Some few (many) years ago, Fraser and I enjoyed watching a short BBC series called The Mrs Bradley Mysteries.
Set in the 1920s, it featured the fabulous Diana Rigg as Mrs Adela Bradley, a criminologist and amateur sleuth, aided and abetted by her trusty chauffeur (and sometime lover) George and Inspector Christmas (played by ex-Dr Who Peter Davison) of the police force.
As a fan of crime novels from the early half of the 20th century (think Agatha Christie, Patricia Wentworth, Dorothy L Sayers), I was excited to discover that this series was based on the work of Gladys Mitchell, a very prolific author of over 70 novels.
Here are some of the things I have since found out:
- While many of Mitchell’s novels have been republished, there seems to be little rhyme or reason about which ones are currently available. I’m therefore sticking to one particular imprint because I like the covers.
- In the books, Mrs Bradley is “a small, birdlike woman”. Anything less like Diana Rigg is hard to imagine.
- There are no steamy or even innuendo-laden scenes with the chauffeur in the books. sniff.
- And no Inspector Christmas, either. Which is not necessarily such a bad thing.
- The joy of online ordering is the instant gratification.
- The annoying part is the waiting.
- OK, I already knew those last two, but this list was looking a little short.
- There is a DVD set of the BBC series. Tempting.
- The website I just bought the DVD from says “Continue” on the order form but actually appears to finalise the order at that point and charge your card without confirming the shipping cost. Cheeky!
- Impulse control is not my strongest skill, ever.
For what it’s worth, my favourite so far is When Last I Died. Very, very funny.