Thursday, August 24, 2017

Movie Review: Garage Sale Mystery - Murder Most Medieval

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Fun story with characters we love
Cons: Weaker mystery; Hallmark cheese
The Bottom Line:
Body in armor
Weaker mystery movie
But still fun for fans

“I’ve Heard About You and Mysteries.”

We’ve now reached the third Garage Sale Mystery that Hallmark is releasing in August, and we’ve finally reached one that has a true connection to the theme.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining since most cozy mysteries branch off from their theme, but since Murder Most Medieval has a definite connection to Jennifer’s love of garage sales, I was impressed.  It becomes hard to tie into a theme after a certain point in time.

Jennifer Shannon’s (Lori Loughlin) newest client is Bill Wallis, an eccentric rich man who belongs to a club that practices medieval fighting for fun.  He also collects antiques, or well-done reproductions as long as he knows what he is getting and pays the appropriate price.  So when Jennifer finds a full set of medieval armor at an estate sale, she naturally thinks of Bill and buys it to resell to him.

Jennifer wasn’t the only one to spot the armor, and a few days later she receives a visit from Robert McNary, a professor at the nearby college.  He wants to buy the armor for use in his classroom, and when Jennifer states that she’s already sold it, Robert insists she call the buyer and try to get it back.  Naturally, Bill isn’t interested.

When Jennifer goes over to deliver a chair she’s found for Bill, she stops to admire the armor, only to discover that it is dripping blood.  Inside is Robert, dead.  How did he get in there?  Who would want to kill him?

This isn’t the tightest mystery in the series.  The plot has a noticeable hole in it.  They try to fill it, but I still don’t buy their explanation fully.  And I did figure out the villain and the motive fairly early as well.  That’s not to say that I didn’t have fun watching Jenn try to solve the case, but as a puzzle it could have been better.

And let’s face it, those of us who are hooked on these movies watch them for the characters.  That means the sub-plots are just as important as the mystery.  In this movie, Jenn’s daughter Hannah (Eva Bourne) is running for senior class president at college.  (Wasn’t she a senior already?)  And Jenn’s best friend and business partner Dani (Sarah Strange) is debating about attending her high school class reunion.  Both of these are fun and a great way to show off the supporting cast.

This does come with the usual Hallmark cheese warning, but I find the more of these movies I watch, especially in a row, the less I notice.

While not perfect, Murder Most Medieval is still a lot of fun.  Fans of the franchise will definitely enjoy it.

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

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