2020’s arrival brought some new Movies & Mysteries signature series, including their Martha’s Vineyard line. The crime-solving group we met in ‘A Beautiful Place to Die’ returns in ‘Riddled with Deceit,’ a new story that impresses me as much as its peer. We catch up with Jefferson “Jeff” Jackson (Jesse Metcalfe) as the Boston native settles more into his former summer home and the place he now calls home. Part of that means occasionally helping the chief of police (Eric Keenleyside) with some jobs now and again. The latest is providing protection at the local hotel when a priceless diamond heirloom is finally being returned to the family.
Given that the owner is her best friend, a perk of the job is that Jeff’s friend, Dr. Zee Medieras (Sarah Lind) will also be in attendance. Though the event unveiling the diamond goes fine, it’s in the aftermath where chaos leaves more questions in its wake.
Riddled with Deceit: A Martha’s Vineyard Mystery (2020) Hallmark Mysteries Review
As I already said, this new mystery impresses me. It’s safe to say, this is easily my favorite of the new mysteries the network introduced in the past year. There’s a quality to its storytelling and production that sits above some of the others I’ve seen. Plus, I have to admit I like that this one is less “cozy mystery” and more serious-minded. It’s a bit “darker” without becoming depressing. But I think what this does is allow the viewer to take the script a bit more seriously.
The characters and their respective cast is still fun. Chelsea Hobbs returns alongside the main cast, and the teasing glances continue to happen between Zee and Jeff. Plus, who knew a debate about homemade tartar sauce could be cute? These characters are likable, and if you’re like me, you’ll root for an eventual OTP between these two.
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The characters are what keeps thing flowing, but there is a little puzzle of a mystery to solve along the way. Some things do array, but there’s those questions the script poses that makes us ask, who is orchestrating this? The quaint coastal scenery also makes this seem more like the Jessica Fletcher mysteries (Murder, She Wrote) or if they’re your thing, the Jesse Stone movies (with Tom Selleck, and very PG-13). This film also sets up the potential for future mysteries, which I hope is in Hallmark and the cast’s plans, because now we need to know more! Anyone who likes this network is certain to enjoy another stellar mystery from another great signature mystery installment.
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You can find, to purchase, ‘Riddled with Deceit’ digitally on Amazon Video
Content: There’s some uses of guns that opens the film and we see 3-4 bodies (never graphic). A women is attacked and tossed into a table in her home (again, not graphic); and there’s a flashback of a man being shot.
Sincere thanks to Hallmark for the chance to view a screener of this film; all opinions are my own.
Photos: Hallmark / Crown Media Press