There’s a new crime-solving duo on Hallmark’s block, and the mystery these two pair up to solve begs to have its puzzle pieced together. In Mystery 101, we receive a crash course on how best to do this.
Mystery 101 (2019) Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Review
Professor of English, Amy Winslow (Jill Wagner) is not only at ease teaching “mystery fiction,” it’s something she’s quite good at. You see, Amy has a knack for spying clues. Part of her talent is thanks to her father who, and his novelist mind. When one of her students goes missing after a cryptic text, she takes action.
This then leads her to Winslow’s police department, and their new transplant. Detective Travis Burke (Kristoffer Polaha) is the best of the best or so says his partner, Claire (Sarah Dugdale), who considers Travis her mentor. Claire also happens to be a former student of Amy’s, which, much to Travis’ annoyance, leads Amy to insert herself into the investigation.
Hallmark likes to re-pair its already familiar lineup of TV stars. In the case of Mystery 101, this is true of its leading duo. Kristoffer and Jill previously appear together in the romance Pearl in Paradise. In ‘Paradise,’ their banter in the romantic-comedy, and the “adventure” to seek the titular pearl, makes for a fun nearly 90-minutes of television. In this new “pilot” (or we can hope so!), they again work well together, and their on-screen character’s chemistry suggests they’re already interested in a relationship.
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Not unlike Hallmark’s first January mystery premiere, the culprit is pretty easy to peg. Nevertheless, it’s still a fun mystery to puzzle together. This script has the appearance of a slightly “darker” mystery in comparison to its peers. This isn’t because of a “scary” story or a depraved character like you might find on a TV procedural, instead it’s because of the characterizations. Kristoffer’s detective is a more serious character, especially in comparison to his prior roles. Still, I like this persona on him. He pulls it off well, and it makes the way he changes towards Amy all the more endearing.
Lest you think otherwise, this one still retains its “cozy mystery,” lighthearted experience if you’re not a fan of things that go bump in the dark. The conclusion amps up the mystery, and leaves us hopeful everyone will be ok, even though we know (from experience) it will be. Still, the pulse-pounding excitement is perfectly suited to the situation and scene.
If you enjoy this branch of Hallmark, Mystery 101 is worth spending an evening in for. It’s a bit rough around a few edges, but if it returns for more puzzle solving (crossing my fingers), it could become one of my favorite series.Kristoffer Polaha and Jill Wagner pair again in the @HallmarkMovie original Mystery 101 - Meet the New Sleuths on the Block! Click To Tweet
Photos: Hallmark / Crown Media Press