Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Delightful main character; puzzling mystery
Cons: Usual Hallmark cheese
The Bottom Line:
Fresh body at dig
Emma’s troubles beginning
In charming movie
“Bits and Pieces are My Specialty.”
Ever since Hallmark announced their newest mystery I’ve been asking myself just one question – do I have the book? I know that Site Unseen, the first Emma Fielding mystery by Dana Cameron, was on my to buy list back in the day, I just can’t remember if I ever actually bought it or not. (And if I did, I have no idea where it might be in my condo.) Frankly, that was just an academic question for me since I knew either way I was going to watch this movie.
Emma Fielding (Courtney Thorne-Smith) is an archeologist, and she’s spending the summer trying to prove an idea her father had championed when he was alive – that there was an earlier colony than Jamestown. In fact, she’s leading this dig on the land where he always thought it was, the land owned by her step-mother.
Since Emma spent summers in this town, she knows some of the locals, and when she’s not leading her students at the dig, she’s reconnecting with old friends. Some people aren’t glad to see her back, and after threatening her, one of them turns up dead – buried in her dig. As more and more things start going wrong, Emma must figure out who is behind it all before her dig is shut down for good.
There’s a lot happening in this movie. After an opening scene that really introduces Emma, the movie never slows down at all. The movie could have used another suspect or two, but that’s a minor issue. Everything does make perfect sense when Emma figures it out in the end.
The characters make for a very charming bunch. Emma is a strong lead character you want to spend time with. One thing that makes her appealing is the bond she obviously shares with her step-mother and how much her students look up to her. Yes, the suspects aren’t as charming, but that’s to be expected in a story like this.
Of course, the movie does come with my usual Hallmark cheese warning. This is a low budget movie, and the acting and writing mirror that. However, if you can remember that, you’ll get swept up in the charm and mystery.
And I definitely recommend you watch Site Unseen. This is a delightful puzzle with a strong main character that will keep you interested until the final scene has aired.