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Essie Davis (Girl with a Pearl Earring, Cloudstreet) stars as the Honorable Miss Phryne Fisher, a thoroughly modern woman of the late 1920s operating in a mostly male world. The glamorous “lady detective” goes about her work with a pistol close at hand—and, more often than not, a male admirer even closer.
In 1920s Melbourne, the Honorable Phryne Fisher is making a way for herself as a sly and stylish sleuth in the male-dominated detective world. To the dismay of Detective Inspector Jack Robinson (Nathan Page, The Secret Life of Us), Phryne’s investigations take her through back alleys, jazz clubs, and shady neighborhoods. Ignoring the dangers all around her, she glides through life determined to enjoy every moment. But beneath her devil-may-care attitude, Phryne hides ghosts from the past that continue to haunt her.
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries also stars Hugo Johnstone-Burt (Cloudstreet), Ashleigh Cummings (Tomorrow, When the War Began), Miriam Margolyes (Little Dorrit), and Nicholas Bell (Shine). Miranda Otto (The Lord of the Rings) guest stars.
Episode One: Cocaine Blues
The Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher disembarks the Orient at Victoria Dock, returning to Melbourne after years abroad. Almost as soon as she checks into the Windsor Hotel, Phryne is embroiled in mystery: poisoned husbands, cocaine smuggling rings and illegal abortionists – not to mention erotic encounters with the handsome Russian dancer, Sasha de Lisse. Her adventure reaches its steamy end in the Turkish Bath Palace off Little Lonsdale Street.
Directed by Tony Tilse and guest stars Miranda Otto, Maria Mercedes and Kristof Piechocki.
Episode Two: Murder On The Ballarat Train
The glamorous Phryne Fisher, accompanied by her maid Dot, decides to travel to the country by train to collect her new Hispano-Suiza motor car. The charm of rail travel soon evaporates though, when Phryne unexpectedly has to use her trusty pearl-handled pistol to save a young woman’s life and solve the disappearance of her fellow passenger’s mother. Her train trip derailed by a gruesome murder, Phryne speeds home in her Hispano-Suiza to her new abode in St Kilda where she works through the clues until she discovers her unassuming murderer.
Directed by Kate Dennis and guest stars Maeve Dermody, Abbe Holmes, David Berry, Dale March and Jacek Koman.
Episode Three: The Green Mill Murder
Phryne, gorgeous in her sparkling evening gown, had thought she would dance the night away at the hottest dancehall in town, the Green Mill. That was before death spoiled the evening. In jazz-mad 1920s Melbourne, Phryne finds there are hidden perils lurking in the smoky shadows – like a mystery man from her past – and it takes all her ingenuity, and her rusty flying skills, to unravel the trail of blackmail and murder.
Directed by Kate Dennis and guest stars Toby Schmitz, Deni Hines, Wendy Hughes, Arthur Angel and Simon Lyndon.
Episode Four: Death at Victoria Dock
A young man with a blue tattoo lies cradled in Phryne’s arms. Sadly, it’s not another scene of glorious seduction. This time it’s murder. Outraged by this brutal slaughter, Phryne promises to find out who is responsible. But Phryne doesn’t yet know how deeply into the mire she’ll have to go – bank robbery, anarchists and the kidnap of her beloved maid Dot. Her investigations lead her into the arms of the delicious yet dangerous anarchist, Peter the Painter.
Directed by Tony Tilse and guest stars Jack Finsterer, Talia Zucker, Robert Grubb, Renai Caruso and Penne Hackforth-Jones.
Episode Five: Raisins and Almonds
When a young man is found dead in a bookshop at the Eastern Market, Phryne Fisher is plunged into the diverse worlds of Jewish politics, alchemy, and poison. She works her way through the mystery with help from the old faithfuls – Bert, Cec, Dot, Dr Mac and Detective Inspector Jack Robinson. Ultimately, though, it’s her stealth and wit that solve the crime – and all for the price of a song. . . .
Directed by David Caesar and guest stars Kat Stewart, Tim Draxl, Brian Lipson and Adam Schmerl.
Episode Six: Ruddy Gore
At a gala performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruddigore, Phryne Fisher meets the gorgeous Lin Chung who has rescued the theatre’s leading man from some thugs in a dark alley in Chinatown. The evening continues on unexpectedly with a bizarre death onstage. What links can Phryne find between the Chinese community of Little Bourke St, the illicit opium trade and the actors treading the boards of His Majesty’s Theatre? Phryne must solve an old murder, find a new murderer, and banish the theatre’s ghost who seems likely to kill again.
Directed by David Caesar and guest stars Billie Brown, Peter Cousens, Christie Whelan and Alex Rathgeber.
Episode Seven: Murder in Montparnasse
As a young woman in Paris after the war, Phryne posed for the famous artist Pierre Sarcelle. Now, 10 years later, Sarcelle’s widow arrives in Melbourne asking for her late husband’s paintings. When she suddenly disappears, Phryne discovers the connection between Mme Sarcelle and the death of an Australian war veteran who witnessed the ‘accidental’ death of Sarcelle at Montparnasse train station. As Phryne delves into this investigation, she remembers her own days in Paris and her first love. The two worlds collide as Phryne tracks down the murderer – but Jack is the man who gives her the courage to confront her past.
Directed by Clayton Jacobson. Additional Directing by Tony Tilse. Guest stars Peter O’Brien, Vince Colosimo, Linda Cropper and Nick Carrafa.
Episode Eight: Away with the Fairies
Phryne investigates the puzzling death of a magazine columnist and author of fairy stories. To get to the truth, she must unearth the deceptions and rampant rivalries of the magazine’s thoroughly modern working women – and dig into the past of their token male employee. Meanwhile, Phryne rekindles her affair with the sensuous Lin Chung – whose arranged marriage has stalled in a mire of family politics and intrigue.
Directed by Emma Freeman and guest stars Anna McGahan, Roz Hammond, Deborah Kennedy and Jim Russell.
Episode Nine: Queen of the Flowers
The Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher has been chosen to refine a group of delinquent flower maidens for the annual flower parade. When the body of one of her charges washes up on the beach, she begins to question the worth of table manners and dancing lessons. In the midst of her investigation, Jane’s mother unexpectedly resurfaces and Phryne has to face her fears about losing her ward.
Directed by Clayton Jacobson. Additional Directing by Tony Tilse. Guest stars Terry Norris, Danielle Cormack, Andrew S Gilbert and Eva Lazzaro.
Episode Ten: Death by Miss Adventure
Phryne investigates the death of a young female worker in a factory ‘accident’ and soon learns that the woman’s death might not be the misadventure the police think it is. Faced with a wall of secrecy and lies, Phryne sends her trusty maid, Dot, undercover into the factory to investigate. When a second suspicious death occurs, Phryne fights desperately to save one of her closest friends from the gallows.
Directed by Daina Reid and guest stars Alison Whyte, Caroline Brazier, Andrew Blackman and Neil Pigot.
Episode Eleven: Blood and Circuses
The carnival is in town. Innocent fun turns to horror when one of the sideshow acts is murdered. Phryne poses as the magician’s assistant, Fern, to investigate. The heady atmosphere of the carnival takes Phryne on a bittersweet trip down memory lane – to the days when she and her sister, Janey, would sneak into the big top, until one night Janey disappeared. Her pain is reignited when she discovers that Murdoch Foyle, the man accused of murdering her sister – was the mastermind behind an elaborate prison escape plan. Any chance of discovering the truth about her sister’s fate is dashed though, when she learns that Foyle has died and been cremated.
Directed by Emma Freeman and guest stars John Wood, Aaron Jeffrey, Victoria Thaine and Joel Tobeck.
Episode Twelve: Murder in the Dark
Phryne’s cousins and Aunt Prudence’s entire household come under suspicion when a young girl is found drowned in her aunt’s fountain on the eve of a lavish fancy dress party. Phryne and her aunt work together to investigate – until Phryne begins to doubt her own detecting skills. Was Murdoch Foyle really the man responsible for her sister’s death or was it someone much closer to Phryne – someone who was also there the day Janey disappeared from the circus all those years ago? When Foyle finally shows his hand, Phryne recovers her confidence – only to have it replaced by terror when she fears Foyle now has Jane in his sights.
Directed by Daina Reid and guest stars Felix Williamson, Kate Jenkinson and John Lloyd Fillingham.
Episode Thirteen: King Memses’ Curse
Murdoch Foyle is at large and has been connected with the mysterious death of Albert Monkton, antique dealer. In investigating the murder, Phryne discovers Murdoch Foyle’s involvement in a bizarre reincarnation cult, inspired by Ancient Egypt. Phryne’s hunt for the madman leads her on a disturbing trail of death and despair before she realises her own significance in Foyle’s grand plan. Can she overcome her nemesis and finally solve the mystery regarding the fate of her sister, Janey, or will her own death be the price she has to pay to discover the truth.
Directed by Daina Reid and guest stars Matt Day, Nicole Nabout, John Arnold and Nick Backstrom.