News Flash

Library - Highlights

Posted on: September 21, 2020

Check Out These Series Set in Costwolds, Cornwall, and Leeds

British Shows

It could be said that a librarian’s work is never done.  Every book we read, every movie we watch and every podcast or YouTube video we listen to are ideas flowing into our minds for creating our next program or informing our next reader’s advisory or inspiring our next purchase.

For instance, my hobby of choice is to watch English language media not created in the United States. I subscribe to Acorn Media and Britbox which enables me to view life in English speaking countries all over the world. This helps me purchase high quality, entertaining DVD programming for our collection here at Abilene Public Library. Which means, thanks to your library card, all of these programs are available to you for free at your Abilene Public Library.

The imaginary town of Port Wynn (real town is Port Isaac, Cornwall, United Kingdom) is the setting of “Doc Martin” starring Martin Clunes. Doctor Martin Ellingham is a London surgeon that develops a blood phobia and can no longer operate. As a result, to remain a practicing doctor, he has to become a local general practitioner. Port Wynn is the town in which he spent some of his most blissful childhood days with his aunts and decides to return there to serve the community.

His first patient is the reluctant board member and local school teacher, Louisa, who he abrasively diagnoses. Accurately, as it turns out. All of the other eccentric town personalities make for delightful viewing. This show is in its 10th series and can be viewed on Hoopla and DVD.

The next two shows star Scottish actress Ashley Jensen. The first show is “Love, Lies and Records.” The setting is a Leeds register office, where citizens come to record births, marriages and deaths. The six episode series documents the events in the lives of those who visit the office and tells individual stories as they move through the lives of the government workers who are not immune to the dramas that play out.

Conversely, these workers also have their own dramas behind the scenes with each other as relationships rise and fall, jobs are won and lost and people seek to find happiness where they can. The show can be seen on Hoopla and DVD.

The second show is "Agatha Raisin Mysteries," which is taken from the popular M. C. Beaton novel series by the same name. There are 31 books in this series, set in the Cotswolds, a part of the bucolic countryside in Southwestern England.

The show is worth watching just for the landscape, if not for Agatha’s escapades. The premise of the stories are that she is a retired marketing director, who sold her successful London business to move to the Cotswolds to slow down and appreciate small town life. But poor Agatha has little ability to slow down and smell the roses since she keeps finding dead bodies. She moves from case to case and finds romance here and there while learning to fit into her new surroundings. This series can be read in all formats and watched on Hoopla and DVD.

M.C. Beaton is just one of the pseudonyms of the Scottish born author, Marion Chesney Gibbons. In her early life, Ms. Chesney worked in a bookshop, as a theatre critic, newspaper reporter and as an editor. She published her first novel in 1979 and went on to publish over 150 more under other names.

Her most popular series was her Hamish Macbeth books, about a small town Scottish constable who solves at least 34 murders - as there are 34 books in this series - and her Agatha Raisin series that has 31 books in it. Her Hamish Macbeth series are also available in book, DVD formats and on Hoopla as well. She will be posthumously publishing her last two books at the end of this month and early next year. She passed away on Dec. 30 at the age of 83.

Article Contributed by Janet Bailey, Technical Services Manager, Main Library


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