Saturday, October 30, 2021

Ann Cleeves' THE LONG CALL on Britbox!

DEBORAH CROMBIE: British mystery fans will be thrilled to know that Britbox is bringing U.S. viewers the brand new adaptation of Ann Cleeves' THE LONG CALL, the first of her Two Rivers novels featuring Devon detective Matthew Venn! And I do mean brand new, as it just began airing on ITV in the UK this week. Silverprint Pictures has done such a brilliant job with both Shetland and Vera, their adaptations of Ann's other series novels, that I was looking forward to this with great anticipation. I read The Long Call as soon as it was released in 2019 and I think it's amazing that they've brought it to the screen so quickly. (If you haven't read The Long Call, it's available on Kindle Unlimited at the moment!)

Here's a peek at the show:



 

Inspired by the bestselling novel of the same name, this atmospheric crime drama brings to life a new deeply engrossing mystery from Ann Cleeves, creator of Vera and Shetland. Featuring Ann's signature chilling twists and starkly beautiful settings, The Long Call centers on its intriguing and flawed protagonist, Detective Inspector Mathew Venn. We first meet the reserved but intense Matthew at his father's funeral in North Devon with his husband, the small community he grew up in but walked away 20 years ago after being rejected by his family. Now he's back, not just to mourn his father, but also to take charge of his first murder case. Finding the killer is Matthew's only focus, and his team's investigation will take him straight back into the community he left behind - and the deadly secrets that lurk there. 

So gripping! And what a cast! That's Ben Aldridge as Matthew and Pearl Mackie as his colleague Jenn Rafferty. 

Declan Bennett plays Matthew's husband Jonathan. It must be so nerve-wracking for the author, waiting to see how her characters will be portrayed, but I think they've done a fine job here. It's a stellar cast all round, with luminaries like Martin Shaw and especially Juliet Stevenson, who is so good as Matthew's complicated mother, Dorothy.  

And the scenery is gorgeous! I don't know that part of Devon, but now I want to visit. Not to mention that I would move into Matthew and Jonathan's house in a heartbeat!

What could be more fun on a chilly Halloween weekend than to curl up with a good mystery on the screen and a cup of hot chocolate?

REDS and readers, how are you spending yours?

70 comments:

  1. This new show sounds delightful . . . .

    We’re spending the weekend quietly . . . baking cookies in the morning for a Halloween social at church tomorrow afternoon, then a quiet day Sunday. Maybe we’ll find a particularly good movie to watch . . . .

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  2. I've read the first book, The Long Call, but I'm still trying to get to #2, The Heron's Cry, but I will get to it. I do hope we get the show here soon.

    We will go to my daughter's on Saturday afternoon, or rather to their cabin, where they are having a fish fry and then a Halloween party. We may be going to my husband's sister on Sunday, but I may postpone that until next weekend.

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  3. It's supposed to be a rainy weekend so I will be reading, cooking and eating the Quebec goodies that I bought in Montreal.

    Also excited to be going to my first local in-person book signing event since winter 2020 for Ottawa author and friend Barbara Fradkin. Her latest Inspector Green mystery, THE DEVIL TO PAY, was released in Canada on October 19 (releases in the US on November 16).

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    1. That’s great to hear! I’ve fallen behind on that series, but loved the earlier books.

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    2. A new series to check out! Thanks, Grace!

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    3. LISA: I really like the Inspector Green books. This is the first book since 2014, with an older Inspector Green and his (formerly rebellious) daughter Hannah now working as a rookie police officer. I moved to Ottawa 7 years ago, so I really enjoy how Barbara adds local scenes in restaurants, pubs, neighbourhoods that I know in the story.

      BTW, Barbara has been busy writing a new series with a younger female protagonist, Amanda Doucette. Each book is set in a different part of Canada. There are 4 books published so far.

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    4. DEBS: Here is the list of the Inspector Green books. Several were nominated (or won) the best mystery novel award by the Crime Writers of Canada:
      https://www.barbarafradkin.com/inspector-green/

      I would recommend that you NOT start with THE DEVIL TO PAY. There is a big time gap from the earlier books and it's written close to real time, so the pandemic is explicitly featured in the story.

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  4. I loved The Long Call and glad they did a good job with it. I still need to get to Heron's Cry.

    Rainy here today, too, so I'll be writing and reading and listening to Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, with homemade pizza for dinner. Tomorrow a walk and lunch with my son for my (election day) birthday!

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    1. Sounds like a perfect weekend, Edith! And happy early birthday!

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    2. Thank you! Fingers crossed for our dynamic young female mayor to be re-elected.

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  5. I can’t wait to look this up! Sounds like the perfect Halloween. I loved the Long Call and the Shetland series. And Ann Cleeve’s settings can’t be beat!

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  6. Another author I must get to but have not read, at all. Where to start? We do not get Britbox although we love British mystery shows.

    Halloween will be very quiet this year. Irwin will take me out for a nice dinner somewhere special. I did buy some candy in case any trick-or-treaters show up before or after we go out to celebrate.

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    1. Judy, you might start with the Matthew Venn Two Rivers novels, The Long Call and The Heron's Cry, since there are only two and the prospect won't seem so daunting!

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  7. Loving this new series. I watched the first episode, trying to string it out. I’m also trying very hard not to be too concerned about differences between the book and the show.
    I’ll be spending the weekend getting ready for out of state guests and trying not to freak out about people staying in my apartment for the first time in 2 years. We’re all vaccinated and I’ve been boosted.

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    1. We haven't had any guests in two years, so I totally get that! We've hardly even had anyone over except for my friend Gigi who is my "bubble."

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  8. Well, I think the answer to your question is obvious -- binge watching the Long Call. I can't thank you enough for letting me know about this! Love, love, love Anne Cleeves!

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    1. I can't wait for the new season of Shetland. It's already started in the UK and I read that it begins airing on Nov. 9th on Britbox, episodes dropping weekly. Shetland is by far my favorite of the Ann Cleeves adaptions.

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    2. November 9?! That's the launch day for An Eggnog to Die For. Now I don't know which I'm more excited about. Probably Shetland... not as scary as a launch...

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  9. This might be what I needed to subscribe to Britbox. LOVE the novels of Ann Cleeves. I have a pile of books right now in my TBR pile and I am trying to slowly slowly slowly inhale the new season of Great British Baking.

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    1. Britbox has become our favorite , Hallie. So many good mysteries!

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    2. I haven't started the new season of Great British Baking, Hallie. Is it good?

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    3. It's same old... and I love it. This new season is fun because some of the best talents are older folks.

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  10. I've read both the Two Rivers books. Love the seabird "call" titles and Cleeves's descriptions of North Devon, where she spent her childhood. She "knows" the setting intimately. I'll have to break down and subscribe to Britbox, though I've read comments about streaming difficulties.

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    1. We get Britbox and Acorn through our Amazon Prime. It's an extra $5 each, I think.

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    2. To clarify, Amazon Prime or Amazon Prime Video? Thanks.

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  11. We were watching the second McDonald & Dodds last night on BritBox (so good, watch if you get a chance), and saw that The Long Call was now available. That might be on for the weekend, since I've finished watching Ted Lasso.

    I listened to the audiobook of The Long Call last year. The storyline is very complicated, and I found I really had to pay attention to the narrative to stay focused. Lots of characters, and lots of character introductions to keep track of. A necessary evil, right? Also, lots of venues. Matthew Venn intrigued me, and I'll be reading or listening to the next one.

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    1. It is a very complicated story storyline and Rick wasn't really following it, having not read the book. Lots of different characters and locations, as you said. But so lovely to see everything! When I read the book(s) I was imagining everything as fairly flat, so I loved the cliffs and steep streets of the town.

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    2. Oh, and I haven't seen MacDonald & Dodds so am looking that up. Thanks for the suggestion, Karen!

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    3. You're welcome, Debs. It's unexpected, and the characters are so disparate from one another. We watched the second one last night, and it was very satisfying.

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  12. We watched the first two episodes of The Long Call yesterday, plan on seeing the second two today. This is really good, and I like putting faces to the characters in the book. Juliet Stevenson plays Matthew's mother, and she is excellent as always. I've lovee her for years. It's been a while since I read the book, so I can't remember whodunit!

    We are skipping Halloween this year as we did last. Not getting many kids anymore, and not having candy around is good for us. Julie's birthday was yesterday so we are working our way thru some cake! Thanks to all of you who wish her a happy day. You're the best.

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    1. Ann, I've been a big fan of Juliet Stevenson for years. I thought she was the highlight of this production, but all the casting was good.

      Love to Julie and hope she had a wonderful birthday!

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  13. I absolutely cannot wait to watch this! And I think the casting looks amazing. Thank you, Debs, for presenting the perfect plan.

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    1. Oh, good, Hank. We watched the final two episodes last night and I really enjoyed it.

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  14. I don't have Britbox but have seen so many tempting ads me that I've seriously thought of subscribing. With the exception of one appointment this afternoon, the weekend is mine. I plan on reading, cleaning, maybe a little baking, maybe. Or maybe just reading, reading, reading....

    My Facebook feed provided me a memory from 2 years ago this morning.... I was in Dallas attending my first writers conference. Hard to believe it was only 2 years ago, seems like another lifetime ago.

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    1. I think the cost for BritBox is $6 a month, and you can cancel it any time, then pick it up again later. I do this with Acorn, too.

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    2. Thanks, I'm definitely going to check it out.

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    3. Bouchercon, Deana! I can hardly believe it's been two years!

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    4. YES, Dallas Bouchercon memories have started popping up on my FB feed this morning, too (sigh).

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  15. It seems one has to have special (extra-cost) channels these days to see the good stuff. Since “basic cable” costs over $200 per month, many of us find all the extras unaffordable. Darn.

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    1. We don't even bother with cable, just use Roku for everything. Of course, we don't get sports channels, and they cost a lot more. But our total monthly cost, including Amazon Prime, Netflix, Apple+, Acorn, and BritBox, is less than $50. We do have to have an Internet connection, which has an additional cost, but we would have that even if we didn't have TV.

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    2. KAREN: I also gave up cable TV 6 years ago, and mainly use ROKU. Sadly, we don't get the same Roku channels here in Canada (e.g. no HULU) but I get enough from that along with my Amazon Prime and Crave TV streaming.

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    3. Yes, we gave up satellite a few years ago and are all streaming. We use Roku, and have Tablo for local channels. We have the same premium channels as Karen except we've finally given in to HBO Max. But still, it's a fraction of the cost of cable or satellite.

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    4. I forgot to add we have Hulu, which we love.

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  16. No Britbox on Nome St., will be streaming Impeachment: American Crime Story on Hulu. Hoping for a quiet weekend. The folks who celebrated every holiday with fireworks moved. So one holds out hope for a non trick non treat day.

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    1. Oh, heavens, I hope we don't have fireworks here. They are the worst.

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    2. Coralee, I'm afraid your former neighbors may have moved next door to us. This was, hands down, the noisiest Fourth of July and Labor Day weekend I've ever lived through.

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    3. KAREN: Ugh, that sucks having noisy new neighbors!

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  17. Craft Beer Fest at the Long Beach Museum of Latin American Art (outside, proof of vax or negative test required). Easing back into things.

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    1. That sounds fun, Lisa! Happy Halloween weekend to you!

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  18. Curling up with a good mystery and a cup of hot chocolate too!

    THE LONG CALL was one of the first books I read as a digital Advanced Copy from NetGalley and the most surprising thing about the novel was that they STILL had Puritans in England. Because they got rid of the Puritans beginning with the Pilgrims and the Mayflower settling in the American Colonies, I did not think there would be Puritans in England. LOL

    Happy Halloween everyone!

    Diana

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  19. Ann Cleeves is one of my favorite authors, so I've read both of the Two Rivers books and since it's been cold and rainy I've already watched 3 episodes of The Long Call. I'm enjoying the adaptation, but as happens they've made changes. The scenery is, as with all Cleeves' settings, gorgeous! The performances are great; what a supporting cast! The police station looks like a sanitized hospital surgical bay, which is distracting to me. In a not-so-typical British move, they've Hollywoodized Matthew Venn by converting Cleeves' buttoned-up, tie-wearing reserved lead detective into a fashionable-hunky type. I can't wait to watch episode 4!

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    1. Yes, the police station!!! I wonder where they actually filmed that? As for Matthew, I think they had to show off Ben Aldridge's shoulders... I missed Jonathan's shorts and sandals, too, but, TV...

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  20. How am I spending my Halloween weekend? Well, given that I spent nearly 3 full days without power, I'm just happy that my lights came back on last night between 7-8pm. However, my area is still experiencing a service interruption with my cable provider so I have no TV or Internet at home. I can watch DVDS but since the first of the six part new Doctor Who season is on Sunday night, I'm a bit bummed that Comcast has an automated message that says, "We know your service is out, but we have no freaking idea when we'll get it back up and running. And the hell with you if you try to call and find out an estimate".

    My sister and her husband are coming over Sunday to help give out the Halloween candy but unless I get my cable/Internet back. I won't be doing much of anything related to TV other than DVDs.

    I can't write my reviews either because I can't send them off and I don't have enough time to do them here on the library computer. ARGGGHHH!

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    1. Oh, Jay, so sorry!! That is miserable. We had day without power last week (someone hit a power pole a half block from our house) and we thought that was the pits. Good luck on your Trick or Treat. Are you giving comics as well as candy?

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    2. Oh, no, Jay! Hope you get up and running full steam again soon. Winter is coming!

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    3. Deborah,

      Quick update: I'm still at the library but just got a text message that MIGHT be from the cable company (seriously, it doesn't say who its from) that says my service was restored at 12:21pm. I'll have to wait until I get home to see if that's it or some kind of weirdly late message from Eversource.

      I plan to give out comics again as well though I'm not sure how many people might be showing up this year. After just 30 kids last year, I have no idea how to figure out what this year's expected grouping of sugar fiends will show up at my door.

      Karen, yes Winter is coming (love the Game of Thrones reference) but so is The Flux (which is my Doctor Who reference for tomorrow's premiere. LOL

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    4. And I'm back in the 21st century! The TV and cable have returned! HUZZAH!

      Now to catch up on what turns out to be the ONLY show I missed a new episode of this week. (Everything else turned out to be repeats).

      Also, had a great experience yesterday. I was at my local comic shop. I bought lunch and was charging my devices. While there, the owner and I were watching the first three episodes of the Marvel cartoon series "What If...?". While watching the 2nd one which featured Black Panther, who walks into the shop but Bob Almond, the comics inker who was the inker for the Black Panther comic book series that was written by Christopher Priest.

      What could be better than watching a Black Panther cartoon with someone involved in the creation of the comics?

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    5. Wow, Jay, what a great experience!!

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    6. So cool, Jay! And blessings on getting your wifi back.

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  21. We are watching the second half of the new Dune tonight. We started it last Saturday but I caved after the first hour. I think it should really be seen on the big screen, especially for the Hans Zimmer score (I'm a big Zimmer fan.) But I'm never too thrilled about sitting through 2 1/2 hour movies in the theater even under ordinary circumstances, and since we have HBO Max we thought we'd give it a try. It's interesting, but I'm not sure that Timothy Chalamet is going to pull off Paul Atreides. Although anyone would be better than Kyle McLachlan in the original Dune!! OMG, that was a horrible movie.

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  22. Ha! That's what Hub and I are doing, too. Except we're watching Halloween Kills because I love Jamie Lee Curtis.

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  23. Shalom Reds and readers,

    I signed up for BritBox just to be able to view Season 11 of Vera. (I had watched most of the earlier episodes of the series for free on Hoopla.) It took me a month or so, to try Shetland and now I am in the midst of watching those episodes. I knew The Long Call was coming to television, so I purchased the audiobook on Chirp. I find most of Ann Cleeves novels to be slower paced than the TV versions of the stories. I love the coastal setting of the Shetland TV series.

    I gave up satellite TV a long while ago, mostly because of the expense but also because it became a big time-waster. I now have high-speed internet and waste plenty of time with that. We had a windy rain here yesterday and now the sun is shining and for the end of October it is quite warm. I awoke at 5 am with the alarm and went promptly back to sleep until almost noon.

    I don’t expect any trick or treaters, but I bought a bag of chocolate just in case. I am in the middle of a fall housecleaning which I mostly do on the weekends. It’s a big undertaking because mostly I live in clutter. I bought a new used vacuum cleaner just to finish off the job when I can see the floor.

    I am in the middle of reading on Kindle The Warmth of Other Suns.

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    1. A tangent... Vacuum cleaners! I've been obsessing over buying another one. Reading the Wirecutter reviews. Sorry for the detour... David what did you get?

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    2. We got a used Hoover MAX/Life Pro Pet Swivel Bagless Upright. It cost me $85 (free shipping) on Ebay. I've no idea, what they run new. We had an upright before that was too expensive to fix. The new (used) one seems to work fine. Whoever had it kept it in very nice condition. The only problem is I really don't have enough closet space to store it properly. But we'll figure it out.

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