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15 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

GREAT MYSTERY!

10/10
Author: whpratt1 from United States
3 September 2003

This TV film should be made into a regular series like "Murder She Wrote". It kept me spellbound, never knowing who the killer really was, with hidden doors and passageways. Robert Wagner played a role like Janet Leigh in "Psycho" and made you wonder how the killer could have entered or left a bolted door. Try to catch it the next time it is shown on TV, lots of romance and mystery!!!

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

pilot for the "Hallmark Mystery Series" entry

6/10
Author: blanche-2 from United States
16 September 2005

This was evidently the pilot for the "Mystery Woman" series starring Kellie Martin, which rotates with "Jane Doe" and "McBride" on the "Hallmark Mystery Series." I'm a fan of Kellie Martin and of this concept, but thanks to the direction of this pilot, the minutes flew like hours. This was an extremely slow-moving, poorly acted mystery.

Martin was the only one kept of the original cast; the characters of Cassie and Philby were recast. One character who does not appear in the series is Samantha's ex-husband, played by handsome Steven Brand. Frankly, I think they could use him on the show.

The producers put some money into this pilot, which concerned an unsolved, 10-year-old murder and a mystery novelist who threatens to reveal the killer in his next book. Robert Wagner plays the novelist, and Joan Severance, whose career I guess we can assume is not what it was, played his wife. With her beauty and outrageously gorgeous figure, Severance looked to be headed towards big things in the '80s. Who can forget her with Kevin Spacey in the "Mel Profitt" "Wiseguy" story arc? Anyway, William Moses plays a police detective who is the partner of Wagner's son.

I found the story very far-fetched (not to mention given away in the first twenty minutes) but with some elements that I wish they would put into Mystery Woman now. The idea of Samantha referencing mystery books to solve a crime is similar to what Pierce Brosnan's Remington Steele did with movies, and it's a fun concept.

What I found frustrating was, first of all, the pacing, which particularly in Mystery Woman is very slow - it seems less of an issue in Jane Doe and McBride, and in the pilot, it was deadly. I thought it funny that, though in 2003 Wagner was using a standard typewriter, no one commented on it. The DA never asked why Wagner hadn't brought the police the evidence he had for an unsolved murder. A blackmailer claims that at the author's book party, she revealed to someone that she was that person's real mother - does anyone else think a book party is a strange place for that type of discussion? Samantha didn't even blink. The adopted person never commented on it. And how is it that everyone knows the date of a murder that took place ten years earlier? It seemed to be right up there with the Pearl Harbor bombing and 9/11. Bad script.

I'm surprised on the basis of this, the series was picked up. I'm glad it was, though, and I hope they get some better directors and scripts as time goes on. Not to mention a few customers for the Mystery Woman bookstore.

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

I'M A FAN...REALLY !!!

10/10
Author: gary renfield (gary_renfield@email.com)
8 September 2003

I was surprised and pleased to see the 'quality' look and feel of MYSTERY WOMAN. It was no low-budget cable experiment, it was polished. Kellie's a natural, and looked great. Robert Wagner's name in the tv listing and face on the TV screen was a BIG plus. (If it becomes a series, perhaps a celebrity 'victim' each week?) Mystery Woman was definitely left 'open' for further adventures.

To be honest, the story could have been a bit 'tighter'. The mysteries and their solutions should be able to be held up to scientifically accurate scrutiny. For the production monies spent, the 'little' discrepancies should not be there (and there were more than a few). STANDARD OPERATING PROCECDURES for cops, coroners, victims, and family members are not strictly enforced. But, the result is a 'not' overly-complicated story, perfect for an 8pm Sunday-night, network slot.

Now that the main character Samantha Kinsey is established, I would like to see storylines that stick more to 'mystery' and not dwell on her ex-husband, love life, or other personal aspects just to fill out the show to it's 'run time'.

One more thing... I'm sure Kellie is a wonderful photographer in real life and it was a great idea to make her character's profession something that she loves so much. It even gives her an 'excuse' to travel to the locales of 'other' mysteries, but... BUT... please stop mentioning 'PHOTOGRAPHER' (or variations) every 5 minutes !!! It's distracting.

As a fan, I'd be happy to watch Kellie Martin read the phone book. As a critic, I'd have to say (even after my criticisms) that MYSTERY WOMAN is a great 'vehicle' for Kellie, and that I was very entertained and would love to see more installments. GOOD JOB !!!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

okay mystery series aided by casting

5/10
Author: theresamiszkwitz from United States
10 September 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Recently the Hallmark Channel aired the first movie in their Hallmark Mystery Movie series revolving around Samantha Kinsey, a young woman dabbling in photography and is starting out again after the break up of her relationship with her ex spouse or ex boyfriend. And she inherits a bookstore from her late uncle and begins her new career as owner and manager and part-time detective.

I am glad that they recast one of the roles in subsequent movies, the one of Philby, the friend of her late uncle's who seems to have some kind of secretive past. Clarence Williams III was missed here, along with that typical police officer who discounts Sam's opinions.

Here, Robert Wagner was fun to see as the writer and victim. The reason why he was killed was linked to a strange death and to several other events throughout the story. Even with his limited scenes, Wagner was engaging. I wanted to see more of this guy and what went wrong. Too bad it didn't lead to similar casting cues in later movies.

What I like most is Kellie Martin's character. She has a lot of book and street smarts and likes pictures and has regard for writing and mystery novels and authors. And she gives a perspective to solving these crimes that the other detectives can't and often won't. Since she is not a detective or a cop or a lawyer she is often discounted and ignored by those in the know but like Jessica Fletcher she picks up on things that those in the know miss. And I too like pictures, books and have lots of trivia and knowledge so the character is easier to identify with.

The movie though is an okay if not a great mystery with the revelation surprising and then not so, but it is held together by a nice performance from Martin. The guy who played Philby here did not seem to spark well with her though. Glad they changed that with the next film.

Recommended for those who want a break from procedural dramas and plot based shows and those who grew up with the mystery movies like "Columbo" where an unlikely character solves the crime and finds what others miss. It is a good way to pass several hours, not great but fine.

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Love the series, but haven't seen and cannot find the 2003 Pilot

9/10
Author: dawn_carden
24 February 2017

I love the series as a whole and have watched them over and over. However, I've never seen the pilot movie. Hallmark does not show it. I have fount it in two places where you can supposedly watch for free, but each time I try to register, my credit card is rejected. Definitely watch what you can. Hallmark Channel, SHOW US THE PILOT!!!!

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okay mystery series aided by casting

5/10
Author: theresamiszkwitz from United States
10 September 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Recently the Hallmark Channel aired the first movie in their Hallmark Mystery Movie series revolving around Samantha Kinsey, a young woman dabbling in photography and is starting out again after the break up of her relationship with her ex spouse or ex boyfriend. And she inherits a bookstore from her late uncle and begins her new career as owner and manager and part-time detective.

I am glad that they recast one of the roles in subsequent movies, the one of Philby, the friend of her late uncle's who seems to have some kind of secretive past. Clarence Williams III was missed here, along with that typical police officer who discounts Sam's opinions.

Here, Robert Wagner was fun to see as the writer and victim. The reason why he was killed was linked to a strange death and to several other events throughout the story. Even with his limited scenes, Wagner was engaging. I wanted to see more of this guy and what went wrong. Too bad it didn't lead to similar casting cues in later movies.

What I like most is Kellie Martin's character. She has a lot of book and street smarts and likes pictures and has regard for writing and mystery novels and authors. And she gives a perspective to solving these crimes that the other detectives can't and often won't. Since she is not a detective or a cop or a lawyer she is often discounted and ignored by those in the know but like Jessica Fletcher she picks up on things that those in the know miss. And I too like pictures, books and have lots of trivia and knowledge so the character is easier to identify with.

The movie though is an okay if not a great mystery with the revelation surprising and then not so, but it is held together by a nice performance from Martin. The guy who played Philby here did not seem to spark well with her though. Glad they changed that with the next film.

Recommended for those who want a break from procedural dramas and plot based shows and those who grew up with the mystery movies like "Columbo" where an unlikely character solves the crime and finds what others miss. It is a good way to pass several hours, not great but fine.

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8 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

No Mystery why this is a great movie.

Author: oudabashian
5 September 2003

Well written, entertaining from start to finish. Hallmark needs to air this one as much as possible. K. Mart did a great job, and Robert Wagner was a convincing dead guy. Hope to see the sequels to this one. The possibilities are endless. MUST SEE!

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Great series

9/10
Author: NewEnglander56 from USA
16 August 2006

I did not see the original Mystery Woman premier, but I have been watching the Hallmark Channel this week (third week of August, 2006) to see the episodes. I like the plot lines and characters.

Philby is my favorite character. He's soft-spoken but quite wise. (Go Clarence!!) 30+ years in TV has made him a comfortable presence in this series. It's nice to see a guy who 'knows people' ("Don't ask") and seems to be comfortable in front of a PC. Philby convincingly shows me that he knows how to use the resources at hand.

This is down-to-earth,logically progressing, and believable. I'll keep watching as long as they keep filming! Hallmark Channel has quickly become my favorite channel for evening entertainment.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

This is one great movie

Author: hopechristian7 from Nevada
6 September 2003

Kellie Martin was fantastic in this movie. She is a very earnest and appealing actor. The supporting cast was excellent. It was wonderful; I am looking forward to more. Kellie Martin proves that books can teach us all kinds of things. I also liked seeing her photographs in this movie.

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5 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Great Story & Perfect Cast

Author: NobodiesAngel_16 from Ashland, Ky
1 September 2003

This story was really good. I do admit that at times, it could've been better, but I really enjoyed it as it kept me on the edge of my seat. The ending was perfect. Who knew that reading mysteries could get you to learn so much? I really recommend this movie.

The cast was great! Kellie Martin is one of my favorite actresses anyhow, but I really enjoyed her character. Robert Wagner was great, as was Constance Zimmer as Cassie.

A perfect movie and a perfect cast. What more could you want?

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