MR. & MRS. MURDER “Early Checkout.” Network Ten, Australia, 20 February 2013 (Series 1, Episode 1). Shaun Micallef as Charlie Buchanan, Kat Stewart as Nicola Buchanan, Jonny Pasvolsky as Detective Peter Vinetti, Lucy Honigman as Jess Chalmers. Director: Shirley Barrett. Currently streaming on Amazon Prime (until January 31st.)

   As detective mysteries on TV go, or even books, it’s a premise that’s a natural, but even so, it’s one I don’t recall ever being used before, except maybe in comic books. Who’s job is it to come in and clean up the murder scene after the cops and crew are done with it and the victim removed? Charlie and Nicola Buchanan, that’s who, having set themselves up as specialists who do exactly that.

   Of course it helps to have helped a homicide detective on previous cases, even though “Early Checkout” is the first episode of thirteen of the cases they help solve. In this one a natural hero turned self-help guru (if, as noted, that is not a contradiction in terms) is murdered in his hotel room. As a detective story in and of itself, it’s a good one, with an abundance of clues, suspects, motives and opportunity.

   But what makes the difference between this and other series with same desire to make a successful detective mystery series is the sprightly rapport between the two leading players. Imagine, if you will, a married couple who actually like each other, with plenty of cheerful banter between them and playfully zapping each other and appreciating it when one gets the better of the other, if only for the moment.

   I will do my best to watch the other twelve episodes before Amazon pulls the plug on the series at the end of the month. If there were only 13 episodes in the series, I can only hope it was because the writers ran out of settings for possible stories for murder clean-ups to take place in. If Australian audiences didn’t care for the series and stopped watching it, then boo on them.