COMMISSIONER MANARA. “The Perfect Crime (Un delitto perfetto).” Rai 1, Italy, as Il commissario Manara. 08 January 2009 (Season 1, Episode 1.) Guido Caprino (Luca Manara), Roberta Giarrusso (Lara Rubino), and a large ensemble cast. Currently streaming on Amazon Prime as Inspector Manara.

   Commissioner Manara, a delightful combination of comedy and sentimental police work, appeared on Italian TV for two seasons of twelve episodes each. In this, the first episode, Luca Manara has been sent down from the big city to take over as Commissioner in a small provincial town where his arrival is looked on with considerable suspicion, especially since one of the officers still there had expected to be offered the job.

   Luca is, as it turns out, something of a playboy and a womanizer. He reputedly had to leave his previous position for romancing the wife of his superior there. Young, dressed rather informally, with a carefully maintained stubble of a beard, plus a propensity for riding a motorcycle everywhere, he is often taken for a delivery person. When his new inspector sees him, she immediately slaps him in the face. It seems that they have had a past together, back in inspector school.

   The first case they have to work on together is that of a death that is at first assumed to have been a suicide, but between Luca’s good instincts and even better forensic work, it is soon discovered that it was murder instead, much to the local superintendent’s displeasure.

   I really enjoyed this one. There is both laugh-out-loud comedy and excellent detective work involved, plus a sentimental ending that shows everyone that Luca Manara also has the proverbial heart of gold. Add in lots of beautiful scenery and even more beautiful women, what’s not to like?