Downton Abbey has another facet that makes it interesting to those who watch the series; within its stories, real issues of the time period are woven into the stories -- World War I and its affect on British society, the limited role for women and lack of opportunities for women for meaningful work, the Irish question, prison conditions, and the difficulties in maintaining those beautiful estates during hard economic times.
I was sorry to see the end of Season 3, although the ending could have been presented without that last picture. Don't want to spoil it for those who have not seen it, so I won't go into detail.
The Donna Leon mysteries, more than 20 books now, are set in Venice. She also weaves Venetian issues into her stories. This is my favorite mystery series. You feel as if you are in Venice with Commissario Brunetti as he tries to solve murders in Venice. These are procedural mysteries, that is the murder is presented in the first few pages and then the rest of the book is the unraveling of the murder. Donna Leon's talent is making you feel as if you are in Venice, walking the calles, to the campos, over the bridges, catching the police launch, drinking an espresso and drinking in the atmosphere of that magical, but aging city, with its beauty and political problems and corruption. You will meet the Brunetti family: his teen-age children; his wife Paola, who teaches American Literature at the local college, and is passionate about Henry James, and share the family's lunches and dinners. Brunetti also has a literary passion, he likes to read ancient Greek and Roman literature. To quote from the book, Drawing Conclusions, "Brunetti turned his attention to a book he had not read for at least 20 years, Tacitus' Annals of Imperial Rome. And which he was now reading with the attention of a man a generation older. The savagery of much of what Tacitus described seemed fitted to the times in which Brunetti found himself living. Government sunk in corruption, power concentrated in the hands of one man, public taste and morals debased almost beyond recognition: how familiar it all sounded."
Now, if you have the MHZ channel, you can see the Brunetti mysteries on Saturday night 7-9 PM Mountain time here, which are filmed in Venice by a German company. So, brush up your German or just view the subtitles. This channel also has other mysteries set in France and Sweden and more.
Do you enjoy novels, stories and movies set in other countries?