Truck Reviews HPC Spring Reading Men's slip on sneakers nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Weekly One PCB for select Bang & Olufsen Starting at $39.99 Grocery Handmade Personalized Jewelry Shop by look Book a house cleaner for 2 or more hours on Amazon TheGrandTour TheGrandTour TheGrandTour  Echo Fire tablets: Designed for entertainment Kindle Paperwhite GNO Shop now STL18_GNO

This is a review of the series only, not the DVD set. I've been watching Mr. and Mrs. Murder on Acorn TV, which has all 13 episodes available. I had not heard of the series and knew nothing about it when I started watching. But our family took to it right away. It's an Australian production, so you may not recognize any of the actors, unless you've seen the Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries series.

The action takes place in Melbourne, Victoria, and the title couple, Charlie (Shaun Micallef) and Nicola (Kat Stewart), run their own crime scene cleaning service. Since they appear on the spot right after the police are through investigating, they pick up any stray evidence and overlooked clues. Charlie is a fiftyish charmer who has a "half a degree" in an amazing number of subjects, and wife Nicola, fortyish, specializes in being very sympathetic. They "interview" suspects, consider motives, and jump to a lot of incorrect conclusions. Their niece, Jess (Lucy Honigman), who is living with them while she attends university to get her MBA, is regularly roped into helping them, usually to impersonate someone or break into someplace to steal critical evidence.

It's not very realistic, and that's acknowledged by the comic book style credits at the beginning of the show. But Mr. and Mrs. are fun to watch as they banter and solve crimes like Nick and Nora Charles. Jess is a perfect foil as the straight man for Charlie and Nicola. You probably won't have any trouble with the Australian accents, but there are subtitles which are helpful for references to unfamiliar place names, etc. (The subtitles are on the Acorn streaming and may NOT be available on the DVD.)

The series of 13 episodes premiered in Australia in early 2013, and has not been renewed, so this may well be the complete set.
134 people found this helpful
|44 comments|Report abuse
on February 27, 2014
I saw the entire series on Acorn TV and immediately fell in love with it!! This is a light hearted comedy/murder mystery series . The premise of this series is that Charlie and Nicola Buchannan are crime scene cleaners who are actually very good at solving the crimes that they have been hired to clean - especially since the DCI is usually not up to the task. Their niece Jess is often brought into their adventures. Charlie and Nicola have a loving and humorous relationship and work well together, often playing off each other's strengths. In addition to some intriguing mysteries, the viewer is also treated to some wonderful views of Australia.

This is a funny, delightful show and is appropriate for most ages. The level of violence depicted is minimal and there is very little, if any, foul language or explicit sexual situations. I would recommend this series to anyone who enjoys British TV and is looking for a breezy, light mystery.
65 people found this helpful
|11 comment|Report abuse
on May 25, 2015
I decided to try this series since Kat Stewart, the female lead, was a suspect in one of the "Miss Fisher" murder mysteries. Turns out I like her "husband" Shaun Micallef better; he is handsome, witty, charming, and very adept at thinking on his feet. He likes to test theories about various suspects, and his quick mind and verbal acrobatics make him an unusually talented detective. His Australian accent was much easier to understand than his co-star's; there were times when I felt like I needed a translator to get through her dialogue. The quality of the writing is very uneven between episodes; some are well thought out and the plot hangs together, while others are almost incomprehensible. As a married couple they are interesting; he lets her win any disagreement, but seems to be the cleverer one. She is impulsive, has some good ideas, and needs a thoughtful partner to keep her energy in check. She has an odd habit of bear-hugging emotional suspects, while her husband looks on uncomfortably. He is easily embarrassed by the attentions of other women, but never seems to notice that their police detective contact has a major crush on his wife.
4 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on July 5, 2014
All we see at first are her impossibly high heels and seamed black stockings. She's also wearing a mini-trench coat as she confidently sashays her way to room 2012 of the hotel. The door swings forward, and instead of her regular appointment, it's a room service attendant holding a bloody knife. The door swings forward more, and she can see a strange man in a hotel bathrobe, laying across the bed and covered in blood. This is not what "Frederika" expected.

After the police are done with the crime scene, the hotel calls in Toxi-Clean, crime scene cleaners extraordinaire, to make the room appear as if a murder had never occurred. Toxi-Clean has two employees, Nicola and Charlie Buchanon, married 10 years and still bonkers about each other. And constitutionally incapable of leaving the detecting to the police. This includes talking their niece, Jess, who should be studying for her MBA exams, into taking a job as a maid at the hotel in order to snoop.

And so begins the first episode of Series 1 (or Season 1, as we call it in the States) of this Australian comedy mystery series, based in Melbourne. The series has little schticks that reappear throughout and which I love. The affectionate banter between Nic and Charles is real, there is good chemistry between the actors. They take turns making deductions so sleuthing is a team effort. Nic has a habit of hugging someone and purring that either charms or annoys the huggie. Charlie is a man after my own heart, full of usually totally useless trivia. There is lots of humor, sometimes broad, sometimes tongue-in-cheek - such as their mind-melding.

The comic strip-style title sequence sets the tone. This is a well-written and occasionally over the top mystery series. A little unrealistic in the stuff Nic and Charles get away with; a little comic bookish in how the police often don't have a clue.

Series 1 premiered in Australia in February 2013. The DVD set has 4 discs, with 13 episodes totaling 599 minutes of comedy & mystery. It's presented in 16:9 aspect ratio. English subtitles are available.

The DVD set's Disc 4 has Special Features described below. They are fun, though not long:
...1. "The Idea" (7 minutes) Commentators include Shaun Micallef (co-creator, plays Charlie) and Jason Stephens (co-creator and producer). Micallef remembers that he always liked the TV show "Columbo", and loved the idea of a mystery series. Stephens says that Kat Stewart (who plays Nic) had worked with Micallef in a previous TV show, and he thought they'd be great together here.
...2. "Cast Interviews" (3 minutes) Commentators include Jonny Pasvolsky (plays Detective Peter), Shaun Micallef, Lucy Honigman (plays Jess) and Kat Stewart. Honigman explains perfectly why I like the show so much: "There's something about it. Especially about their pairing and how they work on camera that's quite like a 'Get Smart' fun. There's something throw-backy, while it's a completely new show, it's a lovely dynamic."
...3. "Meeting Shaun Micallef" (7 minutes) Commentators include Lucy Honigman, Kat Stewart, Shaun Micallef. Shaun is a well-known TV actor Down Under, including his own shows, such as "Shaun Micallef's Mad as Hell", a comedy news program that is in its third year.
...4. "Photo Gallery"

Episode Synopsis:
...1. "Early Checkout". The fastest way to meet Frederika, in order to ask her questions about the murder, is to make an appointment, which leads to some funny moments.
...2. "A Dog's Life". A group of dog-owners stage a protest at a golf course. The golf course closed off a previously used public pathway. The next day, the golf store owner is found in his house, mauled to death by a dog.
In this episode, we learn of Nicola's fear of dogs.
...3. "En Vogue". Backstage at the JE fashion show, the usual controlled chaos is made worse by a model's no-show for the grand finale. So Jonah (the J in JE) goes out early to take his bow, and is rammed in the head by a falling mirror. Could he have been targeted because he used fur in his clothing?
...4. "Atlas Drugged". It's the "Mr Phenomenal 2013" body building contest semi-finals. Twenty-four year old Anton Cheresniak is awarded a trophy in the "Muscularity" round, but he leaves the stage clutching his stomach before he can accept it. Later on, a security guard finds Anton baked to death in a closed tanning bed. What a way to go.
The gym owner hires Toxi-Clean and ushers Nic and Charlie downstairs for the clean-up. He warns them about the smell and Charlie rambles, "I had my wisdom teeth out a couple years ago. Did a lot of nerve damage. As a result I don't smell so good. The advantage is that burnt toast, for example smells like Turkish Delight."
Trivia: Charlie is in the hospital with a concussion, and Nic performs a test to insure that he's actually OK. She asks him the name of his favorite film. When Charlie responds with "Blade Runner", Nic knows he's OK. It's also the favorite film of Shaun Micallef, the actor who plays Charlie.
...5. "Lost Soul". Rehearsals are underway at the Premiere Theatre for a new production of "Lost Soul", a musical about Amy Winehouse. Unfortunately, Linda di Biasi, the female lead, hasn't shown up. The understudy gets her chance to show off, but gets more than she bargained for when the missing di Biasi's body turns up mangled in a stage prop. Is the show really cursed?
...6. "The Next Best Man". It's the day before a wine-country wedding. Best man-to-be Adam McKuen hasn't shown up for lunch. We see why - when he runs from the house with blood coming out his mouth and down his shirt, eventually collapsing under an arbor. Detective Peter Vinetti is out of his jurisdiction, but was there as a family friend. It's his ex-wife's family and he's still close to them. He works with Nic and Charlie behind the scenes to solve the murder.
In a ploy to stay at the winery after the cleaning is done, Charlie disables their van. The winery mechanic offers to help and Charlie tries to hold him off with gibberish: "I should warn you, though, its a very complicated engine. It's half Wankel Rotary."
...7. "Thoroughly Dead Thoroughbred". Evelyn, the vet at Cardwell Stables, is found dead in a horsestall. She's been given a massive dose of ketamine, a horse anesthetic. A little digging turns up more than one reason for people to have it in for her. But Nic, Charlie and Peter solve the case and Peter muses, "As Shakespeare said, 'revenge is a dish best served cold'."
Charlie corrects, "Actually, Peter, it's from 'The Godfather'."
A funny re-occurring touch is when Nic and Charles decide through Rock/Paper/Scissors. Somehow, Nic always wins. Magic rock, indeed.
...8. "A Flare For Murder". Jennifer Travers stars in a Welcome Home party at the marina. She took her sailboat, "The Beagle" on the same journey the original Beagle took on Darwin's famous voyage. Jennifer is semi-famous for the video blog she posted during her trip. Someone, however, is not impressed, and kills her as she lies in her bunk - with a flare gun.
...9. "The Art of Murder". The Olivia Patterson Gallery is holding a reception for the three finalists for the Audacity of Art Award. Each of the finalists gets an installation at the gallery with an awards dinner to follow and big cash prize for the ultimate winner. A homeless man manages to crash the reception, helping himself to food, applauding the finalists. Later he's found dead. Surely he wasn't killed for stealing a few canapés.
..10. "Little Boxes". Nic and Charlie get to travel to the seaside to clean the murder site at a beach box. What a lovely concept. A row of one-room boat sheds right on the beautiful beach. As vacation homes got more expensive, the boat houses morphed into mini-cabins and now are electrified and decorated like any studio apartment.
Ben and Sarah were given a box as an engagement present. Unfortunately, when they went to open it, they found James Langlan standing against the wall, skewered by the spear from a spear gun. Must have been kids disturbed in a robbery, right? Right?
..11. "Keeping Up Appearances". The Larvanya Center is located in a beautiful Victorian. Larvanya is Sanskrit for "beautiful woman", appropriate given that the center specializes in cosmetic procedures and surgeries. Unfortunately for the peace at Larvanya, a former patient, Ivy Dawkins, has flung herself out an upper story window to her death. Only two stories below. Through tree branches that should have hindered her fall. Onto the softer lawn. With no fingerprints on the sides of the window where she would have had to haul herself up to jump out.
Triva: The body dysmorphia described in this episode is a real and tragic chronic mental illness.
..12. "Zootopia". Two zookeepers open the access corridor to the big cats' enclosures and find a dead colleague, his head bashed in with a shovel. How many kinds of jealousy were involved?
While working on the crime solving, Charlie philosophizes with Nic: "There's no such thing as 'normal'. 'Normal' is the average between all the weird people in the world and all the boring people in the world. 'Normal' people don't actually exist."
..13. "The Course Whisperer". It's after hours at the chi-chi celebrity restaurant RZ37. A chef is in the kitchen experimenting, taking notes in his journal as he tries this and that. He's concentrating so hard he doesn't hear when someone sneaks behind him and stabs him in the back. Literally.
Charlie and Nic toss ideas to each other. What if the chef was too passionate. Not Rudolph Valentino passionate, but Idi Amin passionate.

A recommended comedic mystery series. I hope we see more of Nic and Charlie!

Happy Reader
review image
4 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
Many people do not much like them but I must admit that I am a huge fan of so-called "amateur detectives." If you are like me then this delightful Australian series is just the ticket for a Friday night marathon. You know - at least I do - that you're in for a treat right from the beginning because the opening credits are done in comic-book style, which sets the tone perfectly. What's perhaps most intriguing about this series to me, however, are these two facts: The "amateurs" are husband and wife crime scene cleaners who only enter the picture after the cops have cleared out (and thus have taken almost all - but not quite all in some cases - of the evidence with them) and they are deeply in love with each other, something that comes through in each episode.
As someone who writes mysteries for a living - and most of mine feature "amateur detectives" - I know how difficult it can be to strike the right chord when it comes to having a non-professional solve a crime. The amateur, after all, doesn't have the authority to interview a suspect by simply knocking on a door and flashing a badge nor does the amateur have access to all the crime-solving tools that a modern police force routinely uses to catch wrongdoers. The amateurs must, therefore, rely on other attributes, those that are available to all of us: Charm, wit, a little luck and their experiences in dealing with all sorts of people in the real world.
And, since most of us aren't possessed with the super-sharp intelligence of a Sherlock Holmes, people who write about amateur crime solvers must also be careful not to credit them with extraordinary deductive skills because when you do that your characters lose all credibility. I'm happy to say that the writing team that put together this wonderful first season of "Mr. and Mrs. Murder" understands that perfectly and never have our hero and heroine make some fantastic deduction based upon virtually no facts to solve a crime.
This is a series with endearing characters, humor and skillfully written plots so grab something to snack on, fortify yourself with a cool drink and then settle in for a very enjoyable evening.
3 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on July 25, 2016
I never saw this Australian tv show on any of my local stations. It's only one season, but the episodes each have a good 'murder' mystery with the traditional type of "sleuthing" by a couple who do clean ups at crime scenes. They are unbelievably lovey dovey and so proper yet worldly wise, with banter and clever quips. Nice mix. The straight man is their friend, the local law enfocrment agent. Very well filmed and edited, with shots of various landmarks and sights of Australia. I miss the sleuthing from modern American tv shows. Although there is some gore in this show, obviously, since the characters are there to clean it up, yet the focus is not on the gore. I don't like horror, or gruesome or barbaric, shows, and am tired of endless rounds of gunfire. I like some wit and humor and a real mystery revealed. So that's how I recommend this little gem.
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on April 11, 2015
Not much mystery here but good fun watching this sleuthing couple at work. Witty understated humor and tremendous on screen chemistry between the stars. The put upon niece throwing out her own occasional deadpan sarcastic commentary is icing on the cake. Pete the cop is also well played. Fantastic cast and great conversation all around. I only wish the shows were longer and that there was more than one season.
6 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on February 16, 2015
I wish there were more episodes coming of this amazingly funny series (I haven't seen news reports that they are working on them). Everything about Mr. & Mrs. Murder is exceptional: the witty fast-paced dialog, the physical humor, the long setups of gags, and the hilarious characters. Shaun Micallef and Kat Stewart are the title's couple, and Jonny Pasvolsky is Peter, the police inspector who's mad for Nicola, played by Stewart. Each episode plays on this hopeless relationship. So much fun. Stewart is a scream, so funny.

Micallef is creator and writer of the series as well as the star. He is fantastic. I hope more of his television work will be available in the States or online. A serious talent.
4 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on February 19, 2015
It appears the Austrailians are every bit as good at crafting entertaining mysteries as their as their English cousins. A case in point is "Mr & Mrs Murder", a light-hearted Austrailian cozy mystery originally aired in 2013. Shaun Micallef plays Charlie Buchanan and Kat Stewart plays his wife Nicola. Together they operate a crime scene cleaning service, making them ideally suited for finding evidence and clues overlooked by the police. Micallef and Stewart imbue their characters with enough quirks and foibles that makes them entertaining and just slightly over-the-top. My wife and I have viewed this series many times and find something new and enjoyable with each viewing. Highly recommended!
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on April 26, 2017
There is one main word to describe this series: ADORABLE!! I don't remember the last time I enjoyed a series this much. The writing is so clever and the characters are truly original and hilarious...(Nicola's moaning when she hugs someone, her hysterical dog phobia and her cooking issues are just too funny!) I cannot BELIEVE that this series was not renewed for a second season...what is wrong with that tv network? This show is very well worth your time, so give yourself a treat and watch it :)
|0Comment|Report abuse