Wednesday, 9 December 2015


Melbourne at the end of the 1920s. The Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher (pronounced "Fry-Knee") is a young, beautiful and wealthy socialite with many skills and talents. This free-spirited and intrepid lady, who drives her own Hispano-Suiza motor car, is also a brilliant private detective. 

The second series of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is available on DVD in France since last August thanks to Koba Films.

« Hello Jack. Oh, come on. You'd be disappointed if I didn't show. »

Based on the books by Kerry Greenwood, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is an Australian period detective drama launched in February 2012 on pubcaster ABC1 and starring Essie Davis (The Slap) in the title role. Deb Cox and Fiona Eagger (East of Everything) developed the adaptation within their prodco Every Cloud Productions for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is aired in France on France 3 as Miss Fisher enquête. Always ahead of Detective Inspector John "Jack" Robinson (Nathan Page) and Constable Hugh Collins (Hugo Johnstone-Burt), Miss Fisher cannot resist solving crimes with her devout Catholic maid Dorothy "Dot" Williams (Ashleigh Cummings) and communist cab drivers Albert "Bert" Johnson (Travis McMahon) and Cecil "Cec" Yates (Anthony Sharpe).

Phryne Fisher's aptly named butler Mr Butler (Richard Bligh) manages the household with absolute efficiency and knows some things about horse racing and weapons. Prudence Stanley (the great Miriam Margolyes), her aunt, is a reputation-conscious society matron. Series 2 of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (13 one-hour episodes) opens with Phryne helping Jack  to clear the name of his ex-father-in-law, Deputy Commissioner George Sanderson (Neil Melville), who's the key suspect in the murder of a prostitute. Miss Fisher's others mysteries include a murder in a fashion house, the apparent suicide of a rugby team captain, the suspicious car accident of an accomplished female racing driver, the death of an actor on a movie set, a deadly war between radio stations and newspapers, etc.

« That's remarkable. 
- Thank you. You should see what I can do with a garter. »

Murder Under the Mistletoe, a one-hour Christmas special, concludes perfectly an overall excellent second series of this popular show sold in more than 120 countries. Production values are high and the whodunits are enjoyable. The stunning Essie Davis reminds of Diana Rigg in The Avengers and The Mrs Bradley Mysteries. She and the excellent Nathan Page make the rivalry/attraction relationship between Phryne Fisher and Jack Robinson worthy of the Golden age of Hollywood. Dan Wyllie (Underbelly), Heather Mitchell (The Great Gatsby), Robert Morgan, David Field, James Saunders and John Noble (Fringe) are some of the guest stars. Tammy McIntosh is back as Dr. Elizabeth "Mac" Macmillan and Ruby Rees-Wemyss returns as Jane, Phryne's ward. Dee Smart plays Jack Robinson's ex-wife Rosie.

The musical ambiance is brought by standards of the era and original compositions by Greg J. Walker. The gorgeous title sequence was designed by Donna McCrum and Andy Canny for Plus Films. Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is produced in association with Film Victoria, Screen Australia and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. It is distributed by All3Media International. Fiona Eagger, Deb Cox, Carole Sklan and Sue Masters exec produce. Fiona Eagger is the producer. Series 2 is in a 4-disc DVD set with its French dubbing and, most fortunately, the original dialogue track - subtitled in French or not.

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries will return on France 3 at the end of this month with its third series. In October Koba Films released a a DVD box set with the first two series.

See also: (Series 1 French Region 2 DVD review)

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