Frankie Drake & Trudy Clarke (Frankie Drake Mysteries)

Created by Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci

World class, my ass.

This “frothy” (that’s what a friend called it; I won’t be that charitable) CBC drama series follows the adventures of 1920s-era motorcycle-riding private detective FRANKIE DRAKE and her associate TRUDY CLARKE. Together they make up Drake Private Detectives, the city’s only all-female detective agency.

It’s no Montreal, but this sanitized and bleached version of 1920s Toronto we’re shown is hardly the world class hotbed of social change, rum-runners, suffragettes, speakeasies, radical politics, flappers and jazz music the producers suggest.

I’m sorry, but this is stretching modern-era, political correctness and oh-so-woke casting to the breaking point.

Somehow, in an era when Toronto truly was a bastion of conservatism (it’s nickname was “Toronto the Good”), an all-female detective agency not only exists but thrives? And nobody questions or even comments on Frankie’s wardrobe, which seems to consists mostly of low-low cut blouses and skintight pants, at a time when even a baggy pair of trousers were viewed with suspicion? Or her choice of transportation?

And let’s face it–Trudy, her partner, is black. Okay, we’re not talking Mississippi, but it doesn’t draw a comment from anyone? What kind of reimagined bullshit revisionist history is this? Even when Trudy shows up–unescorted–at a bar and orders drinks? Or confronts a white man? Loudly? And nobody says a fucking word? What sort of PC fantasy is this?

In the real world, such an occurrence would have had Toronto’s fabled blue bloods been running for their snuff.

Also on hand to help fill out the PC checklist: Mary Shaw, a morality officer in Toronto’s police force who often helps out the agency; Wendy Quon, the owner of Quon’s Cafe where the gang chows down; Flo, a plump (no body shaming here) pathologist at the Toronto City Morgue and Moses Page, Frankie’s black boxing instructor. Did this miss anyone?

And just to remind you that T.O. is a world class city, Ernest Hemingway, then a writer and reporter for The Toronto Star, pops in every now and then for a painfully irrelevant cameo.
Fans of Miss Fisher should love it. The sets, the costumes and even the cars are all pitch-perfect (and painfully squeaky clean), and if there are some overly earnest anachronisms, (and there are tons!), well, forget about it–pass the gin and let’s dance. The show aired on the CBC in Canada, Alibi in the U.K. and PBS in the States, and is of course quite popular.
Creators Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci, and executive producer/showrunner Cal Coons all previously worked on Murdoch Mysteries, another popular Canadian mystery series. In fact, two of the characters from that series, detectives Brackenreid and Watts, still investigating a 1905 crime, appear in A Frankie Drake Mysteries Cold Case, a six-part web series that served as a novel introduction to Frankie and Mary a week before the regular television series began.

UNDER OATH

  • “…it’s a hoot and as silly as all get-out… thanks to its charm and the frocks, skirts, suits and, well, the gorgeous furniture, it’s frightfully good entertainment.”
    — John Doyle, The Globe and Mail
  • “… the messaging in this CBC series sometimes hits you over the head, but it’s fun to watch women run their own show.”
    — Johanna Schneller, The Toronto Star

INTERNET

  • A FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES COLD CASE
    (October 23, 2017, CBC.ca)
    30 60-minuteepisodes
    Created by Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci
    Starring  Lauren Lee Smith as FRANKIE DRAKE
    and  Rebecca Liddiard as Officer Mary Shaw

TELEVISION

  • FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES
    (2017-18, CBC)
    Premiere: November 6, 2017
    Created by Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci
    Executive producer/showrunner: Cal Coons
    Starring  Lauren Lee Smith as FRANKIE DRAKE
    and Chantel Riley as TRUDY CLARKE
    With Rebecca Liddiard as Officer Mary Shaw
    Emmanuel Kabongo as Moses Page
    Sharron Matthews as Flo
    and Steve Lund as Ernest Hemingway
    Also starring Laurence Fox, Wendy Crewson
    • SEASON ONE  Buy the DVD  Buy the Blu-Ray Watch it now!
    • “Mother of Pearl” (November 6, 2017)
    • “Ladies in Red” (November 13, 2017)
    • “Summer in the City” (November 20, 2017)
    • “Healing Hands” (November 27, 2017)
    • “Out of Focus” (December 4, 2017)
    • “Whisper Sisters” (December 11, 2017)
    • “Ties That Bind” (January 8, 2018)
    • “The Pilot” (January 15, 2018)
    • “Ghosts” (January 22, 2018)
    • “Anastasia” (January 29, 2018)
    • “Once Burnt Twice Spied” (February 5, 2018)
    • SEASON TWO  Buy the DVD  Buy the Blu-Ray  Watch it now!
    • “The Old Switcheroo” (September 24, 2018)
    • “Last Dance” (October 1, 2018)
    • “Radio Daze” (October 8, 2018)
    • “Emancipation Day” (October 15, 2018)
    • “Dressed to Kill” (October 22, 2018)
    • “Extra Innings” (October 29, 2018)
    • “50 Shades of Greyson” (November 5, 2018)
    • “Diamonds are a Gal’s Best Friend” (November 19, 2018)
    • “Dealer’s Choice” (November 19, 2018)
    • “Now You See Her” (November 26, 2018)
    • SEASON THREE
    • “No Friends Like Old Friends” (September 16, 2019)
    • “Counterpunch” (September 23, 2019)
    • “School Ties…School Lies” (September 30, 2019)
    • “A Brother in Arms” (October 7, 2019)
    • “Things Better Left Dead” (October 14, 2019)
    • “Life on the Line” (October 28, 2019)
    • “Out on a Limb” (November 4, 2019)
    • “Ward of the Roses” (November 11, 2019)
    • “A History of Violins” (November 25, 2019)
    • “A Sunshine State of Mind” (December 2, 2019)
    • SEASON FOUR
    • “Scavenger Hunt” (January 4, 2021)
    • “Prince in Exile” (January 11, 2021)
    • “The Girls Can’t Help It” (January 18, 2021)
    • “A Most Foiled Assault” (January 25, 2021)
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith, following a lead from Chris Baldemoor.

 

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