by Doward Wilson
Hallmark Movies and Mysteries continue to give us great movies in the various lineups with new ones coming out every month. For a fun night’s entertainment check all them out. You won’t be disappointed.
Hallmark recently aired the third installment of its Martha’s Vineyard Mystery series, Ships in the Night: A Martha’s Vineyard Mystery, based on novels by Philip R. Craig. The series stars Sarah Lind as Dr. Zee Madeiras who is the coroner and police chief’s daughter making it easy for her to get personally and professionally involved with any homicide investigation. Joining her is Jesse Metcalfe as former Boston detective and close friend Jeff Jackson whose skills and experience makes his involvement invaluable. Together with Eric Keenleyside as the police chief Madeiras escaping justice is not an option.
When an art gallery theft leaves a murder victim behind, Zee and Jeff are pulled into the investigation to help find the murderer and a stolen sculpture. Among the suspects, we find the gallery owner, an older woman with secrets, the sculptor whose piece was stolen, the delivery man who transported the gallery’s items being shipped overseas, the husband of the murdered woman who didn’t know she was having an affair, the man involved in the affair, or someone else? As the investigation continues, Jeff is shot at, opening up more questions than answers.
This cast of characters works very well together bringing life to this tantalizing and puzzling murder mystery. The plot is well written surprising us at the end.
Our second new murder mystery is from Hallmark’s Crossword Mysteries series from New York Times crossword puzzle creator, Will Shortz. In this fourth installment, Crossword Mysteries: Terminal Descent, Lacey Chabert stars as crossword puzzle editor Tess Harper whose skills with puzzles make murder mysteries easy. But, she often runs afoul of Brennan Elliott as detective Logan O’Connor who understands her value in his investigations, but worries she’s not police trained. Both sides have additional support with Tess Harper’s aunt (Barbara Niven) and Logan’s police chief father (John Kapelos).
When Tess is tapped to go up against a super computer in a crossword puzzle competition, she and Logan get involved in the murder of the CEO of the computer company. The CEO was killed when the safety protocols on the elevator were overridden, plunging him to his death. Was the murderer the spy who was planting bugs in the company’s offices, the woman who was against the plan to sell out to the government, the pickpocket who took something from the CEO before he got on the fatal elevator ride, the wife who is having an affair with a competitor, the son who has secrets or someone else?
Our lead characters have a great chemistry and really make this series work. The story is well written and the plot is skillfully twisted to keep you guessing right to the surprising conclusion. The next installment, Riddle Me Death, will air this year.
Hallmark’s Movies and Mysteries line up also includes Chronicles Mystery with the fifth installment, Chronicle Mysteries: Helped to Death. We have Alison Sweeney starring as podcaster Alex McPherson who not only produces her signature real crime podcast, but also assists in her uncle’s newspaper. The newspaper provides her resources, and Benjamin Ayres starring as the newspaper’s editor Drew Godfrey provides the necessary help while investigating a murder at a self help retreat with a controversial life coach.
What secrets was the murdered man hiding and what was he really doing at the retreat? Was the murderer the husband whose wife the victim was having an affair with, the life coach who had done prison time for a prior crime and was counting on the retreat being his big comeback, the front man who coordinated everything or someone else?
This is another series where the cast really comes together to deliver a resounding show. The murder plot was very tricky and gave us a surprise ending.
You can check out KRL’s reviews of other mystery movies on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel in our mystery section. You can also go to the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel website to learn more and check out their schedule for more new movies coming soon.
Join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Don’t forget to check out KRL’s new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode went up last week.