Posted: 07/01/2009


Blue Murder

by Elaine Hegwood Bowen

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Blue Murder, the British crime drama, hits the United States with Set 4, featuring six new episodes from Acorn Media. The two DVD boxed set includes Private Sins, parts 1 and 2; Tooth & Claw; Having It All; This Charming Man and Inside.

Janine Lewis is the boss or leader of the group, and she juggles her professional duties with those of raising her kids.

In the first Episode, Private Sins, Part 1, the team is having a good time at a dinner party when they are interrupted and advised that a murder has taken place. Lewis works with the team to solve the murder of the Belarusian immigrant and private investigator who is discovered murdered in a parking lot; splayed across the concrete, face down. It was nice to see them in a casual setting, the women in gowns, and the men in suits, with one man even wearing his native kilt. But the fun is soon cut short, and the team sets out to find clues to the murder, even chasing one person of interest, with her barely escaping their grasp.

Caroline Quentin plays Lewis, and Ian Kelsey costars as her second in command Richard Mayne and the object of her affection. In the other episodes, Lewis tackles other baffling cases: that of a suburban cheerleading coach, a rock star about to make his mark on the entertainment world, a veterinarian—whose daily jog turns tragic—and an inmate’s drowning, which prompts one of the detectives to go undercover inside the jail, placing everyone at risk.

“Playful work banter and tender domestic scenes provide counterpoints to the taut, tightly plotted murder investigations throughout Blue Murder, Set 4. The DVD’s are available to U.S. audiences for the first time, after the series has enjoyed phenomenal success in the United Kingdom.

Blue Murder is “the best British mystery you haven’t seen…Quentin makes Janine the most fascinating British female copy since Jane Tennison,” says the San Francisco Chronicle.

And while I loved Tennison, played by multi-award-winning British actress Dame Helen Mirren, Quentin brings a fresh perspective to the crime-solving game, with just a bit of a motherly touch mixed in.

Blue Murder is available on DVD now from the Acorn Media Group. For more information, visit

Elaine Hegwood Bowen is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago.

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