This summer I've been watching the MURDER, SHE BAKED movie series from the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel. The movies are based on books by Joanne Fluke.
MURDER, SHE BAKED: A PEACH COBBLER MYSTERY (2016) is the third film in the series, following MURDER, SHE BAKED: A CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE MYSTERY (2015) and MURDER, SHE BAKED: A PLUM PUDDING MYSTERY (2015). A PEACH COBBLER MYSTERY is as engaging as the first two films; I'm finding this series quite enjoyable and look forward to more.
Bakery owner Hannah Swensen (Alison Sweeney) discovers the owner (Michelle Harrison) of a competing bakery dead in her kitchen. Hannah's family can't believe she keeps finding bodies in their little town of Eden Lake, Minnesota -- but matters become even more serious when Hannah becomes a potential suspect.
Hannah's friend Norman (Gabriel Hogan) helps her do some sleuthing to clear her name; meanwhile Hannah's other friend Mike (Cameron Mathison, seen at right), a police detective, must keep Hannah at arm's length while she's under investigation.
While dealing with the stress of waiting to be cleared of murder, Hannah is also trying to figure out her love life. Norman, a dentist, is a sweet guy who's game to do whatever Hannah needs and is ready to make a commitment...but Hannah's not sure Norman makes her heart zing quite like Mike, who's still getting over his wife's death.
The number of people who end up murdered in an otherwise charming little town might stretch credulity, but the viewer is willing to suspend disbelief for such a fun "cozy" mystery series. It's great to spend time in Eden Lake, whose inhabitants include Hannah's flighty mother (Barbara Niven), pregnant sister (Lisa Durupt), and police officer brother-in-law (Toby Levins).
MURDER, SHE BAKED: A PEACH COBBLER MYSTERY was directed by Kristoffer Tabori and filmed by Dave Pelletier. British Columbia stands in for Eden Lake.
Only the first film in the series is available on DVD, but hopefully the others will follow in due course. All three films are also rerun regularly on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel.
There is currently one more film in the series, MURDER, SHE BAKED: A DEADLY RECIPE (2016). Hopefully there will be more to come in the future!