Pros: Fun mystery
Cons: Plot points obvious at times; cheese
The Bottom Line:
Puzzle for a friend
Gets Tess involved in murder
“We Just Found Your Phone Number at a Homicide Scene.”
For our final two Hallmark mystery movies of the year, we get to return to another of the many new franchises that they’ve introduced this year. It’s time to return to New York City for the second Crossword Mystery – Proposing Murder.
We are once again spending time with Tess (Lacey Chabert), the crossword editor for a newspaper. When she meets Lyle (Kyle Buchanan), a friend from college, she is delighted to find out that he has fallen in love. One thing that he and his girlfriend Abby (Alex Paxton-Beesley) have in common is their love of crossword puzzles, and he asks Tess to hide his marriage proposal in this Sunday’s crossword puzzle. Tess is only too happy to oblige.
Unfortunately, Abby never sees the proposal. When she arrives for brunch, she finds Lyle stabbed on the floor of his apartment. Detective Logan (Brennan Elliott) lands the case, and he is surprised to find a connection to Tess. Tess once again jumps into the case. Can she help Logan figure out what happened to her friend?
Yes, Tess’s aunt Candace (Barbara Niven) is around again, although she only has a couple of scenes. This movie is really focused on the case, and as such Tess and Logan get the majority of the screen time. Yes, Logan does his share of investigation, but it is Tess who makes the majority of the connections and uncovers the majority of the clues.
The movie is very obvious when it is setting up something that is going to be used later. They couldn’t have been more obvious if they used neon signs saying “Important plot point. Pay attention.” Then, it just becomes a waiting game until they actually use what they’ve set up. I do usually prefer my mysteries to be a little more subtle about things, but this is a fairly minor complaint.
The mystery winds up in some pretty unexpected places as Tess follows the puzzles. Yes, there are some puzzles beside crossword puzzles that come into play, and Tess’s skills truly help move the case forward. There’s plenty to keep us entertained as we wait for those plot points I mentioned above to come into play. And there are plenty of suspects to keep us guessing.
This movie does come with the standard Hallmark cheese warning. It seemed to me to have a pretty average dose in both the writing and acting, but fans of the channel’s movies will know to be ready for it.
Proposing Murder is an entertaining mystery movie. When you are looking for a little light entertainment, it will fit the bill perfectly.