Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|An Unsuitable Job for a Woman 1 and 2|
Actor: Helen Baxendale
Genres: Television, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Wgbh Wholesale Release Date: 01/29/2008 Run time: 525 minutes
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Movie Mania | Southern Calfornia | 01/16/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is actually four specials base on PD James books. Series 1A is Suicide is presented in three one hour episodes. Cordelia Gray has just inherited a detective agency when her boss dies. Her first case is the death, apparent suicide, of a scientists college-dropout son. But like all PD James mysteries, things are not as clear cut as they seem.
But this goes deeper than just a mystery. Just like Prime Suspect, Unsuitable Job for a Lady is also about a woman in a profession that is dominated by men. But unlike PS, UJL's heroine is not a tough as nails detective but a woman feeling her way around a man's jungle without upsetting too many people.
Series 1B is A Last Embrace presented in three parts. Cordelia is hired by the wife of the owner of the Claircourt Park Hotel to investigate her husband sexual harassment of the female staff. Cordelia goes undercover as help at the hotel but when she arrives her client has disappeared.
Series 2 is two specials. In first Living on Risk, Cordelia is hired to follow a man but the question is he a killer or a victim. In the second, Playing God, Cordelia is hired by DCI Ferguson to investigate his daughter's boyfriend but things take a bizarre twist when the daughter hires Cordelia to continue her investigation after DCI fires her.
Helen Baxendale is perfect as Cordelia. While is sweet and vulnerable, she is also inately sharp. Annette Crosbie is the office manager but being a two person office often gets involved with the case and Cordelia's life.
This is definitely a great show and features one future star (Baxendale) and one seasoned vetran (Crosbie.)"
A fine set of four mysteries, with Helen Baxendale as the ne
C. O. DeRiemer | San Antonio, Texas, USA | 02/13/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Always trust your instinct," says aging, over-weight Bernie Pryde, owner of the barely busy Pryde Detective Agency, to the young woman seated next to him at the pub. "Always listen to the inner voice." Bernie is an ex-cop, forced out by Detective Chief Superintendent Ferguson.
"It's easy for Chief Superintendent Ferguson," Cordelia Gray replies, referring to the copper she dislikes but Bernie admires. "It's a regular salary in CID even when the inner voice is talking rubbish."
"Don't mock it," Bernie tells her. "Everything I've been teaching you comes from him."
Cordelia Gray (Helen Baxendale) is a young woman in her early twenties who came to Bernie as a temp. She stayed on as his assistant and he has been teaching her the ways and methods of a private investigator. She has come to look upon him as something as a mentor. He thinks hiring her is one of the best things he's ever done. And when Bernie Pryde commits suicide one early morning in the office (his note to Cordelia tells her he has cancer which will only get worse) she learns that Bernie has left her everything he has...the detective agency, the building it's in with an apartment, and an old car that barely runs. There's no money and no clients. The only person Cordelia can rely on is the middle-aged office manager, Edith Sparshott (Annette Crosbie), a bit of an upright puritan whose protective instincts come into play.
When a prominent scientist a few days later hires her to investigate why his son hanged himself, Cordelia has her first case. It's a doozy. Before long she finds herself staying in the country cottage where the young man died, meeting his Cambridge friends who all agree the fellow was a nonentity, and learning secrets involving inheritance, maternal death, sexual experiments and driving egomania. She also learns it can be exhausting to survive if one is thrown down a deep well late at night. Most of all, perhaps, she learns why several people believe that being a private detective is an unsuitable job for a woman. Cordelia solves the case, but there is much unhappiness to deal with. She skirts the law to try to make things bearable for one of the characters. At the end, Chief Superintendent Ferguson comes to visit. He wants her to know he realizes what happened and what Cordelia finally did...and he admits that he didn't think Bernie Pryde could be such a good teacher.
This first episode, Sacrifice (1997), in the four episode series of An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, is a mystery with lots of hidden motives and a few false leads. Like the following three stories, the mystery is serious, complicated and plays fair with the audience. The writing is first rate and the acting is just as good. Helen Baxendale as Cordelia Gray gives us a young woman who takes her job seriously. She's smart and, at times, intuitive. More than anything, she's persistent. Despite all that she learned from Bernie, she still has much more to learn. She can be quite uncertain of the next move. She doesn't obviously rely on Edith Sparshott, but Edith is not about to let Cordelia simply stumble into obvious danger. They make an interesting pair.
Sacrifice takes us along in three parts running about three hours. The mystery keeps us guessing and the actors, including Ian McDiarmid, Rosemary Leach, Phyllis Logan and Frank Middlemass, help keep us involved. The other Cordelia Gray episodes, A Last Embrace (1998), Living on Risk (1999) and Playing God (2001), run not quite two hours each. A Last Embrace is just about as serious and complicated as The Sacrifice, and features two fine performances by Gemma Jones and Leigh Lawson. They all are fine, well written stories.
We leave Cordelia Gray at the conclusion of the last story, Playing God, as the owner of the Gray Detective Agency, somewhat more assured, secure in her relationship with Edith Sparshott...and pregnant (as was Helen Baxendale at the time). The child came about from a relationship with a man Cordelia liked and admired, a man dying and who, Cordelia tells Edith, she didn't love but was probably trying to comfort. We have no doubt Cordelia Gray will continue solving cases, even though a detective has already told her that being a private investigator is an unsuitable job for a mother.
The four episodes make up the DVD set An Unsuitable Job for a Woman - Series 1 & 2. There are no extras of any significance. The DVD transfer looks fine. The Cordelia Gray character, incidentally, was created by P. D. James, who also brought us Commander Adam Dalgliesh. In James' mystery novel which introduced Cordelia Gray, An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, it is Dalgliesh Cordelia must deal with, not DCS Ferguson."
Sharon K. Bush | St. Louis Mo | 01/24/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Cordelia Gray is a private detective with "feelings." She takes on weird cases and wins. She learns the ropes from her mentor, a disgraced ex-policeman. It is very good. Women detectives are different from the men detectives in British mysteries. They could take on the same case, and have a different view."
An Unsuitable Job for a Woman
Karen L. Spencer | Colorado Springs Colorado USA | 05/31/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The mysteries are OK, but not nearly as good as most of the English murder mysteries. Leading actress if quite good, but she isn't given the best material to work with.
We absolutely love British mysteries, television or not, but do not plan to get the next series. Somehow the plots seem to fall "flat" compared to so many of the other British mysteries."