Sooo….my husband was away for work last week and I had the TV all to myself. I used my time wisely to catch up on some of the recently released Hallmark mystery movies. I admit I am becoming quite the fan. Here’s what I know about their new mystery line up.
Hallmark approaches series in a unique way (in my experience anyway) by creating a series of movies rather than a series of hourly shows. This is nice because it means more time for that story to develop and play out. It is bad because you have to wait longer in between each episode. As far as I can tell, the mystery series that Hallmark is currently adding new “episodes” to are as follows:
Jesse Stone – Jesse Stone is a detective created by Robert Parker and played by Tom Selleck. There are already at least seven movies in this series. We have all of them at the library where I work because my coworker insists we get anything that stars Tom Selleck (not that I’m complaining.) I haven’t seen any because I didn’t think they fit into the cozy genre, but I may give them a try. I heard on Twitter that filming on a new Jesse Stone movie Stranger in Paradise has begun.
Garage Sale Mysteries – This set of movies is based on the books by Suzie Weinert, beginning with Garage Sale Stalker. Lori Loughlin stars as Jennifer Shannon, owner of a vintage goods and antique shop who has an eye for detail and a nose for trouble. Despite her best intentions, Jennifer gets entangled in some sticky situations. So far there are three movies in this series: Garage Sale Mystery, All That Glitters and The Deadly Room. There are rumors that a fourth movie The Wedding Dress will air later this year.
Aurora Teagarden – Based on the Aurora Teagarden books by Charlaine Harris, this series follows librarian Aurora Teagarden, played by Candace Cameron Bure, as she goes from member of the Real Murders Club, a group that investigates (in a scholarly way) true crime stories to solving murders in her own town. So far only the premiere movie, A Bone to Pick, has been aired. Real Murders Club has been filmed but I have no air date for that. The first two movies are in reverse order from the book series. On her website star and producer Candace Bure says “If you’re familiar with the books, you may be wondering why the first movie A Bone to Pick which airs THIS SATURDAY April 4th, is actually the second book in the series. And the second movie, Real Murders is actually the first book. It’s simply because as producers, we felt the characters were introduced to the audience more easily in A Bone to Pick. Sometimes small changes like that are necessary to translate a book to film.”
Murder She Baked – The first movie The Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder brings Joanna Fluke’s popular book series to the small screen with Allison Sweeney as Minnesota baker Hannah Swensen. Have not yet heard anything about a sequel, but there’s bound to be one. Recipes for Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookies and Lovely Lemon Bar Cookies can be found on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Website.
Gourmet Detective – This is actually airing right now as I’m typing this but I’m recording it for later so no spoilers here! This is another culinary mystery but the site contains no information on the book, if any, that the movie is based on.
I have enjoyed all the movies on this list that I’ve seen and look forward to more from Hallmark.