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Miss Willoughby and the Haunted Bookshop (2021)

Alright, alright, it came across my desk like all movies do and I've put it off for a couple of weeks, but it just sits there, taunting me. The cover art reminds me of those 'find the object' mobile games with both characters featured seemingly all very lord-of-the-manor, jolly hockey sticks, lar-dee-dar.


Orphaned at a young age and raised on the wealthy family estate by an ex-marine, Elizabeth Willoughby is now a professor at University. He raised her well it would seem, educating her, teaching her to defend herself, instilling positive values and virtues. By all accounts, she has become quite the Lady of the House. When she is called by an old friend to discuss the growing problem of their bookshop being haunted, Elizabeth (Nathalie Cox) takes it upon herself to investigate these encounters.


Quite plummy by design, the film doesn't suffer from the much expected schmaltz of a Sunday afternoon mystery that really offends no-one, given the quite reined-in, studious nature of the characters. The cast, with the exception of Kelsey Grammar (our now retired Marine, Robert) are for most part recognisable, respected and reliable British actors, most notably Caroline Quentin.


I'm not entirely sure who this is made for, but I get the impression that this is more for an American audience that already imagines that this is what every day England is really like, stiff-upper-lips, afternoon tea, tweed jackets and stately mansions included.


Entirely inoffensive, comfy unchallenging drama that is well acted. It's no Agatha Christie by any means, but this is good enough to keep you entertained for an hour or two.




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