Have you ever wondered what a young Jessica Fletcher would be like? What if Jessica wasn’t a retired English teacher but rather the owner of a mystery bookshop? What would you think if Jessica’s sidekick was an assistant district attorney instead of Seth, the town’s doctor?
If you have ever pondered any of these questions, then have I got news for you! Just by watching one of the Hallmark channel’s Mystery Woman television movies, you will have the answers to these questions.
Mystery Woman is a series of television mystery movies that originally rotated with several other mystery shows on the Hallmark channel. The rotation included Mystery Woman, McBride, Murder 101, and Jane Doe. (The Mystery Woman‘s television movies are my personal favorites of that Hallmark mystery rotation.)
The show stars Kellie Martin as Samantha Kinsey, the owner of a mystery bookshop that she inherits from her uncle. The fact that Samantha owns a mystery bookstore makes it easy for the plot lines to include the mystery book references that are sprinkled throughout the different shows. Whether Samantha is finding a rare first edition copy of a mystery book or she is hosting a mystery author’s signing appearance, Samantha is sure to find a corpse during the (+/-) one and a half hour shows.
Samantha’s sidekick is Cassie Hillman, assistant district attorney. Cassie is played by Nina Siemaszko, and the “girls” have a very believable relationship. They seem to always be on the search for the perfect boyfriend although they don’t seem to have much luck.
The police chief (Casey Sander) usually follows a different path while solving a case. (It’s a good thing that Samantha’s path is always the correct one, and her path leads her to catch the culprit!) The police chief’s path usually means that he arrives to the crime scene (and the crime clue scenes) just as Samantha is leaving. She is always at least one step ahead of Chief Connors.
Clarence Williams III plays Philby >>> a great help to Samantha. Philby holds down the fort at the mystery book shop as well as provides all sorts of computer (and espionage!) help. It seems that Philby once worked for an agency akin to the C.I.A.
I have seen all of the Mystery Woman episodes and am currently making my way through them for the second time. It’s that enjoyable of a show. The show has a truly “Cozy” feel to it. Everyone in the community knows each other; there are “regulars” who go from one show to another. There is a sense of community, the which seems to be comprised of people who look out for each other, no matter how eccentric they are.
After watching this series, you may come away with an “aha” moment. >>> So this is what Jessica Fletcher was like years before she moved to Cabot Cove!
P.S. I didn’t mention this before, but Mystery Woman‘s pilot had several different actors in it, however Kellie Martin was the only Samantha.
P.P.S. I think this is the correct order of the Mystery Woman episodes:
- Pilot (It is very difficult to get the pilot. )
- Mystery Weekend
- Sing Me a Murder
- Vision of a Murder
- Game Time
- At First Sight
- Wild West Mystery
- Oh Baby
- In the Shadows
For more Cozy viewing ideas, click on my Cozy Mystery TV & Movies page.
(I have added this information on the Upcoming Television Mystery Movies for January 2014.