Mistletoe nonsense 2023 #2: Sister Boniface just about gets away with it.

Sister B and her piece of very plastic mistletoe.

Following my last entry, about the wildly inaccurate account of mistletoe in Ideal Homes magazine this month, I now offer some light relief, as my second example of recent mistletoe inaccuracy is more humorous, and much less annoying!.

It is the 2023 Christmas Special of TV’s Sister Boniface Mysteries broadcast a few days ago (and viewable on demand on UK TV Play in the UK). The plot, a light-hearted and undemanding whodunnit based, very very loosely, on murder on the orient express, has the police inspector and Sister B, his scientific advisor, stuck on a snow-bound train where there’s been a jewel theft and at least one murder. Sister B identifies the murderer (spoiler alert – this is actually murder#2 and unrelated to the theft) by noticing their gloved hand print on a mistletoe laden tree and then finding the glove, still with traces of mistletoe on it, thus proving whodunnit.

incognito mistletoe man

That’s great – but the tree in question seemed to be an evergreen – which never has mistletoe in northern Europe, and certainly not the Cotswolds where the story is set.  Not to mention that the mistletoe itself was clearly plastic (it was filmed this summer – but mistletoe does exist all year round, so would have been available if they’d asked!).  And the critical mistletoe ‘evidence’ seemed to be obscure fragments on the main trunk, again, not at all realistic as mistletoe is, nearly always, on side branches not trunks.  Nice try though Sister B.  Suitably seasonal.  In an ironic twist, unknown to the production team, they did actually have a mistletoe expert on set whilst filming.  But he was incognito – just a chap with a stick walking down the railway platform in the fake snow and raising his hat to the carol singers about 10 minutes in.*

*(if I’d known the plotline featured mistletoe later on I’d have raised my hat a bit higher)


More about mistletoe…  lots of mistletoe info on the main website here 
And, if you want to grow your own, take a look at the mistletoe grow-kits available (and on offer for the rest of this month) to order from the English Mistletoe Shop here.