The Chelsea Detective Review: By the Numbers Murder Mystery Buoyed by Stellar Leads


Acorn TV is home to some of the most addictive mystery series around, and its latest offering, The Chelsea Detective, is a lot of fun if you’re looking for cases with a clear beginning, middle, and end.

The Adrian Scarborough and Sonita Henry-fronted series spans four episodes that clock in at around 90 minutes each.

In essence, it feels like four distinctly different movies, and it’s all thanks to the variety of the cases.

There’s something for everyone sprinkled in.

The series follows the conventions of your typical murder mystery, but that’s not a bad thing.

Sometimes, it’s good to be familiar with the format, and part of the fun here is in constructing a list of suspects and motives to see if you’re right or wrong. 

Who doesn’t love being an armchair detective?

On the surface, Scarborough’s Max and Henry’s Priya could not be more different, but it becomes glaringly obvious they bring unique skillsets to the table.

The recipe for success in these types of dramas is in the relationships between the leads, and it’s evident from the get-go why Max and Priya work so well together.

They’re not scared to turn to very different methods to get the answers. Justice must prevail.

What I appreciated was the light-hearted tone employed by the show.

Instead of zeroing in on the blood and gore of it all, the series bothered to flesh out the characters and relationships as a means to propel the show forward.

There was no needless drama, and the show excelled when it filled in the blanks about Max and Priya away from the workplace.

They are three-dimensional characters, and the stars get a lot of meaty material.

The rapport between Max and Priya was also fun to watch. They didn’t seem forced together to work on these cases.

The narrative was also linear, which is a foreign concept in this day and age.

Instead of the fast-editing employed by other shows in the same genre, The Chelsea Detective put the characters first and told the stories in a way that felt natural.

Fans of the genre will likely be clamoring for more when the four episodes are over.

Even more satisfying is that the show will air one episode a week, starting today (March 7, 2022).

In this streaming age, dropping the entire season at once can be a slog, but with The Chelsea Detective, 90 minutes a week is ample time to keep you invested for the weeks to come.

Check out the trailer below.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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