Monitor Picks

Five things we think you'll like including a pair of sleuth gardeners, the best in dog shows, and a news site for the politico junkie.

courtesy of rick Diamond/CMT
westminster kennel club

Floral mysteries

If Agatha Christie had spent as much time gardening as she did planting clues, she might have created the characters of TV's Rosemary & Thyme (now on DVD). One is a former plant biology lecturer; the other an ex-policewoman. As their landscaping business takes them to scenic English country gardens (and even abroad), the duo solve murders – and drop handy horticultural tips.

A haven for political junkies

The news site – and newspaper – The Politico was founded one year ago, to cover the raucous 2008 presidential campaign. So far, so good. Staffed by a roster of veteran reporters, the site has consistently offered some of the most incisive online coverage. Full coverage is at

Doggone good

Forget "American Idol." The annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is paws down, the best competition on TV. A wonderfully solemn affair for dog fanciers and a hoot and a half for the rest of us, USA carries the main competition live on Sunday at 8 p.m. and CNBC carries the best in show Monday night.

'Sand' storm

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss are spellbinding collaborators on CMT's Crossroads (Monday, Feb. 11, 8 p.m.). In addition to showcasing their hit album, "Raising Sand," Plant offers a tender reading of Krauss's "The Boy Who Wouldn't Hoe Corn" while she rearranges Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks" as a bell-shaped dynamic with a freakout in the middle. A highlight is the sashaying duet on Zep's "Black Dog."

Grammy goodies

To commemorate the Grammy Awards (Feb. 10, 8 p.m., CBS) seven discs compile past winners by genres that span classic R & B to classic country to contemporary pop. Unlike CDs on late-night infomercials, The Ultimate Grammy Collection is available in stores.

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