Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries, season 2, brings the fashion-plate private detective Peregrine Fisher (Geraldine Hakewill) back to solve crimes in 1960s Melbourne. It’s streaming on Acorn, with two episodes available now and more to come weekly for an 8 episode season.
The basic cast of Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries remains the same as in season 1. Geraldine Hakewill is well-suited to play the stylish and bold detective. She’s saucy, gorgeous, and good at everything.
Birdie Birnside (Catherine McClements) heads up the Adventuresses Club. Her brother Samuel (Toby Truslove) lives there and is in a romance with the forensics expert Violetta (Louisa Mignone). Violetta lives at the club, too.
The most important returning cast member (besides Peregrine, of course) is the police detective James Steed (Joel Jackson). At the beginning of the season, Peregrine and James are together and have finally admitted their feelings for each other. I was only granted access to the first 6 episodes in the advance screeners, so I don’t know where they are in the final episodes of the season. But, be warned, true love does not run smooth in this or any other romantic story.
Sexual tension between private detective and police detective worked in Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries with Essie Davis playing Peregrine’s flamboyant aunt. It’s a important part of this series, too.
I wish I could say that Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries was as good as the original, but it doesn’t measure up. I partly blame that on the setting in the 1960. It’s bright and fun to watch, however. Die hard fans like myself will keep watching in any case.
The crimes brought up topics that were modern indeed. Although the original Miss Fisher and the modern day Ms Fisher series have never shied away from LGBTQ characters, this season brought them more into the open. One episode was about a big group of polyamorous friends, another about closeted gay men, and one about a butch lesbian who asked Peregrine out on a date.
The key thematic element in every episode was the sexism pervasive at the time and Peregrine’s efforts to be considered equal to any man – particularly James Steed, the man she loved. The sexism of the patriarchy was embodied in Chief Inspector Sparrow (Greg Stone), but it wasn’t only men who held to the mindset that a woman’s place was as a wife and mother and nothing more.
Crimes and stories ranged among murders of farm hands, bowlers, pigeon racers, and more. Peregrine, in her lighthearted and charming way, solved them all. One of the crimes James and Peregrine investigated crossed paths with a case that Birdie was secretly pursuing, too.
There were several women directors in this series created by Deb Cox and Fiona Eagger. Fiona Banks was one of the directors, but a complete list isn’t available.
Check out the trailer.