Murder In: TV Series Offers a Virtual Tour of France

Murder In TV Series offers a virtual tour of France

Even those of us who are well-traveled and have traveled extensively across France aren’t likely to have visited many of the small towns and villages scattered across the 18 regions that appear on ‘Murder In.”

While some of these locations are familiar, most are hidden gems that remain undiscovered by most foreign visitors. They would have to drive from somewhere else to get to most of these places that are far off the beaten track.

Why the ‘Murder In’ Series Has Become an International Favorite

‘Murder In’ is an inventive, creatively curated French TV series that allows travel lovers to immerse themselves in the intimate lives of locals who live and work in these beautiful villages, towns, and regions.  At the same time, the episodes are appealing to mystery lovers.

The hugely popular series initially aired on French television (France 3) in 2013 and is still ongoing.   

Airing for 12 seasons on MHz Choice (a streaming service that specializes in bringing international mysteries, dramas, and comedies to English-speaking audiences), it has been their most-watched series program.

Team from Murders In Berry
The team from Murders In Berry (credit: Mhz Choice)

What is Murder In?

From Murders In Cayenne (credit MHz Choice/Jody Amiet) B
From Murders In Cayenne – Season 9 (credit MHz Choice/Jody Amiet)

Each engaging episode of the Murder In series is centered around a complicated murder mystery involving two detectives or investigators called on-scene to help solve the case.

These whodunnits are complex, with a minimum of blood and guts. They leave viewers wondering about the identity of the murderer(s) until the elusive details emerge at the very end.

From Murders In The Three Valleys
From Murders In The Three Valleys (credit: Mhz Choice)

All the stories are extremely well-acted, featuring strong women in lead roles, many of whom wind up getting involved in romantic liaisons. The supporting cast adds to the strong sense of place, depicting the lives of ordinary people of all social and economic classes.

“Basically, you get a new murder in a new place each time,” says Janice Chung of Toronto, a travel blogger and admitted Francophile who admits binging on the series. 

The characters are well-developed, with interesting individual backstories as the mysteries unfold.

Vive Le France: The Unifying Thread

Honfleur, Normandy, France
Honfleur, Normandy, France (credit: Jerome Levine)
Street with half-timbered houses in Honfleur, Normandy
Street with half-timbered houses in Honfleur, Normandy (credit: Jerome Levine)

According to the most recent data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization, France is ranked #1 on the list of the most visited destinations by international tourists.

It is the beauty and allure of France—its local and regional customs, unique history and legends, dazzling art and architecture, distinct dialects and expressions, and appetizing foods and drink—that bring these disparate stories together to create a cohesive whole.

“Excellent cinematography showcases the landscapes and sometimes historical monuments,” says Chung. For example, one episode takes viewers inside the Pope’s Palace in Avignon, Provence, and another inside the Rouen Cathedral in Rouen, Normandy.

Along with the impressive aerial photography throughout the series, viewers will enjoy pinpointing or mapping the precise locations they’re seeing with a smartphone or other device with maps. The picturesque and unique backdrops make the series so visually compelling.

Before, after or during each episode, my husband and I can’t resist looking up the town online to find out more information. 

European Parliament Building
European Parliament Building in Strasbourg (credit: Jerome Levine)

In one episode set in Strasbourg, in the Grand Est region, I was thrilled to recognize a scene filmed inside a hotel (Pavillon Régent Petite France) where I had once stayed and the bridge over the canal I walked along in Colmar. Veteran travelers will discover many such experiences.

Somewhat unusual for a series of this type, different writers and directors are credited for each episode and each one features a different cast of talented actors. 

How and Where to Watch Murder In

Murders In Aveyron (Occitane), France
Murders In Aveyron (Occitane), France (credit: Jerome Levine)

The streaming service just announced the premiere of Season 12 of ‘Murder In,’ promising to release a new episode each week until the end of 2024. Some of the new locations featured this season will include Le Mans, Pont-Aven, Béarn, Guadeloupe, Côte Sauvage, and Dinard. 

Each 90-minute episode, the length of a feature movie, is self-contained, so viewers don’t necessarily have to watch them in a particular order. Viewers can determine their own personal binge strategy by choosing from chronological to “where I’ve been and where I would like to go.”

Blogger Chung’s strategy: “I first pick the places I have been to and then the places I’d like to visit in the future,” she says.

“I’m not really a mystery lover,” she says, “but I love interesting stories set in France. To me, it’s the setting that matters.”

“It’s a perfect mix of murder mystery, an engaging investigative duo, and iconic French locations, says Lance Schwulst, vice president of content strategy at MHz Networks. “It’s a perfect way to show off a country while entertaining potential tourists,” he says. He wonders why no other country has stepped in with their own version of Murder In.

All the episodes, filmed in French, are subtitled in English, allowing non-French-speaking viewers to brush up on the language. (MHz also announced that it would begin dubbing episodes, offering viewers a choice of subtitles or dubbed versions.)

Murders in Mulhouse (Grand Est) - (credit: MHz Choice)
Murders in Mulhouse (Grand Est) – Season 9 (credit: MHz Choice)

MHz has a complete list of all the locations of Murder In episodes on their website.

It’s a wonderful opportunity to visit hidden gems in France from the comfort of your home, slowly on your own timeline. No passport or visa is required.

Other not-to-be-missed French TV Mystery Series

Tandem: French Mystery Series Set In Montpellier

Cherif: TV Series Takes Viewers on Virtual Trip to Lyon

Watch the trailer for Murder In (Season 11) on YouTube 

If you like French mysteries, you’ll also like watching Cherif, which was filmed in Lyon, France.

If you want to explore The Emerald Isle, Tiffany Dahle has curated an excellent list of romantic movies set in Ireland.

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