Aline Templeton: Third Degree

Aline Templeton is the author of the series of novels about DI Marjory Fleming, set in Scotland. Her stand-alone mysteries include Past Praying For, The Trumpet Shall Sound and Shades of Death. She lives in Edinburgh. She was brought into crimetimepreview HQ for questioning about her TV viewing habits…
Your favourite British crime series or thriller on TV?
Zen. How COULD they axe it?  That was a cult in the making.
Favourite US crime series or thriller on TV?
No US crime series has ever come up to The West Wing. I’m still suffering withdrawal symptoms.

Top TV cop?

Adam Dalgleish, but only as portrayed by Roy Marsden.

Which unfilmed book/character should be made into a TV drama?

Apart from DI Marjory Fleming, you mean? Jasper Fforde’s wild and wacky Tuesday Next, with her pet dodo.

If one of your novels were filmed, who would you cast to be the hero?

Ronni Ancona. Like Marjory, she’s big, but perfectly formed.

What do you watch with a guilty conscience?

Masterchef. Like the glossy cooking magazines, it’s food porn, really.

Least favourite cop show/thriller?

Wallander. I got bored. In fact, I’m not keen on anything that seems to have been filmed in Stygian gloom.

Do you prefer The Wire or The Sopranos?  

The Sopranos – if I have to choose!
Marple/Poirot or Sherlock Holmes?
Again, what’s this choice thing?  If I must, Marple but only with Joan Hickman – those merciless faded-blue eyes.

Wallander – BBC or the Swedish version?

Neither – see above!

US or British television crime dramas?

British, definitely. I prefer the more subtle style.

Have you got into The Killing on BBC4?

No, not yet.

Your favourite crime/thriller writers?

John le Carre’s The Constant Gardener was so good it posed the question why does anyone else bother? It depressed me profoundly. But overall it would be PD James – a brilliant literary writer, a superb analytical mind and a wonderful person too.
Favourite non-crime/thriller author
Jane Austen, I’m afraid, but Henry James is right up there too.

Favourite crime movie or thriller?

Wait until Dark, directed by Terence Young and starring Audrey Hepburn. The ultimate horror – being blind and knowing someone is there ready to kill you and not knowing where they are. I couldn’t watch it again. It took me weeks to grow my nails back.
You’ve been framed for murder. Which fictional detective/sleuth would you want to call up?
Albert Campion. Lugg would give me protection, he’d sort everything out and make me laugh meantime.
Aline’s sixth novel in the Marjory Fleming series, Cradle to Grave, is out on 31 March.

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