Review: The Blue Rose

Antonia Prebble in The Blue Rose

The Blue Rose comes from New Zealand. The first and only season of this series can be seen on Acorn TV or Prime Video and other streamers. It’s a woman powered mystery/drama with some excellent actors.

In The Blue Rose, the mystery that begins in episode 1 isn’t solved until episode 13. The folks solving the crime are an unlikely collection of ordinary people. They have personal reasons for investigating the crime, and get very involved in it.

A woman named Rose is murdered. She’s found floating in the harbor.

Antonia Prebble in The Blue Rose

The following day, Jane March (Antonia Prebble) comes to work as a temp in the law office and job Rose had worked. The office was in an upheaval over Rose’s death. Jane had a secret motive for wanting to work there, but she didn’t know Rose.

Jane became tangled with 3 others who wanted to find Rose’s murderer and bring some justice into the law firm. Jane was a good girl type and not skilled at the nefarious actions her sleuthing required.

Siobhan Marshall in The Blue Rose

Linda (Siobhan Marshall) considered herself Rose’s best friend. She was brash, impatient, and not a bit subtle. I really liked Linda. She was determined and unafraid. She was going to find the killer if she had to bash every head within 50 miles.

Jennifer Ludlam in The Blue Rose

Sonya (Jennifer Ludlam) had worked as an accountant in the law firm and knew Rose, but had been fired and carried a grudge against the them. Sonya had the brains to figure out a lot of subtle ways to get to what they wanted.

Rajeev Varma in The Blue Rose

Ganesh (Rajeev Varma) was the IT guy at the law firm and was pressed into all kinds of unlikely computer chores by the 3 women who wanted to find out what happened to Rose. Ganesh was underestimated by everyone and it helped him get away with almost anything.

These 4 joined in what they called the blue rose society. They all got blue rose tattoos and pledged to find out what happened to Rose.

In their quest for justice they tangled with many money grubbing lawyers, including Simon Frost (Matt Minto), Jane’s boss and Rose’s former lover. Then there was the lecherous Charlie (James Trevena) who worked at a desk near Jane. The firm’s big money-mad client was Derek (Stelios Yiakmis). There were plenty of suspicious characters in 13 episodes.

I guessed wrong several times on who the villain might be. But I also guessed right, which is always a nice bonus in a mystery series.

Antonia Prebble and  Siobhan Marshall with several other cast members in The Blue Rose
That’s Ganesh, Charlie, Jane, Linda, Simon and another assistant in the firm, Krystle (Anne Jullienne). Not pictured: a whole lotta suspicious bad guys. Also missing is Sonya, who you can see in the poster below where she rightfully belongs.

I don’t very often see so many New Zealand actors in one place. It was a treat. Antonia Prebble would be considered the main character, but it was really an ensemble piece with many interwoven characters and subplots. The acting was uniformly good.

The series was created by Rachel Lang and James Griffin. The basic premise was a little far-fetched for a mystery series, but the acting talent and the numerous subplots building to the big finish somehow made it all work. The characters were well-developed enough to make them interesting.

The Blue Rose was light-hearted and humorous for a mystery story. It’s definitely not noirish in look or feel.

The Blue Rose poster showing many of the cast members

Here’s a trailer.

If you give this series a try, please share what you thought about it.

4 thoughts on “Review: The Blue Rose”

  1. christopher a swaby

    i watched this one some years ago. it took a couple of episodes to get into but then it got very engaging. i thought the culprit was a surprise but made sense when you looked at the whole show. for what it is worth, it is free with Amazon Prime too.

    1. Oh, good to know about Amazon Prime. You know, this wasn’t the best ever mystery but I really liked the characters and did enjoy it. I suspected the culprit early on and then got sidetracked by all the other less than wonderful folks milling about. When it finally became obvious it felt so right.

  2. I was eager to watch this when it first aired in 2013. I had a newborn so hubby and me would record it with the old my freeview and it made for great and intriguing viewing. Guess the Shorty street and Outrageous Fortune stars in the show. It’s a shame there were only 13 episodes when it could have been split into two 6 episode arcs. Then again when you rewatch the clues and culprit to sweet Roses demise were there from the beginning but the other projects the blue rose crew worked on were entertaining and Julienne (Maya from Shortland street) was fun to watch a desperate gold digger in uncomfortable heels. Antonia and Siobhan steal the scenes though with their effortless acting skills and well suited characters. All in all a great kiwi dramedy mystery from the minds of Outrageous Fortune and The Almighty Johnson’s

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