In the squad room, the cops on the Manchester murder investigation unit call Janine Lewis Boss. At home, the kids simply call her Mum. In both places, she manages to keep everybody in line but just barely with a firm yet a... more »ffectionate hand. Award-winning actress Caroline Quentin (Men Behaving Badly, Life Begins) brings astonishing dramatic depth to her role as a chief detective and single mom trying to balance the demands of career and family. Ian Kelsey (Casualty) costars as Janine s fiercely loyal second in command and erstwhile romantic interest.
This six-episode set sees Janine tackle some of her most baffling cases yet: the murders of an illegal Belarusian émigré, a suburban cheerleading coach, a rock star about to break into the big time, and more. In Blue Murder s signature style, heart-tugging domestic drama and good-natured workplace ribbing leaven each suspenseful, grimly realistic mystery.« less
This long running BBC TV series is one of our favorites. We stumbled upon it at Netfix. Hope to collect all the DVD sets.
This Series Gets Better and Better
Stephanie DePue | Carolina Beach, NC USA | 05/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Blue Murder: Set 4," the latest available television episodes in the hit British mystery series/police procedural, arrives on these shores. The Blue Murder pilot debuted in the U.K. in May 2003, on ITV (Independent Television Stations); where it drew almost 8.4 million viewers, a number seldom heard of there. The series, which was created by native midlands author Cath Staincliffe, has continued to do very well in the U.K., consistently ranking number one in its time slot. It has, unfortunately for us, never aired on broadcast TV here: the "San Francisco Chronicle" calls it "The best British mystery you haven't seen...." Luckily, we can at least get it on DVD; this 2-volume boxed set runs approximately 271 minutes; it includes all six episodes from Series 5, which will air in the U.K. in 2009. (Acorn Media has released all previous episodes in Sets 1-3.) Even more luckily, Acorn Media has given us subtitles, as this set, like its predecessors, is located in Manchester. And, while the Manchester accent and usage fall interestingly on the ear, we're not familiar with them this side of the pond.
To begin with Manchester, it sure has cleaned up very well: centuries of black industrial grime gone, revealing a beautiful city, with interesting, varied architecture. And a diverse, varied population: the M.E. in the current series is surely a descendant of the Indian subcontinent. The series stars the talented, award-winning actress Caroline Quentin (Men Behaving Badly - The Complete Collection (The Original British TV Series); Life Begins - Series 1); as Detective Constable Inspector Janine Lewis, a hard-driving, high-profile contemporary detective and single mother of four, who must always try to balance the demands of family, where she's just "Mum," and career, where she's "Boss." Quentin was once best known as a comic actress, (Jonathan Creek - Season One); but in this series she shows substantial dramatic chops, as well as her comedic gifts. Mind you, she doesn't play Janine Lewis as another Jane Tennyson, Helen Mirren's tough female cop; but, then, she's not intended to. Ian Kelsey (CASUALTY - Series 1 (BBC Series)) costars as Detective Inspector Richard Mayne, Janine's second in command, and erstwhile romantic interest - though in that regard, he seems to be getting a bit doughy of face to me. Among the station house company, Nicholas Murchie stands out as Detective Sergeant Tony Schap, and seems to be enjoying some beefed up roles.
Volume 1 consists of the following: Episode 1: Private Sins. (Part 1) An illegal Byelorussian immigrant and private investigator is found murdered in a parking lot. Lewis supervises the investigation with more than the usual stress at home; it makes her think an offered promotion, that would get her off the streets, isn't the worst idea. Meanwhile, Schap, who gets a lot of facetime in this arc, seems to be running his own covert investigation. Episode 2: Private Sins (Part 2). A key informant ends up dead, and Schap's secrets start coming out. Furthermore, in a story populated by ex-cops and firemen, many possible motives for murder start appearing. Episode 3: Tooth & Claw. Veterinarian Ruth Turner is found strangled, on the route of her daily run near rural, bucolic in appearance, Hunter's Low. As Janine and her team start looking into the case, some of the village's seamy activities come to light.
Volume 2 gives us: Episode 4: Having It All. A defeat in a cheer leading competition starts the unraveling of the team and its coaches. Melanie Gaskell discovers her mother Helen, team coach, bludgeoned to death in the garage. Episode 5: This Charming Man. Local hero/rock star Jack Taylor, charismatic leader of an up and coming band, dies in his apartment after a sold-out concert. The cops must find their way through the Manchester music scene, where Richard keeps claiming to have some experience. Episode 6: Inside. Bernard Aspen has been in prison for 15 years of a life sentence, for a murder his family insists he didn't commit. He's found drowned in a washroom. Richard decides to go inside undercover.
The series has been filmed with a liberal hand, no shortage of cars and people around. The dramas are substantial, the mysteries gritty and challenging, frequently told from the female point of view. The cop shop scenes are lively, leavened with sly humor, and interspersed with Janine's family business. In fact, as everybody grows into their parts, I'm just getting to like this series better and better.
An excellent British mystery series
R. Miller | Woodstock, Georgia USA | 06/26/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have seasons 1 thru 3 of this series and must say it is quite good. A female is promoted to DI over a bunch of British detectives and she tries to balance her stressed personal life with managing her subordinates and solve crimes. The episodes are short, but the story is developed quickly and is very suspenseful. One could compare this series to "Prime Suspect" but it is really quite different, with a bit of humor thrown in. The only real similarity is the fact that a woman is the key character. If you are into British mysteries then this is a series that you will want to watch."
Blue Murder is fabulous!
R. Stempien | Alameda, CA | 07/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Originally took a blind leap buying Set 1 because of Caroline Quentin's work in Jonatrhan Creek. As soon as my wife and I started watching this clever and very well made series we were hooked. I have since purchased all available episodes and can't wait for the next installment. Give this wonderful series a try, you won't be disappointed."
R. Carlson | Queens, N.Y. | 09/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Janine is following in the steps of Sup. Tennison... highlights the continual balance of Family and career...snappy patter...true to life situations...have gotten all 4 sets"
A real disappointment.
Joan Elizabeth Delmonte | Los Angeles, Ca. USA | 08/31/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I was looking forward to Blue Murder, since I usually enjoy the British mysteries. This fourth season--I didn't see the rest--was a loser. Bad plotting and stock characters-cop goes undercover in prison and gets found out, etc."