Saturday, January 23, 2016

Movie Review: Real Murders - An Aurora Teagarden Mystery


Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Good mystery
Cons: Hallmark cheese
The Bottom Line:
A murder fan clubs
Stalked by a real murderer
Delightful puzzle




Murder Hits Really Close to Home

I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of a club of people who meet to discuss real life murders, but that’s the premise of Real Murders, the second Aurora Teagarden Mystery movie from Hallmark Movies and Mystery.  The premise is executed perfectly, too, and anyone who enjoys a light mystery will enjoy this one.

Aurora Teagarden (Candace Cameron Bure), Roe to her friends, has long been a member of the Real Murders club, a group of true crime lovers who meet to discuss the details of long ago famous cases.  However, this particular night the meeting never happens because one of the members has been found murdered.  When Roe hears about it, she immediately recognizes the similarities to the case they were planning to discuss that night.

The coincidence is too much for Roe, who is certain that someone in the club is the killer.  However, when she and her mother Aida (Marilu Henner) are sent a box of poisoned chocolates the next day, she realizes that the members of the club might also be the next target.  Can Roe figure out the next target in time to stop the killer?

Okay, so the type of group might be original, but the basic plot of a group being targeted by one of their own isn’t exactly new.  Still, it is very expertly done, and I was completely stumped on who the killer might be until Roe figured it out.  There are several suspenseful scenes before everything is wrapped up, and we get a laugh or two as well.  I also liked the fact that the first murder really impacts the group.  Yes, I read and watch a lot of murder mysteries for fun, but it is nice to see some real emotion connected with the death upon occasion.

I actually watched the two films on back to back days, so I was able to see how some characters and their relationships grew.  I enjoyed that, especially since it meant Roe was getting the recognition she deserved for figuring things out.  On the other hand, I did notice some strangeness since Roe seems to have not moved in to the house she got in the first movie.  Probably has something to do with the fact that the books these movies were based on were published in a different order than the movies are being made.  Don’t ask me why, but it’s a minor detail as far as I am concerned.

It might also explain why Roe has a different love interest in this movie.  While a brief mention is made of things not working out with the minister from the first film, new love interest Robin Daniels (Robin Dunne) gets plenty of screen time since he is a mystery writer who plays a big part in helping solve these murders.

I do have to issue the standard disclaimer.  This is a Hallmark original movie, and there is a certain amount of cheese to be found here both in the dialogue and the acting.  Keep that in mind, and you’ll be fine.

The movie is based on a book originally written by Charlene Harris.  If you are paying attention, some of her books get a pretty prominent display at one point in the movie, but you do have to be watching for it.

This movie won’t be for everyone, but those who enjoy light mysteries will certainly enjoy Real Murders.  It’s a twisting mystery that will keep you engaged until the end.

2 comments:

  1. I didn't like that they made the movies out of order and then tried to have the continuity make sense either. I'll have to watch for Harris' books! Now I'm betting that they might show up in the other Roe movies. Harris might have made it a condition.

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    1. I don't know if Harris made it a condition, or it was a fun nod since the scene was in a library. I saw some displays of other best selling authors in other scenes.

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