Mom and I watched these movies together in June:
111. (1340.) Murder, She Baked: A Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery (2015)
112. (1341.) Murder, She Baked: A Peach Cobbler Mystery (2016)
116. (1345.) Murder, She Baked: A Deadly Recipe (2016)
117. (1346.) Murder, She Baked: Just Desserts (2017)
There are five Murder, She Baked movies, all based on the Hannah Swensen series of mystery novels by Joanne Fluke. Mom had read several of the novels, though none that were the basis for these movies.
The obvious "Murder, She Wrote" connection is intentional. These were made for the Hallmark family of television channels, and they do have a very "television" vibe to them. The first is the worst, as the template there feels like a daytime soap opera. However, the others all have a different director and feel much more movie-like. They reminded me of the directorial style Twilight series, which I would call competent if not showy (or especially noteworthy). Things like setting and continuity are almost afterthoughts.
Hannah isn't as good a detective as she is a baker, but she's not up against The Maltese Falcon. Most of these films tip their hands early, and none of the solutions came as a surprise. But solving the crimes isn't really the point. The movies spend most of their time focusing on Hannah, her family, and most importantly, her love life as she vacillates between Mike the policeman and Norman the dentist. (For the record, I rooted for the dentist.)
Recommended for those who enjoy the cozy mystery genre and spending a rainy evening with a mystery that won't tax the little gray cells.
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