Inspector Lynley is asked by his old school friend to investigate when one of his pupils is killed. The school in question is Bredgar Hall, a haven for the rich and the privileged with annual fees of £20,000 a year. The dead boy however, 13 year-old Matthew Whately didn't come from a rich family. From all accounts, he was well liked and fit into the school and its unique culture quite well. DS Havers is appalled with the whole concept of parents shipping their children off to a boarding school just when they need parenting the most. Faced with school administrators who seem more concerned with the school's reputation than the boy's death, Lynley and Havers must determine if the threat is from students, staff or someone not at all connected with the school. Written by
Unlike the other reviewers, I have never read the book this episode is based on. But I have seen quite a lot of detective shows, and I would argue that this is a good one. The detectives' lives and personalities are put second to the central mystery, but they provide an engaging background to the main plot. The acting, by the leads and the many familiar-faced guest stars, is excellent.
The solution to any mystery, in my opinion, should be two things: surprising and believable. Many detective shows try so hard to shock the audience that they fail to make the solution at all plausible. Too often the murderer's motive is outrageous or based on some vague aphorism like "a person in love will do anything" or "people would do anything for money." The motives in "Well Schooled in Murder" are much more complex, and much more involving, and the film has a strong social message as well. In short, this mystery does what it ought to do, and does it with style. Recommended.
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