- Series Title: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
- Season: Series 2
- Episodes: 13
- Discs: 4
- Network: ABC (Australia)
- Cast: Essie Davis, Nathan Page, Ashleigh Cummings, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Richard Bligh, Travis McMahon, Anthony J. Sharpe
- Format: Color, Widescreen, NTSC, R1
Series 2 of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries does not have a season-long arc like series 1 did, and I missed that. Phryne trying to find out what had happened to her sister, between individual cases and mysteries gave series 1 a darker edge. However, series 2 is still enjoyable. I liked this light, and fun mystery series set in Melbourne Australia in 1929. Phryne Fisher is a modern woman, a “lady detective” and still meddling in the cases of Detective Inspector Jack Robinson. Phryne and Jack are still dancing around their mutual attraction. Dot and Hugh are now a couple, and Hugh eventually proposes to Dot. Dot accepts him immediately, but then some of the complications of their relationship come to light – they decide to have a long engagement.
The episodes are completely separate this season, with no connecting arc. Each story puts Phryne, Dot, Jack, and Hugh in a different setting: a gentleman’s club, a football club (Australian rules football or rugby), a high fashion salon, a winery, a seaside carnival, an automobile race, a medical college, even a silent movie and a radio station. The settings are varied, but the plots tend to be very similar: there’s a murder, somehow it involves one of our main characters (including Jack being called in because he’s a police officer), our four characters work to solve the case, rushing to the scene if they aren’t there already, revelations are made, and the murderer is revealed and caught. In that respect, this series is more like the “English cozy” style of mystery story than anything more hard-boiled. But, again, that isn’t a slight. Series 2 of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is light-hearted and enjoyable to watch – and there’s always Phryne’s wonderful dresses and hats to look at! Phryne herself is modern, intelligent and capable. Dot (Dorothy Williams) has come out of her shell.
The finale of the season is an honest-to-goodness Manor House Mystery, set at a mountain chalet during “Christmas in July”. Phryne, Dot, Mac, and Aunt Prudence arrive because the chalet is near Prudence’s gold mine, which she plans on selling, so she needs to sign some papers to dump it. The mine has been closed for years, so it appears to be worthless. When our characters arrive they find someone at the house died in a “horrible accident” – falling and getting electrocuted when decorating the Christmas tree. However, it wasn’t an accident. When there’s a second murder that night, everyone decides to call the police – but the power goes out and the phone line is cut. The next day, Jack and Hugh arrive, stating they barely got through and the road was closed behind them. They are cut off. There are several more murders and attempted murders, all to the theme of “The 12 Days of Christmas”. However, there is something more sinister going on, related to the mine collapse years ago that killed all the miners and caused the mine to be closed. It’s a brilliant finale!
I still highly recommend Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, and I’m glad I can jump right into Series 3.