Saturday, September 16, 2017

Hallmark Cozy Mystery Movies I'm Loving

Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel has been making my heart happy lately by turning all kinds of cozy mysteries into movies!  Now since I'm chronically behind in pretty much all my reading, watching, and listening I haven't gotten around to watching all these adaptations but I thought I would share 2 I'm really enjoying and 1 that fell a little flat.  Even though some of these have been released some time ago Hallmark replays them on a regular basis so if you're interested you should have no trouble catching them.

The Aurora Teagarden Mysteries based off the series by Charlaine Harris

Movies in Order of Release:
A Bone to Pick (watched)
Real Murders (watched)
Three Bedrooms, One Corpse (watched)
The Julius House (watched)
Dead Over Heels
A Bundle of Trouble

My Thoughts:  I've watched the first 4 and have really enjoyed them.  While Harris' original series is got a little more grit and grimness than most cozies the Hallmark version has smoothed out the edges and upped the cozy factor.  Even Aurora's prickly coworker has softened though they'll never be friends.  All but the most recent movie are based (very loosely) on the books but the tone is so much lighter that if neither will spoil the other for you.  My favorite character is Martin who appears in Three Bedrooms, One Corpse though Aurora's friend Sally, the reporter, is a close second.  As well I'm in love with the concept of the Real Murders Club and have been really glad that not only does it stick around through several movies (unlike in the books) but at times they get together and discuss the case that Aurora is working on.  I want to be in that club!

This is a Hallmark movie so there's some cheesiness but the mystery has been entertaining and well done and the cast is pretty stellar which makes these a good choice for when you're in the mood for a movie and a cozy mystery at the same time.  My favorite so far is The Julius House and least favorite is A Bone to Pick.  It isn't bad but suffers a little from series setup as it's the first.  While you could jump in at any movie this series may be best watched in order as there is quite a bit of character development.

Garage Sale Mysteries based off the two books by Suzi Weinert

Movies in Order of Release:
Garage Sale Mystery (watched)
Garage Sale Mystery: All That Glitters (watched)
Garage Sale Mystery: The Deadly Room (watched)
Garage Sale Mystery: The Wedding Dress (watched)
Garage Sale Mystery: Guilty Until Proven Innocent (watched)
Garage Sale Mystery: The Novel Murders (watched)
Garage Sale Mystery: The Art of Murder
Garage Sale Mystery: The Beach Murder
Garage Sale Mystery: Murder by Text
Garage Sale Mystery: Murder Most Medieval
Garage Sale Mystery: A Case of Murder

My Thoughts:  I love this series!  I love Jennifer (Lori Laughlin) and her friend and business partner Dani (Sarah Strange) and seeing what new things they pick up for their antique store and how it manages to pull them into a murder.  They're both just nice people and I really like that Jennifer has a friendly relationship with the police department.   This series makes me want to go antique shopping while simultaneously making me want to avoid it so I don't fall over any bodies.

As usual there's a certain amount of triteness but it hasn't kept me from enjoying the movies.  There are some actor changes as the movies progress but it hasn't bothered me more than an occasional "Is that the same guy that played Jennifer's husband in the last movie?" thought.  My favorite so far is The Wedding Dress but only by a little bit and I've really enjoyed all of them so I don't have a least favorite.  I haven't read the books these are based on so I have no idea how well they connect but the movies are probably my favorite.  While these aren't one note characters there isn't much relationship development so you can jump in anywhere.

Flower Shop Mysteries based off the books by Kate Collins

Movies in Order of Release:
Flower Shop Mystery: Mum's the Word (watched)
Flower Shop Mystery: Snipped in the Bud (watched)
Flower Shop Mystery: Dearly Depotted (DNF'd)

My Thoughts:  I don't like these at all for some reason.  The 1st one was okay but I made myself watch the 2nd and finally turned the 3rd off 20 minutes into it.  The acting is good and the mysteries are pretty decent but the movies just didn't work for me.  I think the chemistry between the Abby (Brooke Shields) and Marco Salvare (Brennan Elliot) feels very forced as well as Abby coming off almost aggressively curious.  This is no reflection on the books as I haven't read them so can't say how closely these follow the books but I do love the concept and plan on reading them.  However, when it came down to it I found Brooke Shields' portrayal of the main character just a little too jarring to watch.

Have you watched any of the Hallmark cozy mysteries?  What did you think?


  1. I haven't read any of these books, but all are on my TBR. I really want to see the movies, though. They look good.

  2. I haven't read any of the books, but I must say that I love the Aurora Teagarden and Garage Sale Mysteries the best.

    I also like the Flower Shop Mysteries...but not as much.

    The Murder She Baked Series, which you didn't mention, is another top favorite for me, mostly because I enjoy the character played by Alison Sweeney.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. You haven't watched my favorite series which is Murder She Baked!! I like Aurora Teagarden to and I have seen them all and I love all the ones with Martin just cause I love Yannick Seen all the Garage Sale Mysteries but your favorite is my least I like The Novel Murders. :) Can't believe you don't like The Flower Shop mysteries but I can get where your coming from, I am just a Brennan Elliot fan so I watch it for that, but I am guessing it didn't go over well cause there has not be any new ones.

    Hope you have Fixer Upper mysteries on your list as it's one of my favorites as well though it only has two. The new Emma Fielding one has promise, but I think the one I am not a big fan of his Haley Dean, not sure why but it's just not a fav.

    When it comes to cozies on Hallmark I am all caught up, now other series...that is another :)

  4. You make me want to watch all of these! I don't often watch the Hallmark channel, and I'm not up on which book series have been made into small screen series, so these are all new to me. I'll have to see if I can check some of them out. Thanks for sharing!

  5. It's nice that they're producing so many of these. I haven't watched any cozy to TV adaptations I don't think but I can think of a few that would be fun!

  6. Ugh, we don't get the channel. The regular Hallmark channel, yes but not the Movies and Mysteries one.

  7. I haven't seen any of these. I am pretty sure that I don't have access to this channel but I wouldn't mind checking out the Aurora Teagarden movies.

  8. You know I love the Hallmark channel and it has been a while since I have watched. I didn't even know about thank you!