Marple_M2_1_.jpgSpinster sleuth Miss Marple returned to Masterpiece Mystery last Sunday with her sensible shoes and ingenious deductions in one of Agatha Christie's venerable warhorses, The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side. What true classic mystery aficionado has not seen one of the movie adaptations of this wonderful 1962 book of the same name? It has been trotted out no less than two times prior to this new production showcased by former Miss Marple's: Angela Lansbury and Joan Hickson. Now Julia McKenzie gets her chance to slip into the Marple mantle and solve a double murder at a grand manor house  in her own village of St Mary Mead.

Read Laurel Ann's full review



Masterpiece Mystery!

The game is afoot as crime season begins again on Masterpiece Mystery on PBS this Sunday, May 2nd. The 2010 line-up offers the best in British mysteries presenting a great selection of super sleuths to feed any whodunit addict's desire for murder and mayhem. Returning in new episodes will be Michael Kitchen in Foyle's War, Julia McKenzie as Miss Marple, David Suchet as Hercule Poroit, Kevin Whatley as Inspector Lewis and Kenneth Branagh in Wallander. Joining these five master detectives will be the new series Sherlock, a modern day spin on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's infamous Sherlock Holmes staring Benedict Cumberbatch as the enigmatic detective. Airing on Sundays at 9:00 pm the series will also feature actor Alan Cumming who returns as host adding more quirky commentary to set the mood.


Killing1_1_mystery.jpgHere is a preview of the summer - fall season of Masterpiece Mystery! from one of our our friend Laurel Ann Nattress of Austenprose.


by Alexandra Zapruder
I begin with a question.  Having been invited to write a guest blog entry for PBS to coincide with the premiere of a new Masterpiece Classic movie adaptation of the diary of Anne Frank, I think: why a new movie adaptation of the diary of Anne Frank? Why again? Why now? Is it really new? And if so, what makes it so? more


Masterpiece Classic

by Laurie Viera Rigler

As someone who has read each of Austen's novels at least 20 times, the thought of seeing my beloved characters come to life on the screen is thrilling. And anxiety-producing. Notice I referred to them as "my" characters. I know them so well, they've lived inside my head so long, they've become part of me. Which is where the anxiety part comes in. Will they get "my" characters right? Stay true to "my" story? Or at least its spirit? What will they change? And most important: Will the hero be "my" Mr. Knightley?


It's no wonder I have to watch each new production at least twice to clear my brain enough to appreciate it, not just as an adaptation, but as a work of art in its own right. After all, there can never be a truly faithful adaptation of any literary work, even with source material as eminently adaptable as Austen's.



Masterpiece Classic

by Victoire Sanborn

Jane Austen's Emma is as Exquisite and Multi-Layered as a Painting by Vermeer


Watching the new adaptation of Emma on PBS I was enchanted by its visual beauty. I am not talking about the actors, although Romola Garai and Jonny Lee Miller are easy on the eye, but about the richness of the colors of the costumes and sets, and the precise composition of the exterior and interior shots and placement of the camera. When I viewed the images I had pulled, I realized why I had reacted so viscerally to this production: the pictures reminded me of the paintings of my favorite Dutch artist, Johannes Vermeer. Thinking about this visual connection, I was struck by the coincidences in the lives and careers of Jane Austen and this master painter.



Emma1.jpgEmma wanders through the house, alone and restless. Framed in the doorway, she is isolated, both literally and figuratively.