Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Good characters, fun
Cons: Predictable mystery, Hallmark production values
The Bottom Line:
Finding crime at sale
Fun characters cover for
Not a Rare Fine, but a Fun Movie
Of the Hallmark Mystery and Movie Channel franchises, the one that seems to be doing the best features a woman who loves garage sales. I find that ironic since it is based on a series of books I haven’t heard of. In fact, best I can tell, there are now more movies than books in the series. But since I am a fan of star Lori Loughlin thanks to her days on Full House, I sat down to watch the first, Garage Sale Mystery. I found it entertaining but lacking.
Jennifer Shannon (Lori Loughlin) loves garage sales, heading out every Saturday hunting for any bargain she can find. Most of those bargains she then sells at her second hand shop. Since she is out every week, she often sees the same people over and over again.
Which is why she becomes curious when she hears of a string of robberies in the area she usually shops. Some of the houses that have sales are being hit the next week. When she finds an old friend dead a couple of days after another sale, Jennifer really becomes concerned. Is another regular a killer?
My main issue is that the mystery is fairly light. Yes, there are a couple of cool connections that are made, but I had the main plot pretty much figured out before the half-way point. That never happens since I tend to over think things, so I found that disappointing.
Add to that the usual Hallmark original movie syndrome. There are a couple of jumps that the movie made I had to struggle to follow, and a romance between the detective in charge and Jennifer’s daughter, while certainly cute, felt a bit rushed.
Having said that, I did enjoy watching this movie. It was nice to see a mystery with a main character who is happily married and who is old enough to have a daughter in college and a teenage son. Most of the time, the main characters in the books I read are late 20’s or early 30’s and single. While the romance with the daughter felt forced, the scenes between her and the detective were very cute and made me laugh. And I absolutely love how Jennifer and her husband interacted and the obvious love between them.
I don’t know what it is about Hallmark productions, but they exude a certain atmosphere both in the production and the acting. That certainly creeps into the acting here as well; it’s not that the acting is bad, but it isn’t the best it could be either.
While Garage Sale Mystery wasn’t an outstanding beginning, I certainly did enjoy it and the characters enough to be willing to revisit them. Since I have the rest of the films on my DVR, I’m sure I will be doing that soon.