Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Curious Caterer: Grilling Season

Feb 11, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Kathleen Costa, Mysteryrat's Maze, TV

by Kathleen Costa

Hallmark Movies & Mysteries have added to their Signature Mysteries group Curious Caterer: Grilling Season, the second movie in the Curious Caterer series starring a pair of Hallmark regulars: Nikki Deloach and Andrew W. Walker. The two proved their connection in the first movie, Curious Caterer: Dying for Chocolate (reviewed HERE) and strengthen it with this second installment. The Curious Caterer series is based on the Goldy Bear (later Goldy Schultz) Culinary Mystery books by Diane Mott Davidson which once again have provided a fun, clever, and entertaining cozy.

It’s dark, and the house appears empty. A “Private & Confidential” envelope sits on the counter. A woman pours a drink, her hands shaking. She opens the envelope reluctantly, and while reviewing the documents from inside, she’s attacked from behind, then placed near the grill … it explodes!

Earlier that evening.

Berry Good Catering heats up the grill for guests at the birthday party for Susie Craig, the current girlfriend of Goldy’s ex-husband, Dr. Richard Korman. Goldy has a very positive relationship with both, but the rest of the guest list may not be so friendly. Susie’s own ex-husband, Hal Bartholomew, is in attendance vying for a rekindled relationship; it’s suspicious whether it’s of a personal or professional nature. Goldy overhears Susie’s business associate, Kenny Zox, making a threat when he learns Susie is suing him over a condo development. Jessamyn, the detective’s ex and Susie’s friend, is pleasant enough, but wants to buy Susie’s real estate agency that may or may not be for sale. The neighbor Dr. Dennis Lockwood is one not really welcomed since he’s lodged too many complaints about Susie to the homeowner’s association; one more complaint and she could be forced to sell her house, and he just happens to have an interest in buying it. Then, there’s an infidelity issue. Susie’s boyfriend, Goldy’s ex, suspects Susie is cheating on him with her own ex-husband; not great when he hoped to propose. Then, the PI Susie hired shows up asking for a private word. What a plethora of suspects and motives for Detective Shultz to explore after he gets word Susie was killed!

Goldy, unfortunately, starts getting several catering gigs cancelled due to suspicions surrounding the exploding grill. This makes for quite the motivation for her and her business partner, Marla McGuire, to find a killer quickly. She was extremely helpful to Detective Shultz the last time, but the breaks in protocol, perilous predicaments, and her ex being the main person of interest puts their partnership in jeopardy that desserts may not satisfy. But, further business entanglements, Susie’s will, another dead body, a seemingly perfect frame job, and a personal attack makes it all very complicated.

Earns 5/5 Grilled Kabobs! My one requirement is that these mystery shows, however fictional, have a sense of realism, and I still find this show to be one of the best. The cast are all well-suited for their character, especially the lead actors. Nikki Deloach performs very well with credible emotions and interactions with her ex, her teenaged daughter, her large group of friends and clients, and with the detective for whom you can tell she is interested. Andrew Walker has the physical demeanor and skills of a cop and also does well hiding his budding feelings. The partnership between a caterer and detective may not be replicated in real life, but it’s not fake with them bringing complimentary skill sets, critical thinking, and a closeness that works. The mystery is clever with the victim having many conflicts spawning reasonable suspects and motives from various relationships to business dealings. And the successes hunting down clues, dismissing suspects, and honing in on the truth along with the perilous failures in judgement that climax with someone in deadly jeopardy adds to the entertainment. All of the facets of this show from the cast and their connections to the mystery, its investigation, and the final nail-biting arrest makes this my favorite Signature Mystery.

Hallmark Movies & Mysteries has reported that a new Curious Caterer Mysteries movie will be premiering on Sunday, April 10. Details, though, are forthcoming.

Other Signature Mysteries Not to Miss!

Crossword Mysteries stars Lacey Chabert as crossword puzzle master Tess Harper and Brendan Elliott as NYPD Detective Logan O’Connor. They work together, not always without conflict, proving they, too, have an excellent connection. There are currently five movies each with a clever mystery, plenty of clues to explore, and some perilous moments thrown in. There are rumors of more!

Chronicle Mysteries stars Allison Sweeney, from the Murder, She Baked series, as true crime podcaster Alex McPherson and Benjamin Ayres as newspaperman and colleague Drew Godfrey. Exploring several cold cases from missing persons to murder, they use various resources, reinterview when possible, and check the evidence to try to find closure for family and friends of the victim. The podcaster narration is very engaging. There are currently five movies, but no news about any more … fingers crossed!

Keep informed and updated!
Facebook: Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
Website: Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
Twitter @hallmarkmovie

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying year 2 of retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband of 26+ years.


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