In the squad room, the cops on the Manchester murder investigation unit call Janine Lewis Boss. At home, the kids simply call her Mum. In both places, she manages to keep everybody in line but just barely with a firm yet affectionate hand. Award-winning actress Caroline Quentin (Men Behaving Badly, Life Begins) brings astonishing dramatic depth to her role as a chief detective and single mom trying to balance the demands of career and family. Ian Kelsey (Casualty) costars as Janine s fiercely loyal second in command and erstwhile romantic interest.
This six-episode set sees Janine tackle some of her most baffling cases yet: the murders of an illegal Belarusian émigré, a suburban cheerleading coach, a rock star about to break into the big time, and more. In Blue Murder s signature style, heart-tugging domestic drama and good-natured workplace ribbing leaven each suspenseful, grimly realistic mystery.
Blue Murder Set 4
, comprised of six episodes from this epic crime-drama serial, is perhaps the best yet. If one is left craving the outlandish murder details of previous episodes, one feels completely satisfied for getting more deeply acquainted with Detective Constable Inspector Janine Lewis (Caroline Quentin) and her daily life juggling career and family. Since 2003, Blue Murder
has been a fabulous success in its balance of crime with character development. In this fifth series, Detective Lewis and her team, including D.I. Richard Mayne (Ian Kelsey) and Detective Tony Schap (Nicholas Murchie), do solve several bizarre murder mysteries, but the emphasis is on Lewis's means of handling maximum stress, as a policewoman and mother. Opening the season is a two-episode saga, "Private Sins," in which a Russian immigrant is found dead with little to go on other than forged passports and a sexy Russian partner, who Detective Schap gets a little too involved with. While the detective work is gripping, what is most finely rendered here are the hardships Lewis's children face while their mother is too busy at work, and the methods she uses to win them over. "Tooth and Claw," however, involves a highly original crime plot involving a strangling that occurs on a remote hillside. It is fascinating to observe how the police squad's forensics and questioning change to accommodate rural populations and lack of resources. Also fascinatingly bizarre is the murder that takes place in the opening scene for "Having It All." In it, teenager Melanie Gaskell Gaskell (Natasha Thompson-Wild) discovers her mother killed in her garage. While all episodes do show the viewer reasoning and politics behind each case, these feel so sincerely realistic because one begins to truly understand the anxieties that accompany such a difficult job. Quentin is so well-cast, and is as convincing as ever as a woman who seeks balance between loyalty to her employees, her children, and herself. Issues such as income raises, jobs in peril, and other such crises add a dose of social realism to these outlandish, morbid murder plots. And as before, the Manchester dialect and slang is a joy to the ear for an American who likes to consider cultural similarities and differences. --Trinie Dalton