Blood Flies Up and Bejewels the Heavens
Matthew Gladney | Champaign-Urbana, IL USA | 09/02/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Young single mother Sally Jupp meets an old friend, Stavros, on the streets of London. They know each other from having worked together at a bookstore. Sally returns to the bookstore, goes into the basement, and finds Stavros on the floor - murdered. Then she hears the footsteps of the killer as he ascends the stairs.So begins "Cover Her Face", the British television adaptation of mystery writer P.D. James' first novel. As the story unfolds we find out that Stavros was using the bookstore as a front for drug smuggling. Sally Jupp and her baby take a job at the country mansion of the Maxie family. Stephen Maxie, the doctor of the family, is keen on Jupp, but no one else in the family, or on the staff, are that fond of her. Some of them absolutely despise her. It is no wonder, then, that Ms. Jupp is soon found, sprawled across her bed, having been strangled in the night.Adam Dalgliesh and John Massingham of Scotland Yard soon arrive on the scene to investigate Ms. Jupp's murder, and believe that there may be some connection between her death, and the murder of Stavros weeks earlier at the London bookstore. There are numerous suspects to choose from, false alibis aplenty, and secrets that are just crying out to be unearthed. The mystery deepens greatly before it is finally resolved.This show is from the mid-eighties, and the production values tend to show it. The DVD looks splendid, but it can only be as good as what it has to work with, and sometimes the 80's videotape "look" is readily apparent. Overall, though, it looks pretty good. The acting is great all-round, as you would expect from a group of well-seasoned British actors. The story itself is relatively coherent, although sometimes things were brought up and then not necessarily followed through with - a distraction when dealing with a 5 hour mystery that makes your mind click back & forth as to what's going on. I spent a great deal of time thinking about different aspects of the case, only to have some of those aspects not be addressed as much as I'd hoped. This adaptation definitely made me want to read the book upon which it was based, if only to get a slightly clearer idea as to what had transpired."Cover Her Face" is, despite a few flaws, a solid mystery, with complex characters and motives, and an engrossing plot. I liked the country mansion location, and there is a nice bit of real-life history about it in the special features section on the DVD. If you like British television, and you like British mysteries, then I hardly see how you could go wrong here."
Excellent convoluted plot.....
Dianne Foster | USA | 06/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"COVER HER FACE is probably one of the best PD James novels...oh well, I say that about every novel she writes, but the book is great and the DVD transfer by Lance Entertainment of the BBC dramatization of the story is also excellent. The cast of characters includes Mel Martin whom you've seen in other mystery tales shown on PBS. Martin plays the daughter of a dying man and his devoted wife (Mr. and Mrs. Maxie) who live in a wonderful old house built in the Jacobean era in East Anglia. The interior tour of the house is worth the DVD (wainscoting, carved doorway arches, bosses abide). You can almost feel the Cavalier ghost. Mrs Maxie volunteers as a member on the Board of Directors of a home for unwed mothers in the nearby village. As the story begins, a young woman who has recently given birth to a child (in the home for unwed mothers) travels to London to visit her old work mates. The firm where she was previously employed is a book-mail-order business the police suspect may be mailing something other than books. On the street outside the building, she encounters a former workmate whom she later finds dead in the "stacks" -- the book storage area in the basement. Dalglish appears on the scene and interviews her. The young woman leaves London, and whom should she meet on the train--the young Maxie heir. He invites her to work in the Maxie home as a maid. Another murder occurs in the village and once again Dalglish encounters the young woman. What is going on? Are the murders connected? Is she being stalked because the killer in London thinks she saw him. Dalglish will get to the bottom of the case but not before bodies are strewn left and right. "Cover her face" is a line from the stage play 'The Duchess of Malfi', written around the time the old house was constructed. You will get the connection when you see this wonderful DVD."
Everything was fine
V. Ackroyd | New Mexico | 01/08/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The DVD arrived quickly and in great condition. Somehow I had missed seeing this Dalgliesh when it was (probably) on Mystery years ago. I enjoyed seeing Roy Marsden again and the storyline was very good. Once it ended, I understood who the murderer was but it had been handled very well all through the show. No red herrings, but no giveaways either.
If you like P.D. James and you like Marsden as Dalgliesh, you should definitely watch this."