Martin's New Mystery Woman
Hailey Dean (Kellie Martin - Hello, It's Me) was once a promising prosecutor but after starting to struggle with having to look at crime scene photos, and the horrors that those she was prosecuting had committed, decided to retrain and become a therapist. But old habits die hard and when one of her clients, Amanda (Cindy Busby - Unleashing Mr. Darcy), loses first her mum and then her father in separate accidents Hailey finds her inquisitive side getting the better of her, especially as millions of dollars disappeared at the same time from her client's family business.
I wonder what Kellie Martin thought when she was approached to star in "Hailey Dean Mystery: Murder, with Love" as this comes across like the first movie in one of those Hallmark Channel murder mystery series and of course Kellie Martin had already been the crime solving star of the "Mystery Woman" movie series. Of course there is one major difference between "Mystery Woman" and "Hailey Dean Mystery" which is the tone as this is no light weight comedy, oh there are at times some lighter moments but not the jokey nature which Kellie Martin is so good at.
Anyway "Hailey Dean Mystery: Murder, with Love" is simple enough as we watch Hailey Dean use her old skills as a prosecutor to investigate two deaths connected to a client which are too coincidental and mysterious. As is often the case in this sort of murder mystery movie there is the mystery of whom the killer might be with one character's mannerisms immediately making you suspicious whilst also making you feel they could be a red herring. But whilst the mystery is to a point intriguing the slow and serious nature of "Hailey Dean Mystery: Murder, with Love" makes this at times a little too laborious. It is as if it is trying too hard to be a drama rather than lightweight "Nancy Drew" style entertainment, although of course there is an obligatory separate romantic sub plot in there as Hailey meets a doctor.
What is undeniable is that the casting of Kellie Martin is key to "Hailey Dean Mystery: Murder, with Love" as it is Martin's natural likeable nature which keeps you involved during those periods where it comes across as being laborious and trying too hard to be a grown up drama. But truth be told the character of Hailey Dean is not that amazing or at least by that I mean not so stand out from the crowd that you will remember her above any of the other "Nancy Drew" amateur crime solvers who have recently been inhabiting movies on the Hallmark Channels.
What this all boils down to is that whilst "Hailey Dean Mystery: Murder, with Love" is entertaining it is slow going and far too often feels like it is trying too hard to be a grown up drama rather than the light weight fun of say "Mystery Woman". On the subject of which, it is very much down to the likeable nature of Kellie Martin which makes this work.