Billy Moran's Amazing Christmas Blog Tour - Ten Amazing 80s/90s Detective DVDs

Would you risk your life to get justice?

Lee Hunter doesn’t have a choice when he nearly drowns after spending the night in a derelict boathouse with his best friend, Charlie Finch. After recovering from his near-death experience, Lee realises he’s part of two lives intrinsically linked by the despicable actions of one man.

Struggling against impossible odds, Lee and Charlie set out to bring this man to justice.
Will Lee be able to unlock the past and bring justice to the future?

Back in September I read and loved Don't Worry Everything Is Going To Be Amazing, you can read my review here. And now, Billy Moran is going on an Amazing Christmas Blog Tour! I'm thrilled to be taking a trip down memory lane today with his list of Ten Amazing 80s/90s Detectives. Which was your favourite?

Chris Pringle, the central character of my debut mystery novel Don’t Worry, Everything Is Going To Be Amazing, loves TV detectives.  Chris is a simpleton, slightly damaged, slightly odd, but slightly sharper than everyone thinks - whether that be by luck or judgement though, you have the whole book to decide. Chris has spent the last 20 years doing little but watching TV’s greatest fictional detectives – although they are very real to him – and absorbing their rules into his very own, strangely logical detective playbook. It couldn’t possibly work…could it?
Chris’s obsession with 80s and 90s TV detectives is my own (and so too is his raving past).  This was a golden time in crime detection, with a seemingly never-ending supply of private detectives available to solve all manner of dastardly doings. There were some cops too of course, but with a couple of exceptions, Chris isn’t too fussed about their efforts, which he regards as being inferior, an inevitable knock-on both of the ‘fringe’ company he keeps, and the failure of the police to properly investigate his father’s death. 
Here are 10 of the detectives that Chris and I love the most, on DVD, so, if you have £100 you can spend on a Box Set (?!), you can turn back the clock or, if you’re younger than me, as most people are these days, you can investigate the great detectives of TV yore. So get them ordered, grab a pencil and a notebook, and just like Chris, learn from the best.


Mine – and Chris Pringle’s – No.1 Detective. The Don. The Master. The Best. Detection methods appeared to involve bumbling around and eventually concluding that the rich bloke had done it – but there was method to his madness. Chris learns the most from Columbo, because on Columbo, we know who the culprit is from the start – and then we get to see how Columbo works it out. Genius!

Detectives should have moustaches - he’s got one. In Chris’s eyes, he’s a poor man’s Columbo – as are many detectives, to be fair - and whilst respecting the French for their stubbornness, it’s recognized by Chris and his partner in crime fighting (and committing) Runcie, that the French can never match the British in terms of biscuits nor detectives. Not a good enough reason for Brexit in my eyes nor theirs, but each to their own. 

David and Maddy – for a teenage boy (me), this pair made both detective work and falling in love look cool. Chris slowly reveres any private investigator, and his natural inclination towards outsiders and irritants like David, make Moonlighting a firm favourite. David and Maddy’s ‘opposites attract’ flirtation helps them to see all sides, and get to the bottom of crimes that others can’t.

Miami Vice 
Slip on your espadrilles and settle back for ultra-80s adventures, courtesy of narcotics and organized crime policing’s most stylish double act - sorry Starsky and Hutch, you got the wah-wah, but you were too reliant on a funky pimp informer to be truly great detectives.

Magnum P.I.
Is it a slug? Is it an ice-cream? No, it’s Magnum’s ‘tache and we love it. (See also Poirot).  Chris admires the trappings of great detectives, and a ‘tache is important - though Chris can’t manage one himself, he sees it as an easy win for policemen (who he, generally speaking, pities) – so a boss-man cop should have one. It’s that simple.

Head to the tax haven of Jersey for some good old fashioned British/Euro crimes, with a higher class of criminal.

Hart to Hart 
The Harts, their driver-butler and their dog, added some unnecessary but much appreciated glamour to problem solving in the 80s – there was a lot of silky night wear, and I expect there were water beds too, I can’t remember. Apparently, when they met, it was murder. This is a bit of a meaningless statement, but that’s fine – any couple who take time out of their own not-at-all busy, high falutin’ schedule, to solve whatever mysteries happen to float on by, are alright by me. 

A Touch of Frost  
I like Frost, and Chris likes Frost. Chris, it seems, likes Frost because Frost is stubborn, and can’t help winding people up, a quality of many of the great detectives. Frost is Chris’s favourite police detective. 

This one only just squeaked into the 80s, but the sheer weirdness of the concept – computer engineer has a breakdown, becomes a DJ detective (or Private Ear) – is so brilliantly Chris-ish, he has to feature.

Midsomer Murders
John Nettles must have made a strategic career decision before Midsomer Murders, that he’d be the ‘rural crime guy’. It’s unusual for such a high profile lead actor to repeat a role, but he’s a great ‘cosy’ detective in both series – at least until it all went wrong, and DI Barnaby started to be handed some rather darker than was usual mysteries! I grew up in the West Country – as did Chris – and we like our murders to involve people in cords and red jumpers, perhaps with a local poacher and a sozzled ex-wife. DI Barnaby’s affable M.O. was to mull things over whilst having a frothy pint at the pub or dinner at home, before heading off through dark lanes to make an eventual arrest.

DVDs were a ubiquitous gift back in the 90s and I'd have been delighted to unwrap a Columbo or Moonlighting box set (the latter had one of the best theme tunes of all time). My absolute favourite, however, was Miami Vice - I loved it so much, I even bought Don Johnson's album (probably not something I should be admitting publicly!)

If you've not yet read Don't Worry Everything Is Going To Be Amazing, I highly recommend it. It would also make an even better present than a 80s or 90s detective DVD! Purchasing links can be found here.

Many thanks to Billy Moran for this fabulous guest post. Don't miss the other stops on the Amazing Christmas Blog Tour, details are below.

About the Author
Billy Moran is an award-winning television writer for shows including Horrible Histories. He grew up in the West Country, where his teenage years were rudely interrupted by the Second Summer of Love. Since then he has been embracing mysteries, craving solutions and writing lots of lists. He lives in London and has two children, two cats, one football team and several favourite detectives. Don’t Worry, Everything Is Going To Be Amazing is his debut novel.