A few months ago my Twitter feed was buzzing with talk about Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Everyone seemed to love this show. I finally took the plunge and started watching on Netflix.
The story is about Miss Fisher, a wealthy woman in 1920s Australia. She has lived a colorful life after being a nurse in Europe in World War I. She has returned home to Australia and sets herself up as a Lady Detective. Her lifestyle is very shocking to her proper Aunt Prudence and to her new companion, Dot.
I’m not a big fan of detective stories but this one is good. Even the husband has started to watch it. There are only three seasons. So what do you do when it is over?
Jamie asked recently for recommendations for books that have the feel of the show. To me that means that it would be a historical mystery with a female lead who ignores convention and loves sassy dialogue. The show was based on a book series but it seems like most of the things that fans love about the show are unique to the TV version.
Here’s what I would recommend.
Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
“Set in 1884, this is the first installment in what has become a beloved bestselling series. At thirty-two, strong-willed Amelia Peabody, a self-proclaimed spinster, decides to use her ample inheritance to indulge her passion, Egyptology. On her way to Egypt, Amelia encounters a young woman named Evelyn Barton-Forbes. The two become fast friends and travel on together, encountering mysteries, missing mummies, and Radcliffe Emerson, a dashing and opinionated archaeologist who doesn’t need a woman’s help — or so he thinks.”
I love this series. Amelia and Emerson are a great couple. She is a proper lady who wears split skirts (gasp!), wields a deadly parasol, and solves crimes. I think this is the closest in feel to Miss Fisher.
The Ides of April by Lindsey Davis
“First of a new series of crime novels set in Ancient Rome and featuring Flavia Albia, the adopted daughter of much-loved Marcus Didius Falco.
Based on real historical events: mysterious poisonings, in which victims died, often unaware they had been attacked. Albia is now 28 and an established female investigator. Her personal history and her British birth enable her to view Roman society and its traditions as a bemused outsider and also as a woman struggling for independence in a manâ€™s world.”
I love the Marcus Didus Falco series and this series about his daughter Albia is a great spin off. You don’t have to have read the Falco books to get into this series. There are three books about Albia now so it is a good time to pick it up.
Have you seen the show? What books would you suggest?
Want to see what other suggestions Jamie received?
I love Miss Fisher! This reminds me that I still haven’t watched the third season!
Oh, I just LOVE Miss Fisher. I’m not even all the way through the first season yet, though.
I’d recommend the Parasol Protectorate series, if you’re OK with paranormal/steampunk stuff. Also, it’s set in an alt-Victorian era London (mostly) rather than the ’20’s Australia. But it still fits the bill of “historical mystery with a female lead who ignores convention and loves sassy dialogue” to a T.
If you’d take a suggestion for a movie, I’d say The Extraordinary Adventures of AdÃ¨le Blanc-Sec fits the bill (it’s French, though). It’s apparently based on a series of comics, though I haven’t read any of them.