Reviews of movies and TV focused on women

Review: The Madame Blanc Mysteries

Robin Askwith, Sue Holderness, Aonghus Weber, Sally Lindsay, Paul Chuckle, Narayan David Hecter, Steve Edge, Sanchia McCormack, Sue Vincent, Margeaux Lampley, Alex Gaumond, Djinda Kane, and Alaïs Lawson in The Madame Blanc Mysteries

The Madame Blanc Mysteries is a British 6 episode series on Acorn TV. It’s one of those charming, cozy tales where a woman not affiliated with the police is the one who solves the crimes.

The Madame Blanc Mysteries was created and written by Sally Lindsay, who also wrote for and acted in Scott & Bailey. Sally Lindsay plays the lead character, Jean White. Sally Lindsay was the reason I was interested in this series and watched it.

Unfortunately, the series isn’t as good as some others in this genre. The secondary characters are not fleshed out well and the plot is full of distracting impossibilities. One example – a colorblind art copier.

Sally Lindsay in The Madame Blanc Mysteries

Sally Lindsay plays Jean White, an expert in antiques and art. She lives in Manchester and her husband spends a lot of time in the French antiques hub Saint Victoire. He picks up antiques and sends them home where she sells them.

But hubby dies in a car accident. Jean heads for Saint Victoire and the small cottage they own there to try to recover a valuable ruby and diamond ring he had with him in the car wreck.

She finds the ring has disappeared and her husband was often seen with another woman. The ‘other woman’ becomes a threat to Jean as she works out what happened to her husband. She thinks he was murdered. Other murders occur in the village that also seem related to the other woman. We see the other woman watching her, but we don’t see her face until the end.

The overarching storyline about finding out who murdered her husband and recovering the ring is punctuated with a new crime in each episode that Jean helps the police chief Caron (Alex Gaumond) solve.

When we finally learn who the other woman was the whole storyline just sort of fizzles out as the season draws to a close. Maybe something will come of it if there is a second season, but one hasn’t been announced as of this time.

Sally Lindsay and Steve Edge in The Madame Blanc Mysteries

As soon as Jean arrives in France, she becomes friends with Dom (Steve Edge). He’s a taxi driver, a handyman, and available to provide everything she might need, including a dinner companion. Even though her husband just died, there’s a romantic undertone to the developing relationship between Jean and Dom. It’s a tease that is unresolved at the end of the 6th episode, too.

Even though the series wasn’t perfect, I applaud Sally Lindsay for creating a new role for herself and getting it made.

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13 responses to “Review: The Madame Blanc Mysteries”

  1. I just finished the last episode yesterday! A nice surprise to see you discussing it today.
    I felt the same way about the fizzling out of the storylines at the end. Seems to me it’s an ending or a place to continue from. Hmmm I enjoyed it for the short individual shows that held my interest but wrapped up in 45 minutes. Thanks for writing up your perspective and assessment.

  2. good morning

    i just finished this series last night. i enjoyed, in spite of the issues you point out (i think “color blind” in this context meant to some colors and not complete color blindness – i am red green color blind so i suspect i could match blues or yellows as the world sees them but my take on the reds/greens others see would be off). i thought the romantic build up had to be explained by our heroine learning of her late husband’s betrayal and her being vulnerable, while Dom is lonely. while the supporting characters werent as fleshed out as we might like, they also werent really critical to moving the story forward. i think Jean, Dom and Caron were the only characters who are meant to be more than background.

    as soon as the idea of an affair came up, i knew who the “other woman” was, as i suspect you did. i can only guess that that plotline – the through line for the whole series – was dealt with so quickly was that they expect (hope for?) a second season. i found the affair difficult to believe – when Jean looks back on her relationship with her husband after the revelation, she doesnt seem to find any past behavior that reveals his faithlessness. and why would this woman actually kill her “husband” of ten years over his intent to bring the ring back to England? i dunno, maybe i’m overthinking this.

    i would watch a second season.

  3. I watched episode six last night but my disappointment set in before that. There isn’t a single likeable character and the entire premise of the show is ridiculous. The scene when Jean finally meets her nemesis would be risible if it wasn’t so stupid. That scene and the final scene are only a cynical attempt to set up a second series. The show doesn’t deserve one and I won’t be there it there is one.

  4. I enjoyed all the episodes and hope there are more seasons. I like the characters and the settings and the plot twists. Well acted and well written even with some possibly implausible actions such as how did the villainous Barbara, in her wounded condition, roll up the rug and replace it with a matching one… Implausible but the surprise to the viewer was worth it.

  5. In the real world, if you are shot with exploding ammunition in the midsection of the body, you die, right there, right then.

  6. Season 1 was entertaining and it was nice to get to know the quirky character. Most of the most of the mini mysteries being quite easy to solve well before the characters did. One thing that never made sense is why no one could describe the ‘other woman’ who they seen with Jean White’s and especially how no one would recognize her realtor as that woman. It seems ridiculous. And, in episode 6 (season 1) what is happening when Jean goes to the airport and suddenly is showing up at the pub. Meanwhile, the exwife manages to get from the pub, back to the house to steal the paperweight and now on a plane ready to take off. It really makes NO sense.

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