Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Fun characters decent plot
Cons: Major changes from books; Hallmark cheese
The Bottom Line:
With florist as the suspect
Big changes from book
Black Roses and Murder
Since I’ve only read the first three books in the Flower Shop series, I don’t have the huge attachment to the characters and setting that many long term fans have. As a result, I haven’t been that bugged by the changes that Hallmark has made for their Flower Shop Mysteries series loosely based on the books. (And I do mean loosely.) However, having watched the second movie, Snipped in the Bud, I am very curious about just how different it was from the book.
As the movie opens, Abby Knight (Brooke Shields), owner of Bloomers, has just gotten an order for black roses to be delivered to Bruce Barnes (Daniel Kash) one of the pre-law professors at the nearby college. Since Abby’s daughter (Celeste Desjardins) is struggling with the professor this semester, Abby decides to deliver the flowers personally and try to put in a good word with the professor.
However, almost as soon as Abby steps on campus, she runs into Carson Howell (Jeff Teravainen), a lawyer turned professor that Abby has dealt with in the past. In fact, they went head to head just over a year ago right before Abby left law to open her flower shop. They get into an argument while walking inside. Before Abby can leave campus, Carson is murdered, and the police think that Abby might be the killer. Can she find the real killer before the police arrest her?
This is the fourth book in the series, and the one that I’ve had on my TBR pile for a long time since I’ve read the first three. (Seriously, it’s right there if I ever make the time to read it.) As a result, I can’t comment specifically on how they might have changed the plot, but I am very curious. See, in the books, Abby is younger and never married with no kids at all. And she never practiced law. You can see from those two facts and my brief plot teaser that we’ve got major changes to the story already. But it makes me curious how these elements are worked out in the book because the plot works very well with the changes made for the movie. (I’m sure it does in the book as well, but I can’t comment on how.)
And the mystery definitely works here. I guessed the killer early on in the movie, but I didn’t have the motive figured out at all. That’s not to say that the other suspects weren’t viable. I certainly could have seen any of them as the killer.
I must be getting used to the Hallmark movie effect, or the acting was better than some of the others. Yes, there is a hint of cheese to the acting and directing, but I didn’t find it as bad as I have in some of the others I’ve watched. I have a feeling I’m just getting used to the style of these films.
The actors do a decent job of bringing their characters to life. This is especially true of the main cast, who also includes Beau Bridges as Abby’s father and Brennan Elliott as Marco, the potential love interest for the widowed Abby. I must say that Abby’s flirting with Marco continues to be one of my favorite aspects of these films.
If you can forget the books, you’ll find Snipped in the Bud to be a diverting mystery movie. If, however, you love the books too much, you’ll probably want to skip this film. (I can’t say anything if you fall into the second category. I’ve felt the same way about movie versions of other books in the past myself.)