Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Movie Review: Murder, She Baked - A Deadly Recipe

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Fun mystery with delightful characters
Cons: Usual Hallmark cheese
The Bottom Line:
Death of a sheriff
Gives us fun mystery as
Hannah must clear Bill

“What Did You Put in Those Cupcakes?”

While I have become addicted to Hallmark’s cozy mystery movie franchises, my favorite remains the Murder, She Baked movies since they are based on the Hannah Swensen books, a series I’ve been reading since the very first book came out.  A Deadly Recipe is the latest movie, and it is once again very fun.

Things are heating up in the little town of Lake Eden, and Hannah (Alison Sweeney) is caught in the middle.  Sheriff Grant (Ty Olsson) is up for reelection, and Hannah’s brother-in-law, Bill Todd (Toby Levins), is running against him.  This is causing quite a bit of friction in the department.  While no one likes Grant, he is throwing his weight around and making people more miserable than normal.  For example, Bill has been working on a string of car jackings, and just as he is getting close to cracking the case, Sheriff Grant takes the case away from him.

Fortunately, Hannah does have a project that she is using to distract her.  She’s in charge of compiling the Lake Eden Cookbook with recipes from everyone in town.  She’s been given a well-loved recipe for fudge cupcakes that is unfortunately missing a key secret ingredient.  She’s working on a batch to find that secret ingredient at a meeting of the cookbook committee when Sheriff Grant stops by, snagging a cupcake on the way out.  When Hannah and her sister Andre (Lisa Durupt) leave a little while later, they find Grant dead, the cupcake still in his hand.  With Bill a natural suspect, Hannah has to step in and solve the case.

Since I love these characters so much, I’m having a great time revisiting them in the movie version.  Yes, there are some differences from the book (for starters, this is the fifth book but fourth movie), but I don’t care.  I find myself smiling the entire way through.

Speaking of the books, I’m not sure why, but this movie was given a different title than the book.  While the movie is A Deadly Recipe, fans of the series will immediately recognize the plot as that of Fudge Cupcake Murder.  But the title doesn’t matter at all.

While I am able to remember details of the character arcs from the books, I must admit I was rather hazy on the who-done-it before I started watching the film.  All I could remember was who the victim was, for example.  But parts of the plot started to come back to me as I watched as the various suspects were introduced.  Still, I found the ending a surprises.

This series is known for its love triangle, and that is heating up in the movies as well.  Both Detective Mike Kingston (Cameron Mathison) and dentist Norman Rhodes (Gabriel Hogan) are great guys (as they still were at this point in the books as well), and it’s hard to say who I am rooting for, assuming the movies stay away from the resolution we just got in the books.

About the only thing that the movie is missing the book has are the recipes.  However, some of the items featured in the book gets prominent mentions in the movie, especially the Apple Orchard Bars (which are absolutely delicious, by the way).

Of course, this does come with my standard cheese warning since this is a Hallmark movie.  But I’m finding it less and less of an issue the more of these movies I watch.

So if you are a fan of cozy mysteries, sit down and enjoy Murder She Baked: A Deadly Recipe.  It’s fun to watch and will leave you hungry for more.

Looking for the movie on DVD?  It's part of the Murder, She Wrote Complete Collection.

If you've missed the book, here's my review of Fudge Cupcake Murder.


  1. I guess when you don't have tv service you miss out on a lot. I had no idea Hallmark was featuring cozy movies.

    1. The first one is coming out on DVD in a couple of weeks. Yes, they did start with Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder.

  2. Movies are okay but not nearly as good as the books. Can't buy perky blond "Sami" as Hannah, who is supposed to be redheaded, tall and big-boned. Norman is also too young and good-looking!