Murder, She Baked: A Plum Pudding Mystery (TV Movie 2015) Poster

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6/10
nice series, maybe the nicest of all the Mystery shows
blanche-226 June 2016
"Murder, She Baked: A Plum Pudding Mystery" is part of a series of movies starring Allison Sweeney and Cameron Mathison. If you're a soap fan you're very familiar with both of them.

People tend to look down on soap actors. They forget that as actors, they have to be able to cry on cue and express real emotion, memorize as many as 60 pages of dialogue in a day, and one other thing as well -- they have to make their unbelievable story lines believable. And they succeed.

In Eden Lake, Minnesota, it's a week before Christmas, and Hannah Swensen (Sweeney) who owns Hannah's Cookie Jar is very busy indeed filling orders. At this point she has two men after her, Mike (Mathison) a police officer, and Norman, a dentist. Her mother Delores (Barbara Niven) likes Norman. Her sister Andrea (Lisa Durupt) likes Mike.

That's one feature of Hannah's life; the other is that she keeps finding dead bodies. This time it's one of her own customers, Larry Jaeger, who co-owned the Crazy Elf Christmas tree lot with Courtney Miller (Farah Fath, another soap actress), his fiancée.

Mike hates that Hannah becomes involved in these cases; she gets in the way of his own investigation.

The major suspect is a friend of Hannah's mother, Nancy Schmidt (Ona Grauer), better known as "Dr. Love" on the radio. She is still married to Larry, but she hasn't seen him in years, since he stole all her money and disappeared. Larry was collecting money from the Christmas tree store but his fiancé was doing all the work.

It turns out that Larry has a few enemies, so Dr. Love is just one. And Hannah may be in danger as she gets too close to the truth.

I guessed I missed something during this - I mean, how big is this town that Dr. Love never ran into Larry? He's obviously in town because he was killed there.

Plot hole or no plot hole, this episode has a nice atmosphere, and the acting is fine. Kristoffer Tabori does a good job of directing as he keeps the action moving. The romance is nice, too, with Sweeney and Mathison having good chemistry.

As an aside, Cameron Mathison is one of the sweetest people in the world. If you tell him your friend so and so met him in Chicago, he'll say, right - she came with her mother, right? He's amazing that way. It's always nice to see him.
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9/10
Intelligent & Engaging
conniecam-2566717 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The title suggested something fluffy and sickly sweet, but I found this and the other MSB entries engaging and interestingly complex. The casting is great and I see Allison Sweeney as a lovely and intelligent actress. I appreciate the fact that she is obviously not a size 2, another believable aspect of her character-as-baker. Her sweet cat with its soft disposition, pretty eyes, and round face mirror the beauty of its owner. Cameron Mathison (sp?) and she have strong chemistry which builds nicely throughout each episode while the character of Norman makes for a suitable romantic alternative waiting in the wings. Throw in Hannah's neurotically romantic mother and slightly competitive but supportive sister and you have a skilled and pitch-perfect ensemble cast. I'm a big fan now and consider the series a new addition to my list of guilty pleasures.
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7/10
"Boiled in his own plum pudding"
bkoganbing7 October 2017
The small town of Eden Lake in rural northern Minnesota is rapidly becoming the murder capital of the stat per capita. Fortunately they have an able amateur sleuth in the person of Alison Sweeney bakery proprietor and creator of the region's best baked goods.

Other than the film is set at Christmas time and plum pudding has come down to us through Charles Dickens as a Yuletide delicacy and someone urges Sweeney to put it on the menu plum pudding really has nothing to do with the story.

But Christmas sure does. Kirby Morrow has opened a seasonal business the Elf's Christmas Yard where he sells Christmas trees. He winds up shot to death and of course it's Alison Sweeney along with town dentist Larry Hogan who finds him. After that no matter how much she's warned no keeping this woman away from a homicide she discovered.

As it turns out Morrow was one sleazy conman and a lot of people have reason not to mourn him. He's got a long estranged wife in town who hosts a radio show about romantic advice and a current fiancé who invested heavily in the business. And there are others.

I have to say in the end I felt a lot sympathy for the perpetrator. A good lawyer could get the person off.

Sweeney has been wavering between Hogan and police detective Cameron Mattison in the various Murder She Baked films. Whomever she marries I see a Lucy/Ricky like relationship with her being constantly warned you can't get into the homicide investigation.

And when she does she'll have a lot of 'splainin' to do.
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10/10
More New Mysteries this Year
limesjg9 August 2017
Love this series and was not surprised that it was nominated for an Emmy award at some point. Hannah is so real as is the whole cast. Hope to see a lot more new programs this year. I like that Hannah can't make up her mind if she should keep trying with Mike or give up. I loved the Valentines show where Hannah chooses to spend the holiday with her mother and sister rather then spend it with Mike or Norman.
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6/10
You can't pull a plum out of a raisin cake
pensman28 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I enjoy Joanne Fluke's cozy mysteries including the Hannah Swensen novels set in Lake Eden, Minnesota. Now I suspect The Hallmark Channel cranks out TV films on the cheap and definitely by the barrel full; but if you are filming a movie set in a Minnesota winter, the set shouldn't look like summer in California.

As for the story, a couple has opened up a Christmas tree shop, and Hannah supplies cookies to their site, The Crazy Elf. As Hannah drops off some cookies she notices that the owner, Larry Jaeger, seems to get involved in a fight. Then Courtney Miller, Larry's partner is observed getting upset when the bookkeeper drops off the results of an audit. Hannah stops by the tree lot at night to pick up a check and discovers Larry's dead body on the floor with his hand clutching an envelop with Hannah's name on it. And there is a complicating revelation: local radio personality Dr. Love is actually Larry's wife; and he had disappeared on her and thus she was never able to serve him with divorce papers.

So Hannah is on the case going from place to place with cookies in hand to "bribe" people into giving her privileged information. And of course Hannah is romantically torn between the town dentist, Norman Rhodes, and detective Mike Kingston. And while both "boyfriends" would prefer she stop looking for murderers, there's not a chance she will.

So you need a clue: things aren't always black and white.

For the romantics: Norman gets a peck but Mike gets a KISS.
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7/10
Can an amatuer detective outdo real police?
Jackbv12317 January 2018
One of the problems with most of these amateur detective series is that they always make it seem like the police are doing practically nothing. Actually this series is better than most in that regard. Mike is often ahead of Hannah. But sometimes not.

In this episode (if you will), Hannah discovers what appears to be a key clue which Mike acknowledges is helpful. If that's true, Mike is a poor detective. One of the first things modern detectives do is canvas for that particular clue.

Other than that, this is still a decent story. There is some romance too, in the form of a potential love triangle. The characters are appealing, especially Alison Sweeney as Hannah. While none of these actors will win an Oscar or Emmy, the acting is good enough to enjoy the story.
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Terrible Killer
tchiem16 February 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I re-watched the whole episode, and the killer only was featured for less than 1 minute at the 31-minute mark, and for another 30 seconds at the 59-minute mark.

No one can solve this mystery, because the killer was such a peripheral unimportant character. Sorry, but awful writing.

This makes me not to continue watching the series. Doesn't hold a candle to the Garage Sale Mystery series.
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1/10
NO! You'll lose your cookies if you watch this trash.
d.rust7 May 2018
I have to admit that I started to watch this crapfest during the first week of May this year. I couldn't STAND it. Who would say that a week before Christmas is a HOLIDAY? Yes, folks, a voice emanating from a radio said that it was a beautiful HOLIDAY morning. Moments later it is revealed that it's a week before Christmas. This writer by name of Alison Sweeney must be brain damaged.

OK, I'm going to put a season 9 DVD from MARRIED WITH CHILDREN to scrape the sugar off my brain.

If you think for a moment that this is Holiday Fare, fuggedabowddit. "IT'S A BUNDYFUL CHRISTMAS" is far better.
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