With inquisitive narration and grand, sweeping landscapes, watching the new British crime series Queens of Mystery feels like snuggling up with a good book.
Matilda Stone (Olivia Vinall) is a forever-single policewoman, who has just made rank as detective sergeant. The role takes her back to her hometown of Wildemarsh, where she’s reunited with the three kooky aunts who raised her when her mother disappeared. Living in their ‘Murder Ink’ bookstore, her crime-writing family encourage Matilda’s fascination for the mysterious, and can’t get enough of watching it play out in her own life too.
Created by New Tricks and Doc Martin writer Julian Unthank, Queens of Mystery offers both the familiar and the new to fans of the genre.
The first season comprises three separate stories, each split into two 45-minute episodes.
Matilda’s still cutting her teeth at the beginning of her high-ranking career and doesn’t quite yet have the sharp edge of a Martin Clunes or Sandra Pullman. Although she puts her shoulders back and furrows her brow, the odd bit of gentle bewilderment cuts through, reflecting the true-to-life reality of a twenty-something trying to find their place in the world.
Matilda’s aunts also bring a backbone of family connectedness to the series that’s stand-out. The trio are motherly, rebellious and book smart, and like parents who kiss you at the gate on the first day of high school, are overwhelming interested in her every move.
Unlike crime shows that solely focus on the forensic, Queens of Mystery gives you the twists and turns you’re after but adds a sweet reminder that even the most accomplished professionals have families, and they may be the very thing that helped them get where they are.
Teens and above will appreciate the storylines and, a few episodes in, it looks like this one won’t be too gory either.
Season 1 of Queens of Mystery is available to stream on Acorn TV through iPad, iPhone, Android TV, Apple TV, Fire TV, and Chromecast.