Hetty Tackles Trio of New Cases on MYSTERY!
Manchester's answer to Miss Marple is back for three new episodes of the addictively up-beat detective series, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates. Patricia Routledge (Talking Heads 2) is Henrietta "Hetty" Wainthropp, a sixty-ish matron with a nose for business -- other people's business. TV Guide called the series "delightful" and USA Today noted that, "Where Hetty Wainthropp investigates, fans of civilized mystery will surely follow."
Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings) is Geoffrey Shawcross, the teenage shoplifter Hetty collars and recruits as her trusty sidekick. "They all have one," she says. Also back are Derek Benfield as Hetty's doting husband, Robert; and Suzanne Maddock as Janet Fraser, the comely car mechanic and heavy-equipment operator who falls truly, madly, deeply for Geoffrey -- and vice versa.
Geoffrey and Janet's relationship has all the freshness of young love, while Hetty and Robert's partnership has the subtlety of well-aged wedlock. The contrast gives the series intriguing depth, says Monaghan.
"If people just assume that Hetty is a program about an older woman who is a detective, then they're missing out on a lot more," he observes. "It's about the interaction between old and young people—that's the common vein throughout the show."
Mind Over Muscle finds Hetty's hairdresser appealing for help after an apparently unprovoked attack on her husband. Hetty learns that the beefy assailant runs a gym, and she enrolls Geoffrey who poses as her nephew. Wiry and a bit of a weakling, Geoffrey is offered under-the-counter steroids -- and that's not the muscleman's only shady dealing.
Janet lands a job as a forklift operator at the warehouse where the muscleman, the victim, and a jealous third party all have connections. Her astute driving saves the day. Meanwhile Robert has taken over the "senior speaks out" column in the local paper and immediately has run-ins with his editor.
In Blood Relations, Hetty tracks down her only living blood relative, Kate (Jean Rimmer), who runs a pet shop in a picturesque seaside village. While Hetty and Geoffrey are visiting, they learn that Kate's elderly neighbor is being tormented by a "padfoot" -- a dog sent at night by the devil. Seeking another explanation, Hetty and Geoffrey stumble on a network of hidden passages that date to the era of rampant smuggling in the area.
While Hetty practices with the local choir, giving a soulful rendition of "The Old Rugged Cross," Geoffrey stakes out the harbor. He observes Kate receiving mysterious cargo, leading the sleuths to a cellar full of endangered species. Meanwhile, back in Lancashire, Janet is being pestered by a narcissistic body builder. Can Geoffrey handle this lout?
For Love Nor Money, opens with the return of Robert's freeloading brother Frank (Frank Mills). Frank reveals that Marianne (Aline Mowat), the daughter of his old flame, has disappeared from a Victorian living-history museum where she was portraying a schoolmarm. Robert suspects that Marianne is really Frank's love child.
Hetty and Geoffrey go undercover at the museum and deduce that Marianne's hiding place involves cheese -- very good cheese. The reason for her disappearance, however, is less savory. Justice is finally served at a costume festival where all the participants wear Victorian garb. This becomes the occasion for boot-boy Geoffrey to propose to scullery maid Janet. She accepts. But does he really mean it?
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