Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

MISS FISHER’S MURDER MYSTERIES (eOne, 2012) Creators: Deborah Cox, Fiona Eagger, w/ Essie Davis, Nathan Page. Rating: NNN DVD package: NNN Rating: NNN

Diverting couch fodder for whodunit buffs, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries brings something new – a very modern woman in a period setting – to the classic formula of amateur sleuth, clues you can follow, lots of suspects and a light comic tone.

Phryne (pronounced FRY-nee) Fisher, private detective in 1928 Melbourne, is smart, observant, brave, witty, glamorous (star Essie Davis gets 150 spectacular costumes in the 13 one-hour episodes), sophisticated and competent in the action bits. She takes lovers and is socially progressive, particularly when it comes to the empowerment of women and girls.

The mysteries’ milieus range from high society to low and involve backstreet abortions, gay, lesbian and transgender issues, career criminals and amateurs, Lithuanian anarchists, Melbourne’s Jewish community and a psycho whose bizarre crimes fuel a strong season finale.

Davis has a ball with Phryne and finds the perfect foil for her flamboyance in Nathan Page, who makes police detective Jack Robinson smart, restrained and likeable.

Lovely, varied locations, costumes and props make the episodes handsome and occasionally lavish. The 40 minutes of extras show how they did it and feature some enthusiastic remarks by Kerry Greenwood, author of the novels on which the series is based.

EXTRAS Visual style doc, creators and cast interviews, on-set tour, more. English audio and subtitles.


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