THE SHETLAND ISLES
Ah, Shetland. A place so far-removed from the hurly-burly of modern life that it could pass for the setting of some fantasy film. It's a sweeping realm of wide open spaces, emerald-green and dotted with placid animals, overlooking the curving coastlines where you can sit and listen to the sound of waves. Not that detective Jimmy Perez has too much time for relaxing, because there are far, far too many corpses to deal with.
Yes, it seems Shetland is the murder capital of Scotland. People just keep on getting bumped off here, at a rate that would make an inner city copper drop their coffee. From an elderly lady being found dead on an archaeological site, to a dead teenage girl turning up on a beach, it's all happening. One person even goes missing on a ferry crossing, such is the dark and nefarious influence of these islands. You're better off going to Bognor for your next British holiday.
If you had to name crime-riddled regions of Europe, coastal Sweden probably wouldn't spring to mind. The rougher parts of the big cities, yes. The region of Skane, with its placid farms, Gothic architecture and pastel-hued cottages? Not so much. But you'd be very wrong. Just ask Kurt Wallander, a man driven close to breaking point by the sheer number of horrors he has to deal with in lovely, pleasant Skane.
Not that Wallander would be exactly be a bundle of joy in less murder-addled surroundings, but the sheer number of crimes in Skane surely cannot help his already very dodgy psychological state. On typical working days, he's see a young woman setting fire to herself in a field, and looked into the shootings of three teenagers in a dark wood. Even bird-watching can be a treacherous activity in Skane, with one elderly twitcher being brutally killed while checking out the local wildlife. Let's hope Bill Oddie steers clear.
Welcome to Brokenwood! It's the perfect town for any city slickers seeking a new life away from the urban sprawl. Here, you can expect to enjoy a scenic coastline, ravishingly unspoilt swathes of natural beauty, and elegant, sun-dappled vineyards stretching over undulating hills. Oh, and murder. You can expect to enjoy lots and lots of murder. We hope the local estate agents remember to mention this in any brochures.
Despite having a population of around 5,000, and featuring a large number of prehistoric pensioners who use words like "homosexualist", this quiet community more than pulls its weight when it comes to sinister crimes. No wonder Mike Shepherd, the big copper around these parts, has his hands so full in The Brokenwood Mysteries. Whether he's investigating murders involving wine critics, amateur actors or a local Lord of the Rings tour, he has precious little time to sit back and sip some of the local pinot noir. And to think he moved her for the quiet.
If you had to pick a hotspot to soak up those rays, you could do a lot worse than Saint Marie. This jewel of the Caribbean has it all: golden beaches lapped by frothing waves, colourful market stalls, laid back restaurants, not to mention bars serving up the tallest, tackiest cocktails you could ever want to slurp. In short, it's holiday heaven. Aside from the small matter that you'd probably wind up dead by day two, and not from a dodgy reaction to local seafood either.
Coppers aren't safe either. Remember how Death in Paradise actually began? With Richard Poole coming over to investigate the death of his predecessor in law enforcement. And before he could say "Why is it so HOT here?", he was up to his starched collar in corpses. A dead nun in a locked room, a vanquished plantation owner, a woman forcibly popping her clogs in a health resort... it all happens here. Even the local Calypso singer gets murdered, which would be a buzz kill for any Caribbean vacation.
You might not know this, but Jersey is small. As in, tiny. Seriously diminutive. It's also full of well-to-do types, at ease in their gilded nests. Sounds soothing, and it is. Until someone dies, or is implicated in Nazi war crimes, or embroiled in corruption at the highest levels. Then, things get significantly less soothing, especially if you happen to be Jim Bergerac.
The handsome local detective always has plenty on his plate. So much, that it would kill Jersey's tourist industry stone dead if any visitors get wind of his workload. Not only is crime rife in Bergerac's Jersey, but there are supernatural shenanigans too, with an incident featuring a Viking curse, and the Grim Reaper himself making an appearance. Always a bad sign when that happens.