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  • An Unsuitable Job for a Woman 1 and 2
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An Unsuitable Job for a Woman 1 and 2


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4-Disc Version
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Product Details

  • Actors: Helen Baxendale
  • Directors: Mystery
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: January 8, 2008
  • Run Time: 525 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000XBPDY4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,123 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From P.D. James, the creator of beloved Detective Adam Dalgliesh, comes Cordelia Gray (Helen Baxendale, Friends), a young, aspiring private detective learning the ropes from her mentor, disgraced ex-policeman Bernie Pryde. But when Prydeís sudden suicide leaves Cordelia the sole proprietor of his ramshackle agency, she is forced to continue her education on the job. With only Mrs. Sparshott, the agencyís longtime secretary and Cordeliaís new assistant, on her team, An Unsuitable Job for a Woman thrusts Cordelia headfirst into unfamiliar waters. Includes all four mysteries from both seasons, with Mystery! introductions by host Dame Diana Rigg.The Sacrifice: A prominent scientist hires Cordelia to investigate why his son suddenly gave up a life of privilege for one of passion, only to kill himself weeks later.A Last Embrace: A jilted wife needs a female detective to lure her philandering husband and reveal his misdeeds, but Cordelia finds herself trapped when she begins to fall in love.Living on Risk: Cordelia accepts what she thinks is a routine surveillance job, only to discover she may have been hired to help commit a crime, not prevent to one.Playing God: Superintendent Fergussen hires Cordelia to investigate his daughterís boyfriend, but is the evidence Cordelia turns over really all that the Superintendent was after?

Amazon.com

P.D. James' plucky detective heroine Cordelia Gray should be careful what she wishes for. At the beginning of the fabulous British series An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, Gray is a young assistant to a longtime private detective, hoping to learn the ropes as an investigator. But getting her wish plunges her, ready or not, into the murky worlds of passion, philandering, surveillance, and murder. Gray's career is truly one learned--and earned--by fire. Helen Baxendale (snippy Emily from Friends) plays Cordelia with nuance and pluck--she's what Helen Mirren's Jane Tennison (Prime Suspect) might have been as a very young, idealistic, wet-behind-the-ears novice. Cordelia suddenly inherits a detective firm when her mentor commits suicide, so she's thrust into investigation with little besides her own wit, and the help of her flinty assistant, Mrs. Sparshott (Annette Crosbie). "We may not look the part," deadpans Mrs. Sparshott, "but appearances can be deceiving."

Can they ever. In this four-episode boxed set, Cordelia, assisted by Mrs. Sparshott, takes on what seem like matter-of-fact investigations, only to realize that the crimes lurking below the surface are ever more serious, and deadly. Each episode is based on a different James book and include Sacrifice, A Last Embrace, Living on Risk, and Playing God. Cordelia's character grows professionally and personally over the course of the episodes, including falling in love and expecting a child. But through it all, Baxendale's performance sparkles, and mystery fans will be glad Cordelia never listened to the advice that investigating might be "unsuitable." Not bloody likely. --A.T. Hurley

Customer Reviews

Good story lines and excellent acting.
Paul Burns
Don't choose "Play All," or you'll get awkward transitions between each mystery's episodes, with bits clumsily cut-out and very odd pacing.
FYI
Having seen these originally on TV, however, it appears some of the Mystery intros were deleted.
Maryelva

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Movie Mania VINE VOICE on January 16, 2008
This is actually four specials base on PD James books. Series 1A is Suicide is presented in three one hour episodes. Cordelia Gray has just inherited a detective agency when her boss dies. Her first case is the death, apparent suicide, of a scientists college-dropout son. But like all PD James mysteries, things are not as clear cut as they seem.

But this goes deeper than just a mystery. Just like Prime Suspect, Unsuitable Job for a Lady is also about a woman in a profession that is dominated by men. But unlike PS, UJL's heroine is not a tough as nails detective but a woman feeling her way around a man's jungle without upsetting too many people.

Series 1B is A Last Embrace presented in three parts. Cordelia is hired by the wife of the owner of the Claircourt Park Hotel to investigate her husband sexual harassment of the female staff. Cordelia goes undercover as help at the hotel but when she arrives her client has disappeared.

Series 2 is two specials. In first Living on Risk, Cordelia is hired to follow a man but the question is he a killer or a victim. In the second, Playing God, Cordelia is hired by DCI Ferguson to investigate his daughter's boyfriend but things take a bizarre twist when the daughter hires Cordelia to continue her investigation after DCI fires her.

Helen Baxendale is perfect as Cordelia. While is sweet and vulnerable, she is also inately sharp. Annette Crosbie is the office manager but being a two person office often gets involved with the case and Cordelia's life.

This is definitely a great show and features one future star (Baxendale) and one seasoned vetran (Crosbie.)
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer on February 13, 2008
"Always trust your instinct," says aging, over-weight Bernie Pryde, owner of the barely busy Pryde Detective Agency, to the young woman seated next to him at the pub. "Always listen to the inner voice." Bernie is an ex-cop, forced out by Detective Chief Superintendent Ferguson.

"It's easy for Chief Superintendent Ferguson," Cordelia Gray replies, referring to the copper she dislikes but Bernie admires. "It's a regular salary in CID even when the inner voice is talking rubbish."

"Don't mock it," Bernie tells her. "Everything I've been teaching you comes from him."

Cordelia Gray (Helen Baxendale) is a young woman in her early twenties who came to Bernie as a temp. She stayed on as his assistant and he has been teaching her the ways and methods of a private investigator. She has come to look upon him as something as a mentor. He thinks hiring her is one of the best things he's ever done. And when Bernie Pryde commits suicide one early morning in the office (his note to Cordelia tells her he has cancer which will only get worse) she learns that Bernie has left her everything he has...the detective agency, the building it's in with an apartment, and an old car that barely runs. There's no money and no clients. The only person Cordelia can rely on is the middle-aged office manager, Edith Sparshott (Annette Crosbie), a bit of an upright puritan whose protective instincts come into play.

When a prominent scientist a few days later hires her to investigate why his son hanged himself, Cordelia has her first case. It's a doozy.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. Wheatley on June 23, 2008
What a shame they only had 2 episodes of this brilliant British show.
Well worth the purchase.
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20 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Sharon K. Bush on January 24, 2008
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Cordelia Gray is a private detective with "feelings." She takes on weird cases and wins. She learns the ropes from her mentor, a disgraced ex-policeman. It is very good. Women detectives are different from the men detectives in British mysteries. They could take on the same case, and have a different view.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David on August 5, 2013
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I love all these UK crime programs, this one is a bit dated and some of the story lines are a bit hard to believe, but I liked it.

Most of the outdoor scenes are filmed on location in London, which makes it more realistic. Well worth watching in my opinion.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Arthur A Diefendorf on April 1, 2013
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I am very sorry that this series is so short. It compares favorably with Inspectors Lewis, Morse, and Adam Dalgleish!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Burns on January 16, 2013
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Good story lines and excellent acting. Would recommend to mature audiences. Very pleased with our choice. Sorry there were not more episodes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By irlandali1 on March 24, 2013
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I first saw this series while I was working out of the good old USA. Another great series with fine acting and well plotted stories. Amazon once again delivered the series early and perfectly packaged.
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