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Director: Tom Clegg, Brian Farnham

Starring: Felicity Kendal, Pam Ferris

Production Company: Carnival Films

MPAA Rating: NR Run time: 422 minutes (8 episodes/3 DVDs)

Genre: British mystery/crime/gardening

Available through Acorn Meida

(The third series is not yet available on DVD but is being shown on some PBS-type television stations in Canada. Check local listings for schedule.)

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

This delightful British mystery series that combines sleuthing and gardening returns with eight more episodes, including one two-hour movie. Gardens on the French Riviera and Italy's Ligurian coast are added to the mix of English country gardens the women tackle during their various projects. The lovely English gardens were a huge pleasure enjoyed in the first series and the second series does not disappoint in that respect either. The gardens are breath-takingly beautiful. And of course, crime is crime, no matter where you stumble across it!

Rosemary and Laura are up to the task, both when it comes to gardening and sorting out the dead bodies.

Again, the two middle-aged women manage, quite nicely, thank you, to combine their love of flowers and gardening with their ability to sniff out and uncover the local secrets and evil deeds lurking in the hearts of those they encounter as they go about their job. Of course they don't set out to become involved in murder, but they're not about to shy away from it either.

Laura Thyme has a background in police work, having been a WPC at one time. She also married a cop and has a grown son who's a cop. She is quick to notice things that others might not. Like when someone is acting a bit oddly or seems to be hiding something. Rosemary Boxer used to lecture on plant biology at the university until her boss fired her and most of the rest of the staff. Now she applies her scientific knowledge to the solving of plant problems for their clients. The two women's personalities compliment each other which contributes to the enjoyment of watching them work. It would be very tiresome if the two of them were harping at each other all the time.

Another enjoyable aspect of the series is that the secondary characters seem to be well cast, whether they be victim, killer, or innocent bystander. Fans of British TV mysteries will no doubt recognize many of their favorite character actors and actresses. Guest stars include: Anthony Andrews, Joanna David, Oliver Ford Davies, Belinda Lang, Phyllida Law, Mel Martin, Malcolm Sinclair, and Julian Wadham. (See, I told you you'd recognize some of the guest stars!)

I highly recommend this series for anyone who enjoys a cozy mystery with a dash of gardening. (And even if you're not an avid gardener, the gardening doesn't get in the way.)

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