By Meaghan Walsh Gerard
Spies, murder, buried treasure, cold cases. Make some scones, brew some tea and embrace your inner Anglophile with these British additions to the DVD Netflix library.
A group of four incredibly smart women are restless in post-WWII London. They worked as codebreakers at Bletchley Park but now they have no outlet for their finely-tuned skills. When a rash of murders break out, they apply their wits to the mystery and try to catch a killer. They use cryptography, population theory, probabilities and more to work out what the authorities don’t even know to look for.
Now is the time to binge and catch up on Vera, just renewed for a tenth season. Vera Stanhope is a retirement-age detective in wild but picturesque Northumberland. Dishevelled but brilliant, she sees the cracks and clues when no one else can. Vera is based on a character by Ann Cleeves, who also introduced the world to Danny Perez and Shetland, also available for rent.
Want to win a box set of Vera, Seasons 1-7? Share this post and tag @dvdnetflix and @mwgerard, plus use the hashtag #DVDme for a chance to win it!
You may have noticed an uptick in productions based on Agatha Christie works lately. That’s partially due to the partnership of the Christie estate with Acorn Media. One of their recent adaptations was And Then There Were None, a stand-alone novel. A group of ten people is brought to a remote island, but one by one they start to die, and the pool of suspects is getting smaller...
If you like Christie but want something lighter, Acorn also produced a series of Tommy and Tuppence mysteries. The young couple are hardly methodical detectives but they are sprightly and curious. Some of their breakthroughs are simply dumb luck, but they are playful and enjoyable.
Yes, this show really was on for eleven years. A group of grumpy, retired cops are brought in to staff a cold case office. They’re a mismatched team but some old-fashioned police work and senior citizen discounts give them an edge. Their banter is hilarious, and while they are solving crimes, it is much more of a comedy than a drama.
Another long-running favorite with a feel-good cast of characters. Father Brown is the humble parish priest in a tiny village. But he is also acutely observant. Together with his busy-body housekeeper and the local socialite who is always up for some excitement, they crack cases in the sleepy town. It’s funny, charming and timeless.
Two utterly average guys spend their free time detecting for lost treasure in the English countryside. While they sweep the land for Saxon gold, we also see the other oddballs in the town and watch our heroes make attempts at a ‘normal’ life. The writing is heartfelt and unassuming, and it celebrates the nerds and weirdos of the world with love.
Check out more Acorn titles here:
Meaghan Walsh Gerard has been writing about films (especially classic ones) and books (especially gothic ones) for more than ten years on her site. She is obsessed with the art of storytelling and holds a master’s degree in cinema studies. Meaghan has been a DVD Netflix member since 2003. Follow Meaghan at mwgerard.com, on Twitter @mwgerard, or Facebook and Instagram.