AcornTV Streaming: Agatha Raisin Trifecta

Mar 12, 2022 | 2022 Articles, Kathleen Costa, Mysteryrat's Maze, TV

by Kathleen Costa

AcornTV is one of the quintessential streaming options for British and beyond programming. For a very reasonable fee (monthly $5.99 or annual special $59.99) members get access to a wide variety of current and classic comedies, dramas, mysteries, documentaries, and even foreign language gems. Either through a web browser, like Safari, or their free app, enjoy the best video and audio quality on any device. I enjoy the control with pause, reverse or fast forward, and one special feature, I personally enjoy, is the closed caption button providing the text for the dialogue. It sure comes in handy when the Scots are characters. For me, it’s worth the fee, especially when favorites like Agatha Raisin are available!
Heeeerre’s Agatha!
She’s back with her blond bob, fashionista style, four inch heels, and more murders in which to entice, entangle, and endanger her friends. With Covid restrictions closely followed, the group is back. After a brilliant Kissing Christmas Goodbye premiere in December, 2021, reviewed HERE, with three new AcornTV Originals: Love, Lies, & Liquor, A Spoonful of Poison, and There Goes the Bride. Each story is entertaining, clever, a bit quirky, and an endearing nod to the creator, author M.C. Beaton, who passed away in December, 2019, and to whom the movies are dedicated. The television series is adapted from Beaton’s iconic Agatha Raisin Mysteries, but there are enough additions, changes, and twists with Beaton’s original vision, I highly recommend that fans read the books, too.

Agatha Raisin (Ashley Jensen) is still trying to find the right footing in her relationship with James Lacey (Jamie Glover) since their failed romance has left the two somewhat floundering. Aggie has Sir Charles Fraith (James Merrells) nipping at her heels and James has been occupied with his book tour in America, but they always seem to gravitate toward each other…which can be good and bad. The detective agency is doing well, and Toni Gilmour (Jodie Tyack) is holding her own as a budding junior detective until Agatha hires a new go-getter in the young Harry Beam (Taz Skylar), and she struggles navigating her own romance with DC Bill Wong (Matt McCooey). DC Wong is proving himself a very competent detective, even in his efforts to rein in or subvert the quirky, and dare we say, incompetent DCI Denzel Wilkes (Jason Barnett). Sarah Bloxby (Lucy Liemann) is nervous about being the new parish curate, now that her husband is out of the picture, but she always finds time to be back up in any of Agatha’s schemes. And then there’s Aggie’s good friend Roy Silver (Mathew Horne). He continues to excel in his own career in public relations, but at the snap of Aggie’s fingers, or a phone call, or a cry for help, he’s off to try and save the day, even going undercover to showcase his own acting prowess and detective skills. What a team!

Love, Lies, and Liquor
James is taking Agatha on a holiday; he needs some of Aggie’s inspiration and PR insights for his next book. However, her vacation fashion will seem out of place at The Palace Hotel in Snoth-on-Sea. James has lovely memories visiting as a child, but the reality does not come close to what he remembers…“It seems smaller.” Traveling with a not-so-happy Agatha is bad enough, but add protestors protesting development plans, a quartet of loud, drunken guests, creepy young girls roaming the halls, and multiple murders, and the weekend might need to be cut short. Then when Aggie gets arrested for the murder of one of the loud, drunken guests, the one she was heard threatening, the one strangled with Aggie’s scarf, it’s time to call in the troops for an undercover operation. Dysfunctional families. Greedy ex-con. Revenge. Earns 5/5 Bellhops.

A Spoonful of Poison
Comfrey Magna hired Roy to rebrand their annual jamming competition. He thought it was “a bunch…jazz hep cats,” but instead it’s a Cotswold’s preserve festival in honor of Mrs. Chloe Selby (née Jellop), late managing director of the sponsor Jellop Jams. Roy performed his usual flashy magic for the “Jam Off” including wrangling James and Charles as judges. The jamster finalists include a mad food scientist, her calmer traditional sister, organic new-age beekeeper, and DCI Wilkes, and it is anything but good-natured competition when the judges start hallucinating and one jumps off the roof. The team is on the case with Wilkes as an annoying shadow. Aggie is taken with a handsome widower, Toni’s worried about a detective competition brewing, Bill is more miss than hit as a boyfriend, James is trying to have a “big talk” with Aggie, and more murders complicate the suspect list. Professional jealousies. Personal conflicts. Greed. Earns 5/5 Jam Spoons.

There Goes the Bride
Everyone has arrived for James Lacey’s wedding, including Agatha, so why not start off the festivities with a paint ball fun…oops! The bride Eirwen, daughter of wealthy Monty Jones, has a history of not finishing the walk down the aisle, but she is “besotted” with James and he with her. Sarah Bloxby is nervous about doing her first wedding, Charles is in charge of the ring, and James’ sister Sheila Barr (Caroline Langrishe) is watching to make sure Agatha doesn’t interfere. But, the worst happens when the bride is murdered, and suspect number one is James. It’s hard to think that is possible, so the team tries to pin down more credible suspects: an aloof step-brother, two former fiancés, a Frenchman investor, a lurker in jeans and a hoodie. But, how quickly things change with additional murders to solve. Jealousy. Greed. Menopause. Shocking twist. Earns 5/5 Wedding Bouquets.

Behind the Scenes of Season Four
Get an inside look from…insiders! From production execs, screenwriters, and creative crew to the actors themselves, they share their insights and feelings about the four stories in this season, the characters they play, costume design, and the show’s global impact. Issues with Covid restrictions and protocols are on view with the additional sanitizing, inclusion of medical staff, regular testing, and many masked up for rehearsals and behind-the-scenes. Join Matt McCooey on a tour of the set. “Bigger is Better!” when one speaks of the Agatha Raisin experience. Insightful. Entertaining. Don’t miss this! Earns 5/5 Lollies.

I am a true Agatha Raisin fan, both of M.C. Beaton’s books and the AcornTV Original television series, and have nothing but praise for the show’s cleverness and intriguing interpretation of Beaton’s story along with quirky characters performed by an excellent ensemble. A couple of loose ends occur, or at least some “what happens next” incidents, so season five is a must. All four seasons (2016-present) with twenty fantastic stories all adapted from Beaton’s work, are available on AcornTV for the perfect binge weekend! But, don’t forget to try the books in print, eBook, or my favorite…Audible with many narrated by Dame Penelope Keith.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also check our our new mystery podcast! A new episode just went up.

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.

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