My Life Is Murder – Series One. Acorn DVD review

Alexa Crowe (Lucy Lawless), happily retired from the police force, is looking forward to filling her days with nothing more stressful than baking bread. But when a former colleague, Detective Inspector Kieran Hussey (Bernard Curry), asks her to investigate a previously unsolved crime everything changes ….

With series two of My Life Is Murder due to air shortly, it’s the ideal time to become reacquainted with series one (which was broadcast in 2019, running for ten episodes). An Australian series which takes full advantage of its Melbourne locations, it’s a bright and breezy watch which slips by very easily.

It’s true that there’s nothing particularly original here, which especially struck home for me as I’ve recently been rewatching New Tricks (ex-detectives investigating cold cases) but there’s no need for every new series to reinvent the wheel – sometimes you just want to be entertained.

Lawless dominates proceedings as Alexa Crowe, a fifty something who lives a contented single life. The first episode teases out the probability that she had a partner at one point, but the series doesn’t spell out the details for a few episodes (and Lawless was insistent that Alexa shouldn’t be one of those tortured former detectives haunted by ghosts from her past).

An unashamedly formula show, My Life Is Murder quickly ticks all the expected boxes. Alexa has an affable police contact in Hussey, who can always be guaranteed to drop another interesting case in her lap just when she needs it (as well as being handily round the corner whenever backup is needed) whilst info-dumping is provided by a young whip-smart computer genius called Madison Feliciano (Ebony Vagulans).

Madison acts as Alexa’s confidant and sidekick and it’s their evolving relationship which helps to keep the stories moving along. Madison is eager to become a cop, deciding that Alexa would be an ideal mentor. Alexa, fiercely independent, tries (but usually fails) to keep her at arms length ….

My Life Is Murder keeps itself fresh by employing a variety of locales for its mysteries (such as the plush apartment of a male escort, an ultra competitive cooking school or the exclusive girls school where Alexa spent her formative years) whilst it also tackles a crime story staple – the locked room mystery. Alexa also entertains herself by slipping into some lycra and joining the members of an exclusive cycling club (which she does very easily – by just asking nicely).

There’s a fair few series of this type out there, but My Life is Murder is still worth your time with Lawless’ turn as the wisecracking but also vulnerable Alexa being the show’s main strength. The mysteries don’t tend to be baffling whodunnits (the question is rarely who, but rather how and why) but the overall package is still an appealing one. Recommended.

My Life Is Murder – Series One is released on the 16th of August 2021 by Acorn Media. It has a running time of approx 430 minutes across two discs (five episodes per disc). Disc two also contains a 16 minute making of featurette and a photo gallery. All episodes are subtitled.