The Mrs Bradley Mysteries is a detective series adapted from a series of novels by Gladys Mitchell. The series stars Diana Rigg as Mrs Adela Bradley, an academic/psychoanalyst who tends to end up in situations where she's required to solve a crime, usually murder. Mrs Bradley is accompanied on her travels by her loyal chauffeur and manservant George Moody (Neil Dudgeon, from Midsomer Murders) who acts as The Watson, assisting Mrs Bradley with her cases.
The series contains examples of:
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Frequently described as 'crocodilian' in the books, Mrs Bradley is played by Diana Rigg in the series.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Mrs Bradley usually addresses the camera once or twice an episode, usually to snark or explain the episode's premise.
- Bury Your Gays: The murder victim in Death at the Opera is implied to be a lesbian.
- The Butler Did It: Or rather, the housekeeper did it, and it was a Mercy Kill, done to the victim to avoid the shame and humiliation that would've arisen when she was arrested for murder.
- Children Are Innocent: Temperance Baines, sister of the murder victim in The Worsted Viper counts as this. The fact that shes also a Preacher's Kid likely contributes to it.
- Circus Episode: The Rising of the Moon counts as this-as one of the performers is mysteriously killed.
- Cool Old Lady
- Deadpan Snarker: Mrs Bradley.
- Establishing Character Moment: The series opens with Mrs Bradley arriving late to the funeral of her ex-husband Roland. She's greeted by her son Ferdinand.Mrs Bradley: Ferdinand, you appear to have something on your lip. It looks like a caterpillar.Hermione (Ferdinand's wife): I think it makes him look distinguished.Mrs Bradley: He is distinguished, that thing makes him look seedy.
Hermione: My husband's mother marches to the beat of a different drum.Ferdinand: My mother has an entire orchestra of her own!
- Then, when The Vicar presiding over the funeral registers surprise at Mrs Bradley for throwing Roland's favourite cigars onto his coffin:
- Fourth Wall Psych: Mrs Bradley speaks directly to camera a lot. Sometimes it's actual fourth wall breaking, and sometimes it's just fourth wall psych.
- Gorgeous Period Dress: Everything Mrs Bradley wears. She also has a beautiful collection of millinery to go with her outfits.
- Inspector Lestrade: Inspector Henry Christmas, but this is subverted when he is revealed to be behind the murders in 'The Worsted Viper'.
- The Jeeves: George is this, in addition to being The Watson.
- Little Old Lady Investigates
- Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Mrs. Bradley finds herself questioning the paternity of her goddaughter Laceys baby in the episode Laurels are Poison. Averted when Mrs. Bradley realizes that she should have been questioning who the babys mother was. Laceys husband was having an affair with a war widow employed in their household and Lacey herself put on a Fake Pregnancy charade and almost got away with a second-later revealed to be a Pillow Pregnancy.
- Obfuscating Disability: Its believed that Eleanor Bing was left paralyzed after a car accident. But its revealed that she made a full recovery but kept pretending to be paralyzed to gain sympathy and attention.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The episode The Worsted Viper has shades of this. Mrs. Bradley even finds a live snake in her hotel room.
- The Roaring '20s
- Schoolgirl Lesbians: Its implied that this goes on in Mrs. Bradleys alma mater in Death at the Opera.
- Sexless Marriage: Its revealed in Laurels are Poison that this was the reason why Mrs. Bradleys goddaughter Lacey and her PTSD suffering husband were married for eleven years without issue.
- Ship Tease: Mrs Bradley and George. Their close working relationship is remarked upon by other characters and an attraction between the two is undeniable.
- Theme Naming: In The Worsted Viper its shown that Reverend Baines has two daughters named Chastity and Temperance-Both of which are Christian virtues.
- The Unfavorite:
- The pilot episode Speedy Death has Eleanor Bing accuses her father of favoring her brother Garde.
- Laurels are Poison has Lacey state that her mother liked her three brothers best and was beside herself when they were killed in the war.
- Your Cheating Heart: Adultery is prominently featured in Laurels are Poison and The Worsted Viper