Friday, 6 April 2018


A traveling salesman and a young woman are found dead in an apparent car accident. In her pocket there's a piece of paper with the address of Alice Avril (Blandine Bellavoir) 

But Alice has vanished and Marlène Leroy (Élodie Frenck) is the only person who seems to care. A woman from the past of Commissaire Laurence (Samuel Labarthe) resurfaces in his life.

« Commissaire Laurence. J'entre où je veux, quand je veux. C'est un des nombreux avantages de mon métier. »

Les petits meurtres d'Agatha Christie returned this week on Swiss channel RTS Un, ahead of France 2. Written by Catherine Hoffmann & Bertrand Lorel (with dialogues by Catherine Hoffmann & Zina Modiano), Meurtres en solde is adapted from Agatha Christie's novel Hercule Poirot's Christmas. Two months after the death of Marilyn Monroe, Marlène still mourns for the star and she's a bit conspirationist on what happened to her idol (« Ces monstres l'ont tué! ») A young man named Thierry Noël bursts into the commissaire's office. He's charged with theft at the department store Au Bon Temps, where he works like his mother. Swan summons her, much to his surprise because Mathilde Noël happens to be a woman he loved during the war. 

« Question théorique: si Alice recevait un deuxième coup sur le crâne. Vous croyez que ça pourrait la guérir? »

Mathilde announces to Laurence that Thierry is his son! The commissaire asks pathologist Timothée Glissant (Cyril Gueï) what he knows about paternity testing. Marlène tries to find Alice, who has gone AWOL from La Voix du Nord. The reporter reappears at the Lille police station with a doctor as she's actually amnesiac. Later, Simon Krepps, the unpleasant owner of Au Bon Temps, is brutally murdered. Directed by Didier Bivel, Meurtres en solde is an absolutely perfect balance between the spirit of Agatha Christie's work and the comedy which made the popularity of the Laurence/Avril/Marlène trio. Humour mainly comes from the finely wrought dialogues (« Oh! Vous vous êtes déguisée en femme. ») The excellent guest cast is blessed with the presence of the great Aurore Clément (Elisabeth Krepps) and the talented Jacques Frantz as Simon Krepps.

« Je suis amnésique, hein. Pas demeurée. »

It's Alexandre Labarthe (Speakerine, Falco), the son of Samuel Labarthe, who plays Thierry Noël. Also with Lara Guirao (Mathilde Noël), Dominique Thomas (Ernest Tricard), Dorcas Coppin (Francesca), Alexandre Blazy (Albert Krepps), Alexis Manenti (David Krepps), Olivier Brabant (Carpentier), Philippe Rebbot (Dr. Locart), Éric Beauchamp (Agent Martin), François Godart (Robert Jourdeuil), Stéphanie Cliquenois (Client). Fans' favourite Bubulle (Marlène's goldfish) is mentioned in the end credits. Co-produced by Escazal Films and France Télévisions, with the support of Pictanovo and Région Hauts-de-France. Produced with the participation of TV5 Monde and RTS Radio Télévision Suisse.

Sophie Révil is the producer. Laurent Chiomento exec produces. Main characters created by Sylvie Simon and Thierry Debroux. Music composed by Stéphane Moucha. Bertrand Mouly is the cinematographer. Production designed by Moundji Couture. Costumes by Sophie Dussaud. Main title sequence designed by Romain Segaud. Painting "Portrait of Simon Krepps" by Stan Manoukian. The extraordinary house of Krepps is the Villa Cavrois, at Croix. Meurtres en solde will surface in France on a later date. Les petits meurtres d'Agatha Christie is available in the U.S. on VOD service MHZ Choice.

« Il ne manquerait plus que je sois aussi le père d'Avril. »

(Amandine Attard contributed to this review)

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