Three Pines. Amazon Prime.
I only became aware of Louise Penny as a mystery writer of some renown, with a considerable following. because Hillary Clinton chose her to co-write her thriller. (Bill, predictably, picked James Patterson, lol)
Anyway, this is not my favorite genre--the laying out, piece by piece, of bits of some labyrinthine plot, and then the untangling of them by the detective hero, seems a little mechanical and, ultimately, arbitrary. For me, the draw becomes not the mystery, the who done it, but the detective him or her self, the Poirot, the Lord Peter Wimsey, the Miss Marple. And I like this one: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, here solidly portrayed by Alfred Molina.
In a morning show interview I saw with Ms. Penny, she said that, once she realized she would be spending a lot of time with these people, Gamache, his detectives, and the idiosyncratic townspeople of Three Pines, she decided she wanted them to be people she liked.
And Gamache is likable--not a Poirot-style genius, not an eccentric, not tortured, but a profoundly decent Canadian-type guy.
And on that, the Canadian setting is great, is really appealing, and somewhat, surprisingly, novel. The first murder, in the first episode, takes place during a curling match among the old ladies of the town. (The victim is, surprisingly, electrocuted! lol.)
But it's not just local charm. The show deals with the plight of Canada's native population, and the horrific story of the Residential Schools, in a serious, important, and moving way.
Amyway. This is a well-made, well-written and well-acted, show. I like the format too--each mystery is a two episode story, and four of them have been made, with one story running through all, about a missing Native North American girl.
I think a mystery fan would have to conclude the final rating, but for me, it is up there. I think Three Pines is a vastly worthwhile entry into the genre, with Alfred Molina's Gamache as good as David Suchet's Poirot, or Titus Welliver's Bosch.