Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Movie Review: Garage Sale Mystery - The Pandora's Box Murders

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong mystery and sub-plots with characters we love
Cons: Hallmark cheese factor
The Bottom Line:
Is puzzle box clue?
Jen faces two challenges
In fun mystery

“Be Careful.  The Last People to Touch It Turned Up Dead.”

After last summer’s successful month of Garage Sale Mysteries, I wasn’t too surprised when Hallmark announced that they were doing it again.  The four new movies kicked off in great fashion with The Pandora’s Box Murders.

As we first meet Jennifer Shannon (Lori Loughlin) and Dani (Sarah Strange), co-owners of Rags to Riches, they are being filmed for a pilot.  A production company wants to feature them in a reality series.  They are in the middle of filming a scene when Tamara Andronicus (Jessie Fraser) walks into the shop with a puzzle box from her recently deceased mother-in-law.  Jen is intrigued, and the producer is excited, thinking this could be the highlight of the pilot episode.

Unfortunately, when filming a scene the next day, the box is stolen.  When Jen goes to break the news to Tamara, she discovers the woman dead at the bottom of the stairs.  It looks like it could be an accident, but Jen is certain that there is something else going on.  Can she get into the puzzle box?  Will any secrets inside lead to the killer?

The franchise provides a great opportunity for unique and fun clues, and the puzzle box at the heart of this movie certainly plays perfectly into that.  While Jen is busy collection suspects and then clearing them, she is also working hard on figuring out how to get into the box.  Naturally, everything comes together for a perfectly logical climax, although one that certainly surprised me.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Shannon family get their own sub-plots.  Daughter Hannah (Eva Bourne), who is working on a post-graduate degree, finds herself possibly maybe dating a cop (Cory Rempel).  Honestly, I hope this relationship lasts for at least a couple of movies, something her relationships don’t seem to do.  And how do they meet?  He’s the officer who responds to brother Logan’s (Connor Stanhope) minor accident in their father Jason’s (Steve Bacic) prized classic car, and Logan spends the rest of the film trying to figure out how to pay for the damage.  Honestly, I loved this sub-plot as well.  Realistic?  Maybe not, but it was nice to see how everyone reacted to it.  I saw the ending coming, but that didn’t mean I liked it any less.

Of course, the movie does come with the usual Hallmark movie cheese warning.  But that’s no surprise at this point, right?  The cheese doesn’t extend to the coroner’s corny joke of the movie.  It was definitely one of his better ones.

I’m looking forward to seeing what other trouble Jen can stir up this month.  If you are a fan of this franchise, you’ll enjoy watching her solve The Pandora’s Box Murders.

This movie is part of the Garage Sale Mysteries Collection Four set.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for your great review Mark!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is my favorite Hallmark movie series! I'm excited for this one!

    ReplyDelete