The differences between the Rizzoli & Isles books and TV show

By: Start TV Staff    Posted: November 8, 2023, 3:44PM    Tags: Rizzoli & Isles

Creative liberties with storytelling and characters can be found in almost any movie or TV show adaption of a book series. This is generally done for the sake of time and can often result in the adaption looking a bit different from the source material.

Based on the award-winning book series, the Rizzoli & Isles TV show keeps faith with the books from the Boston setting to the supporting cast of characters. While the show holds the same spirit of two female investigators with differing personalities working together, it often needed to take a different and even lighter approach when being adapted for television.

Here are the main differences between the Rizzoli & Isles TV show and books: 


Rizzoli & Isles Friendship

Despite being polar opposites, both Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles quickly go from colleagues to close friends in the TV show. Between solving cases they often pause to discuss their personal lives with one another. While they still work together in the bestselling book series, Rizzoli and Isles relationship with one another is only professional and hardly involves themselves in one another's personal lives.

  The Everett Collection

Jane Rizzoli's Family

Throughout the series Jane Rizzoli remains single and sticks to her 'loner' persona when it comes to her personal life. This side of Rizzoli exists in the book series for only a short time before she gets married and has to balance raising a family while working cases for several of the books.

  The Everett Collection

Maura Isles Character

We know the TV version of Maura Isles as goofy, intelligent, and very sociable. While her book series counterpart is just as smart and dedicated to her work, she distances herself from most people and is often referred to as "The Queen of the Dead," for spending more time with the dead than the living.


The Supporting Cast

While all the supporting characters are from the book series, their involvement in Rizzoli and Isles cases vary. Detective Vince Korsak himself appears in each episode while his book counterpart only assists with a case in one book.


Maura's Mother

We're introduced to Maura Isles's mother, Hope Martin, during the 3rd season who is rather harmless and distant from her life. In the books she is instead a renowned serial killer whose past crimes haunt Maura. Author of the series, Tess Gerritsen, has noted that she wishes they kept this part in the TV version. 

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