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Death in Paradise is a French-British crime drama, created by Robert Thorogood, that premiered in 2011. It is a joint Anglo-French production between The BBC and France Télévisions.

A British detective is assigned to oversee the Honoré police station on the fictional Caribbean island of Saint Marienote  where he has to deal with the surprisingly high murder rate while trying to come to grips with the wholly foreign environment he's landed in. He's ably assisted by the local police force while they themselves are trying to figure out their new boss.

The show currently stars Ralf Little as DI Neville Parker, French actress Aude Legastelois as DS Madeleine Dumas, Tobi Bakare as Officer JP Hooper, and Shyko Amos as Officer Ruby Patterson.


DI Parker was preceded by DI Richard Poole (Ben Miller) in Series 1 and 2, DI Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall) in Series 3 through 6, and DI Jack Mooney (Ardal O'Hanlon) in Series 6 through 9.

The show has a revolving cast of regulars, and none of the four main cast from the first series are still part of the lineup. Only Commissioner Patterson and Catherine Bordey (mother of one of the original detectives, and later Mayor of Saint Marie), semi-regulars, remain from the premiere.

Thorogood has also written a series of novels which feature the original line-up from the first two series.

The series has a character page that Needs Wiki Magic Love.


Contains examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Angela Young keeps calling Fidel "Freddie" in "An Unhelpful Aid". Richard calls her "Helena" in the climax, decidedly not accidentally.
  • Acquired Error at the Printer: In "Written in Murder", D.I. Jack Mooney receives a batch of business cards identifying him as 'D.I. Jack Money'.
  • Acquitted Too Late: Plays a part in "In the Footsteps of a Killer"; eight years prior, a woman was arrested for murder and died in prison, but the team learn that she was actually innocent when a man she slept with on the night of the crime returns to the island to give her an alibi (he had an early morning flight out and so never realised she was in trouble until he returned), leading to the team re-opening the case.
  • Agent Scully: Poole is a dogged scientific rationalist, and immediately rejects any suggestion that a case might involve prophecies, miracles or curses.
  • The Alibi: A key part of the show. In at least one instance a suspect who seemingly had a cast-iron alibi (they'd seemingly unwittingly taken a photo of the murder in progress) and was ruled out by Humphrey turned out to be the guilty party after all (they'd left their camera on automatic in order to capture the picture, and were caught out when Humphrey noticed the large number of pictures where the camera angle wasn't changing).
  • All There in the Manual: Viewers will notice that the uniformed characters wear the French Tricolour on their uniforms and "E II R" cap badges. This is because, in the show's fictional history, Saint Marie is a British Overseas Territory that previously belonged to the French.
  • Always Murder: Well, it is in the title.
    • Yes and no in “Predicting Murder” in that the woman who predicted her own death committed suicide while implicating her son-in-law in her death. The woman was terminally ill, believed that her son-in-law was responsible for her daughter’s/his wife’s death (he was), and felt that the only way she could get justice was to frame him for her own death.
    • There have been several episodes where it was suicide, with varying degrees of that being a spoiler. Of course, even when it is suicide, it never is as easy as just suicide...
  • Anachronistic Clue: In "An Artistic Murder", Humphrey discovers that a painting is a forgery because it features a lighthouse that wasn't built until 1929; two years after the artist committed suicide.
  • And Another Thing...: DI Mooney is a fan of asking some innocuous questions, going into some lengthy and pointless anecdote and then, just as he's leaving, hitting the suspect with really tough questions.
  • And Starring: Don Warrington receives the "and" billing on episodes he appears in. Élizabeth Bourgine normally receives the "with" billing but gets the "and" billing on episodes where Warrington is absent. If neither of them appear, then the most prominent guest actor(s) receives the "with" billing.
  • Animal Assassin: In "A Deadly Curse", one Victim of the Week (who is deathly allergic to insect bites) is murdered when the killer releases a kissing bug in his cell.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Poole is adamant about rationalism in any case involving voodoo, magic, or even Catholicism, but also relies heavily on gut feelings, especially in "Missing a Body?", and is a follower of the Church of England. Camille and Catherine call him out on this hypocrisy in "Predicting Murder" and "A Dash of Sunshine."
  • The Artifact: The boat Roast Beef hasn’t been used since Poole was in the show.
  • Artistic License – Sports: Much of the beach volleyball "game" is blatantly not legal play.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Poole.
  • Banana in the Tailpipe: In "Written in Murder", DI Mooney stops a suspect from escaping by stuffing a banana up the tailpipe of his motor scooter. He comments that a potato would have been better, but he made do with what he had to hand.
  • Bandage Wince: In "A Stormy Occurrence", DI Poole tries to step out into a hurricane and gets hit in the head by a piece of debris. He winces when Camille cleans the cut on his head, and gets no sympathy from her.
  • The Big Board: Or rather the two small whiteboards that get pressed into action every episode with the pictures of the all the suspects and the crime scene stuck to them, along with various scribbles related to the case.
  • Big Guy Rodeo: In "Beyond the Shining Sea - Part 1", Ruby stops an overweight Loan Shark nicknamed Peewee by jumping on to his back as he runs past and clamping her hands over her eyes. Both Peewee and Ruby end up going off the jetty into the harbour.
  • Bitter Almonds: In "One for the Road", Humphrey smells bitter almonds on the murdered governor and announces she has been poisoned with cyanide.
  • Blackmail: Proves to be a motive for some murders, such as in "Murder Onboard".
  • Brick Joke: Happens in subtle and brilliant ways. Clues about the mystery are hidden in other episodes.
    • In "Death in a Clinic", an identity theft ring is uncovered in a private hospital. Fast forward to the next season, "Death of a Detective", one of the suspects mentions the same clinic in passing and later it turns out that the murderer stole someone's identity.
    • In "An Artistic Murder", a critical clue is hidden somewhere in an extremely boring book. One of the many excerpts read from it is about a local bird species, the fictional San-Marie Greene, but is unrelated to the current murder. A few episodes later,"'The Early Bird", the whole plot revolves around the same parrot.
  • Briefcase Full of Money: In "Erupting in Murder", Mayor Richards arrives at the observatory with a briefcase containing $5 million withdrawn from his secret bank account that is intended as a bribe to get the observatory to change the exclusion zone around the volcano.
  • British Stuffiness: Take a wild guess. If Poole's black suit doesn't give it away, his reluctance to embrace anything on the island will. A bit of a Running Gag in the pilot is Poole being slightly confused whenever anyone guesses that he's English.
  • Bully Hunter: Richard Poole hates bullies - he doesn't go outside of the law to pursue them, but he's particularly scathing towards those criminals he catches who use such tactics.
  • The Butler Did It: Discussed Trope in "Wicked Wedding Night." Turns out to be Right for the Wrong Reasons.
  • Cacophony Cover Up: In "Melodies of Murder", the murderer takes advantage of their band mate's post-gig ritual of playing music really loudly to mask the sound of the fatal gunshot.
  • Candlelit Bath: The Victim of the Week takes a candlelit bath in "Until Death Do You Part", which turns into a Deadly Bath when her killer drowns her in the petal-filled tub.
  • Caught on Tape: In "In the Footsteps of a Killer", the team reopens an old case where the victim was shot while on the phone, and her murder recorded on an answering machine.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Dwayne.
  • Clock Tampering: In "Beyond the Shining Sea - Part One", the killer secretly sets a witness's phone five minutes ahead: leading her to believe that she last saw the Victim of the Week alive five minutes later than she actually had. This throws out the supposed timeline of the murder, and allowed the killer to murder the victim and still establish their alibi.
  • Clothing Reflects Personality:
    • The British detectives working on Saint Marie all dress differently to reflect their differing work ethics.
      • Charlie Hulme wears loud Hawaiian shirts as he is a hard-drinking Life of the Party and is only there to spend his last working years having fun.
      • Richard Poole is always dressed in black wool suit, despite the heat, as he wants to go back to London and adapting to the local climate would indicate that he was starting to feel at home on the island and that's the last thing he wants.
      • Humphrey Goodman wears lots of light linen jackets as he's eager to be on the island but knows he's also there to work and has to look presentable.
      • Jack Mooney falls somewhere between Poole and Goodman, dressing in bright colors but also in fabrics that are too heavy for the tropical climate, reflecting his cheerful personality but also that he'd only intended to come to the island for a short holiday before being unexpectedly dragooned into staying. He's also the most rumpled of the lead characters, symbolizing his depression in the wake of his wife's death.
      • Neville Parker wears jackets and ties to highlight how uncomfortable he is with being on the island, not unlike Poole before him. He's not as uptight as Poole, though, so his clothes are more colourful.
    • One season two episode does the same with accessories, when the team all need to measure travel times: eager and by-the-book Fidel uses the station-issue stopwatch; science nerd Richard uses his own personal stopwatch; old-fashioned Dwayne uses his wristwatch; modern woman Camille uses her smartphone.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Camille had to make sure that Poole wouldn't accidentally offend anyone due to his tactless personality. When Goodman came along, she had to make sure his absentmindedness and tendency to wander off on wild tangents wouldn't hinder their investigations.
    • Florence took over minding Goodman after Camille left for Paris.
  • Coconut Meets Cranium: In "Murder on the Airwaves", DI Mooney attempts to impress DS Madeleine Dumas by fetching her a coconut fresh from the tree. In doing so, he winds up dropping a coconut on her head: bruising her head and spraining her wrist.
  • Coffin Contraband: Apparently a local custom, as mentioned early on in "A Personal Murder". Specifically, people put the deceased's cell phone in his/her coffin, taking into account the possibility of the deceased sending a message from the grave. After Cedrik's death, Dwayne gets a text message from him declaring "I was murdered" as his dead body was being burned.
    DI Goodman: ...Isn't that a bit dangerous? Don't the batteries explode?
  • Confess to a Lesser Crime: One murderer does this by confessing to murder with one lie and one significant omission. After he, impulsively, committed the murder, he cleaned up after it and then 'murdered' the victim again, in a different way. By leaving out what he did beforehand and confessing to the second murder as if he really thought he did murder the victim once the investigators began to poke, investigation would quickly reveal that the victim was already dead, leaving him having confessed to attempted murder (a serious crime, but not quite as serious as murder) and, the idea was, no longer a suspect for the real murder.
  • Continuity Nod: In one episode, Catherine made chicken soup for Richard when he was ill. In series 5, when Humphrey ends up in hospital, he also has chicken soup made for him; and unlike Richard, Humphrey actually enjoys it.
  • Conspicuous CGI: The recurring lizard Harry sometimes suffers from this.
  • Conspicuously Public Assassination: In the final episode of Series 8, the Victim of the Week turns up dead inside the police station, despite the fact that the station was locked from the inside, and the previous night he was on a horse-riding expedition several miles away with all of the suspects. DI Mooney and the team are naturally baffled as to why the murderer would kill him, then leave his body in the most conspicuous place possible. It turns out that isn't what happened; the murderer strangled him in a fit of rage, then dumped his body in town in the hope of making it look like the alcoholic victim had wandered in there looking for a drink and been the victim of a mugging that went wrong. However, the strangulation did not actually kill him, and he woke up a short while later looking for help, but couldn't find anyone due to a storm hitting the island. He broke into the police station through the window, then locked it again because of the storm, and was about to call the hospital when the asphyxiation triggered an underlying medical condition that caused a fatal stroke.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: In "The Stakes are High", the murderer turns out to be the victim's wife, thinking he was having an affair, unaware that the woman he'd gone to meet was actually his estranged daughter; if he had been honest with his wife about who he was going to meet he wouldn't have been killed.
    • Also a factor in "An Unholy Death"; the head of a local convent kills a nun because she believes that the priest she runs the content with was having an affair with the nun, as he had a reputation for similar dalliances in the past. After learning that she killed the nun, the priest reveals that the nun was his daughter.
    • "A Murder on the Plantation" sees the victim killed to speed up the process of his new girlfriend (and the killer's sister) inheriting the plantation so they could destroy it to avenge their father. However, it turned out that the victim was going to announce that he only had months to live due to a brain tumour that afternoon so if they'd have waited, they could have gained control of the plantation without comitting murder. Poole even points out that because they were caught, the will is void.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: In "A Murder on the Plantation", Roger Seymour was stabbed in the back with a machete, and used his dying strength to write the letters ' J O H' in his own blood, which are the first three letters of his killer's father's first name.
  • Cover Identity Anomaly: In "Death of a Detective", a woman has assumed the identity of her sister. However, she had never read the novel on which her sister did her dissertation at Cambridge.
  • Cricket Episode: In "Stumped in Murder", the president and star player of Saint Marie's cricket club is found shot dead on the pitch after a night out.
  • Crime Reconstruction: Jack Mooney has a tendency to perform his own little reconstructions, to the bewilderment of any onlookers.
  • Curse Cut Short: On episode 4 of season 6, Humphrey figures out that one of the suspects hid the murder weapon in the jeeps engine. When he explains it to the others, this is Dwayne's reaction.
    Dwayne: Man alive! That takes a big pair of-
    Humphrey: Er yes, thank you Dwayne.
  • Dead Artists Are Better: When an aging rock star is murdered in "Swimming in Murder", the killer arranges for him to die in the most rock-n-roll way possible: being electrocuted in a swimming pool. The killer hopes this will make him a legend and ensure the band's comeback is successful.
  • Deadly Bath: In "Until Death Do You Part", the Victim of the Week is a bride-to-be drowned in her bath on the final night of her week-long hen do.
  • Deadly Prank: A deadly prank 40 years earlier provides the motive for the murder in "A Personal Murder". A group of boys threw a younger boy's hat into the river. In trying to retrieve it, he slipped into the river and hit his head on a rock. The others buried his body and swore never to tell anyone what had happened. Decades later, one of the conspirators decided to come clean, and one of the others silenced him before he could talk.
  • Dead Person Impersonation:
    • Richard Poole's demise in the season 3 premiere was because he realized that Sasha Moore, his best friend from college, was actually her supposedly dead sister Helen Reed.
    • In "Dishing Up Murder," after temperamental celebrity chef Robert Holt was stabbed to death by his son in a heated fight, the rest of his inner circle, who all hate him, conspire to cover up the crime to protect the son. This includes having Robert's brother Gary impersonate him for the soft-opening of Robert's new restaurant on St. Marie, setting up the opening so that nobody actually needs to see Robert.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The pilot sets us up to believe Sgt. Thomson will be one of the series leads. When she's revealed to have been the killer, Camille - who had been one of the suspects in the investigation before being revealed as an undercover detective - is established as the show's female lead.
  • Defective Detective:
    • Thankfully, and unusually for BBC, averted, Poole is mildly uptight compared to the locals but otherwise is a reasonably nice, well-balanced individual.
    • Similarly with Goodman: he's clumsy and can be very tactless, but is just as nice a guy.
    • Jack Mooney's a bit closer to this trope, since he's still in mourning over his late wife, but he's still pretty well-balanced and decent.
    • Parker is the straightest example. He is very neurotic and and has a delicate constitution, which drives others, especially Commissioner Patterson, up the bend.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Officer Ruby Patterson. In her early 20s, she has had 12 different jobs before becoming a police officer. She is really hoping that this will be the job that sticks. Sometimes her diverse range of previous occupations comes in handy during investigations; such as her stint as hairdresser allowing her to spot a high-end wig, or her time as a nail technician letting her identify a female suspect's nail polish shade on sight.
  • Dirty Cop:
    • Sgt. Thomson in the pilot is involved in human trafficking and killed DI Charlie Hulme when he investigated Thomson's accomplice.
    • Doug Anderson in the sixth episode of season 2. He's a drinker and as it turns out, he worked with a friend in a "Strangers on a Train"-Plot Murder scheme.
  • Discreet Dining Disposal: Poole pours the chicken soup into a potted plant in "An Unhelpful Aid." Then he has Dwayne and Fidel dump the evidence outside underneath a tree.
  • The Ditz: Officer Ruby Patterson
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: Discussed Trope between Fidel and Dwayne while on a stakeout in "Missing a Body?"
  • Dramatic Irony: A few times, the murderers discover their crimes to be misled or pointless. For example;
    • In "A Murder on the Plantation", two siblings conspired to kill their boss (and for one, fiancee) for his inheritance, only to discover afterwards that he was terminally ill and planned to hand it them legitimately anyway.
    • "An Unholy Death" and "The Stakes Are High" both feature a death because a woman believed that an important man in her life was having an affair ("Unholy Death" sees a nun being killed by her Mother Superior because she's meeting with a priest who had been tempted in the past, and "Stakes" saw a man being killed by his younger wife because she believed he was having an affair), but in both cases the older man and younger woman were father and daughter.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • "Stumped for Murder" begins with the victim in the middle of a cricket pitch, apparently murdered, but as the investigation concludes it is revealed that the victim committed suicide; one of his 'friends' had spent some time blackmailing the victim by convincing him that he was responsible for the car accident that paralysed his son from the waist down, although the suicide was 'disguised' as murder by other suspects to try and 'frame' the blackmailer.
    • "Hidden Secrets" reveals the supposed locked-room mystery to be a suicide early on, motivated by an incurable fatal disease which the victim didn't actually have — his doctor had deliberately misdiagnosed him and provided medicine that would cause the symptoms under the guise of treating it, all with the goal of pushing the victim into this trope.
  • Dying Clue:
    • In "A Murder on the Plantation", the Victim of the Week writes the letters 'J O H' in his own blood.
    • Cedrik's cell phone sends Dwayne a message reading "I was murdered" as the burning was taking place following the funeral at the start of "A Personal Murder".
  • Electrified Bathtub: An electrified swimming pool occurs in "Swimming in Murder". The killer arranges for a live set of studio lights to fall into the pool as the Victim of the Week is taking his daily swim.
  • Embarrassing Ringtone: In "Flames of Love", Humphrey somehow accidentally changes his email notification sound to a whip crack accompanied by a "Ye-haw!", and cannot work out how to change it back. It goes off at several inopportune times during the episode.
  • Eureka Moment: Poole is prone to them, almost always after reading a book or hearing someone mention a phrase seemingly unrelated to the subject of the investigation. Goodman also has them, but not always in that way, as does Mooney.
  • Even the Dog Is Ashamed: In the first episode, Richard throws an undercover Camille in the cells with a local thief and an unclaimed goat. She proceeds to mock and humiliate him, and the camera repeatedly cuts from her laughing, to the thief laughing, to the goat. Bleating. In a laughing sort of way.
  • Everybody Did It:
    • Done in one episode, when the son murdered his father. However, given that his father was an Asshole Victim, and had also manipulated and generally treated the other suspects around him like dirt, hardly anyone felt sorry to see him dead, and instead came up with a plan to protect the son by making the murder look like a robbery gone wrong.
    • In "Erupting in Murder", it turns out all of the suspects (bar one) committed the murder: two doing it for the money, and the third being blackmailed into it. The fourth suspect gets arrested on corruption charges.
    • In a Series 7 episode where a man's new bride is murdered, it turns out all three of his adult children from his first marriage were in on it together.
  • Evil Brit: A few of the criminals have been British ex-pats, from Cockney murderers to aristocratic crimelords.
  • Faking the Dead: In "Unlike Father, Unlike Son," drug trafficker Jack Harmer, while awaiting trial for shooting and killing a pastor's wife after she stumbled upon him during a drug deal, is shot dead in his jail cell by a killer that would have had to pass through three locked doors and past Dwayne and JP. As Humphrey reveals, Jack's pregnant wife and brother had conspired in an attempt to break him out of prison. Their plan was for the guard, who they'd bribed, to pull the fire alarm, after which Jack would burst a fake blood pack underneath his shirt and fake being shot. They'd then sneak him out of the jail cell to a waiting car, and then smuggle him off the island. It didn't work out as planned. What they didn't know was that the guard in question was the secret lover of the woman that Jack had killed, had in fact witnessed her murder, and sent an anonymous typewritten note to the police that had led to Jack's arrest. Seeing an opportunity for revenge, after JP and Dwayne left the cell to search the courthouse, the guard proceeded to pull out his own gun and shoot Jack for real, just before Humphrey and Florence reached the cell.
  • Fanservice:
    • Poole swaps buttoned-up shirt and tie for prim striped pyjamas in "An Unhelpful Aid" - open all the way.
    • Both Camille and Florence (in the latter case, after she was promoted from uniformed officer to pl plain-clothes detective sergeant) often wear quite skimpy clothing at work.
  • Feedback Rule: Loud feedback occurs when a prominent academic steps up to the microphone to open the literary festival in "The Secret of the Flame Tree". The author's assistant is seen adjusting the sound board to kill the feedback. The scene is later important as it shows the assistant had the necessary technical skills to pull off the audio trickery that made the murder possible.
  • Fee Fi Faux Pas: Despite his stuffiness and general repression, Richard is uncannily prone to faux pas - whether it's badmouthing the Commissioner just as he walks in, ranting at the top of his lungs in public about a minor annoyance, or talking about spanking or orifices in polite company. Humph is considerably more sensitive, but can't resist the urge to act out methods of murder as he discusses them (complete with sound effects.)
    • Jack Mooney doesn't get off to the best of start's with the Commissioner with his first case on the island when he tries to explain badly why they had better re-open a cold case when new evidence is revealed.
  • Fictional Painting: "An Artistic Murder" centers around "The Girl from the Mermaid", the final painting by Saint Marie's most famous artist.
  • Film the Hand: In "Dishing Up Murder", a restaurant hostess does this when a guest attempts to film the temperamental celebrity chef (because the footage might have revealed that the chef had been killed earlier that day and was being impersonated by his brother.
  • Finger-Licking Poison:
    • The stamp variant occurs in "Ye of Little Faith": the murderer knows that the victim writes postcards each time she lands somewhere new, including licking stamps to send them, and uses this knowledge to poison the stamps and thus the vic. And in doing so gets an alibi since the actual death occurs on the ground while the murderer is still on an aeroplane en route.
    • Also done in a series 5 episode with the poison being in an envelope seal, with the twist being that the killer set the crime scene up to make it appear the victim had drunk the poison in a glass of champagne — thus getting an alibi by not having any opportunity to put the poison in the glass until after the victim was already collapsing.
    • In "Damned If You Do...", the Victim of the Week gets poisoned by a lethal dose of poison being placed on the pages of his journal before he retires to write a speech. The killer then poisons the dinner being eaten by everyone, including themself, with a milder dose in an attempt to make it appear he died from food poisoning.
  • The Finicky One: Poole to a tee. If it's not classic British food or weather, he's completely unhappy.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: He doesn't end up literally breathing fire, but in "Ye of Little Faith," Humphrey accidentally eats a Scotch bonnet pepper, thinking it is a tomato. He ends up being force-fed a large quantity of milk, as this the only alternative to taking him to the hospital.
  • Fish out of Water: Poole's British Stuffiness contrasts greatly with the relaxed approach of his co-workers on Saint Marie.
  • Foreign Queasine: How Poole feels about the local cuisine, especially seafood. He is delighted when Camille's mother cooks him roast beef in "Predicting Murder."
  • Foreshadowing: In "Arriving in Paradise," Sgt. Lily Thomson's cell phone has the ringtone "I Shot the Sheriff". She's the one who murdered DI Charlie Hulme, whose death started the whole series and caused Poole to be sent to Saint-Marie.
  • For Want of a Nail: Many, many episodes revolve around near-perfect murder schemes that would've let the perps walk away scot-free if there hadn't been that one tiny detail, mishap or unexpected complication that ends up derailing their carefully crafted plan.
  • Fox-Chicken-Grain Puzzle: DI Goodman likens how the Mystery of the Week of the "Old Times" episode was carried out to this puzzle. Fidel keeps trying to figure out the puzzle for the rest of the episode.
  • Funny Background Event: During JP's stag night at Goodman's beach hut, he slurryingly reveals to Dwayne that everytime he went to fetch more drinks for the two of them, he brought Dwayne some hardcore moonshine instead of regular rum, all the while Goodman is sitting in the background, staring blankly ahead. Dwayne takes the revelation in stride by gleefully telling JP he knew about that and always switched out the glasses, prompting JP to ask who got the moonshine instead. Cue Goodman keeling from his chair. What's even more funny: Come next morning he's none the worse for wear while JP and Dwayne are obviously still smarting from the past night. He's actually making breakfast for them.
  • Genius Ditz: Humphrey Goodman is a clumsy and tactless fellow whose only real competency lies in police work.
  • Good-Guy Bar: Catherine's bar, where the island's top cops go to unwind after a long week of solving a murder.
  • The Ghost: Fidel's wife and children. JP's wife Rosie is an odd example; she's a recurring character in Series 5, but is an entirely offscreen presence after that.
  • Greatest Hits Album: Turns out to be the killer's motive in "Music of Murder", where a band's lead singer is shot dead on stage at their reunion gig.
  • Grilling Pyrotechnics: At the end of "The Complex Murder", Dwayne and Humphrey are grilling prawns. Dwayne asks Humphrey to spray the prawns with water. Humphrey picks up the wrong bottle and sprays the grill with the paraffin they had used to light it, turning the grill into a bonfire.
  • Henpecked Husband: Humphrey is clearly in awe of his wife Sally, and it's suggested that their relationship was unequal to the point of abuse. He becomes a lot more confident and able to make decisions for himself when she's not around, to the point, that despite spending the first episode after she left him acting like she was still coming to join him, when she comes to the island to get him back, he explicitly rejects her.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: In "Predicting Death," the murderer needs to hide a body. What does he do? He dissolves most of the organs in lime, which only left a skeleton. Oh and he happens to be a teacher — and the anatomical skeleton in his classroom looks very real...
    • Poole's first case involves a book crucial to the murder being swapped with an innocuous one. While the detectives are baffled by what was so important in an old travel guide, the blood-stained real evidence sits unnoticed among a bookcase full of others.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Neither Richard nor Humphrey got on well with their families; Humphrey was bullied by his siblings and derided by his dominating father, while Richard was sent to a boarding school, where he was terrorised and abused by one of the staff.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: Averted — it is made clear that this is how the ignorant Poole views voodoo, but the writers have Shown Their Work when the locals correct him.
  • Homage: Danny John-Jules playing a character called Dwayne.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: A male version is the murder victim in a series 3 episode.
  • I Am Very British: Poole in particular.
  • I Call It "Vera": Poole has a telescope he calls 'Lucy'. Camille is incredulous that he named it.
  • I Know Madden Kombat: In "Death in the Clinic", Poole stops a fleeing criminal by grabbing a coconut and bowling it at him: a perfect full toss that hits him in the head and knocks him out. Poole immediately undercuts the moment by remarking that he hadn't expected that to work.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Platonic versions of this are behind Humphrey and Mooney's reasons for leaving the island, as Humphrey has a chance to form a new relationship with an old girlfriend and Mooney decides he's ready to move on from his grief and return to the life he had before his wife's death, with their associates at Saint-Marie assuring both detectives that they approve of their decision.
  • Improperly Paranoid: In the pilot episode, Poole is highly put-out to learn that there's been an undercover officer Camille investigating the same crime as him and no one bothered to inform him. Commissioner Patterson notes that an officer is suspected of corruption and if they'd revealed the undercover operation it could have jeopardised everything. Poole irritably points out that the corrupt officer is hardly likely to have been him, seeing as he's only been on the island a couple of days and was in London for the previous thirteen years.
  • Insult Backfire: Mixed with a side of Deadpan Snarker, but Poole gets perhaps the greatest of these in television history after apprehending the episode's perp. The perp of the week, a conman, had been impersonating the guard who had been hired to watch him when the exchange was made. While on a boat, the conman pulled an You Have Outlived Your Usefulness on the guard, and for the remainder of the episode was pretending to be buddy-buddy with Poole.
    Perp: I made you look pretty stupid, didn't I?
    Poole: ...Yeah. You did. And please, feel free to gloat about it through the entirety of your double-life sentence.
    Cue Oh, Crap! face from Perp has he is led away.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Dwayne is the oldest member of the team, Fidel is the youngest. They are clearly pretty good friends, and Dwayne even gives Fidel that pair of baby football shoes, an adorable sign of affection.
  • Ironic Echo: At one point in the pilot, Fidel muses about whether Poole will stay to be the new chief of the police station. Dwayne — who has been chafing under Poole's officious, prissy attitude — stubbornly barks "He's many things, but he's no chief." At the end, after doing several things that have begun to earn Dwayne's respect, Poole exposes the murderer and orders Dwayne to make the arrest. Without a moment's hesitation, Dwayne instantly replies "Sure thing, chief."
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": In "The Perfect Murder", the snooty governor-elect of the neighbouring island Anton Burrage insists that his surname is pronounced "Bur-RAJ". The commissioner, who has known and despised Burrage for decades, says it is pronounced "Borridge" (rhyming with porridge).
  • It Tastes Like Feet:
    • Poole's fever-induced description of Camille's mother's chicken soup in "An Unhelpful Aid" is colourful, if less than flattering.
    • In "Predicting Murder", Inspector Poole comments that a local cocktail consisted of nothing but rum, lime and ice, but somehow tasted like paint stripper.
    • Jack Mooney comparing Guinness to Marmite just as Florence is about to take a sip of it.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Poole is a pretty pompous, stuffy and uptight man and it's almost like he's allergic to having fun at times, but when it comes down to it he's pretty nice.
  • Justified Criminal: One suspect in season 2 is found to be stealing old medication from an upmarket private clinic to provide free healthcare for the island's poor. Poole and the team are so impressed that they agree to release him without charge and look the other way.
  • Karma Houdini: The murderer in Series 7 episode 7 is found to have fled the island before the police can catch him, meaning it is one of a very few episodes where the killer is not brought to justice. (This was the result of Real Life Writes the Plot, as the actor playing the killer suddenly died during filming.)
  • Laxative Prank: In "She Was Murdered Twice", the PA of the Victim of the Week was planning to do this to her boss. She sneaked into her boss's bedroom to swap one of her energy drinks for a powerful laxative, only to discover her boss had been murdered. She panicked and fled, knowing that there was no good way she could explain what she was doing in the room.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • In a late series 4 episode, Humphrey is unsatisfied when one of the suspects confesses less than halfway into the episode, leaving a few seemingly minor loose ends (such as why the victim kept a roll of sticky tape in a locked safe) and without The Summation. He's right to be.
    • In his first episode, Parker questions the purpose of The Summation, since the team can simply make an arrest. Commissioner Patterson prods him into it since it's just something that detectives on the island do.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: In season 8, episode 5, Florence foolishly pursues a suspect into a dark abandoned building with no backup, weapons, or even a flashlight, and gets shot as a result.
  • Leitmotif: Poole has one for when he finds an important clue, or has a Eureka Moment.
  • Locked in a Room: In "The Complex Murder", Dwayne and JP get locked inside a shipping container that is being used as a lock-up. We then discover that Dwayne - who has been riding JP all episode because of his fear of drowning - suffers from Claustrophobia.
  • Locked Room Mystery:
    • A literal description, though it turns out not a true example, in "Arriving in Paradise."
    • An example, though not a literal description, in "Wicked Wedding Night."
    • "Predicting Murder" and "Missing a Body?" as the emphasis is often on how the crime was committed as well as why.
    • "An Unholy Death" plays it straight with the murder of a novice nun in her locked cell.
    • "Hidden Secrets" goes the classic route. A surf instructor is shot inside a shed. The murder weapon is missing, the only door is locked and the wet sand outside the only window is completely undisturbed.
    • In "Unlike Father, Unlike Son", the Victim of the Week is murdered inside a locked jail cell behind two other locked doors.
    • The victim in "Rue Morgue" apparently committed suicide behind a locked and bolted door. Naturally, it's Never Suicide.
    • In "The Impossible Murder", the room was not locked, but the only ways to enter it would either have left visible disturbances (climbing to the window) or gone right past Humphrey's point of view (going up the stairs).
    • "Melodies of Murder" is a classic locked room mystery. A musician is found shot in his dressing room, the door locked and the gun in his hand. It looks like suicide, but an old fork on the floor and a missing guitar string make DI Mooney think otherwise.
    • "Switcharoo" begins with the team investigating what seems to be a straightforward suicide, as a woman was found in her bathtub with her plugged-in hairdryer, with both the hotel room and the bathroom doors locked from the inside, but visiting Detective Inspector Neville Parker notes that the victim was also wearing her mouthguard, which prompts him to rule out the idea of suicide.
  • Lotsa People Try to Dun It:
    • In "Murder on the Day of the Dead", the victim suffered both an attempted murder and an actual murder, although only the former has a witness.
    • In "She Was Murdered Twice", the body of a woman is found shot in bed at a company retreat. After Detective Humphrey investigates for a while, he quickly finds a prime suspect, who confesses to having shot the victim. After putting him in jail to await trial, the coroner's report comes in and says that she was strangled to death before she was shot, and Humphrey has to find the second killer. In the end, it's a subversion. There was only one killer, who strangled the victim in the heat of the moment, and immediately realized afterwards that he would become the prime suspect and would be caught. With nothing to lose, he tries to get sent to prison for attempted murder and a significantly shorter sentence. He shoots the corpse, and when the police start to close in, he "confesses" to having murdered the victim by shooting her. Then he just waits in his cell for the coroner to send the police on a wild goose chase. Humphrey ends up having to catch the exact same killer twice for the same murder.
  • Madwoman in the Attic: A mild case occurs in "The Secret of the Flame Tree", where a famous author keeps her severely addled sister out of public contact in an isolated bungalow on her estate. The sister actually wrote the author's most famous novel, and the author wants to ensure that no one ever discovers this.
  • Medication Tampering:
    • In "Death in the Clinic", the killer swaps the Victim of the Week's pain medication with a dose of botox strong enough to paralyze her lungs and cause her to suffocate.
    • In "Hidden Secrets", a doctor diagnoses his friend as suffering an incurable degenerative nerve disease, as part of a plot to drive him to suicide. The drugs his supplies him to 'treat' the condition are actually antipsychotics that will simulate the symptoms of degenerative nerve damage.
  • The Mentor: Cedrik to Dwayne. Particularly early on in their relationship, he also served as a Morality Pet, as without his guidance Dwayne's life path would've been much different.
  • Mistakes Are Not the End of the World: In one episode, Humphrey blocks a request by Camille to transfer to a different force, only to realise that he's harming her career prospects for a selfish reason. When he apologises to her and tells her that he resubmitted the transfer request on her behalf, he tells her "Someone once told me that mistakes don't matter, what matters is what you do to put them right."
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Whimsical humor pads many episodes, which contain some rather dark and gruesome (and at times rather heartbreaking) deaths.
    • The teaser often ends with the dramatic discovery of a corpse...then immediately goes into the bright, holiday programme-like visuals of the intro and instrumental of "You're Wondering Now". This may be deliberately invoked. This was particularly jarring when the corpse in question was Poole's and we then switched to the cheerful music and footage of a very much alive Poole dragging his suitcase across the beach...then back to everyone mourning him.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Both Camille and Florence are ridiculously beautiful and regularly show a lot of skin for someone conducting official murder investigations. Many of their outfits incorporate backless or semitransparent tops, combined with very short shorts. Partly justified by Saint Marie's hot climate, but among the police force they're always the most scantly clad member by far - the male cast exclusively wears either suit (Poole/Goodman/Mooney) or uniform (Dwayne/Fidel/JP).
  • Murder by Mistake:
    • The first Victim of the Week in "Wicked Wedding Night". Poole even remarks during the Summation Gathering that the case made no sense till he realised that the first victim had never been the intended target.
    • Inverted in Humphrey's second episode, where the poisoning victim was the target all along, and was killed by the person thought to be the target of the attack.
    • In "Wish You Weren't Here", the first Victim of the Week dies after drinking a cup of coffee order by her boss. The drugged coffee would not have killed her had she not gone for a swim, where she passed out and drowned. This is what initially confused DI Mooney, as it seemed the murder relied on the murderer knowing the victim would take a midnight swim, which was a spontaneous decision.
  • Never Suicide:
    • In "The Secret of the Flame Tree'', a young student seemingly throws herself to her death off a cliff in imitation of a literary suicide. However, one look at her suicide note is enough to make Humphrey suspicious that this was not a suicide.
    • In "Murder from Above", a bride-to-be seemingly throws herself to her death off her hotel balcony. Everybody, including the Commissioner, wants to write this off as a suicide, but Mooney can't move beyond the fact that she painted one thumbnail before jumping.
    • "Switcharoo" begins with the team investigating the apparent suicide of a woman found in her bathtub with her plugged-in hairdryer, both the hotel room and the bathroom doors locked from the inside. However, visiting Detective Inspector Neville Parker notes that the victim was also wearing her mouthguard, which prompts him to rule out the idea of suicide as she would hardly be concerned about the long-term condition of her teeth if she was about to kill herself.
  • New Meat: Series 4 introduces JP Hooper, a police officer who is fresh out of Police College. Dwayne takes advantage of the new guy's naivete while showing him the ropes.
  • Nobody Loves the Bassist: In "Music of Murder", the bassist of the Venerators, after being discovered by Richard to be the one who did it, is dragged away and rants about how he'll be remembered forever. Richard expresses his doubts. The guy's just a bassist, after all.
  • Noodle Incident: In "Frappe Death Day", JP asks Ruby what her most embarrassing moment was. She starts by saying:
    "I hope you've got a strong constitution, because it's starts with a goat and ends with me being arrested..."
  • No Pronunciation Guide: English members of the cast often struggle with French terms, and vice versa. "Saint Marie" and "Honoré" are common stumbling blocks, being mentioned as often as they are.
  • Not Listening to Me, Are You?: In "Rue Morgue", Camille is summing up interview results while Humph frets over his ex-wife turning up unannounced. When challenged, he's able to recite everything Camille said back to her... before seguing straight back into fretting.
  • Not So Above It All: Poole's British Stuffiness does relent occasionally, but he often doesn't show it in public.
  • No, You Hang Up First: JP and Rosie do this in "Dishing Up Murder". Dwayne gets sick of it and resolves the situation by taking the phone out of JP's hand and hanging up for him.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Inspector Chris Ricketts in "Amongst Us" acts like a bumbling tourist, while secretly breaking into sealed crime scenes and leading investigating officers off the trail. Subverted. He's entirely innocent, except in that he really is so bumbling and incompetent that he completely missed the criminal and got his star witness killed.
    • Appears to be Jack Mooney's favoured interview tactic.
  • Oddly Small Organization: The Saint Marie Police Force is supposedly large enough to justify having a full-time Commissioner wearing the rank of a Chief Constable. Yet, the Honoré Police Station only employs four officers (two detectives and two uniformed constables) despite being responsible for the island's largest town (which has a well-regarded university and a regional airport) and is almost always closed before sundown.
  • Of Course I Smoke: In "The Stakes are High", D.I. Mooney and the team are reenacting the events leading up to the death of the Victim of the Week. Mooney, who is playing the role of the victim, lights up a cigar—as the victim had done—and immediately starts coughing.
  • Oh Wait, This Is My Grocery List: Done deliberately in "Death in the Clinic". Poole is convinced that surgeon's eyesight is failing and hands him a piece of paper which he claims contains the name of a personal injury lawyer one his patients had engaged. Poole asks him if he has ever heard the name. The surgeon glances at the list and says he's never heard of him. Poole replies:
    "I'd be amazed if you had. That's my shopping list. It says 'bananas and sunblock'."
  • Old-Fashioned Copper:
    • Dwayne is a very mild example. He's the most casual about protocol of the team, and occasionally advocates stirring up witnesses to get information.
    • Met officer Doug Anderson in "A Dash of Sunshine" is a darker case - he treats policing like being in a gang, and bullies and harasses Richard for preferring scientific methods. He also turns out to be the killer, as he hired a friend to kill his wife in exchange for previously personally killing the friend's wife.
  • Once a Season: Beginning with Series 2, every finale features the DI faced with the dilemma of whether or not to return to England:
    • Richard is offered the opportunity to be transferred back to London at the end of Series 2, and actually does go back for a while, but decides he misses Saint-Marie.
    • Humphrey is asked to return home by his estranged wife in Series 3, and by his father in Series 4, although in the former case Humphrey decides he prefers his new life, and in the latter his father changes his mind after realising his son is a good detective.
    • Series 5 is an exception, but Series 6 returns to it as Jack must decide whether or not to accept the offer of a permanent position on the island.
    • In Series 8 Jack decides to go back to England when his daughter Siobhan has a personal crisis at university, and is on the ferry to the airport when he suddenly has his Eureka Moment and has to abandon his trip home to solve the case, and there isn't going to be another flight back for the foreseeable future. The Commissioner is so grateful he arranges for Siobhan to be flown over.
  • Once per Episode: Richard will insist people think about things "logically." Humph will trip or knock something over while trying to deliver The Summation.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: In "Murder on the Honoré Express", Florence's new boyfriend stops by the station to meet her colleagues. The only one there is J.P., who thinks Patrice is Dwayne's replacement. He asks Patrice if he is the "new guy", and Patrice replies "I suppose him". J.P. then goes to say that he hads big shoes to fill, how much Florence misses the last guy, and how he needs to "keep things warm" till Dwayne gets back.
  • Orgy of Evidence: In "Ye of Little Faith," the Victim of the Week has been poisoned, and nobody has been able to find the poison or work out how it has been administered. The killer then plants the poison at the scene of the crime to try and frame somebody else, but this inadvertently gives the police the information they need to solve the case.
  • ...Or So I Heard: In "In the Footsteps of a Killer", the team find credit card charges on the statement of one of the suspects from a business called Cupid's Arrow.
    JP: It's a high end lingerie shop on the other side of the island.
    (Curious looks from the other three)
    JP: So I've heard.
  • Phone-In Detective: In "An Unhelpful Aid", Poole is able to solve a murder while lying delirious in his sickbed, being fed information by Dwayne and Fidel.
  • Phoney Call: Vital to the solution of a seemingly impossible murder in "The Blood Red Sea". The wife of the Victim of the Week answered a call from her husband's phone. However, the call was made by her accomplice on her husband's phone, and she was talking to empty air.
  • Pinocchio Nose: If forced to keep a secret, JP becomes uncomfortably hot and itchy, which absolutely everyone comments on.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Gary Carr left the show and Fidel's absence is explained as the character having taken a job on another island.
    • Sara Martins departed the show in Series 4. Camille was written out by by having her take an undercover assignment in Paris as a way of advancing her career.
    • Mooney's daughter Siobhan goes off to university at the start of series 7, only a couple of episodes after the character was introduced.
    • Dwayne Myers departs after Series 7, going on a round-the-world sailing trip with his father to reconnect after decades of estrangement.
    • DS Florence Cassell after the Series 8 two-parter "Beyond the Shining Sea"
  • Race for Your Love: Humphrey gets Dwayne to drive him to the airport to say goodbye to Martha. Her plane was already going down the runway when they get to the airport, so Dwayne drive alongside the plane, and Humphrey tries to catch Martha's attention through the window. By the time Martha does look out the window, Humphrey and Dwayne had fallen behind the plane.
  • Rank Up: Over the course of the series Fidel studies for, takes, and passes his sergeant's exam.
    • Florence's promotion from Police Sergeant to Detective Sergeant is altogether more sudden and only a few episodes after she joins the team.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Poole's habit of wearing wool suits despite the heat was immensely uncomfortable for Ben Miller even in spite of the workarounds the production team tried to find (i.e. only shooting Poole from the waist up so he could wear shorts and sandals), and was a factor in Miller quitting the show after two series. The fact that his replacements generally wear lighter, more suitable clothing is likely not a coincidence. (Similarly, both Miller and Kris Marshall's decisions to leave were also informed by the fact that they had small children and filming the show kept them away from their family for months at a time; Ardal O'Hanlon's children are all adults or at least teenagers.)
    • A Series 7 episode ran into trouble when the actor playing the murderer died of natural causes midway through filming. The episode was hastily rewritten so the character has already fled the island by the time Mooney manages to crack the case. The episode was dedicated to the actor's memory.
  • Reality Ensues: In "The Blood-Red Sea", a character interviewed for clues omits information very pertinent to the case. Not because he's the killer or an accomplice, as usually happens in these shows- but because he's a civilian who genuinely doesn't know what sort of information the detectives are looking for.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Poole initially views his assignment as this, and it's implied his London Met colleagues dislike him and also see it this way.
  • Recycled INSPACE: Jonathan Creek, just where it's sunny.
  • Red Herring:
    • They set up enough ominous shots of Camille during the first part of the pilot to make you think that she's the one who shot Charlie Hulme, and then they have her revealed as an undercover cop investigating the man Charlie Hulme was killed while investigating.
    • There is basically a variation of this in the second episode; the entire team are focused on the death of a bride on her wedding day, but Poole eventually determines that the true target was someone else and the bride's death was just an accident.
  • Revisiting the Cold Case:
    • In "In the Footsteps of a Killer", DI Mooney reopens a 7 year old murder case when a witness comes forward and provides an alibi for the woman originally convicted of the crime (who subsequently died in prison). The witness had left the island before the crime was discovered, and never returned until now.
    • In "Melodies of Murder", DI Mooney has to reopen a 30 year old cold murder—originally investigated by Commissioner Patterson—when the husband of the victim announces that he has new evidence regarding the murder, and is promptly murdered himself.
  • Right Behind Me: This happens in "Murder Onboard".
    Dwayne: Chief, the Commissioner-
    Richard: Wants us to focus on the bootleggers, I know. But he's going to have to wait. He's probably busy anyway tucking into some lobster or swallowing an overpriced bottle of plonk...
    Commissioner: Or standing behind you.
    Richard: Or standing behind me. And as a gentleman and a scholar, able to take a joke in the spirit it was intended.
  • Romantic False Lead: The murderess police officer in "Arriving in Paradise" plays the same mildly flirtatious role that Camille takes on in episode two onwards.
  • Rubik's Cube International Genius Symbol: Played with in "Stumped in Murder". Humphrey finds a Rubik's Cube in the evidence and starts attempting to solve it to take his mind of his personal problems. He fails completely until he has his Eureka Moment. He rushes to The Big Board and starts rambling to himself, twisting the cube without looking at it as he does so. Florence then points out that he has solved it.
  • Running Gag:
    • The lizard in Poole's house. Poole is thrown off by him at first, but by series 2 has given the little guy a name (Harry) and is feeding him. After Poole dies, Humphrey continues the tradition, as does Mooney after Goodman's departure, though he needs a bit of persuading from Siobhan initially.
    • Goodman scribbling case notes on anything he can find (tissues, playing cards, restaurant menus) rather than having a notebook.
  • Saying Too Much: In "Murder on the Day of the Dead", Finn Anderson apparently receives a voicemail from his wife in which she is being attacked by someone with a knife. He runs to find DI Mooney to inform him that he believes his wife has just been murdered, but Mooney finds it curious that he would say she was murdered, rather than attacked, and correctly guesses that he already knew his wife was dead.
  • Scenery Porn: Honoré Bay, and Saint Marie Island in general.
  • Science Hero: Poole. Facts and forensics always win out over spiritual and supernatural explanations.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: One victim was using the false name Nadia Selim as a way of letting the police know the name of the person she suspected (correctly) would try and kill her- Aidan Miles.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Played with; Poole is almost always seen wearing an impeccable black suit... which, in the tropical climate of the Caribbean, tends to make him look rather hot and sweaty.
  • She's Got Legs: Both Camille and Florence have lovely legs which the series makes an effort to emphasize every so often.
  • Ship Tease: Poole and Camille get one at the end of "A Murder on the Plantation", when Camille mistakes Poole for the blind date her mother has set her up on until she is corrected and pointed in the right direction.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The murder of Poole at the start of "Death of a Detective" bears a strong resemblance to Hercule Poirot's description of what he would consider to be the most interesting hypothetical murder to solve at the start of The ABC Murders and later used as the premise for Cards on the Table. The only difference is that the setup to the crime involves a game of charades rather than bridge.
    • At the end of an episode involving a murdered bird-watcher there's a mini-Reveal that the Saint Marie green parrot is actually extinct, the last breeding pair having been killed by a hurricane two years ago. Dwayne and the manager of the parrot sanctuary where the murder took place start quoting the "Dead Parrot Sketch".
    • The first episode of Series eight is entitled "Murder on the Honore Express". Not only does the episode centre around a murderer being stabbed to death on a moving vehicle, but DI Mooney even comments at one point that the only solution is that all the passengers were in on it together (even though this is not actually the case and he dismisses his own claim).
  • Show Some Leg: Neither Camille nor Florence are shy about showing off their shapely legs in pretty much every episode, usually by wearing very short shorts while on duty. Ironically, the dresses they tend to change into for private outings, while undoubtedly sexy as well, are often much more concealing.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: In the first episode, after Camille's been arrested she makes some mocking comments about Poole's uptight nature. Without blinking an eye, Poole coolly points out that she's the one behind bars, not him, and that she's been arrested on a boat connected to people smuggling. The snide jabs quickly stop.
  • Significant Anagram: In "Written in Murder", Mooney gets his Eureka Moment when he realises that Otis Falconer—a mysterious suspect they have not been able to locate—is an anagram of Francis Toole, the Victim of the Week.
  • Significant Reference Date: "Murder on the Day of the Dead" explicitly dates the day of the murder to 1 February 2018, which is also the episode's original airdate.
  • Skeleton Key Card: DI Mooney uses his credit to slip the lock on an empty house rented by one of the suspects in "Written in Murder".
    • A Victim of the Week uses a playing card variation to enter the closed and locked police station in Series 8
  • The Smurfette Principle: The default set-up of the police force is three men and one woman. This was briefly averted in the first half of series 4 when both Camille and Florence were in the team. Also averted in series 8 with Florence and Ruby (and later Madeline replacing Florence).
  • The Sociopath: The murderer or the victim has been this at least twice.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The jaunty, upbeat theme tune invariably crashes in just as the Cold Opening ends with the discovery of a gruesome death.
  • Spoiler Opening: The Reveal in the very first episode about Camille being a major character instead of just a one-shot role falls a bit flat in light of how prominently she's featured in the opening sequence. The same thing also foreshadows that episode's murderer of the week by way of conspicuous absence from the intro.
  • Spot of Tea: Poole delivers a Character Filibuster on its importance in the fourth episode as a means to stall some suspects while Camille searches their house. He spends the second episode, "Wicked Wedding Night", trying in vain across the island to find a decent cuppa. Much to his surprise, it comes from Camille's mother.
  • Spotting the Thread: In the first episode of Season 9, the team solve the crime when they realise that the man who had been framed for the crime was illiterate; the true killers had left messages around the bodies, which the man they had framed couldn't have written.
  • Steel Drums and Sunshine: The theme song is a bight and sunny, Caribbean tune which plays up the "paradise" part of the show, in contrast to its darker theme of violent death.
  • Strange Cop in a Strange Land: In the two part "Man Overboard", Humphrey, Florence and Dwayne travel fro Saint Marie to London in pursuit of a murderer. While this is Humphrey's old stomping ground, Florence—and especially Dwayne—are well outside their comfort zone. Humphrey takes a certain pleasure in being the one playing guide for once
  • "Strangers on a Train"-Plot Murder: Done in "A Dash of Sunshine", although the first murder is not seen; having already taken place in another country.
  • Strictly Formula: A common complaint about the series is its rigid adherence to its structure, to the point that every single season finale has had a temptation to return to England offered to the lead detective. (Although, as any fan of the original Law & Order can tell you, a strict adherence to structure can be charming in and of itself.)
  • Suicide, Not Murder:
    • In a series 1 episode, an elderly woman makes a voodoo prediction about her own death at the hands of a "scarred man" and then dies in suspicious circumstances the next day. As it turns out, she had long suspected this particular scarred man of her daughter's murder, and she faked her own murder at his hands in order to get the police to investigate him again.
    • Played with in a series 4 episode. It was suicide, although the victim had help from one of the 'suspects', who was a doctor lying about the victim having a terminal illness in order to manipulate him into taking his own life.
    • In "Stumped in Murder", the Victim of the Week commits suicide, but the first person on the scene hides the weapon and suicide note, making it look like murder.
    • In a series 7 episode, a woman is poisoned at a spiritual healing event. She took the poison herself (she was terminally ill), but, as planned, her actions led Mooney to discover a murder the preacher had comitted 30 years earlier.
  • The Summation: At the end of every episode, after Poole's/Goodman's/Mooney's Eureka Moment.
  • Summation Gathering: Poole always performs this. Lampshaded in "Death of a Detective" when Camille prepares to summon the suspects after new-boy Goodman solves the case, only for him to ask "why?". He goes through with it, and carries on with it thereafter because he enjoyed it the first time. There's no explanation given as to why Mooney keeps up the tradition when he takes over as DI, but by that point it's just expected.
  • Superdickery: In a Season 1 episode, a woman Dwayne has a one-night stand with is found murdered the next morning. The preview implies dramatically that Dwayne is a suspect, but in fact Poole only treats him as one for about five minutes (because he is annoyed that the others didn't invite him out for drinks with them), and then dismisses the idea.
  • Super OCD: Poole. He'll spend a whole case obsessing over a minor out-of-place detail that, naturally, turns out to be the key to the whole mystery.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Florence for Camille as the glamorous Detective Sergeant with a French accent, and JP for Fidel as the idealistic overkeen young cop. Averted with Humphrey as, unlike Poole he is friendly & likeable, clumsy, volunteered for the job, dresses appropriately and is married (although not happily). Mooney appears to have some of the traits of Goodman (Friendly, likable, ferocious appetite), but isn't as clumsy, and is a widower with a daughter.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: In "Damned If You Do...", the killer poisons the stew being eaten by everyone in an attempt to make the murder look like food poisoning.
  • Thanatos Gambit:
    • "Predicting Death": A lady foretells her own death in front of Dwayne and poisons herself in the classroom of the man she believes killed her daughter to frame him. Ironically she killed herself in plain view of the evidence that could bring him to justice.
    • "Death of a Detective": Poole as well. Realizing that the woman claiming to be Sasha Moore, his best friend from college is her supposedly dead sister Helen Reed, he leaves (and gets sent to the island) enough clues to expose her as his killer.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: In "Melodies of Murder", Dwayne's father Nelson moves in uninvited to Jack's shack and makes himself at home: much to Jack's annoyance.
  • Those Two Guys: Dwayne and Fidel. Later, Dwayne and Hooper after Fidel's departure.
  • Throwing The Match: In "The Perfect Murder", the Victim of the Week is killed when she attempts to expose a scheme to fix the outcome of a series of beach volleyball matches.
  • Time-Delayed Death: In "The Impossible Murder", the Victim of the Week is stabbed by their killer in the kitchen of a hotel. Not wanting their killer to go to prison for their murder, the victim staunches the bleeding and walks upstairs in full view of the guests (who mistake his slight stumbling for him being drunk). Once in his room, he locks the door and stages the room to make it look like there had been a break-in. After hiding the blood-soaked scarf he had used to stem the bleeding, he expires on the floor.
    • In the last episode of Series 8, the victim was strangled, but not fatally (although the killer did believe he was dead), but the strangulation triggered an underlying medical condition a short while later that caused a fatal stroke. This explains how the victim's body ended up in the police station even though it was locked from the inside.
  • Too Good to Be True: In "Predicting Death," all of the evidence points to one person. Naturally, Richard feels it's all too neat.
  • Tranquilizer Dart: In "Murder Most Animal", local zookeeper Xander Sheppard is found shot in the back with a poisonous dart, and a tranquilizer rifle is found discovered just inside the zoo fence. Later, J.P. gets shot in the butt with a tranquilizer dart by Ruby while the two of them are trying to arrest an animal smuggler.
  • Tropical Island Adventure: The main setting of the series, being set on a fictional tropical island in the Caribbean.
  • Two-Part Episode: There have been two so far, both of which wrote out major characters (and the first of which also introduced the show's new lead): "Man Overboard" featured filming in England, and ends on a cliffhanger when the team's prime suspect is murdered. "Beyond the Shining Sea" features two distinct, but linked cases, and is also noticeably Darker and Edgier than usual.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Detective Sergeant Angela Young in "An Unhelpful Aid".
  • Undercover Cop Reveal: They set shots of Camille up in the pilot to make you think that she's the killer, or at the very least, she's involved in Charlie Hulme's death. Then it's revealed she's an undercover cop investigating James Lavender for human trafficking.
  • Unexpectedly Dark Episode: The Series 8 two-part story "Beyond the Shining Sea" is very consciously styled as Darker and Edgier.
  • Vorpal Pillow: Used in "A Personal Murder" to slay the Victim of the Week (who suffers from sleep apnea and bad heart).
  • Vow of Celibacy: Played for Drama in "An Unholy Death", as part of the murder motive when a nun is found asphyxiated at the island's convent. The priest attached to the convent had previously broken his vow and fathered a daughter, who then came to the convent looking for him and joined to get close to him. The mother superior, who was in love with the priest and was trying to keep him from breaking his vow again, misinterpreted their affection and killed the daughter.
  • Welcome to the Caribbean, Mon!: The show is set on the fictional Caribbean island of Saint Marie, described in Episode 3.3 as a "pretty island" that is "situated in the Eastern Caribbean Sea" and "one-tenth the size of its north-west neighbour Guadeloupe"; this would make Saint Marie about 63 square miles (160 km2) in size. Saint Marie is a British Overseas Territory, but about 30% of its people are of French culture due to previous history, with the language still widely spoken.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Humphrey Goodman. Humphrey's father is convinced that Humphrey is wasting his life playing a game of cops-and-robbers instead of becoming a barrister like him (and his brother). In "Unlike Father, Unlike Son", Humphrey's father comes to the island to convince him to come back home to England for his ex-wife, Sally. Finally having had enough of trying to please his father, Humphrey tells his father that he is a very good detective and that he is happier on Saint Marie than then he ever was in England and is staying there. After watching his son solve the case, Humphrey's father realises he is happy for him to remain in Saint Marie.
  • Who Murdered the Asshole?: In "Dishing Up Murder", the Victim of the Week Robert Holt, was an obnoxious celebrity chef who was loathed by his entire inner circle. Robert cheated on his girlfriend and partner (both romantically and professionally), dominated and abused his son, blackmailed his homosexual sous chef, had an affair with his pastry chef, and had allowed his brother Gary to take the fall for a crime he had committed. So when his own son killed him in a heated argument, everyone else in the inner circle proceeded to work together to cover up the crime, by putting the body in the freezer so that the time of death couldn't be determined, then proceeded with the soft-opening as if nothing was wrong (with the brother posing as the victim), and making sure there was an outside witness around when they pretended to "discover" the body.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: Camille's and Florence's favorite duty "uniform" usually consists of an airy top and a pair of shorts barely a span long for copious amounts of Fanservice.
  • You Need to Get Laid: At the end of "The Complex Murder", Dwayne tells Humphrey that he doesn't need a boat, he needs a girlfriend.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Some of the murders happen as direct or indirect results of infidelity.
  • Your Tomcat Is Pregnant: In "Wish You Weren't Here", DI Mooney is looking after a pet mongoose/polecat/ferret thing named Sherman until an acquaintance cab persuade his wife to allow it in the house. The animal escapes and Mooney buys a replacement. While Mooney is at the bar, Ruby examines Sherman Mk. II and remarks to JP that DI Mooney might want to hold off on giving this Sherman to Darnell. When JP asks why, she says because Sherman Mk. II is a girl.


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