With mystery series Whitstable Pearl poised to return for a second season on Acorn TV, it's a good moment to check in on some of the streaming service's favorite whodunit to see if they are returning anytime soon. Murder In Provence, for example, has not been renewed, while Harry Wild has gotten a green light. Dalgliesh was renewed for two seasons at a blow, while Bang quietly retired after one round of episodes. As for The Chelsea Detective, one of Acorn TV's more successful mysteries from last year, AMC Networks confirmed the show was renewed in October 2022 and was heading into production with new cast members.
The first season of The Chelsea Detective, which was initially going to go into production in early 2020 and held due to worldwide shutdowns, focused on Detective Inspector Max Arnold, whose separation from his wife left him living in Thames' houseboat community, a far cry from Chelsea’s Cheyne Walk neighborhood, where he is assigned to cover investigations among London's most affluent elite. Season 1 partnered him with the newly promoted D.C. Priya Shamsie, played by Sonita Henry (Luther), a new mum trying to balance family and job over the course of four feature-length episodes, while Arnold worked to win back his estranged wife, art dealer Astrid, played by Anamaria Marinca (Tin Star).
Season 2 will see Henry step away from the series, as she's been cast in other projects including Surfside Girls and the upcoming Black Cake. In her place, Arnold will find himself partnered with the newly transferred Detective Sergeant Layla Walsh, played by Vanessa Emme (Three Families). Described as "sharp," and "diligent," she'll bring new energy to the team, less wide-eyed innocent and more eye-rolly snark as she sees how the other half live.
Here's the AMC Networks-provided synopsis of the new season:
The second season of the series brings new cases for Detective Inspector Max Arnold and the team to investigate as Detective Sergeant Layla Walsh joins Chelsea CID from Exeter. Layla isn’t wide-eyed or naïve about life in London, but she is an outsider and will occasionally roll her eyes at the worst excesses of Chelsea. She loves her job and brings a direct “let’s go!” energy to the team. Layla speaks her mind and isn’t afraid to be forthright in her questioning – be that questioning a person of interest or questioning how the team investigates their cases. In Season 2, the team delve into the art world, luxury retirement living, rowing, psychotherapy, tailoring and dating.
Scarborough and Emme will be rejoined by the rest of the team from Season 1, including Peter Bankolé (Peaky Blinders) as DC Connor Pollock, Lucy Phelps (DI Ray) as DC Jess Lombard, and Sophie Stone (The Crown) as Chief Forensics Officer Ashley Wilton. Marinca will return as Astrid as she and Arnold settle into their separated lives, and Frances Barber, who also stars in Whitstable Pearl, returns as Max's Aunt Olivia Arnold.
Series creator Peter Fincham (The Lost Prince) will once again be joined by writers Glen Laker (Vera), Liz Lake (Call the Midwife), and Laura Poliakoff (Devils), with directing duties shared between Richard Signy (Death in Paradise) and Sarah Esdaile (Call the Midwife).
The Chelsea Detective Season 2 is planned for a 2023 debut.