Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Movie Review: A Game of Cat and Mouse - An Aurora Teagarden Mystery

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong mystery, favorite characters
Cons: Aida needs something different to do; light dose of cheese
The Bottom Line:
A series of thefts
Seems to target Aurora
Fast moving and fun

“So We Have Agatha Christie to Blame.”

I hadn’t realized it had been just over a year since we last visited the characters in Hallmark’s Aurora Teagarden mystery movie series until this week.  No wonder I was so glad to get back and visit them again in A Game of Cat and Mouse.

While it’s been a year for us, it wasn’t clear how long it has been for the characters.  However, things haven’t changed too much in Aurora’s life, including her relationship with Nick Miller (Niall Matter), the new man in her life.  While they hang out, they haven’t been on very many official dates.  However, Aurora (Candice Cameron Bure) is planning to take a huge step in their relationship – she’s inviting him to the next meeting of the Real Murders Club where she is presenting information on the Lipstick Killer.

The evening of the meeting, the club members arrive to find that someone has destroyed the bulletin board that Aurora had already prepared for her talk, leaving behind one of the crime scene photos with a cryptic clue on it.  Then, someone breaks into Aurora’s mom’s office, leaving behind another photo with a clue.  As the attacks continue, each one getting worse, Aurora will have to act fast to solve the case.  Is she the real target?

At this point, the movies have officially left the books behind, not that I’ve read the books to begin with.  Still, the mystery is completely the invention of the writers hired for this movie, and it was a good one.  There was plenty of action to keep us engaged and enough suspects to keep us guessing until the surprising end.  And I thought I had this one pegged early, too.

I had to look it up, but when I did I was surprised to learn that we had only met Nick in the previous movie.  While I still miss Martin, I am enjoying Nick.  He’s a supportive boyfriend who cares about Aurora, which is important considering all the things that Aurora and her friends and family are put there here.  The plot gives all the supporting players a chance to shine, which is wonderful.  I also enjoyed the fact that Aurora’s cousin Phillip is an active part of the movie again.  I thought he might have been introduced only for the previous movie.

My biggest disappointment with the characters comes from Aurora’s mother, Aida (Marilu Henner).  Outside her big scene, she is pretty much reduced to “Aurora, give up the Real Murders Club.  Aurora, stop sleuthing.”  We’ve seen this before, and it would be nice to see some growth from the character.  Fortunately, it’s not a major issue in the movie.

Of course, the film does come with a light dose of Hallmark cheese, but as long as you know this going in, you’ll be fine.

So settle in and see if Aurora can win A Game of Cat and Mouse.  Personally, I’m already looking forward to revisiting the characters again this weekend.

This movie is part of the Aurora Teagarden Mystery Collection 3.

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