The Madame Blanc Mysteries centres around Jean White (Cold Call‘s Sally Lindsay, who also created and co-wrote this drama), whose husband, Rory, is driving his van in the South of France, but in a pre-credits scene, he carks it at the wheel, and there’s a potentially sinister individual who’s intervened and run off with his wares, amongst various other things being amiss.
As time goes on, Jean thinks there’s more to the case than meets the eye, hence her first mystery. Can she find the thief who took the ring before the hour is up?
The Usual Suspects this is not, but then it’s not meant to be – it’s a fun bit of escapism for the weekend. Yes, it’s probably a bit too cheesy for its own good at times, but it’s the kind of thing that can be repeated at any time of day.
In fact, if you enjoy the kind of Sunday early evening crime dramas on ITV which then get repeated on ITV3 for the following 50 years, like my mum used to do, then this is for you and you’ll really enjoy it. It’s there for you to lap up the sights of the locations in which they film.
In addition to handyman Dom (Steve Edge) – who has the best name of the characters, the cast also includes a couple of well-known actors in Only Fools And Horses‘ Sue Holderness as Judith, who’s getting married to Jeremy, played by Robin Askwith, probably still best known for ’70s films such as 1974’s Confessions of a Window Cleaner.
And while some other cast members in this will be French, there are one or two doing dodgy put-upon accents, almost verging on ‘Allo ‘Allo.
It’s difficult to give this a score out of 10 because it’s not something I’ll be returning to, but if you’re in the target market for it, you’ll watch it over and over.
Now the real mystery… if it’s set in France, why did they film in Malta and nearby island, Gozo?
The Madame Blanc Mysteries continues tomorrow night on Channel 5 at 9pm, and is on nightly until Thursday.
It can be pre-ordered on DVD, ahead of its release on December 13th.
If you miss it, you can watch the each episode on My5 after transmission.
Director: Dermot Boyd
Producer: Andy Morgan
Writers: Sally Lindsay, Sue Vincent
Creator: Sally Lindsay
Music: Hague & White
Jean White: Sally Lindsay
Dom: Steve Edge
Judith: Sue Holderness
Jeremy: Robin Askwith
Gendarme Richard: Jacqueline Berces
Barbara: Olivia Caffrey
Adele: Felicite Du Jeu
Caron: Alex Gaumond
Rory: Peter Gaynor
Xavier: Narayan Hecter
Simone: Djinda Kane
Celine: Margeaux Lampley
Claudette: Alais Lawson
Charlie: Sanchia McCormack
Anita Mulrooney: Carmel Stephens
Gloria: Sue Vincent
Niall: Aonghus Weber
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.