Friday, 25 April 2014


A police operation against smugglers goes bad for commissaire Laurence when he temporarily loses sight. Later, a young girl is drowned in an apple bobbing bucket during her school fete.

Laurence wants to catch the murderer and hides his blindness. Only Marlène, his devoted secretary, knows the truth but Alice Avril quickly discovers it and wants to be his "eyes" on the case.

« Alors, avoir envie de tuer et le faire sont des choses très différentes. Moi, par exemple, j'ai toujours envie de tuer mademoiselle Avril ici présente. »

Meurtre à la kermesse is the fifth episode of Les petits meurtres d'Agatha Christie ("Agatha Christie's little murders") with the Laurence/Avril detective duo in the late 1950s north of France. Directed by Eric Woreth, it is adapted from Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot novel Hallowe'en Party by scriptwriter, director and actor Jean-Luc Gaget (Highly Strung).

Samuel Labarthe, of the Comédie-Française, is commissaire Swan Laurence. Wannabe reporter Alice Avril is played by Blandine BellavoirÉlodie Frenck, who plays Marlène, won Best Young Actress at the La Rochelle Festival of TV fiction in 2013 for her role. She's now in the title sequence.

« Un chien d'aveugle qui a son permis de conduire. Mais où je vais trouver ça, commissaire? »

To add to his predicament, the cynical and misogynist commissaire is forced to team up once again with Alice (« Vous pensiez quoi, Avril? Que j'étais assez bête pour tomber dans le panneau. Ce parfum de jockey. Je n'en connais qu'une qui s'en asperge. » ). Young Luisa Ortega, the daughter of a Spanish refugee, wrote a composition telling how she witnessed a murder. Then someone killed her during the school kermesse of a small town.

Laurence and Avril investigate against the backdrop of a political rivalry and a disabled handyman makes a too obvious suspect. An "infiltration à l'Américaine" by Avril doesn't end well for the back seat of Laurence's beloved Facel-Vega Facellia. Marlène notes the "Mylène Demongeot haircut" on the photo of a missing woman (« J'adore Mylène Demongeot. Ma tante l'a croisée une fois aux Galeries Lafayette à Paris. » )

« Pierre Pataud, étranglé avec une chaussette. C'est possible ça? Ah oui, avec une chaussette de ski. » 

As usual, Dominique Thomas and François Godart play (respectively) commissaire divisionnaire Tricard and Robert Jourdeuil. Thomas Baelde returns as Raoul Gredin. Anne Loiret, Nicolas Bridet, Frédéric Épaud and Philippe Hérisson are amongst the guest cast of this excellent episode. Bridet played a different role in 2009 for the first episode of the Larosière/Lampion era of Le petits meurtres

Les petits meurtres d'Agatha Christie is produced by Escazal Films with Pictanovo, Conseil Régional Nord-Pas-de-Calais and the participation of France Télévisions, TV5 Monde and RTS Radio Télévision Suisse. Sophie Révil is the producer. The characters of Laurence and Avril were created by Sylvie Simon and Thierry Debroux. The music is by Stéphane Moucha.  

RTS Deux aired Meurtre à la kermesse on April 18, ahead of France 2.

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