Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Dead over Heels (2017)

Manipulating Evidence

I came to this as a mystery that would be safe to watch with my 10 year old. He had done well with some others like Poirot, Holmes. I’ve taught him to be alert in narrative engagement, so he was primed to be challenged in a contest.

This is a mystery in name only. Someone dies and there is a detective roughly in the Marple category. It is a series whose appeal in part is supposed to be based on the appeal of the main characters, outside the mystery.

In this case, the mystery is 10%, and the rest some high school romantic dynamics. Naturally the boyfriend is retired CIA and has come to this tiny, picturesque town — and also brought a former CIA buddy with him. Naturally, he is the primary suspect and we have an obvious alternative as a red herring. Naturally when the chips are down, he gallantly beats up the murderer, saving his love. But as I say, that’s background.

Why people — and I assume dominantly middle aged women — watch this must be because of the soap opera, through which cute people move. Our main character is a single woman. She is played by an actress in her 50s, someone who in real life is a Stepford wife with apparently moronic beliefs. She is playing a character who I suppose is in her late thirties but doesn’t know it, so acts like a teen. This used to be a Sally Field role 50 years ago.

She has a friend in a similar unpaired situation but dumber — a writer and companion, so fits the precis for Watson. Our detective’s mom — whose face is less wrinkled — also is single, but everyone has a suitor. This is early in the series; perhaps some of these women get married. I’m sure there will be no rough spots and everyone will just do the cute things this demographic wants.

Posted in 2023

Ted’s Evaluation — 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.


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