Series: Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is an Australian television drama series, first broadcast in February 2012. The series is based on author Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher murder mystery novels and was created by Deb Cox and Fiona Eagger. Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries revolves around the personal and professional life of Phryne Fisher (played by Essie Davis), a glamorous private detective in 1920s Melbourne.

Three series have been produced so far, with the third airing in 2015.

The series contains examples of:

  • Adorkable: Hugh Collins and Dot Williams.
  • Always Murder: The case might start out as locating a missing hat, but someone's going to die soon enough.
  • Animal Assassin: In "Game, Set and Murder", the Victim of the Week is murdered by having a venomous spider placed in their shoe.
  • Asshole Victim: The blackmailer from the Green Mill Murder episode.
  • Australian Accent: Unsurprising, but there are a variety of Australian accents given the different socioeconomic backgrounds of the characters.
  • Banana In The Tail Pipe: In "Blood at the Wheel", Phryne sabotages Jack's car by stuffing her stocking into the exhaust pipe.
  • Bedsheet Ladder: In "Unnatural Habits" a bedsheet ladder is planted to make it look like the murdered girl had escaped from the confinement cell through the window. Phryne sees through it because the knots used would not have held the girl's weight.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Phryne and Jack in series one; by series two they're well into Will They or Won't They? territory.
  • Beta Couple: Dot and Hugh take their time, but are still this to Phryne and Jack by way of being much more functional.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In "Death on the Vine" Phryne and Dot can only watch helplessly as the murder victim (and all the attendant evidence) are carted off to the incinerator. But just as the truck starts rolling, Constable Collins and Detective Inspector Robinson pull up, blocking the truck's escape. Dot and Phryne smile on—demurely and smugly, respectively—as Jack announces he's taking over the case.
  • Bound and Gagged: Dot, Aunt Prudence and Mr Butler are gagged and tied to chairs by a killer who is waiting in ambush for Phryne in "Death at the Grand".
  • The Boxing Episode: "Deadweight".
  • Broken Pedestal: Georges Sanderson to Jack, in the second to last episode of the second season.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Covering this up provides a major part of the motivations for the murders in "Death & Hysteria".
  • Butt Monkey: Hugh Collins, poor bloke.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The BSA motorcycle Phryne passes by during the opening of "The Blood of Juana the Mad".
  • Christmas Episode: "Murder Under the Mistletoe", which aired at Christmas, but in-universe wasn't actually set at Christmas. However, the characters are celebrating 'Christmas in July', an Australian tradition where Christmas-style celebrations are held during the southern hemisphere winter, which falls in the middle of the year.
  • *Click* Hello: In "Unnatural Habits", Phryne is searching the ship and has just discovered the missing girls when she is interrupted by the click of an automatic being cocked behind her.
  • Cool Car: Loads of them! Phryne's Hispano-Suiza, Jack's '28 Graham-Paige, Bert & Cec's '29 Hudson, a '28 Alfa Romeo worth over a million, even the '16 Overland Amulance seen in a flashback.
  • Costume Porn: Phryne has the most amazing clothes and accessories, but all the characters look pretty great.
    • so great, in fact, that an exhibition of the show's costumes has been held at Melbourne's Rippon Lea estate (where most of the show's on-location shooting takes place) after season 2 (which traveled to Sydney) and season 3 (which will travel to Adelaide).
  • Cut the Fuse: Phryne shots a burning length of film that is being used as an improvised Powder Trail in "Framed for Murder". However, the burning film flips and lands on the piled celluloid, reigniting it.
  • Dirty Harriet: Phryne goes undercover as a Spanish fan dancer at a gentleman's club in "Murder Most Scandalous".
  • Disconnected by Death: Happens in "Death Do us Part". Osman Efendi is on the phone to Phryne attempting to tell her the location of her father when the killer stabs him from behind.
  • Engineered Public Confession: In "Dead Air", Phryne confronts a murderer in a radio studio. She switches on the microphone so that the killer's confession is broadcast live.
  • Ethical Slut: Phryne. A major subplot in season ivolves Jack coming to terms with Phryne's extremely active sexual history, of which she is no way ashamed.
  • Fabulous Middle-Aged Lady Investigates
    • iffy. The 'fabulous' part is utterly true. The 'middle-aged' part is solely due to Essie Davis' age - if you pay attention to the dialogue in season 1, it confirms TV!Phryne was born in 1900 (making her 28 in S1), just like book!Phryne.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out:
    • Happens between Phryne and Jack in "Murder in Montparnasse", with a dash of Kiss of Distraction: Jack needs to distract her from looking at a murderer and thus blowing their cover.
    • Again in "Murder Most Scandalous" while she's undercover at a brothel.
    • Constable Martin pulls this on Dot in "Death at the Grand", when the hotel manager catches them in her office.
  • Good Bad Girl: Phryne
  • Hand of Death: A gloved hand is shown drawing a knife and advancing on Osman Efendi in "Death Do Us Part". A spray of blood informs the viewer of his fate.
  • Hat Damage: Jack has his hat shot off his head in "Death on the Vine".
  • Hello Again Officer: Phryne, all the time. Jack has mostly gotten used to it.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: In "The Blood of Juana the Mad", Jack and Phryne jump on a conveniently placed motorcycle (in a university quad) to chase a fleeing killer.
  • High Voltage Death: In "Death & Hysteria", the Victim of the Week is electrocuted when the killer tampers with her electric vibrator.
  • Instrument of Murder: In "The Green Mill Murder", the killer uses the mute in a cornet as a blowgun.
  • Iris Out: Used at the end of every episode, to match the time period of the show.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: In "Murder and the Maiden", tension between the police and the military complicates the investigation of a murder on an RAAF base.
  • Kensington Gore: Subverted in one episode of the first season when Hugh asks if some red stuff on the bottom of a boot is blood and Jack shakes his head saying that it's "too red". It turns out to be paint.
  • Knife-Throwing Act: Phryne goes undercover as the target girl in a knife-throwing act in "Blood and Circuses".
  • Lip-Lock Sun-Block: Hugh and Dot in "Ruddy Gore".
  • Magic Poker Equation: In "Death at the Grand", Phryne sets out to retrieve an IOU her father gave to a Card Sharp. After neutralizing the means he was using to cheat, she proceeds to clean him out at seven card stud. In the final hand where they play for the IOU, the Card Sharp turns over his cards to reveal a straight. Phryne then turns over hers to reveal a full house.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: Constantly.
  • Mistaken for Gay: In "Murder and the Maiden", a pair of RAAF oficers are assumed to be homosexual because of all the time they spend together, and that they never show any interest in girls. In reality, one of them is actually a Sweet Polly Oliver.
  • Mugged for Disguise: When Eugene escapes from the hospital in "Death Do Us Part", he strangles the constable assigned to guard him and steals his uniform.
  • Never Suicide: Because it's Always Murder. Jack and Phryne try to entertain the idea in one episode, but the foul play is obvious even to viewers.
  • Not-So-Fake Prop Weapon:
    • In "Framed for Murder", the killer swaps the prop knife being used in a movie for the real knife used for taking stills. When the director demonstrates to the actress how he wants her to stab the leading man, he stabs himself in the heart.
    • In "Death Defying Feats", the killer sabotages the prop guillotine being used in a magic act to turn it into a real one.
  • Off with Her Head!: In "Death Defying Feats", a magician's assistant is decapitated when the killer sabotages the prop guillotine being used in the act, turning it into a Not-So-Fake Prop Weapon.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: In "Death at the Grand", Aunt Prudence is held hostage and forced to call Phryne to lure her into a trap. Aunt Prudence says that she has decided to stay for lunch because Mr Butler is making shepherd's pie and Phryne knows how much she loves it. Phryne immediately realises something is wrong as Aunt Prudence hates shepherd's pie.
  • Paparazzi: A gutter press photographer who is stalking a female tennis star plays a major role, and becomes a suspect for murder, in "Game, Set and Murder". It is later revealed that he is being paid by her major rival to harass her and throw her off her game.
  • Phoney Call: In "Death on the Vine", Phryne makes a call to Jack and pretends to be talking to her mechanic so the people eavesdropping on her call won't know who she is really talking to.
  • Powder Trail: In "Framed for Murder", the murderer uses a long line of celluloid film like a powder trail to ignite a huge pile of unspooled film he is planning to use to burn his victim to death.
  • Rank Up: In "Game, Set and Murder", Hugh is promoted from constable to senior constable.
  • Redundant Rescue: Quite a few. Jack often rushes to save Phryne from the villain, only to show up moments after she's subdued him.
  • The Roaring Twenties
  • Sauna of Death: In the very first episode.
  • Sexless Marriage: Inspector Robinson reveals half-way through the first season to be in one such marriage. They eventually divorce.
  • Sexy Coat Flashing: In "Blood and Circuses", Phryne reveals her circus costume to Jack in this way.
  • Sexy Shirt Switch: In "Murder and the Maiden", Phryne arrives at the scene of the disturbance at the base perimeter wearing Group Captain Compton's leather flight coat and apparently nothing else.
  • Shoot the Rope: In "Framed for Murder", Phryne shoots the rope holding a sandbag, causing it to drop and extinguish a fire.
  • Sleuth Dates Cop: More like Sleuth Befriends Cop And Unresolved Sexual Tension Ensues. At least for now.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Henry does this to Bert in "Death Do Us Part", drugging Bert's tea so he can escape from Phryne's house. To add insult to injury, he steals Bert's cab.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: In "Murder and the Maiden", a nurse who has adopted the identity of an institutionalized RAAF officer in order to fly.
  • Symbolic Blood: In "Murder and Mozzarella", the killer spills a pot of tomato sauce on the floor while murdering the victim.
  • Ten Paces and Turn: In "Death at the Grand", Phryne's father gets in a duel with the man he thinks has murdered his girlfriend/accomplice.
  • Throw the Book at Them: In "Raisins and Almonds", Phryne confronts an intruder in a bookstore. The intruder tips over a bookshelf and dumps a pile of books on her.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Maiden Creek in "Death on the Vine".
  • True Companions: The main characters all seem to be heading this way.
  • Vehicular Sabotage: In "Blood at the Wheel", the wheel nuts on a female rally driver's car are loosened, causing the wheel to come off at high speed.
  • Wedding Day: Hugh and Dot finally make it to the altar in "Death Do Us Part".
  • Who Murdered The Asshole?: The Victim of the Week from "The Green Mill Murder" turns out to have been a blackmailer who had a string of people who wanted him dead for entirely understandable reasons.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Phryne Fisher is shown to be arachnophobic (a trait not shared by her literary version) in "Game, Set and Murder". Jack notes this is the first time he has seen a chink in her armour, and is later able to use this fear to his advantage.
  • William Telling: In "Death at the Grand", Phryne's father shoots the hat off the man he was fighting a Ten Paces and Turn duel against as a way of proving his point.