Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Movie Review: Dial 1 for Murder - A Tipline Mystery

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Decent mystery
Cons: One thing loses credibility; Maddie is over the top
The Bottom Line:
A robbery tip
Leads Maddie to dead body
Uneven debut

“I Bet You’re Great at Chess.”

When I saw the previews for the first Tipline Mystery last month, I was really looking forward to this new franchise from Hallmark Mysteries.  However, I found Dial 1 for Murder a bit disappointing.

This movie introduces us to Maddie (Holland Roden), a hotel concierge by day who works at the tip line for the Detroit Free Press at night.  One night, she gets a tip for a jewelry store robbery that is going to happen.  However, since she has nothing else to go on, the police, in the form of new detective Beeks (Chris McNally) doesn’t take her too seriously.

Sure enough, a jewelry story is robbed that night, and the owner is found dead on the floor the next morning.  With Maddie inserting herself into the investigation at every turn, Beeks reluctantly accepts her help.  Can they solve it together?

I read more than enough cozy murder mysteries that my disbelief is pretty suspended.  I mean, how often is a civilian really going to get involved in a murder, much less solve it ahead of the police.  Yet this movie went too far for me to even believe.  The captain makes Maddie a reserve officer without any background check or anything.  It was just as excuse for her to be officially working with the police instead of sneaking around.

I also found Maddie annoying.  She’s a true crime junky who was always doing or saying the wrong thing.  Yes, it was supposed to be played for laughs.  Unfortunately, it made me cringe.

Please note that I am not blaming Holland Roden, who is doing her best with the script she was given.  In fact, all the cast was fine.  They were under served by the script.

I will admit as the movie went along, I found Maddie toned down, which made her more enjoyable.  I really did like Detective Beeks and found his character grounding with all the antics around him.

And the mystery was decent.  There were enough suspects and motives that I didn’t piece it together early.  Then again, I’m often confused.  I also liked how the duo followed the clues they got to reach the climax.

Would I watch another Tipline Mystery?  Probably.  I’ve stuck with some other Hallmark franchises that weren’t the best.  But I hope they tone down the characters from what we got in Dial 1 for Murder.


  1. I loved Maddie's personality. (I wonder what that says about me. LOL.) I agree that there were a lot of suspects and motives, to the point where I got confused. This is one of my favorite mysteries of the year, though. I'd love to see more. I just wish they would stop giving us so many new ones and focus more on expanding on ones that have already begun.

  2. Maddie does sound a bit annoying though not unheard of for a cozy main character. I do like the sound of the setup and hopefully the series wil get stronger in the next book.


Thanks for stopping by. In order to combat spam, I moderate most comments. I'll get to your comment as soon as I can.