Queens of Mystery centres around Matilda “Mattie” Stone (Olivia Vinall), whose mother, Eleanor, disappeared when she was 3 years old, leaving her to stay with a succession of aunts elsewhere, including one who runs a bookshop. In the year 2010, she still thought she might see her one day, but given the way TV dramas work, I expect that’ll happen at some point, but not for now.
Mattie is a Sergeant, but is going back to the village in which she grew up, and has been promoted to Detective, while all 3 of her aunts – Cat (Julie Graham), Beth (Sarah Woodward) and Jane (Siobhan Redmond) – are novelists.
After a rather lengthy introduction, the murder mystery eventually kicks in, as the first episode is almost halfway through, during the book-writing competition, as Oscar Prescott (Joseph Millson) ends up brown bread in rather unconvincing circumstances as there’s a huge amount of people in the room at the time. Hence, there’s a huge number of suspects including Omid Djalili as Guy Ashton, a posh fop with hair. Yes, Omid has hair!
As well as the endless narration from Juliet Stevenson being rather irritating, Queens of Mystery is so light-hearted and fluffy that I’m surprised it doesn’t turn into candy floss and drift away!
It’s the sort of thing that would air on ITV at 8pm on a Sunday evening, so, 9.15pm on a Saturday does seem a bit too prime-time for this nonsense, and on a day when not many people are watching TV. Then again, while this is the series’ terrestrial premiere, it has previously been shown on streaming service Acorn TV.
So far, I’ve only seen the first of the initial two-parter, Murder in the Dark, so I don’t yet know who did it, but the problem with this programme is, I don’t care.
UPDATE: I’ve since seen the second part, and while I’ll give no spoilers, amongst its twisty-turny nonsense, all I’ll say is that whatever you think of part 1, will be the same opinion for part 2.
Queens of Mystery begins on Saturday March 12th on Channel 5 at 9.15pm, and runs weekly. It is not yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
If you miss it, you can watch the each episode on My5 after transmission.
Check out the trailer below:
Series Directors: Ian Emes, Jamie Magnus Stone
Producers: Linda James, Savannah James-Bayly, Tim Vaughan
Writers: Julian Unthank, Matthew Thomas
Music: Paul Englishby
Matilda Stone: Olivia Vinall
Cat Stone: Julie Graham
Beth Stone: Sarah Woodward
Jane Stone: Siobhan Redmond
Inspector Thorne: Martin Trenaman
Dr Daniel Lynch: Andrew Leung
PC Terry Foster: Michael Elcock
Narrator: Juliet Stevenson
Oscar Prescott: Joseph Millson
Guy Ashton: Omid Djalili
Charlie Palmer: Maxim De Villiers
Natasha Young: Rebecca Grant
George: James Ballanger
Young Matilda Stone: Florence Hall
Eleanor Stone: Jemma Amos
Edith Bryant: Flip Webster
Lady Antiona Hiddledean: Selina Cadell
Yasmin Hayes: Emma McDonald
Stephen Swift: Kevin Harvey
Karen Freedman: Jade Harrison
Matilda age 3: Erica English
Matilda age 5: Grace Sheppard
Sally Capstan: Christina Bennington
Len Savage: Con O’Neill
Tallulah Savage Hughes: Josette Simon
William Garnet: Charlie Maher
Viv Collins: Frances Barber
Vanessa Mills: Jaye Griffiths
Kurt Lee: Mark Heap
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.