paradise’ entices the audience in with its Guadeloupe location – sun, sun and more sun! – colourful characters, and a stand alone episode format. The lead detective is a British policeman trying to solve murders whilst clearly out of his comfort zone in the foreign climate.

The big reveal at the end of the show lends a nod to British classic ‘Poirot’, however, this isn’t a period drama but a present day comedy-mystery with the power of escapism.


Shows Similar to ‘Death in Paradise’…

‘Inspector Montalbano’ (Alberto Sironi, 1999-2013)

Set on the island of Sicily, ‘Inspector Montalbano’ is an Italian detective show. There’s also a prequel series ‘The Young Montalbano’ set in 1990. Both are subtitled in English.

‘Montalbano’ is surrounded by eccentric deputies that make the ‘Death in Paradise’ sidekicks look almost sane. The storylines are sometimes dark, but the atmosphere and aesthetically beautiful settings lighten the mood and make it a contender for a comedy-mystery detective show.

Similarity Match: 85%
Dark stories of organised crime with amusing comedic detectives.

‘Midsomer Murders’ (Brian True-May, 1997-2016)

‘Midsomer Murders’ is a murder mystery TV series with movie length episodes, set in picturesque villages reminiscent of ‘Miss Marple’. But unlike the latter, ‘Midsomer Murders’ is set in present day, with two male leads.

Famous for its high body count per episode, ‘Midsomer Murders’ is a light hearted comedy-mystery, often featuring macabre murders. It has progressed to using more forensic science since its first episode back in 1997, but its roots still lie in comic tragedy.

Similarity Match: 80%
No sun, sea and sand but the detectives and support cast bounce off each other with similar aplomb.

‘Vexed’ (Howard Overman, 2010-2012)

A short-lived British detective show of just 9 episodes, ‘Vexed’ is worth a watch due to its comedy detective and his reactions while trying to work with his new partner.

Often going undercover in the most brilliant disguises, the murders are comedic and the reactions to the murders are hysterical.

If you need to laugh out loud for an hour, then ‘Vexed’ is for you.

Similarity Match: 65%
Light hearted and good fun, the similarity with ‘Death in Paradise’ lies with the comedic detectives and support cast.

‘Bergerac’ (Robert Banks Stewart, 1981-1991)

Set in the picturesque island of Jersey, ‘Bergerac’ is a policeman who deals with non-Jersey residents. A recovering alcoholic dealing with a divorce, his complex character tries to solve crimes such as jewel thefts, war crimes, and even supernatural events.

If you like your lead detective to be a bit dark and obscure then ‘Bergerac’ is for you.

Similarity Match: 50%
‘Bergerac’ is not as comic as ‘Death in Paradise’ due to Bergerac’s personal problems and dark controversial topics.


If You Like ‘Death in Paradise’, You Will Like…

Looking for more TV series similar to ‘Death in Paradise’ but also resembling the traditional period dramas of Agatha Christie?

Check out this excellent Australian murder mystery series!

‘Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries’ (Deb Cox & Fiona Eaggar, 2012-2015)

Set in the swinging twenties, Miss Fisher is a lady detective with outstanding fighting spirit. Draped in gorgeous attires, she speeds through life with fast cars and dangerous weapons. Paired with the local detective, mayhem soon transpires.

With comedic support roles in the form of her lady maid plus the beautiful Australian sun and scenery, ‘Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries’ portrays the light-heartedness shown in ‘Death in Paradise’ but the wonderful costumes and architecture of ‘Poirot’.

Beautiful scenery, sun and wonderful costumes. Unmissable.


Over to You!

To counteract the influx of dark, depressive detective dramas, I hope that the above suggestions enlighten you and keep you entertained!

Have you found any more TV series like ‘Death in Paradise’?

Feel free to comment below.

itcher Mag is the place for entertainment recommendations across movies, books, music and games.
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