Hallmark Movies & Mysteries: The Dancing Detective, A Deadly Tango

Jun 10, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Kathleen Costa, Mysteryrat's Maze, TV

by Kathleen Costa

Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is shining brightly with several returning and new mysteries to excite fans. The very popular Hallmark lead Lacey Chabert (Crossword Mystery) is cast in the role of Detective Constance Bailey in the new The Dancing Detective: A Deadly Tango. Her co-star, British actor and Hallmark regular Will Kemp, is one with whom she is very familiar having concocted sweetness in Love, Romance, & Chocolate and tripped the light fantastic in Christmas Waltz. Here, they reprise their dancing duo talents to uncover a murderer with humor, romantic tension, and spin on the dance floor. Will Kemp is a natural, of course, having begun his career with the Royal Ballet School in London. Lacey Chabert, however, is a novice, but with her determination, respect for her craft, and lots of intense practice, I understand, she makes it all look smooth. They make a wonderful pair.

Detective Constance Bailey, referred to as “Bailey,” is a very single-minded, no-nonsense detective from Lorimar Cove, New York. It’s obvious to her superior that she’s challenged working with others having had three different partners in three years, but she closes many cases with a successful outcome. She explains her “do it on my own” method is just her wanting the job done right. She believes it to be “thorough,” yet her captain sees it as more “obsessive.” There’s a new case, a career maker, but one with which she will need to work well with others. Her superior decides to take a chance on Bailey reminding her to “collaborate!” She, of course, responds, “I can collaborate with anyone.” We’ll see.

Wealthy American, Mark Aston, CEO of Aston International, is preparing for his company’s annual team-building event: an amateur dance competition in Malta. Senior execs and their partners of all shapes, sizes, and levels of ability compete with the idea of learning more about the business they’re in. The company owns a series of dance schools holding competitions all over the world. Mark, however, is dead under suspicious circumstances, and his brother, a U.S. Senator expects the best detective to be assigned to join with Interpol and investigate. Hence, Bailey gets the assignment.

Arriving in Malta, Bailey meets Interpol’s liaison Ana Spiteri who has arranged her undercover identity as a new employee of Aston International … and a dancer. A what? They’ve also found her a dance partner who will also play her husband … My what? Knowing she needs to “work well with others” she resigns to “go with the flow,” but her dance partner and faux husband Sebastian Moore is the same one who nearly hit her with his red sports car when she tried to cross the road, albeit not looking the right way.

Sebastian is an actor/dancer, “a star in his own mind,” who in exchange for his participation created the couple’s persona. A fan of detective shows, he dubs the duo Stewart and Sally Miller, a nod, he says, to the husband/wife detective team from the show McMillian & Wife he and his Aunt Vera used to watch. He’s way too eager for an active role in the investigation causing Bailey to calm him down, often referring to him by a name of a famous detective, and reminding him it’s her investigation. But, with several suspects to question from the widow to various company employees, Bailey acquiesces to splitting up the list and each taking on the role. With a glint in his eye and a charismatic smile he says, “The game is afoot.”

This new mystery is a perfect hit!
“Go with the flow…” is Bailey’s mantra reminding herself to prove she’s a team player and worthy of promotions. Sebastian is free spirited, fancies himself a detective while Bailey is all business with two left feet, but together they move well across the dance floor, handle the threats, and corner the killer with a quick, quick, slow “you’re under arrest” move. The mystery itself was of a traditional style murder with the victim portrayed as worthy of some comeuppances and suspects having realistic grievances, hidden connections, questionable backgrounds, and adulterous affairs. The duo are quite the opposite in personality, but each have their strengths that work well together. Definitely need more of them!

The ballroom dance theme was entertaining which obviously highlights Kemp’s skill, and for the most part, Chabert did hold her own in four-inch heels (which I’ve always admired). The dance lessons often included insights into the emotional connection necessary in dancing and the practice session had the two tango-ing in the water which resulted in a humorous dousing — how many takes did that scene require? Chabert’s character falls asleep during a 1940s black and white movie in which she dreams the duo are co-stars enjoying a romantic dance sequence and kiss, so the possibility of romance between these “opposites” is strongly hinted. The two actors work well together having channeled prior co-starring roles and an off-screen friendship. Malta is a beautiful filming location and well worth being placed on anyone’s bucket list, and seeing this pair together in a different locale is definitely my vote!

Next Up!
Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Something New
Airing Friday, June 9 — “Young Aurora Teagarden returns home to Lawrenceton after college to pursue her post-grad degree and finds herself embroiled in a mystery involving her friend Sally’s fiancé. Starring Skyler Samuels, Evan Roderick and Marilu Henner.”

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

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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