Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Hallmark Mysteries Channel: The Flower Shop Mysteries

Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel has a great new lineup of mysteries and Kerry Hammond is here to tell us about one of her favorites.

I recently discovered that my television programming added The Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel to my lineup. Imagine my delight to find out that Hallmark has adapted several cozy mystery series into original movies. Let’s face it, we can only watch each episode of Murder, She Wrote so many times before we realize we remember who the killer is in the opening few scenes. But thanks to Hallmark we have new and exciting mysteries to watch, many featuring characters we’ve already read about.

The first show I discovered were the Flower Shop Mysteries, based on the books by Kate Collins. Florist Abbey Knight, played by Brooke Shields, owns a small town flower shop called Bloomers. You might think that being a florist would be a pretty safe profession, but you’d be wrong. Abbey gets herself caught up in her fair share of murders after giving up her New York City law career and moving back to her hometown of New Chapel. Some of the supporting actors include Beau Bridges, who plays Abbey’s Dad, and Brennan Elliot who plays Abbey’s love interest Marco Salvare.

The question everyone always asks is: which are better, the books or the movies? My answer is, they’re both great. I’ve read several books in the series and they’re great fun. Abbey is quirky and nosey. She’s a short redhead who has a habit of meddling into things that get her into to water. Her mother fancies herself a sculptress and her ex-cop Dad has taught her more than a few things about investigatng.  Marco is the hunky restaurant owner who helps get her out of the hot water she finds herself in and he also happens to be the man she lusts after. The books are full of as much humor as they are mystery.

The movie version of Abbey isn’t short or a redhead—Brooke Shields is clearly neither. She does, however, share Abbey’s nosiness and her attraction to Marco. Brook Shields, although she bears little resemblance to the Abbey in the books, manages to really do a great job of playing the part. The writers of the tv show make some changes from page to screen—in the books Abbey is a law school dropout and in the show she is a former trial attorney—but the changes work and didn’t take away from my enjoyment of both. The movies are a bit less funny and quirky, but the mysteries are engaging and keep you guessing.

You can read about Abbey Knight in the 18 books in the series by Kate Collins, and you can watch three Hallmark adaptations: Mum’s the Word, Snipped in the Bud (based loosely on the book Slay it With Flowers) and Dearly Depotted. Some of the plots are changed, which might bother some readers of the series. For me, I enjoyed that I could watch and be surprised at who the killer turned out to be.

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