Downton Abbey Withdrawal Blues?

If you are like just about everyone I know, you are currently mourning the loss of a very beloved TV series, Downton Abbey. If you are such a person, here are six shows that have the potential to fill any void Downton Abbey has left in your TV viewing schedule.

A Place Call Home

This melodrama has been called the “Australian Downton Abbey” on several review pages. Set in the 1950’s, this drama tells the story of Sarah Adams, who returns to Australia after being away for 20 years. She quickly meets the wealthy Bligh Family and secrets and romance ensues. The story-line deals with love, loss, and social change found in the 1950’s.

Call the Midwife

Changes are, if you are a Downton fan, you have already heard of this show, but if you haven’t, look no further than this much-loved historical drama. The series is adapted from the memoirs of real midwife, Jennifer Worth, who practiced midwifery in England during the 1950’s. Call the Midwife is funny, touching, and offers a colorful perspective on pregnancy and family life.

Mercy Street

This show has just started airing on PBS and is intended to be their next big thing. Also based off of true events, Mercy Street shows the medical practices and lives of those who work in a makeshift hospital during the Civil War. What makes this hospital extraordinary is that it treats the wounded from both sides of the fighting. The acting, costumes, and set of this drama are superb. That being said, only tune into Mercy Street if you are OK with seeing realistic accounts of Civil War era medical practices, which tend to be bloody.

Bletchley Circle

Bletchley Park was the real life location of Britain’s most brilliant minds who functioned as code breakers, during WWII. This operation was so secret that those who worked at Bletchley Park could never discuss it. Not even to those closest to them. Not even after the war.

Bletchley Circle takes this idea and imagines what would happen to those codebreakers, particularly the women, after the war. Bletchley Circle begins in 1952 when one former code breaker accidentally discovers the presence of serial killer in England due to her ability to decode patterns in the murders that no one else can. She reunites with several of her former code-breakers to investigate and hunt down this killer.


This BBC series based on the novels by Winston Graham. It tells the account of Ross Poldark who returns to his home of Cornwall, England after fighting three years in the American Revolutionary War. He returns to find that his father has died, his inheritance is in shambles, and his sweetheart is engaged to his cousin. Devoted to his father’s land and the people who have served it, Poldark avoids the easy way out of financial ruin. He instead remains in Cornwall in hopes of rebuilding his father’s business and estate. He did not expect to also find love.

The Paradise

Set in the late 1800’s this TV series is set in a department store and follows the life of a young woman, named Denise. The Paradise tells Denise’s story as she becomes enchanted by the way of the modern world and the shop owner, Morary.

Are you looking for some Downton Abbey read-a-likes as well? Look no further than ECRL’s Downton Abbey Read-A-Like list on Pinterest!

Kirsten Vaughan, Hinckley Branch Librarian

Search for eBook and eAudiobooks in the Catalog

Physical books or digital books?  If you’re like most digital readers, you don’t read digital books exclusively but also read physical books .  Previously, if you were a physical AND digital book reader from ECRL, you had to search in more than one place.  If you were looking for physical books like hardcovers or Books on CD from ECRL, you had to search the catalog.  If you were looking for digital books (eBooks or eAudiobooks), you had to search the ECRL OverDrive Digital Library.

No longer!

Since the beginning of 2016, ECRL’s Technical Services team has worked hard to add information for the over 9,000 digital titles available in the ECRL OverDrive Digital Library to the catalog.  Now, you can search for OverDrive eBooks and eAudiobooks in the ECRL catalog.

How do I do search for eBooks and eAudiobooks in the ECRL catalog?

Search for a title or author in the ECRL catalog, just as you normally would.  Results will now include eBook and eAudio in addition to the regular print book, Large Print, and Book on CD.  In the example above, a title search for Girl in the Spider’s Web returns 5 results.  The top two results represent digital books.

To access a digital title from the catalog, click on the link to open the detailed record of the format you desire (see below).

Girl in the Spider's Web eBook detail

Then click on the link under Electronic resources which will take you to the ECRL OverDrive Digital Library to check out or place the item on hold.

OverDrive Record

How does this help me?

Having digital titles available in the catalog increases your ability to find books to read.  For readers who read both digital and print books, this should save you the time of having to search in two places. Using the catalog to search is a good option if you are looking for a particular title in any format: book, eBook, Book on CD, eAudiobook, etc.

Note: If you are searching for OverDrive digital titles only, you can always still search for eBooks and eAudiobooks on the Digital Library website or app.