“They write mysteries. She solves crime.”

The pitch – Matilda’s mother mysteriously disappeared when she was but a child. She is raised by her three mystery writing aunts but still remains seeking clues to her mother’s disappearance. Meanwhile, she’s grown up to be a detective in the small town of her birth. Picture Murder She Wrote if Jessica Fletcher had a niece on the police force that she helped out regularly.

As a British show, the season is 6 episodes long, two 45 minute episodes per mystery. It’s got two seasons under it’s belt and most likely has a few more seasons in it. The overarching mystery is the trail of Matilda’s missing mother that we get breadcrumbs to as the series goes on. You will either appreciate the dry humour of the narrator of find it really annoying so your milage will vary. I’d give it a decent Cozy score, meaning the the tone is relatively light and there is usually enough info for the viewer to have a chance of solving the mystery with Matilda.

Cast of characters

  • Detective Sgt. Matilda Stone – The hero of the series about which most things orbit, including several romantic intentions. Being raised by three mystery writers may have given Matilda a leg up on her skills of observation and analytics, but it hasn’t helped her love life.
  • Cat Stone – The wild aunt who played in a rock band back in the day. She’s the Philip Marlowe type of detective, two fisted and rough and the aunt most likely to take a baseball bat to a window or to a mugger. Cat writes and illustrates graphic novels.
  • Beth Stone – The practical aunt who takes an intuitive approach to her detecting. Beth writes very traditional mysteries, typically following a clever member of the clergy.
  • Jane Stone – The ‘nerd’ aunt and owner of a book shop specializing in mysteries. She’s the uber rational Sherlock Holmes style detective and the aunt most likely to have a science fact handy. Jane writes science fiction mysteries with an android protagonist.

(I’m half tempted to think of the aunts in the same way that I sometimes look at the Star Trek TOS trio of McCoy / Kirk / Spock Id / Ego / Super Ego)

  • Dr. Daniel Lynch – Acts as the coroner, Matilda fancies him and he appears to be interested as well but is currently involved with someone else.
  • Police Constable Terry Foster – Knew Matilda when they were children and still holds a torch for her, a torch that she is utterly ignorant of.
  • George – Also interested in Matilda. Seems a decent bloke but doesn’t set Matilda’s pulse racing like Daniel.
  • Inspector Throne – Might hold some clues to the disappearance of Matilda’s mother. He’s the gruff boss to Matilda and constantly telling her to keep those meddling aunts away from the crime scenes. Meanwhile he’s got a lot that he’s not saying, most of it being his attraction to Aunt Jane.

The murders take front and centre of the plot, several of them connecter to her aunts in some way. Secondary plots like Matilda’s love life provide some counterpoint and melodrama. I think it the interactions of the aunts that I find most delightful so far. Personally, I’m enjoying it so far but also hoping that the Missing Mother Mystery is solved within 5 seasons though each season being only 6 episodes, they might get away with running a bit longer – time will tell.

My prediction – there will be a season finale cliff hanger of Matilda getting ready to finally have that shot at the romance she’s been pining for, but she’s interrupted by a clue that promises to break the Missing Mother Mystery wide open!