Saturday, August 19, 2017

Movie Review: Garage Sale Mystery - Murder by Text

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong mystery and characters
Cons: It’s a Hallmark movie
The Bottom Line:
Suicide, murder?
Question about band member
Light but fun movie

“So My Air Tight Locked Up and Done Suicide is Now a Murder?”  “Not Yet.  But Can We Take a Closer Look?”

As a fan of cozy mysteries, you quickly forgive stories that involve your main characters but only partially pertain to the theme.  That’s what happened in the second Garage Sale Mystery that Hallmark is premiering this month – Murder by Text.

You see, this mystery revolves around the local modern country band Dalton.  Yes, Jennifer Shannon (Lori Loughlin) gets involved with this mystery when members of the band come into the shop she co-owns with her best friend Dani (Sarah Strange).  But that’s about the only connection to Rags to Riches or garage sales we really have in the movie.

It turns out that Dani is a huge fan of the group, so much so that when she meets front man John Dalton (Kurt Teixeira), she can hardly speak.  Dalton is releasing a new CD and about to launch a new tour, but they are starting off with a sold-out concert for members of the group’s fan club here in town.  When Jenn and Dani get invited to the sound check, they jump at the chance.

However, the sound check doesn’t go as planned when the base player, Lita, doesn’t show up.  Then she sends a text message to everyone in the band that looks like a suicide note.  Two band members rush over to her home to find her dead from an apparent suicide.  But is something else going on?

Once again, Jenn faces a good puzzle because there are very few clues that this isn’t what it appears to be, a tragic suicide.  Watching Jenn piece it together is entertaining as always, and I was engaged the entire way through.  The clues were great, and I didn’t figure out the killer until the final 15 minutes.

The rest of the cast gets some interesting sub-plots.  Dani is dealing with a visit from her sister, Beth Anne (Gabrielle Miller).  The two don’t get along super well and haven’t had much contact in years.  Why is she visiting now?  Meanwhile, Jenn’s husband Jason (Steve Bacic) and daughter Hannah (Eva Bourne) are fighting over an old building in town.  Jason’s company has just gotten a contract to tear it down and put in condos but Hannah is fighting to save it as a historic building.  Neither sub-plot is exactly original, but they do add some fun and give us a chance to see the rest of the main cast, which isn’t a problem since I love them.

Yes, my usual cheese warning applies, although it doesn’t seem as bad this time around.  Still, there are moments where the acting or the writing are less than they could be.  Honestly, I was caught up in the story so much I didn’t really mind.

So even though this didn’t have as much of a connection to garage sales, Murder by Text is still a fun chance to hang out with characters we love and watch Jenn solve a great mystery.  Fans of the series will be delighted with it.

This movie is part of the Garage Sale Mysteries Collection Three DVD set.


  1. I'm a fairly new follower Mark, and a recent Hallmark Movies watcher thanx to our cable provider. I saw Murder by Text was on, but didn't watch for whatever reason. I kinda like the fluff and will look for it when it runs again.

    2 questions for you:1. Have you seen The Sinner yet
    2. Are you going for Home to Mitford Sunday night

    1. That for following!

      1. I haven't watched the Sinner. Don't intend to since it doesn't interest me.

      1. I've set my DVR to record the movie tomorrow, but I'm not sure when I will get it watched or reviewed. I've got two more of these movies coming this month, including one tomorrow night.

  2. I really enjoy watching Jennifer work through the puzzle pieces of each murder. This was a great one for that. The Side dramas were well written too. I love it when Jennifer has to ask her son, Logan, about tech advise. However, I truly miss the original Logan!!!! This one just doesn't gave the spark like the original actor. I wish they'd bring back the "real" Logan. I wasn't sure I was going to be happy without the original Jason, Jennifer's husband. But this one has grown on me. However, the new Logan has not!