A Bake-Off Kill-Off
Not even falling down her cellar stairs can slow down Hannah Swensen (Alison Sweeney - Christmas at Holly Lodge), the owner of The Cookie Jar, as she is part of the judging panel for the town's first televised baking competition. But the night before the semi-final broadcast one of the judges, grumpy coach Leonard Bishop (Kurt Evans - Home for Christmas Day), is found dead, with it looking like it could have been murder. Having finally started dating detective Mike Kingston (Cameron Mathison - A Christmas to Remember), Hannah starts doing some investigating on her own as maybe all the judges are being targeted and she worries that she could be next. Or maybe it is someone involved with the high school basketball team who is disgruntled with the coach.
Every time I watch one of these Hallmark, made for TV amateur detective movies I find myself questioning whether I will bother to watch another one, but of course when the next one comes out be it are small town baker, librarian or garage sale expert I find myself watching. As such I find myself here having watched "Murder, She Baked: Just Desserts" and thinking about what can I say about this latest movie which I haven't said about the previous movies. And to be honest I could end up just repeating myself because unsurprisingly in "Murder, She Baked: Just Desserts" we have a murder and are favourite cookie baker, Hannah Swensen, turning amateur detective and ending up in danger as she snoops and talk to various suspects.
But do you know what, yes that's right it is the familiarity of "Murder, She Baked: Just Desserts" which works in its favour because it delivers the easy to watch entertainment which fans of these Hallmark movies like. Part of that entertainment is in the continuation of relationships as we have Hannah and Mike tip-toeing around each other with some romantic confusion. Plus of course there is Norman, who as he says is positioning himself in case Mike messes up. As such it is the returning cast and their likeable nature, especially that of Alison Sweeney, which plays a huge part in making this entertaining.
What this all boils down to is that "Murder, She Baked: Just Desserts" delivers a murder mystery and the continuation of the character's own stories. It is a combination which is completely routine yet that is exactly what you want, the easy to watch familiarity and light-hearted fun which had filled the previous movies in the franchise and will probably fill a couple more.