'Murder in the Auvergne Mountains' - Movie Review

"Meurtres à ..." (or "Murder in ..." in English) is a French series of TV movies that started in 2013. It's apparently proven very popular in France, and has continued to run several movies a year. Each one is set in a different region of France - so they don't generally share personnel.

The set of three DVDs I got from the library is labelled "Set 3, Volume 1" - but this has proven very unhelpful in finding anything out about them online - this set is from 2021, but "Set 3" that comes up online is apparently a different set so this is perhaps a second "Set 3." So let's go with the names: "The Auvergne Mountains," "the Tarentaise Valley," "Le Havre," "Reunion Island," "Devil's Bridge," and "Belle-Ile."

This one (French title "Sources assassines") felt more like a family drama than a mystery with a daughter coming to help her estranged doctor mother who is accused of killing another doctor (in a small town in the Auvergne Mountains, of course). The daughter has a baby the mother didn't know existed.

I was expecting travel porn in this, the first of the series I've watched - and I got very little. And low quality video, surprisingly blocky - you'd think they'd avoid excessive compression on something that's meant as regional tourism advertising ... And what a mixed blessing this must be for the regions chosen: "we want to show your beautiful region - ignore the brutal murder in the middle of the advertisement."

Instead of travel porn, much of the movie was set in what appeared to be a 1950s or 1960s era building, the spa that houses the region's "healing baths" ... I learned a lot about their local springs and the arsenic content of the water, but that wasn't what I wanted (pretty scenery? please?). On the plus side - the officer who shot someone is really freaked out (an after effect that many American dramas completely ignore, as if shooting someone was common-place).

A mediocre mystery in a not terribly appealing setting - not an auspicious start, but I kept watching and found that some of them are better and/or very pretty.