Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Movie Review: A Murder in Mind - Morning Show Mysteries

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Complex mystery, good characters
Cons: Light dose of Hallmark cheese
The Bottom Line:
Actress and murder
Evidence points to guilty
Can Billie clear friend?

“I Wish She’d Stick to the Baking and Leave the Murders to Me.”

Hallmark Movies and Mysteries seems to have decided to give us movie marathons this year, with several entries in a franchise coming out once a week during a month.  Personally, I preferred it when they spread the movies out over the course of a year, but I can see how it is easier for fans of a certain franchise to make sure they don’t miss anything.  Anyway, it is Morning Show Mysteries month, and A Murder in Mind is our first chance to revisit Billie Blessings.

Billie (Holly Robinson Peete) is thrilled for her friend Katie Sanders (Hilary Jardine).  She used to work at Billie’s restaurant, but now has landed the lead on a locally produced TV series based on the life and cases of a well-known attorney immortalized by her son in a series of bestselling novels.  The show is sure to be a hit, and Katie is going around the local media doing press, including a stop on Billie’s morning show.

However, all is not as perfect as it seems.  Katie is getting threatening notes that tell her to leave the show or else.  Then a dead body turns up, and everything seems to point to Katie.  Billie is sure the evidence is wrong, but can she find anything that will prove to Detective Ian (Rick Fox) that Katie is innocent of the crime?

As many Hallmark Mysteries Movies as they are pumping out this year, they are really stepping up their game plot wise.  The mystery was very tightly plotted with plenty of twists and turns to keep me guessing.  I suspected a few things, but I was more wrong than I was right when all was said and done.  And they included several tense scenes that kept me glued to the screen as we reached the climax.  I do feel the wrap up scene glossed over some of the consequences of the story on the non-guilty characters, but that’s a very minor complaint.

Meanwhile, the characters are good.  Yes, we have the usual supporting characters, and I enjoyed their scenes.  Some definitely could have used a bit more screen time, but it would have taken away from the plot, and there’s always next week’s movie, right?

Yes, this is a Hallmark movie, so there is a bit of cheese, but it isn’t that bad, actually.  I was able to quickly get lost in the characters and story thanks to actors who were doing their jobs well.

I do have to comment on the irony of this movie.  One plot point involves a morality clause in a contract, something that has sadly shut down production on Hallmark’s longest running current mystery movie franchise.  The timing of this in the first new mystery movie to be released after the news broke was too perfect not to comment on.

As hard as it is to keep up with all the movies Hallmark pumps out these days, they are perfect when you want some light entertainment.  And that’s just what we get with Morning Show Mysteries: A Murder in Mind.

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