Have been a huge fan of Agatha Christie for a very long time now and it is her books and numerous adaptations of them that makes me especially fond of detective mysteries. 'Les Petits Meutres D'Agatha Christie' is a French series that adapted loosely Christie's work and is essentially Agatha Christie with a French light comedy twist and a "spoonful of French flair". On its own terms it is fascinating and charming light-hearted entertainment with intriguing stories.
Up to this early stage of the series, 'Les Petits Meurtres D'Agatha Christie' was very solid but a couple of episodes were better than others, though with only "La Maison Du Peril" being a disappointment. "Le Chat et Le Souris", using 'Cat Among the Pigeons' (also adapted very well with David Suchet as part of the Poirot series) as a framework, is one of the better episodes of the series to me and definitely of the Larosiere and Lampion period. There are a lot of recognisable elements here while with enough fresh touches to stop things from feeling too safe or predictable.
There is not an awful lot wrong here. Still feel that occasionally the more comedic elements could have calmed down a little.
Larosiere's subplot was done reasonably well on its own terms if not feeling completely necessary to the rest of the story.
However, "Le Chat et Le Souris" is very visually appealing, the period detail and scenery are lavish but a great job is also done evoking a sinister enough atmosphere when necessary. The vibrant but never over-saturated or garish colours, that could be quite atmospheric, and stylish photography complement beautifully. The music continues to match the light-hearted and at times very atmospheric tone very well. On the most part, the writing thought provokes and intrigues with the right amount of entertainment value. As said, some of it needed to calm down but didn't feel much staleness here. The mystery is still clever and very sophisticated, the denouement still ingenious even with some playing around but in a way that was fresh and still respectful. Furthermore, there are plenty of twists and turns to keep one on their toes and guessing. Any brutality doesn't feel just there for the sake of it or used cheaply.
Characterisation is more varied here in "Le Chat et Le Souris", even if some characters are still more interesting than others. The pairing of Larosiere and Lampion is already very well settled and the two are a good contrasting match for each other and fascinating as characters. Do find myself rooting for Lampion more but find Larosiere richer in development. The acting is excellent from Antoine Dulery and Marius Colucci and all the supporting players are well cast, particularly Brigitte Catillon.
Overall, very good. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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