Madame Blanc murder mystery promises to be a perfect White Christmas treat for all the family

It seems too good to be true that Jean White could have a relaxing Christmas in the French village of Sainte Victoire.

The antiques dealer turned sleuth seems to have found the most remarkable outpost in the South of France, a village in which mysteries and murders abound.

Jean is often called upon to help solve these criminal capers – the first of which being her own husband’s death, the very mystery that prompted her move across the channel from her Cheshire village in the first episode of The Madame Blanc Mysteries.

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As the festive season rolls around and co-creator and star Sally Lindsay prepares for a third series of the Channel 5 crime drama, Jean finds herself embroiled in another bout of detecting when a murder mystery party turns into an actual murder scene.

Sally Lindsay & Steve Edge in The Madame Blanc Mysteries. Picture: DARRIN ZAMMIT LUPI / Clapperboard Productions.Sally Lindsay & Steve Edge in The Madame Blanc Mysteries. Picture: DARRIN ZAMMIT LUPI / Clapperboard Productions.
Sally Lindsay & Steve Edge in The Madame Blanc Mysteries. Picture: DARRIN ZAMMIT LUPI / Clapperboard Productions.

“I wanted it to be completely different than last year, I wanted it to be a different sort of genre, really, so I had a go at the sort of Cluedo murder mystery,” says Lindsay, 50, who stars as Jean and is best known for playing Shelley Unwin in Coronation Street.

In this Christmas special, which Lindsay says the show’s crew joked is “like a grown up episode of Scooby Doo”, Jean, Dom, Caron, Judith, Jeremy and Gloria head off on a mini road trip from Sainte Victoire. They’re going to a murder mystery night at the Hotel Sanguinet, a hotel with a spooky history owned by Jeremy’s friends Martin and Lydia.

The hotel’s owners are being financially crippled by the Sanguinet’s running costs, and are on the hunt for new investors. They have just one member of staff – Johnson, the Butler – who was inherited from the previous owner and has worked at the hotel for many years.

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But the night takes a turn when a heavy storm blows in and soon, the murder mystery becomes a little too realistic when an actual murder takes place.

Jean, ever the detective, decides to look around the hotel for clues with taxi driver Dom, played by Steve Edge. Everyone else is asleep, but she’s still haunted by the spooky goings-on.

Will she find the killer, and will she be able to solve the mystery of the ghostly happenings that have haunted the Hotel Sanguinet for so long?

It’s set to be a fun festive episode full of twists and turns with some familiar faces to boot. EastEnders star George Layton is making an appearance as Martin, while We Hunt Together and The Windsors’ Vicki Pepperdine plays Lydia.

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The whole family can chime in with their theories and hunches, and Madame Blanc star Steve Edge says the location of this Christmas special makes it the perfect tonic for the grey British winter.

“I think with Madame Blanc, because it’s set where it’s set in the south of France and it’s sunny, the timing of the year when Christmas is a bit cold and miserable, it’s lovely to see people having fun in the sun," he said.

The Madame Blanc Mysteries: Christmas Special will air on Channel 5 at 9pm on Friday, December 22.

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