Checking out this show was clearly in my purview! The title made me think these would be amateur detectives, but the show is actually about a group of three friends who happen to be a police detective, medical examiner and deputy DA. Joining them is an ambitious reporter.
Detective Lindsay Boxer is an appealing enough character, played by Law & Order's Angie Harmon. The journalist, Cindy Thomas, is self-proclaimed remarkably smart. The women's friendship is clearly the oil to keep the train of the show running, but what is the deputy DA Jill Bernhardt doing showing up at crime scenes? To me it would be more interesting if we saw each woman handling her area of expertise.
The pilot dwells on the love lives of Lindsay and Jill The latter is choosing between the safe guy and the bad boy, but Lindsay hasn't slept with anyone for the two years since her divorce, which was purportedly caused by her obsession with work.
This is the dark undercurrent of the pilot: that women who work too hard end up alone and eventually -- like the pilot's victim of the week -- dead. The medical examiner, Claire Washburn, who has a stable home life with husband and kids, warns: "You put your head down, you get lost in your career, and you wake up 10 years later and realize your job doesn't hug back."
More disturbingly, there's a freakish moment when Lindsay decides that a stalker is an appropriate boyfriend-substitute. And the murderer turns out to be a jealous wife.
But the women definitely get to do all the heavy lifting of investigating and solving the crimes, and tracking down suspects. At one point, Lindsay points a gun at guy she's chasing but doesn't shoot. But she takes him down later: "You're under arrest for pissing me off."
Their bosses are men, though, including Lindsay's ex-husband Tom, who is appointed Lieutenant in the pilot.
The show contains some graphic violence, which I imagine is supposed to add edge. The pilot ends with a set-up for larger arc: "This time we'll stop him."
The books the show is based on are by James Patterson, but the only writers listed on IMDB are women: Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain, both of Angel and The Shield), who are also exec-producing.