Review: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

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Miss Fisher's Murder MysteriesSeries one of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, other than being quite the mouthful to say, was a delightful way to spend approximately 706 minutes*. The DVD set has all thirteen episodes and plenty of interesting extras, none of which are long enough to wear out their welcome.

I had read the first two books in Kerry Greenwood‘s Phryne (pronounced fry-nee) Fisher series a little over two years ago, and while there was nothing inherently wrong with them, I just didn’t connect with either Phryne or the books. So why did I choose to view this series if the books didn’t do it for me? I thought the character of Phryne and Melbourne in the twenties might transfer to the visual medium quite well, and they did. Reportedly each episode cost $1 million dollars to make, and whether or not that’s a lot in television land, I don’t know, but it more than shows in every frame. Beautifully filmed with gorgeous costumes and sets, exquisite props, and fantastic CGI. It’s absolutely sumptuous!

PhrynePistolI’d be remorse if I didn’t first mention the absolutely fabulous Essie Davis in the title role. While at first I thought her a touch old for the part, she deftly steps into the role with gusto and panache. She is Phryne Fisher through and through.

Phryne the DivineThey literally could not have found a better actress for the part. Her delivery, her movement, her energy, her everything is just perfect! I am now a big fan of Ms. Essie Davis, who I wasn’t even aware of before this series. The rest of the main cast is superb and the characters and actors who play them are what make the show. Nathan Page as Detective Jack Robinson is a solid presence and brings a nice down to earth approach (it doesn’t hurt that he’s quite the dish either). The banter between Jack and Phryne is wonderful and they have tremendous chemistry. Ashleigh Cummings as Dot and Hugo Johnstone-Burt as Constable Hugh Collins are absolutely adorable and I love their scenes together.

(L-R) Nathan Page, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Ashleigh Cummings, Essie Davis

(L-R) Nathan Page, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Ashleigh Cummings, Essie Davis

Rounding out the cast are Richard Bligh as Mr. Butler, Travis McMahon as Bert, and Anthony Sharpe as Cec, who while aren’t overly used, add much to the show. The acting of other recurring characters and guest players is mostly great, with the exception being the actor portraying Lin, who came across rather anemic.

Mr. ButlerBertCec

I’d say the mysteries are the weak point in the series, the first two episodes especially, and they run the gamut in predictability; some are quite good, others, not so much. While this is touted as a murder mystery series, I found myself watching more for the characters, their interactions, and all the fun involved. It’s light entertainment that’s somewhat on the embellished side. There is a story arc focused on the death of Phryne’s sister that I have mixed feelings about. On one hand, it’s cliche and shoddily done (it was touched on in the beginning and then neglected until the last few episodes), and on the other, there were some interesting aspects that were well done and made for good TV.

missfisherEven though this claims to have violence, coarse language, nudity, sexual situations, and drug use**, they aren’t as bad or prevalent as how it sounds. I don’t even remember any nudity other than a painting, but that could just be due to a faulty memory.PhryneThis isn’t a flawless show by any means, the mysteries and story arc hamper it at times, but it is a stylish show featuring great characters, acting, dialogue, and humor that is comfort watching at its best. With a strong woman as its lead, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is visually stunning, and as long as it’s thought of as a separate entity from the books, should appeal to those who enjoy historical mystery series that are a tad racier than the norm (rather like Mrs. Bradley Mysteries). I give it four out of five stars.

*So says the back of the DVD case/cardboard slipcase
**Again from the back of the case

Available at Amazon in both DVD and Blu-ray.

And remember…keepcalmcallmissfisher

Want to read Cocaine Blues, the first book in the Phryne Fisher series? Buy at Amazon: Paperback | Kindle edition (only $0.99)

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Wasting the weekend away with crochet

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Warning: Numerous images below, sorry if some are blurry, apparently I still haven’t mastered the use of a camera after so many years. o__O Not to mention the fact that I’m too lazy to re-take any. 😛

A little Hallowe’en decorating:

Meanwhile, in Feeling Crafty Land….
A mini mushroom I crocheted from what had originally been a leg to a turtle that didn’t work out (the color clashed, the horror!):

And getting into the festive spirit (boo!) of my favorite holiday….
A spidey web (I’ll be crocheting more when I feel like it):

A gravestone (without etching for now. Pattern found at Lion Brand’s site, need free membership to see/get it. This is the smaller, squatter amigurumi.), and not crocheted, but a fuzzy monster I made from a pom-pom (or pom-pon, if you’d rather. I wouldn’t) and googly eye:

Cupcake coasters (whose pattern can be found here):

Close-ups:

The next day I found my smaller pom-poms, and whatta ya know, they look good! So I glued those on minus one coaster since I have no black pom-poms. 😦

Poor little lonesome soul, pom-pom-less and all :(:

And my absolute favorite item I made due to it being all mine, mine, MINE!!!! Ahem, excuse my little outburst, but I get excited when I make something up all on my own and don’t follow a pattern. For anything. 😀

Isn’t Frankie, Jr. just the most adorable thing ever? 😛 He’s a pen holder, BTW.

So that’s how I spent my weekend. Okay, maybe not all of it. 😉

50 Shades of Asparagus, a bizarre book blurb

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In response to this contest, where the name of the game was to create a book blurb based on Crayola crayon colors, this is the twisted thing I submitted (note: I edited a bit). Unfortunately I didn’t come close to winning (see winners here), but I did actually get some likes, which is more than I thought this blurb would get due to how warped my imagination is. And no, I don’t plan to write a short story or book based on this cockamamie idea. I have no interest in writing what-so-ever. I’m a reader, not a writer.

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Fifty Shades of Asparagus

Of all the book stores in the world, he had to wander into mine….

Book shop proprietor Lemon is tired of all the same boring men she’s been going out with: jocks, geeks, freaks, drummers, your average joe, they’re all the same after a while. She wants someone different, something different….

Asparagus, or Gus as he’s known, wants a woman, but not just any woman. She has to be smart and funny and kind, but more than that, she has blend well with him. Finding someone like that is an insurmountable feat. It’s not easy being green after all. Or a six-foot tall walking, talking vegetable. Trying to get someone to look past his appearance to the person, so to speak, he is inside has been impossible. It doesn’t help that after Gus’ buds open, his shoot quickly become woody. Talk about embarrassing!

On a miserably rainy evening, feeling down in the dumps after a blind date that ended before it ever began, Gus wanders into Lemon’s bookstore in the hopes of finding a book to take his mind off his troubles. What he finds instead is the zesty morsel he’s been dreaming of all his life. Although he mills between the bookshelves, he can’t keep his mind off the lady of his dreams and wonders futilely what he can do to make her his. Luckily for the morose Gus, he has nothing to worry about, he doesn’t have to do a thing. Yet. When Lemon catches sight of her lone customer, she doesn’t believe what she’s seeing! Her secret fantasy has come to life! She’ll stop at nothing to have….

Fifty Shades of Asparagus

©satilanna
Cross-posted to Kind Books and Coronets.