Miss Scarlet And The Duke review: A drug-addled MP shot in a brothel? It's a ... trends now
Miss Scarlet And The Duke
Johnny Vegas: Carry On Glamping
Detectives!' announces a newspaper advert from 1896. 'If you desire an object accomplished, a mystery cleared up or the doings of a person secretly ascertained, consult Slater — "the greatest detective of the age" — at No 1 Basinghall St, E.C.'
This was one of many advertisements placed on the front page of the Standard by Henry Slater, who claimed to be 'successful in nearly every case'. One of his specialities was shadowing wives who claimed to be shopping when they were meeting gentlemen friends instead; another was 'the new photography', which guaranteed invaluable evidence for divorce proceedings.
He offered a unique service: 'lady cyclist detectives'. He employed 'an army' of them, he announced, 'throughout the kingdom, for confidential services of all descriptions'.
Kate Phillips as Eliza Scarlet and Stuart Martin as William 'The Duke' Wellington
Eliza combines a pert, flirtatious manner with masculine dress sense, wearing a waistcoat and tie in some scenes
The frustrated romance between Eliza and her oldest friend, Scotland Yard copper William 'the Duke' Wellington, lacks real tension
Slater's methods ought to suit Eliza (Kate Phillips), taking over a rival detective agency, as Miss Scarlet And The Duke (Alibi) returns. She combines a pert, flirtatious manner with masculine dress sense, wearing a waistcoat and tie.
But this doesn't seem to impress her potential clients. Perhaps a bicycle is the answer.
The pace is brisk, the mysteries are well plotted and the dialogue is sharp and witty, but this cosy Victorian crime serial has two faults.