By Laura LaVoie
Some friends of mine recently mentioned their new addiction to a TV series available on Netflix. Matt has been on a trip for the last few days, so it is a perfect time to catch up with something new. And by ‘catch up’ with a series. I mean mainline it.
So, I decided to check out Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries to see what the fuss is all about.
And, the fuss was well worth it.
Miss Phryne Fisher (first name pronounced FRY-nee) is my new heroine. She is a thoroughly modern woman in late 1920s Australia who sets up her own private detective service. She is joined by a rag-tag group of accomplices including the soft-spoken Dot, two cabbies, and a butler amusingly named Mr. Butler. The best part: Miss Fisher is a NotMom.
Based on a series of detective novels, by Australian author Kerry Greenwood (also a NotMom), the stories are not complex and it seems that Miss Fisher is always in the wrong place at the wrong time, but they are entertaining and completely enjoyable.
In the second episode, Miss Fisher and Dot take a train ride to a nearby festival when the unspeakable happens and they find themselves in the middle of a murder investigation. While they are waiting to board the train, a young boy is making a nuisance of himself and his father appears to be at wits end controlling him. Miss Fisher turns to Dot and announces, “I’ve never understood the appeal of parenthood.”
In the same episode, Miss Fisher becomes the custodian for an orphaned 14-year-old girl. However, no matter how loving their relationship becomes, it appears to be less of a mother/daughter bond and more like living with an eccentric aunt.
Phryne only refers to young Jane as her ward. Later in the series, she indicates that she is the girl’s “Guardian Angel” because the title suits her better than Mother.
I’ve just completed Series One* of the show, which is currently available on Netflix. The second series premiered in Australia late in 2013. No word yet on when it will be available for streaming. And because I was fully invested in the world of Miss Phryne Fisher, I just purchased the first book, Cocaine Blues. (Only $0.99 for the Kindle edition. No ad – just fact.)
If you’re looking for a fun show with amazing costumes, a likable cast, and a strong NotMom lead, then Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is for you!
*Note for American readers – what we refer to as “seasons” on TV are called “series” in Britain and Australia.