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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Mimsey’s Top 11 Favorite TV Mystery Series: Brought to you by "The Gray Ghost Inn"

Hello Gentlereaders, 

If you’ve ever read my books, spent more than five minutes talking to me, or just been slowly stalking me as folks are want to do…

Then you probably know I have an affinity for pop-culture references. I was a TV-nerd growing up, and I thought a good way to introduce you to myself and the books that I write would be to share with you my top 11 favorite TV series of all time. Well, mystery series anyway. Otherwise this would just be “Mimsey’s 101 Reasons to Love Doctor Who”

Or just David Tennant. 

So, in no particular order, here’s my Top 11 Favorite TV Mystery Series. Why 11? Because I’m a giver. 

And a cuddler. 

1)  Psych

A lot of folks, when they read the books say “Wow! It reminds me of Psych!” To which I reply “Absolutely! I love Psych!” and then hope they will buy more books. 

I genuinely love this show, obviously. I mean, it’s got a smarmy, hyper-competent detective who shamelessly manipulates his friends and family, is best friends with a much more mature African-American partner, and is the bane of the police force. Throw in a lawyer sister and Abbey and you’d have my books. 

Starring Corbin Bernsen as Maggie! 
(Alright, I realize Maggie Lawson is right there, but this is my blog and 
I wanted to make a Corbin Bernsen joke!)

Except, in fairness, I don’t think Dan Landis and Shawn Spencer are really the same person. At all. Dan’s way more confident with the ladies, while Shawn has a much healthier social life. Dan’s got the voice of his dead partner in his head and his Black Best Friend is more a father figure to Dan than anything else. 

And in a perfect world, would have been played by Bubba Smith. 
But, that's a post for another time.

2)  Castle

I’ve not gotten as many comparisons to this show, but man am I a huge Nathan Fillion nerd. It was actually my sister who got me plugged into this show. I love the dynamics between the characters, and I think it’s probably one of the better ensemble shows on the air today. 

Shown here, in their natural habitat.

I like how this show balances family with crime-solving, though a lot of the murders tend to fall under that Narrowed It Down To The Guy I Recognize category. That’s right folks, two TV Tropes references in the same article! 

Castle is just one of those shows that’s hard not to love. And I promise, if I ever get brought in to consult with the police, I won’t do the sappy thing and fall in love with my detective partner. 

Ending up handcuffed to them is another story.

3)  Law & Order

Also known as the only thing keeping USA and TNT in business, I love all the different flavors of Law & Order. If I had to choose a favorite, it’d probably be the one starring Martha and Apollo. that Peter Davison? Holy crap they got DOCTOR WHO!
Also, am I crazy or are there only like ten actors in the U.K. that get work?

This show was always willing to push the edge, and though I was not always a fan of the formula the show followed, I loved the characters. I kind of dig the idea that somewhere in an alternate universe Lennie Brisco is fighting crime with John Munch and Ice-T. 
Also, this dude is a cog linking every TV show ever together. Seriously.

4)  Murder, She Wrote

Because Youtube only has the music not the intro, here's a link!

For those that don’t know, this is the show where Mrs. Potts goes around solving murders. Or causes them, depending on which theory you ascribe to.

It also starred either David the Gnome or Mr. C 
depending on your pop culture framework.

Whenever people ask “What’s a cozy mystery?” I point to the misadventures of Jessica Fletcher and company. And for those that think of the lady from Bedknobs and Broomsticks as a perpetual old lady, allow me to point out that Angela Lansbury could bring on the hotness.


5)  Remington Steele

For a lot of people, our first Bond was Pierce Brosnan. It was only after I fell in love with the dude (our first real fight was Dante’s Peak) that I bothered to look into his back catalog. I’d always been too busy watching Cheers to catch Remington Steele. 

I'm also pretty sure I own that lady's hat. 

Here was a simple show about a woman who invents a man, a man who pretends to be the man she invented, and a relationship that's really built on trust. It was, in a word, amazing!

Sultry stare AND a handkerchief. This show had it all.

6)  Columbo 

Sorry, Columbo didn't have a theme. Only quirks.

So, the Grandpa from The Princess Bride solved mysteries when he wasn’t telling stories to Fred Savage. I’m pretty sure half the time Columbo just annoyed suspects into confessing. He was brilliant, while always hiding that razor-sharp intelligence behind a frumpy coat and hang-dog expression. 

Just one more thing. 

I actually gave Gary, Dan's cop friend, a wrinkled coat in homage to Columbo. I've always had a soft spot for that unassuming detective.
Seen here, hard at work.

7)  Scooby-Doo 

I really didn’t want to put an animated show on here, simply because I could name at least a dozen great “Mystery of the Week” cartoons. But, I have to say that this show will always have a place in my heart.

And I do a dead-on Shaggy impersonation.
Also, I always had a thing for Velma. 
What? I think smart chicks are sexy!

I will let you in on a secret, though. The first character you meet that isn’t the main cast, is probably the villain. I don’t always follow that rule, but I can promise you it makes CSI a lot harder to watch.
Looks like this case is Scooby-DONE!

8)  Bones

I always tell aspiring writers: Create great characters and they will do the rest. I’ve always had a soft-spot for ensemble shows, and Bones is no exception.

They make this look good. 

The show is about a forensic anthropologist and an FBI agent who team up to fight crime. The series was based on the book series written by Kathy Reichs, but since it features more science and detective work, and less Emily Deschanel kicking the crap out of people, I tend to prefer the show.

Did I mention how much I love this show? 

9)  Hawaii Five-0

This series not only directly led to another series on this list, but it also has what I consider to be one of the best themes of all time. It set the bar for what all cop shows should aspire to. I even like the re-make, even if I’m still trying to wrap my head around Boomer and the short dude from Ocean’s 11 being on the same series. 

As long as Daniel Dae Kim's getting work, I'm happy.

I should probably warn you that book 8 of the Dan Landis mystery series, Dan Landis Takes A Vacation, is just going to be a blatant rip off of the original Five-0 pilot. Except, you know, with Dan instead of Dan-O. In fact, I should try to work in “Book ‘em Dan-O” into the story. Stay tuned kids!

Did I mention Grace Park's in this show? Sweet Jeebus. 

10)  Matlock

Look, I will be the first to admit, I was raised on The Andy Griffith Show. I know all the characters, I know Andy’s address, and I have a deep and abiding love for when he stopped being a sheriff and started being a crotchety lawyer. 

Also, for the longest time I didn't realize that Tyler Hudson 
wasn't the dude from Die Hard and Walker, Texas Ranger.
And I felt really confused. And kind of racist.

Growing up as a TV-nerd, there was a certain point in the afternoon when you could go watch re-runs of Matlock while your grandmother’s “Stories” was on. And for the record, I can also do a dynamite Victor Newman impersonation. I loved this show, from the always fun murder mysteries, to the rotating C-List cast, to the always enjoyable "Andy Griffith Take-Down!"

Wait, this dude was in Left Behind and Left Behind II
What, is he working for sandwiches? 

11)  Magnum, P.I. 

Dear sweet goodness do I love this show! I’ll let you in on a secret: When I created the Dan Landis character, I literally just wanted to have a smarmy low-rent detective who went on adventures with his friends. 

For those who've read The Gray Ghost Inn  
Roger E. Mosley is the one on the far right.

It was only after I started writing the first book that I realized I was channeling Tom Selleck’s smarmy low-rent detective who went on adventures with his friends. If not physically, at least in spirit. We all have our heroes, our inspirations, and our dreams. My dream is to one day live in Hawaii where I can wear aloha shirts, drive a Ferrari and be chased by Doberman’s.  

 I got weird dreams ya'll. 

Jay Mims has already done a post on NCIS so don’t ask. He also has the Batman theme as his ringtone. Jay lives ten miles past nowhere, with a kitten named Meowstapheles, his neighbor’s cat who he accidentally adopted and calls Eartha Kitty, a lizard named Bob and a passive-aggressive Dalek roommate named Steve. He writes books and is far funnier on Facebook then in real life. He is terrible at Twitter. His latest book, The Gray Ghost Inn is available wherever books are sold. For more Mimsey, feel free to check him out at Please Don’t Feed The Mimsey. You can email him here.

Hello Everyone!! Staccato Publishing family has had a very successful Autumn with many new releases! 'An Undying Oath' by HK Savage, 'The Reapers' by Jacinta Maree, and 'Aphrodite's War' by Donna Milward!! TODAY we celebrate another great one!! 'THE GRAY GHOST INN' by Jay Mims!! Check it out below and make sure to enter the GIVEAWAY!!

The Gray Ghost Inn by Jay Mims 

Book Blurb:
Book 3, The Oncoming Storm series

Private Investigator Dan Landis just wants to have a nice relaxing vacation with his best friend, Leroy Brown. They've got two rooms booked at the luxurious Gray Ghost Inn in beautiful Warrenton, Virginia. Everything was all set except now Abbey, Dan's new partner, has decided she wants to go too. And wherever Dan and Abbey go, trouble isn't too far behind. Dan, Abbey, and Doc get snowed in with a crazy crowd: Betsey Butler, the Southern Belle hostess; her obnoxious brother Dave "Big Bear" Butler; and Dave's ex-wife, Em. When a body turns up in the library, Dan realizes his simple vacation isn't so simple anymore. And what's worse, he's trapped in the Gray Ghost Inn with a killer. Jay Mims, author of The Five Santas and Cult of Koo Kway returns with his unique brand of storytelling, taking readers on a wild and entertaining ride into the eccentric world of Dan Landis and friends.

Author Bio: 

Jay Mims lives two miles past nowhere with a cat he calls Eartha Kitty and his passive-aggressive Dalek roommate named Steve. Jay has two books out in the Dan Landis mystery series “The Five Santas” and “Cult of Koo Kway”. His third book, “The Gray Ghost Inn” is due out Fall 2013. When not writing Jay watches too much television, dreams of being an astronaut, and feeds carrots to the three Shetland ponies next door. Jay’s convinced that they only like him because he brings them carrots.


  1. TV mysteries are one of my favorites... in fact if you add in the long range mysteries (Murder One) they really top my list. Though you forgot Veronica Mars, which if you haven't seen, you should (you can find it online at more for the characterization than the mystery of it. I'm also partial to Hart to Hart if we are looking at those old ones, but I might be biased...

    Give a shout if you want to do a promotional guest post, too.

    1. I not only love Veronica Mars, but think in a perfect world Kristen Bell would be an amazing Abbey. I just couldn't think of any jokes for the Marster.

      In addition to Hart to Hart (which I just now got, that's punny!) I also really loved Cagney and Lacey!

      I'd do a guest post in a heartbeat my friend!

  2. I just started getting into Castle. And I'm watching Diagnosis Murder as I write/Facebook/blog. I'm definitely on the side of Jessica Fletcher being the world's most prolific serial killer!

    1. Man, Diagnosis Murder was amazing. Anytime you can get Dick Van Dyke, Van Dyke Jr., and Chachi together on one show, you have a hit on your hands!

  3. I was going to mention Diagnosis Murder too... true he's a Doctor and not a detective but his son is on the force so that should count for something....

    1. I think Diagnosis Murder was amazing. It really kept that Quincy, M.E. spirit going, but with a more medical generalist instead of a Medical Examiner.

      And don't forget: Castle, Psych, Magnum, Scooby and Matlock also featured main (and except for Psych NAME) characters who weren't cops.