'Shetland' - Season 1

I'm using the Netflix "seasons" terminology: eight episodes (about 55 minutes each) in what they call the first season. ITV in Britain, who made the series, broadcast the first two episodes as "Series 1" and the next six episodes as "Series 2," but Netflix has mashed them together into "Season 1." This is made up of four sets of two episodes, each of which covers one of the source Ann Cleeves' books, in order "Red Bones," "Raven Black," "Dead Water," "Blue Lightning."

Our main character is Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez (Douglas Henshall), who is the lead police officer for the Shetland Islands. For those interested, the current population of those cold and isolated northern Scottish islands was roughly 23,000 in 2019. And one of the points the show makes is that Perez only sort of has access to modern technology. He's got a local doctor rather than a forensic pathologist ... or he can wait several days as the body is shipped to the mainland for more official results. And because it's such a small community, he knows many of the people, and everybody is in everybody else's business all the time - especially on the smaller islands.

Like most mystery writers, Cleeves seems to be fond of red herrings: a bit more than I'd prefer, but not unreasonable in the context of the police work. She also seems to like her murders in pairs: one person dies near the beginning to get the story line moving, and near the halfway mark, as a consequence, someone else dies.

With the mild complaints aired out, Henshall is very good in the lead, gets good support from the other actors, and has pretty good mysteries to solve. But starting with Netflix's "Season 2" (actually "Series 3"), they switch to six episode story arcs, which I may find annoyingly long - I was happy with two-episodes-and-wrapped-up. We'll see.