Our latest BritBox find is Murder in Provence. This new BritBox original show is set in the town of Aix in southern France. It is based on the books of ML Longworth. The cast includes Roger Allam (from Endeavor) playing chief magistrate Antoine Verlaque and Nancy Carroll (from Father Brown) as consulting criminal psychologist Marine Bonnett. Antoine and Marine are romantic partners which adds a very different aspect to the story arc. The third primary member of the cast is Keala Settle who stars as Hélène, a fellow detective and Antoine’s confidant.
The first season of Murder in Provence has three 88 minute episodes. We tend to prefer the shows with six to ten episodes, but these shorter seasons are becoming more and more the norm for new streaming options. The show makes the most of its setting in the beautiful city of Aix and the sun-drenched hillsides of Provence. The plotlines balances murder mystery with the personal relationship of the primary characters. It is much less “angst-filled” than many other shows without becoming campy like Father Brown. There is good chemistry between the primary characters and with the supporting cast as well. The characters have interesting lifestyle interests and backstories that make the show more engaging for those of us daydreaming about retiring in the south of France.
The pace of solving the mystery can be best described as “leisurely.” When the case is solved, the clue trail and motivation of the murder are not that well developed. It is a little strange that these French characters are all played by English actors as English characters. There has been some pushback on social media for that. Like almost every show seems to do today, it incorporates political and cultural themes and positions in a way that takes away from the story more than it adds. Despite those things, we are enjoying the show and can recommend adding Murder in Provence to your watchlist like we did to ours.