I love a murder mystery. And I especially love a vintage murder mystery. There’s something about the “golden age” written during the 1930s (or a little bit before) that I find translates into excellent TV. As well as the gentle and genteel, I love the fashion, the elegance and the feeling that everything is fine at the end of the episode: the murderer is always caught, the sleuth normally has a party and everything is alright after a cocktail or a cup of tea.
I’ve just recently started watching the adventures of Miss Jane Marple. There have been many adaptions of this classic, but I’m currently enjoying the 2004 version starring Geraldine McEwan. It seems to be full of every British actor going! I’m only on episode 3 of the first series, but I have a feeling this is a series I’m going to return to again and again.
This adaptation is set a little later than the books, in the early 1950s, so the fashion is stunning. It’s full of circle skirts,beautiful jumpers and ballgowns for the ladies, and tweed jackets, hats and dinner suits for the men.
AND Joanna Lumley is in the first episode, which is always excellent.
If you’re in the UK, it’s often on ITV Player, or you can buy the whole series on Amazon.
Based on the books by GK Chesterson, Father Brown is set in a sleepy Cotswald village in the 1950s. It follows the adventures of Father Brown, a Catholic priest and amateur detective. He’s assisted by Lady Felicia, a bored society wife, Mrs McCarthy the parish secretary and parish gossip, and Sid, Lady Felicia’s cheeky driver. There’s country houses, grandeur and beautiful clothes. Of course, it’s not hard hitting or nail biting, but it’s easy to watch on a Sunday afternoon with a cup of hot chocolate.
Just watch out for Lady Felicia’s screams.
If you’re in the UK, it’s often on BBC iplayer, or again, the DVDs are available online.
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
This is one of my favourites. Set in 1920s Melbourne the series revolves around the glamorous Miss Fisher and the dashing Inspector Jack Robinson. Think cocktails, jazz, pearl set pistols and AMAZING clothes.
Based on the books by Karen Greenwood, Phryne is a feminist fledgling detective who accepts people for who they are, Jack is a cop who initially is reluctant to have the help of a society woman, but then relents. There’s also the adorable couple of Dorothy “Dot” Williams, Phryne’s lady companion, and Hugh Collins, a PC in Jack’s unit.
What I love is that Phryne is not afraid to go against conventions of the time and seek her own path and pleasure in life. However, she is also deeply affected by the murder of her sister when they were children, and many of the series arcs revolve around this.
But the CLOTHES! The CLOTHES!
And Phryne has some excellent insights into life…
It’s available on Netflix and DVD.
Do you have any other suggestions for good series to watch?
Miss Bea x