Monday, July 10, 2017

Tonight's Movie: Framed for Murder: A Fixer Upper Mystery (2017)

FRAMED FOR MURDER: A FIXER UPPER MYSTERY (2017) is the initial film in a new Hallmark Movie Mystery series which debuted earlier this year.

Hallmark now has several movie mystery franchises, including Garage Sale Mysteries, Aurora Teagarden, Flower Shop Mysteries, Hailey Dean, and the brand-new Emma Fielding series.

I've previously watched two other Hallmark movie mystery series, MURDER, SHE BAKED and THE GOURMET DETECTIVE, both of which I liked very much.

FRAMED FOR MURDER wasn't in quite the same league as MURDER, SHE BAKED and especially THE GOURMET DETECTIVE, but I still enjoyed it quite well. The movie was inspired by the FIXER UPPER mystery series by Kate Carlisle.

The singer Jewel (full name, Jewel Kilcher) produced and stars in this film as Shannon Hughes, a contractor and restoration expert in the town of Lighthouse Cove.

Shannon finds herself working to solve the death of an old family friend (Ken Tremblett) when the local police don't take her concerns about the possibility of murder seriously.

Writer Mac Sullivan (Colin Ferguson of EUREKA and CEDAR COVE), who has just moved to town and hired Shannon to renovate a house, jumps in to assist her in tracking down clues. Conveniently, Mac is living in Shannon's guest house while she works on his home -- a project which looks like it will take a while, given how much time she spends on detective work!

The story is initially somewhat cumbersome, as it takes a while to introduce (too) many characters and suspects, who we don't get to know particularly well, but the film picks up speed as it goes. The lead actors have a very good camaraderie which builds over the course of what gradually emerges as a solid, enjoyable film.

FRAMED FOR MURDER was directed by Mark Jean and filmed by Tyler Walzak. Like most Hallmark films, it was set in the U.S. but filmed in Canada.

FRAMED FOR MURDER was followed this spring by CONCRETE EVIDENCE (2017). According to an interview with Jewel, a third film will air later this year. In another interview she said she's contracted for as many as nine films, assuming the series continues to do well in the ratings.


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