Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Fun mystery and leads
Cons: It is a Hallmark movie
The Bottom Line:
Death at a party
Henry, Maggie must solve crime
In this fun movie
“In a Murder Mystery, This Would be very Concerning.”
When I started Hallmark’s cozy mystery movies earlier this year, I didn’t start The Gourmet Detective movies. Honestly, I’m not sure why since it is the only series starring a man, so you’d think it would have peaked my interest. Plus I love culinary cozies. But I decided to fix that recently, and I’m glad I did because this first movie was a lot of fun.
Henry Ross (Dylan Neal) is a consultant in the food world. He will help find substitutes for key ingredients, writes a weekly blog, and is friends with many of the owners of five star restaurants in his native San Francisco. One of his closest friends in the community is Peter Duquette (Bill Dow). Someone has been sabotaging Bill’s restaurant, and he wants Henry to investigate to figure out what is happening.
Chez Duquette is hosting a dinner for the San Francisco foodie community. It is filled with the normal squabbling between the various members of the group, but it takes an unexpected turn when investigative reporter Oliver Paige (Tobias Slezak) stands up to make an announcement. He’s found something out about someone in the group. But before he can say more than that, he dies.
The death brings in SFPD detective Maggie Price (Brooke Burns). She is less than impressed with Henry and everything he’s already found, so she is even less thrilled when her captain wants Henry to consult on the case because of his connections to the suspects. Can the two of them work together to find the killer?
These movies are based on a series by Peter King written twenty years ago. I’ve never read them (although I do have the first in another series he wrote around the condo somewhere), so I came to this movie with no preconceived ideas about the characters or the plot. However, I really enjoyed it.
The plot is strong, with a variety of suspects and motives. As Henry and Maggie start their investigation, Henry learns quite a few secrets that he didn’t know about the group of people he thought he knew. I didn’t have any idea who the killer would turn out to be until the duo pieced things together in the end.
And it was both of them. Henry and Maggie wind up making a great team, and they both contribute to the solution of the mystery. Meanwhile, there are definitely romantic sparks between the bachelor and divorced single mother. Honestly, their chemistry and some of the writing reminded me of Castle and Beckett from Castle, and considering how much I loved that show, that’s quite a compliment.
Yes, the movie has the typical Hallmark movie cheese, but that’s my only complaint. The cast is all great in their roles, and I had a lot of fun watching it.
So if you haven’t checked out The Gourmet Detective yet, now’s the time to fix that. It’s a fun romp that will leave you guessing until the end.