Thursday, June 23, 2016

Top Ten Favorite Crime TV Shows with K.L. Murphy

Roxanne, thanks for hosting me today and letting me share my Top Ten Favorite Crime TV shows. The list includes everything from gritty to cheesy (by today’s standards anyway) to crime light. All have probably influenced my writing and my crime series featuring Detective Mike Cancini. 

Hope you enjoy!

10. Hawaii 5-0

I’m talking the original here (I promised cheesy). I loved this show from the catchy theme music to Steve McGarrett’s sweeping hairstyle. Also, it was impressive the way he solved crimes in those sharp blue suits!

9. Andy Griffith

Cheesy is followed by low in the crime category but high in the lovability category. Andy and Barney and Opie represent the best of small town life and the sheriffs who lived there. It’s still entertaining today!

8. Law & Order and Law & Order SVU

I’ve combined these two in the L&O franchise but left out Criminal Intent (just didn’t love). While my love for these shows goes back to Chris Noth (before he was Mr. Big), I still enjoy watching the reruns from time to time. I loved quite a few favorite characters from this series (Lennie, Jack McCoy, Olivia Benson and more) and I even give this show a shout-out in my first book, A GUILTY MIND.

7. Homicide

Now we’re getting down to some grittier crime. I loved the setting in Baltimore and couldn’t take my eyes off Andre Braugher as Detective Frank Pembleton. He was just sooo good. Besides, how can you not love a show that spins off a character named Munch (Richard Belzer) and sends him to Law & Order SVU. That’s good writing.

6. Hill Street Blues

This might be one of the first TV crime shows that felt close to real. Everything from roll call to flawed characters made this a show to watch. 

5. Columbo

How can anyone not love the rumpled detective bumbling through the crime scene who always gets his man (or woman) in the end? Of course, the murderer always underestimates Columbo (although you can’t really blame them). I also loved the format of this show where the viewer saw the crime being committed and had the pleasure of seeing Columbo figure it out.

4. True Detective (Season One)

I’ll be honest. I lost interest in Season Two but Season One was amazing. While the story was interesting, the acting and the depth of character drew me in from the opening credits. I wish they’d team Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson up one more time. Tune me in.

3. NYPD Blue

For me, the first several years were the best. I’m in the camp that liked David Caruso but had no problem with Jimmy Smits taking his place. He did a fine job, too. Dennis Franz finally got the accolades he deserved for playing Detective Sipowicz and I’d watch a spin-off of that today. Maybe he could be a captain now?

2. 24

Jack Bauer is one of my all-time favorite characters. From the first season to the movie on a couple of years ago, I loved the concept (can you hear the ticking clock?) and the stories. This is not to say that they weren’t farfetched at times or that Jack may have been close to superhuman (really?), but it was always entertaining. Can we get this to the big screen?

1. The Sopranos

There is a reason this show won so many awards. I have always been attracted to mob stories and movies and this series checked every box for me. The storylines never failed to humanize these men who committed brutal acts as though they were doing nothing more important than taking out the trash. The relationship between Tony and Carmela, the guys hanging out at the Bada-Bing, Dr. Melfi, Tony’s crazy mother, Christopher and Adriana…it just doesn’t get any better than that.  

A Guilty Mind
A Detective Cancini Mystery
Book One
K.L. Murphy

On-Sale 6/14/2016    

ISBN: 9780062491626

Genre: Crime Mystery, Mystery and Detective / Police Procedural

Publisher: Witness Impulse, an imprint of HarperCollins

About the Book:

Accused of murdering his psychiatrist, a broken man must face his horrific past in order to protect his future.

George Vandenberg is a drunk with a volatile temper, haunted by the memory of the young woman he once loved and tragically lost. Wrestling with his guilt and pushed by his psychiatrist to confess his role in her death, he teeters on the edge of a nervous breakdown, blacking out drunk more often than not.

But when his doctor turns up dead, brutally stabbed to death in his office, George has nowhere left to turn. Stunned and confused, George emerges as the primary suspect in an investigation led by Detective Mike Cancini, a D.C. cop who knows all too well how far a man can go when he’s pushed.

To prove his innocence, George must face the police, his manipulative wife, and the shell of a man he’s become. But as much as George wants to forget his history, the past is not done with him…

Stay of Execution
A Detective Cancini Mystery
Book Two
K.L. Murphy

On-Sale 6/28/2016   

ISBN: 9780062491619

Genre: Crime Mystery, Mystery and Detective / Police Procedural

Publisher: Witness Impulse, an imprint of HarperCollins

Perfect for fans of Making a Murderer, a novel about a man exonerated of heinous crimes returning to a town that can’t let go of his bloody legacy.

Little Springs was just a small college town, the kind of place where everyone knew everyone and crime was virtually nonexistent—until a series of rapes and murders at the college shook the community to its core. Only the arrest and conviction of Leo Spradlin, the “Coed Killer,” could end the terror.

Years later, Spradlin is suddenly cleared based on unshakable DNA evidence, and no one is more surprised than Detective Mike Cancini. As new questions arise about the true identity of the murderer, Cancini struggles to accept his role in the conviction of an innocent man.

But when the attacks begin again, Cancini is not the only one who worries a mistake has been made. Cancini is drawn back to Little Springs, caught in a race against time to uncover the real “Coed Killer” before the next girl dies…

About the Author:

K.L. MURPHY was born in Key West, Florida, the eldest of four children in a military family. She has worked as a freelance writer for several regional publications in Virginia, and is the author of A Guilty Mind and Stay of Execution. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, four children, and two very large, very hairy dogs. She is currently working on her next novel, The Last Sin.

To learn more about the Detective Cancini Mystery series or future projects, visit

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1 comment:

K.L. Murphy said...

Thanks for having me today! Fun to share my Top Ten and get a little nostalgic, too!