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Death in Paradise review: it’s no Luther – and thank heavens for that

Ralf Little’s detective has to deal with his own foibles as he attempts to solve yet another murder on the cosy island idyll, in a series refreshingly free of ‘darkness’

Death in Paradise (BBC One) has become the comfy jumper of British television. It is familiar, warm and dependable, and it continues to make a programme that revolves around murder seem cosy and comforting. As the 10th series arrives, there have been some personnel changes – Ardal O’Hanlon has gone, having been replaced by Ralf Little’s nervy, allergic DI Neville Packer halfway through season nine, and DS Florence Cassell is back after a series-long hiatus. But otherwise, even if Danny John-Jules’s Officer Dwayne Meyers is no longer on the force, it is as regular as waves lapping on the shore. Someone is killed, the mystery is unravelled, there is a satisfactory ending – and plenty of bad jokes.

No wonder it is still one of the most popular shows on TV. For all of the clever-clever, concept-driven, budget-busting mega-dramas – most of which rake in half the viewers that this does – sometimes, a detective show should be as undemanding to watch as its central conundrum is tricky to solve. On the island of Saint Marie, a popular morning TV host finds himself under suspicion when the channel’s newsreader/investigative reporter/Nancy Drew figure Melanie is found dead in her pool. She was on to something big, she had just told her mother in an excited phone call, and the story would blow the island wide open. So, what was the story and who would want her dead?

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