1/6: The Bride of Christ

She was a rum one, fi-di-doo-do-i-doo.

Nuns! (Mrs McCarthy has a run in the Catholic stereotype stakes this episode.) And one of them is a horrid, po-faced old thing – who would have thunk it?

Except that we’re briskly to The Body once more, with one young ‘bride of Christ’ dropping dead mid- church aisle step. She even foamed at the mouth; “oooh!” said I.

Luckily, Father Brown is conveniently on hand to see her off and start interfering (in a genial manner, of course). It was murder – poisoning – but, why? Who would do in a novice nun? And, in other important questions, how come it has taken six episodes of face-to-face village-ness for us to notice the hoofing great convent?

It turns out she was poisoned by cyanide, conveniently available from the convent’s wine-making supplies cupboard. This, happily, affords us an opportunity to meet Sister Boniface. She’s a plump, bespectacled, Agatha Christie -reading, amateur-sleuthing, chemistry-doing bit of awesome. She also makes a comedy sidekick for Father Brown (so I’ll not whinge about the ongoing absence of Lady Felicia).

Next thing, another nun has been done in. I feel that a creeping body count must be a St Agatha Christie homage.

Death no.2 is Sister Grim, so we’re not sad, but it does expand the suspect list since she was in the process of dobbing in the order to the bishop for some kind of ill-disciplined goings-on. How far would the other nuns go to protect the convent?

Meanwhile, we meet the sullen gardener and his frazzled wife, who are a study in marital unhappiness. Inspector Trenchcoat has his eye on hubby, while Sister Boniface’s sleuthing around the garden incinerator gets her a shove down the stairs.

In other plot-lines, Father Brown pootles off to a good old-fashioned Catholic morality/maternity service (or, adoption racket, as it were). He’s rather vexed by it all – and didn’t even meet Geraldine McEwan. He also figures that there’s a connection to the murders to be found there.

Somewhere between adoption papers, photographs and boiled sweets, Father Brown figures it all out. Whodunnit? It was none other than a mother.

Things learnt this episode:

  • There will never be any character development for Mrs McCarthy.
  • When you need to pad out a script, keep doing the same ‘joke’ about mistaking a baby’s gender. Hi-lar-i-ous.
  • Nuns are an ill-disciplined lot.
  • Detection should always begin with reading the most apposite Agatha Christie novel.
  • I would totally watch a Sister Boniface spin-off. (Ooh, a Lady Felicia and Sister Boniface spin-off!)