Confession: I am a commitment-phobe. While it is true that I’ve been married for 52 years (Yes! With no murder in sight. Yet.), I am unable to “tune in next week.” It’s almost impossible for me to pledge my time on a regular basis. Watch Mystery! every single Sunday night on PBS for several weeks straight? Sorry, no can do.

Consequently, I have missed many worthy programs when they first aired. For example, I have never seen one episode (or read one book) featuring Inspector Morse. But I can now catch up if I want to, as they’re streaming on BritBox. After bingeing eight seasons of the young Morse, Endeavour on Amazon, I will finally commit myself to watch Season 9, one week at a time, beginning in June on PBS. It’s the end of the series, and mourning will ensue.

How could I have been so stupidly resistant all these years? I’m now fully invested in Constable/Sergeant Morse and the Swinging Sixties and early 70s. This series is absolutely brilliant, immersing the viewer in Oxford’s Town/Gown conflicts, ongoing recovery from WWII, the “Irish troubles”, racial and sexual discrimination (which do not seem to be resolved in 2023), and blossoming Flower Power. A seismic shift is happening throughout Britain, and within Endeavor Morse, too. Shaun Evans is a thoroughly appealing actor, whose expressive face reflects his character’s every shy and wry thought. The supporting cast is exceptional, the carefully curated costumes remind me of my old closet, and Oxford’s spires beckon me from my desk chair. In fact, I feel like I’m time-traveling, without the bother of a DeLorean and its flux capacitor.

It’s a little hard to swallow that designated “historical” mysteries now include events in my lifetime, however. I suppose I’m officially ancient enough to qualify, and I prefer books and films set in the past as a sort of buffer against the Real World, anyway. It’s easier for me to escape into sepia than Technicolor.

Are you a fan of contemporary or historical mysteries, or do you like to mix it up? Do you have a favorite time period that always attracts your attention? I’m very fond of “Between the Wars,” the Golden Age of Mysteries. The Crime Thru Time crimethrutime@groups.io group mailing list is an excellent source of free or cheap books that span all millennia.

I haven’t yet decided whether my next project will stay in the past or the present. Still waffling, but I so appreciate your input last month!

For more information about Maggie and her books, please visit www.maggierobinson.net




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15 Responses to Endeavouring

  1. David Plimpton says:

    Thanks, Maggie!

    The Morse/Endeavor series is great, all 8 seasons so far. My wife and I like the flawed hero aspect, which seems to make it more human and authentic. We’ve gotten the DVDs from South Portland Public Library/Maine Cat.

    We like the historical aspect, as when the series brings in some current events, though only tangentially, it seems.

    I like crime writing set in the the late 1950s and early 1960s, which sometimes takes me back to my summer work four summers in a New Jersey Teamsters warehouse (“Shop” ) dominated by the Genovese Crime Family and Anthony “Tony Pro” Provenzano, later convicted of killing the warehouse Shop Steward, Anthony Castellito. Tony Pro was also a rumored killer of Jimmy Hoffa. I questioned the fairness of the rigged (lousy payoffs) numbers racket everyone had to play ($1.00 a day), but was told to keep my mouth shut if I knew what was good for me. I have written an unpublished novel based on some of my experiences.

    • maggierobinsonwriter says:

      Yikes! Glad you’re still with us! I grew up on Long Island, and had a college acquaintance who had to sleep in his car to avoid the mob. Never got all the details and never wanted to!

  2. Katherine says:

    When my father nearly died of a cardiac arrest at age 88, I scrambled to go through the family memorabilia while he could still participate, and learned a ton of U.S. and British history along the way. Am now writing a series of genealogical mysteries that draw upon that knowledge. So I’m more attuned to historical fiction now, including mysteries (although as you say, at 51 years married, I find more “historical” fiction than ever falls within my living memory). Loved Endeavour and can’t wait for Season 9!

    • maggierobinsonwriter says:

      That sounds fascinating! I’ve recently discovered cousins I never knew I had. 🙂

  3. kaitcarson says:

    I haven’t heard of Endeavor and will have to look it up. Like you, I find it disconcerting when “historical” shows include my youth and young adult years! Still I wish I had those Mary Quant minis and a few pairs of my Landlubbers, not that I could get into them.

    I like to change up my reading between historical and current. Right now, I’m reading a lot of WWII era books from both sides of the pond and loving them.

    • maggierobinsonwriter says:

      Oh yes, my 60s wardrobe was fab! So many cute shoes. But after 4 kids, my feet grew 2 sizes!!!

  4. Alice says:

    I enjoy historical novels of almost any era. After 83 yrs I must agree that my earlier years are now historical (as well as hysterical in some cases.!)

  5. Alice says:

    PS I’m another Long Islander from Flushing.

  6. Interesting. I couldn’t stand Morse when I tried it, but love Endeavor. Have finally signed up for BritBox to watch it, and Scott and Bailey. Unless it’s Bailey and Scott. All the major characters are women!


    • maggierobinsonwriter says:

      I started to watch the first Morse, and I was equally indifferent. Will give it another chance at some point. Maybe I wasn’t in the right mood. I really wanted to see what mannerisms Shaun Evans had to incorporate as the young Morse and keep continuity. I’ve really, really loved Endeavor.

      • Katherine says:

        Fred Thursday is the perfect counterpoint. “Mind how you go!”

      • maggierobinsonwriter says:

        Ah, Fred. A complicated and real guy. The actor and his character actually remind me of my father in so many ways. Bittersweet.

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