[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]
I am very rarely a slow burn. I’m usually all in or all out, but occasionally something or someone sneaks up on me. The Murder She Baked series has done that. I didn’t overly love the first one, A Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery, but I really, really enjoyed the second one, last month’s A Plum Pudding Mystery, and have rewatched it a few times. So I’ve been looking forward to the third installment, A Peach Cobbler Mystery, which is airing just six weeks after the last one, this Sunday on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.
I’ve realized now that Cameron Mathison has snuck up on me, too. Because the good news is that while A Peach Cobbler Mystery is another solid installment in the series, it’s also Mathison-light, and that made all the difference to me. I’m guessing that’s due to availability because he is uber busy.
I’ve watched him roll around in Hallmark and UP movies and thought he was perfectly lovely (which he absolutely was when I chatted with him last year before the first film), but when I finally watched him in The Christmas Ornament this past Christmas, the last scene broke me. And now, watching him play Mike opposite Alison Sweeney‘s Hannah, I like them so much together that one without the other in the mix isn’t the same.
The latest film has a big cast again, so there’s plenty going on, but I missed Mike here, especially after he and Hannah (spoiler alert) had that smoking hot kiss at the end of the last film. I hope if there’s a fourth one that the scheduling is sorted so Mathison is all over it, as he was last month.
A Peach Cobbler Mystery is set at Valentine’s Day (which makes me wonder why it’s not airing next month…) as Hannah finds herself on a professional downswing because of a new competing bakery across the street. That’s soon the least of her worries as she’s pulled into yet another murder (and her family hilariously responds with “Not again!”).
This time around, Norman (Heartland‘s Gabriel Hogan) is her primary investigative companion as Mike is forbidden (by guest star Ty Olsson) from fraternizing with her while he works the case. While it’s great to see Norman and Hannah get past being so stiffly formal, I will admit that I still missed her banter with Mike.
Love geometry in general makes me ragey, so I’m not keen to drag this out when Mike and Norman are both fundamentally kind, decent guys. I haven’t read the books, so I don’t know if that’s a thing for the run of the series or whether she settles on one suitor, but I hope it’s the latter. Michelle Harrison (Mama Allen on The Flash) guests as twins who are old friends of Mike’s, which also complicates things with Hannah. Roark Critchlow (Cedar Cove and Pretty Little Liars) plays a new love interest for Delores (Barbara Niven).
I’m intrigued by how the various film series are coming together for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Garage Sale Mystery, Gourmet Detective, and Aurora Teagarden all retain the same creative teams from movie to movie, but Murder She Baked has used three separate writers. Teena Booth (both Aurora Teagarden films) wrote the newest film, and the previous two were written by Donald Martin (#1) and Nancey Silvers (#2 and creator credit on #1). Kristoffer Tabori directed this one and the last one, but the first film was directed by Mark Jean. For the most part, they’ve kept the same look and feel, but I have noticed slight differences here and there. Just a nerdy observation.
Murder She Baked: A Peach Cobbler Mystery premieres Sunday at 9/8c on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Here’s a sneak peek. In case you missed the first two films, they air Sunday starting at 5/4c.
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