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DVD Review: Poirot and Marple: Fan Favorites Collection

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Murder mystery buffs, clear your weekend, because our friends out at Acorn Media sent out an absolutely amazing piece for us to review today. Today we’ve got “Poirot And Marple–Fan Favorites Collection”, and there’s going to be enough good old fashioned British mystery to run most of a weekend.

“Poirot And Marple–Fan Favorites Collection” brings together a great whopping lot of two standards in murder mystery–and mystery in general, as well as British mystery–from Agatha Christie. First, we get a hefty six adventures from no less than dapper, dashing, and occasionally neurotic fussbudget Hercule Poirot, who will be joined as ever by his cohorts, put-upon Captain Hastings and occasionally spacey but often brilliant organizational genius secretary Miss Lemon. This will then be followed up with five adventures from Poirot’s distaff counterpart, Miss Jane Marple. Both will face down a variety of different baffling mysteries–most of them will have to do with murder–but all of them will be very specific titles, especially for long-term fans.

See, what’s particularly special about this are the various episodes that comprise the fan favorites list. Naturally, they’re here because, as the name implies, they’re fan favorites. But they’re also some of the best that the series has to offer. As such, don’t look for coherence here, but rather, expect a lot of jumping around. Seriously; for Marple we’ll get two from Series One (“The Murder at the Vicarage” and “A Murder is Announced”) a Series Three (“At Bertram’s Hotel”), a Series Four (“A Pocket Full Of Rye”) and a Series Five (“The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side). Poirot, meanwhile, will be even more pronounced. We’ll get a Series One (“Four and Twenty Blackbirds”), a Series Three (“The Mysterious Affair at Styles”), a Series Four (“The ABC Murders”), a Series Five (“The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb”), a Series Six (“Hercule Poirot’s Christmas”), and then we will go all the way to Series 12 with “Murder on the Orient Express”.

Poirot’s adventures are a little sharper, a bit more harrowing than Marple’s, it seems. For instance, with “The Murder at the Vicarage”, it took better than a half hour for the titular murder to show up. With Poirot, a body has commonly hit the floor with in about the first ten minutes or so, give or take. However, Marple did have an unusual sort of quality in which a whole lot of potential suspects managed to line themselves up, but just who’s responsible, well, that may pose an even bigger shock than normal. Both have their occasional shots of humor just to keep things lively, but the rule of the day seems to be that if you want your mystery on the thriller side, you lean toward Poirot. If you want your mystery deeper-dish, then you head over to Marple.

Still, both are excellent examples of the craft, and will keep even long-term fans guessing for quite some time. This is pretty much the top of the range when it comes to Acorn; I’ve seen some fine material from them, but nothing quite stacks up to Jane Marple and Hercule Poirot.

As for bonus features, there won’t be many; there will be subtitles, but that’s about it. However, the Marple mysteries will include a little something extra, a recipe for an absolutely preposterous chocolate cake called “Delicious Death” which looks indeed both delicious and potentially deadly depending on how much you ate.

“Poirot and Marple–Fan Favorites Collection” is a dastardly, dire collection of plots that will delight and entertain for several hours and keep viewers very happy indeed. It’s quite well worth watching, and may be worth the investment in a copy of your own.

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