Frankie Drake Mysteries

 (511)
6.82018X-RayTV-14
Set in 1920s Toronto, the series follows the adventures of Frankie Drake (Lauren Lee Smith) and her partner Trudy Clarke (Chantel Riley) at Drake Private Detectives, the city’s only all-female detective agency, as they find themselves fighting crime in the age of flyboys, gangsters, rum-runners, and speakeasies.
Starring
Lauren Lee SmithChantel RileyRebecca Liddiard
Genres
SuspenseDrama
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English

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  1. 1. Mother of Pearl
    August 19, 2018
    44min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Frankie partners with a surprising ally when she’s named as the number one suspect in a robbery that looks like the work of her dead father.
  2. 2. Ladies in Red
    August 19, 2018
    44min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Frankie and Trudy are hired by a factory owner to root out communists at his plant, but things soon take an explosive turn.
  3. 3. Summer in the City
    August 19, 2018
    44min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    When a body turns up in the luggage of a young man, the case brings Frankie and Trudy into Toronto’s elite social circles.
  4. 4. Healing Hands
    August 19, 2018
    44min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    When Trudy gives shelter to a faith-healing preacher’s daughter, she and Frankie find themselves investigating Toronto’s jazz scene.
  5. 5. Out of Focus
    August 19, 2018
    44min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Frankie and Trudy go undercover in the glamorous world of film in order to solve a seemingly impossible murder on a silent movie set.
  6. 6. Whisper Sisters
    August 19, 2018
    44min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    After a shooting injures the young son of a friend, Frankie and Trudy’s investigation leads them into the dangerous world of bootlegging.
  7. 7. Ties That Bind
    August 19, 2018
    44min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Mary recruits Frankie and Trudy to find a missing teacher, but their investigation leads them to family secrets, Chinatown, and murder.
  8. 8. The Pilot
    August 19, 2018
    44min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    A day off turns into a day at the office for Frankie and Trudy when the infant son of a charismatic aviator is kidnapped during an air show.
  9. 9. Ghosts
    August 19, 2018
    44min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    The horrors of war haunt Frankie when an investigation into a soldier’s murder reunites her with a friend left traumatized by his tour of duty.
  10. 10. Anastasia
    August 19, 2018
    44min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Frankie is hired to confirm the identity of a young woman claiming to be a Russian princess and protect her from those who want her dead.
  11. 11. Once Burnt Twice Spied
    August 19, 2018
    44min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    When Frankie gets a mysterious call from a British spy, Mary discovers how she and Trudy met, and how Drake Private Detectives was formed.
  12. 101. Frankie Drake Mysteries Trailer
    Watch on supported devices
    August 19, 2018
    32sec
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Follow the adventures of Frankie Drake and her partner Trudy Clarke at Drake Private Detectives, Toronto's only all-female detective agency, as they fight crime in the 1920s, with flyboys, gangsters, rum-runners, and speakeasies.
  13. 102. The Women of Frankie Drake
    Watch on supported devices
    August 19, 2018
    3min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Hear from executive producer Christina Jennings, Lauren Lee Smith (Frankie), Chantel Riley (Trudy), Sharron Matthews (Flo), and Rebecca Liddiard (Mary), as they discuss how the four strong female lead characters in the series demonstrate how difficult it was to be a woman in the 1920s, and despite that, celebrate female independence and empowerment.
  14. 103. 20s Style Feminism
    Watch on supported devices
    August 19, 2018
    2min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Christina Jennings and cast members discuss how the women of the series are early feminists; how they don't need a man to define them, and are not afraid to be living the lives they want to live, not the lives that are dictated by society.

More details

Directors
Leslie HopeMichelle RicciCarol Hay
Supporting actors
Sharron Matthews
Producers
Michelle RicciCarol HayScott GarvieChristina JenningsCal Coons
Season year
2018
Network
PBS
Content advisory
Alcohol usefoul languageviolence
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

511 global ratings

  1. 77% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 9% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 5% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 4% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 5% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

james e carrollReviewed in the United States on January 15, 2019
2.0 out of 5 stars
Unwatchable
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I love Murdoch Mysteries, until the new lone came out with its incredible episode on alien possession. Totally turned me off. The Frankie Drake ones are not believable, superficial, and hard to understand (no subtitles). The plots are so stupid that I gave my (expensive) dvd away and was glad to get rid of it.
63 people found this helpful
Mike Billington author of Murder in the Rainy SeasonReviewed in the United States on May 9, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great fun and socially relevant
Verified purchase
The "Frankie Drake Mysteries" series on CBC has a lot in common with Australia's "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries" and Canada's "Murdoch Mysteries."
All three, for example, take place in the early part of the 20th Century when social standards were changing. All three series feature smart, fearless women - in the "Murdoch Mysteries" that includes a forensic pathologist - and none of the three flinch when it comes to discussing issues such as racism, xenophobia, and gender inequality.
They are not preachy about those societal ills, however. Rather, they are subtle. In the "Frankie Drake Mysteries," for example, racism is shown in a variety of ways such as the refusal of a white factory manager to shake the hand of a black female employee. In my opinion, these subtle examples are far more effective than they would be if the characters in the series beat viewers over the head with strident denunciations.
The "Frankie Drake Mysteries" is based on a series of novels and there are critics who dislike the show because it does not adhere strictly to the books. To them all I can say is that books and television programs are entirely different mediums. Frankly, I find those kinds of criticisms misplaced in the same way I would if they were comparing a sculpture and a painting of the same figures. We are talking about two very different art forms and that must be recognized if criticisms are to have any value.
That rant aside, what makes this series fun is the fact that it comes complete with great music, snappy dialogue, and historic figures such as Ernest Hemingway and Mack Sennett. The mysteries are not overly complex - a plus in my opinion - but they are interesting. The cast - especially leads Lauren Lee Smith and Chantel Riley - are seasoned actors who know how to carry a scene, and there has been a sincere effort on the part of the producers to give viewers a real sense of what Toronto was like in the 1920s.
Frankie Drake - she's called that because her late father misspelled her name on the birth certificate when he wrote the male version of "Francis" instead of the female version "Frances" - is an intriguing character. A dispatch rider in the First World War, she has a peculiar background. Both her mother and father were criminals, for example. She takes boxing lessons from a professional fighter, did some undercover work for British intelligence during the war, and has a black woman as a business partner. She defies convention but can still manage to pull off the occasional foray into high society though she is much more comfortable in trousers astride her motorcycle. She brews her own gin, can throw a punch - and take one - and she suffers from what, today, we would call PTSD because of her service in the war.
Trudy, her business partner, is a former housemaid who helps start the private detective agency after both she and Frankie get fired from their respective jobs. Like Frankie, she is smart, unafraid, and able to navigate the tricky social and racial boundaries of 1920s Toronto. Together, they make a terrific team.
All that adds up to a 5-star series in my opinion, and one that I hope continues for a very long time.
28 people found this helpful
Happy ReaderReviewed in the United States on February 9, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
Anachronistic But Fun!
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As a long-time fan of Murdoch Mysteries, I was pleased to see another Canadian mystery series. The Frankie Drake series, which starts out in the year 1922, seems to more reflect current sensibilities and so it doesn't feel "real" as a historical series. But, on the other hand, it is full of spirit and liveliness and, what the heck. I know that whether you're talking civil rights or women's rights or workers' rights, there were always true trailblazers who beat the odds long before there were movements.

This is a mystery series, so there are murders, but it is not a gritty in-your-face show. It has lots of humor and dashes of silliness. I have a DVD of Season 1, and on it, the episodes do not have titles. I'll use the titles given on wikipedia for the heck of it. As with "Murdoch Mysteries", real people sometimes make their way into the stories.

A good detective has friends in many places. For Frankie, that includes Trudy Clarke, Frankie's right hand. Then there's Flo, who works in the city morgue and Mary Shaw, a police Morality Officer. Welcome to Toronto, Canada! And wait for it – there's a guest appearance by a favorite character from "Murdoch Mysteries."
...episode 1... "Mother of Pearl" Abe and Nora Amory, from Pittsburgh, PA, are staying at the swanky Crown Ascot Hotel in Toronto. Abe is hosting an important dinner with Canadians he think will enable his company, Armory Steel, to expand into Toronto. The finishing touch on Nora's wardrobe is a necklace of pearls worth $100,000. But when Abe opens the wall safe in their room, the jewelry box is empty, except for the feather of a drake.
A drake feather used to be the calling card of Frankie's father, a con man dead for 10 years, rather like Flambeau's glove in "Father Brown". The police don't believe Frankie had nothing to do with the pearl theft: "The feather doesn't fall far from the drake." Frankie's only option for saving herself and her brand new detective agency is to find the thief herself.
Real Person: Ernest Hemingway, journalist. He really did work for the Toronto Star in the 1920s for a couple years.
...episode 2... "Ladies in Red" Frankie, Trudy and Flo see a man with a stocking over his head moving through a house holding a pistol. They rush into the house (as would anybody) to scare away two bad guys and rescue the tied up family members. Mr. Conroyd hires Frankie to find the criminals.
Real Institution: The Toronto Police Morality Department was in force from 1886 – 1930s, ostensibly formed to counter crimes that especially harmed woman and children (and it actually did some of that).
...episode 3... "Summer in the City" Francis's personal life is center, as her friend and more, Moses Page, prepares to leave for Chicago for a boxing match with Jack Dempsey. But her goodbyes are interrupted when Eric Morrison wins a car in a poker game, only to find a dead man in the trunk.
Real Person: Dempsey doesn't appear in the episode, but he was in his prime in 1922, as World Heavyweight Champion from 1919 to 1926.
Trivia: Lauren Lee Smith, as Frankie, rides a red motorcycle made by Janus Motorcycles, out of Indiana. It's a boutique manufacturer intent on making "simple" bikes that harken back to years like the 1920s.
...episode 4... "Healing Hands" Trudy and her Mom go to church where Elsie Thompson, the pastor's daughter, is a faith healer. In the middle of a session, though, Elsie suddenly gets upset and rushes out. Then she disappears.
...episode 5... "Out of Focus" Film director Mack Sennett is making a movie at a Toronto beach resort. When watching the day's rushes, he notices something odd in the background. He runs a projector for Frankie and Trudy, and in a shaded balcony in the rear of the scene, a man shoots someone with a revolver. Frankie asks, "That's not part of the movie?"
Mack: "If Mack Sennett scripted a murder, it would be lit and it would be hilarious."
Real Person: Mack "Keystone Cops" Sennett was born in Quebec, Canada. He and his family left for NYC in 1897 when he was 17, and he went from there to Hollywood. He did return to Canada in the 1930s after his career went bust in CA (the talkies done him in).
...episode 6... "Whisper Sisters" One of Frankie's favorite hangouts is Quon's, a restaurant run by Wendy and her son Hung Fah, or Harry Jr. One day the brothers Gino and Giuseppe "Joe" Perry come in and the arrogant Joe ends with shooting up the place, including injuring Harry Jr. Protection money and bootlegging – a dangerous world to investigate.
...episode 7... "Ties That Bind" Jenny Smith teaches English for the Chinese Charitable Society. The class ends late, and Mr. Lee offers to escort her to the streetcar. She demurs, "Thank you, I'll be fine.... I'm a city girl." And then she disappears.
...episode 8... "The Pilot" Phillip Anderson is an internationally celebrated pilot and "all-round golden boy", who settled down and built his own aerodome. Frankie and Trudy take the day off for an airshow and are on hand when someone tries a kidnapping.
Trivia: The comparison to Charles Lindbergh is obvious. He was a passionate believer in eugenics.
...episode 9... "Ghosts" Elspeth Burton hires Frankie. Her husband, Grant, has been pushing her away, and she wants to know why. It turns out much more dangerous than your average marriage problem.
...episode 10.. "Anastasia" The wealthy Louisa Winchester loves all things Russian, as her father had been Ambassador to Russia when she was a girl. So it's not surprising that she has guests, three Cossacks and Anastasia, youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II. But Louisa is wealthy, not stupid, and she hires Frankie to determine if Anastasia is the real thing.
Real Person: You probably know that it wasn't until 2007 that two bodies were discovered buried separately from the rest of the royal family. DNA testing proved that Anastasia was dead, undoubtedly since 1916. Incidentally, the Yekaterinburg house in which the family lived and were executed was just torn down a few years ago. The authorities were tired of people visiting to see the bullet holes in the walls.
...episode 11.. "Once Burnt Twice Spied" We know that Frankie was a dispatch rider in WWI. It turns out she was more than that, and in this episode she's recalled to service.

The 11 episodes of Season 1 total almost 8 hours. If you buy it on disc, English subtitles are available, but there are no Bonus Extras. Season 1 originally aired November, 2017, through February 2018. Season 2 originally aired September through November 2018.

Happy Reader
35 people found this helpful
Kristen HowardReviewed in the United States on April 2, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
Fun but somewhat unsatisfying
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I enjoy the characters in this series, and the cases are good. What it's lacking is a full plunge into its designated era. The dialog doesn't take the viewer into the 1920's. Even the clothing seemed a haphazard homage to the era. Frankie Drake Mysteries is fun, until you compare it with Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries - then you see how a period show SHOULD be done.
23 people found this helpful
William SpearsReviewed in the United States on July 27, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
An Enjoyable Show
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I found this first season to be a lot of fun watch. If you like the "Agatha Raisin" series, or the single season of "Mr. & Mrs. Murder" from a few years back, I imagine you will like this series. It is a somewhat light-hearted "take" on the mystery genre, with very little explicit on screen violence,

Because "Frankie Drake" takes place in the 1920's, it is somewhat naturally compared to the "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries" series. While the comparison is understandable, it is a little misleading. "Miss Fisher" tended to be a "who-done-it" series, while "Frankie Drake" tends to "take you for a ride", and you just have to sit back and enjoy the company you're with.

I bow to no one in their admiration and love for the "Miss Fisher" series. No one on "Frankie Drake" is of the caliber, acting wise, of Essie Davis, who was remarkable in her role as Miss Phryne Fisher.

But a lot of the charm of "Frankie Drake" is the ensemble on the show, The primary relationship is between the red-headed detective Frankie Drake and her Black partner, Trudy Clarke, who trust each other completely. A very welcome addition to the duo is the very sincere, but sometimes clumsy morality officer, Mary Shaw, who wants desperately to become a "real" police detective someday. Rounding out the all female group is an older Flo Chakowitz, a "mother-hen" pathologist to Frankie and Trudy, who works for the Toronto City Morgue.

The show's mysteries are interesting, but not as heavily plotted and complex as, for instance, "Murdoch Mysteries". The show looks it could be Toronto in the 1920s, but it pretty clearly does not have the budget that some other shows seem to have to recreate ambiance.

So, if you enjoy watching a mystery show that takes itself a little less seriously, (but is not a parody) and has a bit of a feminist bent to it, I would recommend giving the "Frankie Drake Mysteries" a try.
4 people found this helpful
JFVReviewed in the United States on February 24, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
wonderful!!!!
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it is very rewarding to see a smart program with women in a detective series that seems both realistic and charming. There are very few bodies, minimal violence, just great acting and interesting plots. The actors make these characters come alive. If you liked Foyle's War, then you may like this post World War I story set in Canada as well. Can't wait for the second season release!
9 people found this helpful
DakotaReviewed in the United States on September 2, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
Enjoyable though not time accurate
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I purchased this after seeing an ad that said it would also be enjoyed by those who like Murdoch Mystery series. Though it isn't as good yet as the Murdoch series, it has good potential. The stories are very enjoyable, though not time accurate about how bad the prejudice of the time showed itself. The stories include some events to show at bit what it was like, but isn't the main point of the episodes. The acting was okay and each episode pace progressed quickly. I intend to get season 2.
5 people found this helpful
Dixie AhneReviewed in the United States on September 14, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Only Diehards wanted here.
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There are 2 20's murder mysteries of note. Ms Fisher's is almost universally the superior version. The Drake series is equally inferior--not enough length for full development and resolution, a mythical Russian grand duchess Anastasia, Al Capone personal appearance for a transaction Scarface would have entrusted to an underling on his behalf, Ernest Hemingway as a 2nd/3rd rate newspaper reporter, an over-sprinkling of Chinese and negro roles in repetition. Drake is a long way from being Fisher, the entire series shortcuts and burdened with complicated and mostly unneccesary familial relationships that are more gimmick than important. Mostly typical USA trash, occasionally interesting, mostly for the brief glimpses of the 20's era, much better presented in the Aussie Fisher. Drake=so sad.
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