Two of Hallmark Mysteries & Movie‘s most popular crime-solving duos will return with new movies this fall. On August 31, 2023, Hallmark Media announced the premiere dates for movies in two of their most popular mystery franchises. Longtime stars Nikki DeLoach and Andrew Walker will appear in their third “Curious Caterer” movie, while Alison Sweeney and Cameron Mathison will return with a new installment of the long-running “Hannah Swensen Mysteries.”
Here’s what you need to know:
‘A Zest For Death: A Hannah Swensen Mystery’ Premieres on October 6
“A Zest For Death: A Hannah Swensen Mystery” is the eighth movie in the long-running franchise and will premiere on Friday, October 6 at 9 p.m. Eastern time. It reteams Sweeney, playing The Cookie Jar bakery owner Hannah Swensen, and Mathison playing her fiancé, Detective Mike Kingston. But fans are curious to learn what their relationship status is in the new mystery, given that the last movie — May’s “Carrot Cake Murder” — ended with their shocking breakup.
According to Hallmark’s synopsis of “A Zest For Death,” Hannah’s mom Delores, played by Barbara Niven, discovers the dead body of a homeowner — a frequent customer at The Cookie Jar — while she’s house-hunting for Hannah’s sister, Michelle, played by Tess Atkins. Hannah is convinced that Mike and the local Sheriff are focusing on the wrong culprit, and her family gets involved in her sleuthing.
Though Hallmark’s synopsis didn’t indicate whether Hannah and Mike will get back together, it does reveal that Lisa Durupt will return to her role as Hannah’s sister Andrea, who makes a surprise visit. Some fans have been upset that she wasn’t in the last couple of installments after being in the first five, back when the series was dubbed “Murder, She Baked.” In 2021, Sweeney explained to TV Goodness that a casting change was made because Durupt wasn’t available to film and the character of Hannah’s sister Michelle is part of the book series that the movies are based on.
But Durupt got sleuthers buzzing about her possible return to the series when she posted a photo from an unnamed film set in June, at the same time Sweeney and Mathison were busy filming their next movie. On August 31, she shared an Instagram post with a story from Heavy about her potential return on Instagram and wrote, “Ohhh shiiiiiiiii….The rumours are flying, could it be?”
Hallmark’s “Hannah Swensen Mysteries” series is based on over 30 books written by Joanne Fluke. Five movies aired from 2015 to 2017 under the “Murder, She Baked” banner, but after executives on the project changed and the series was rebooted in 2021, Sweeney told TV Goodness that they changed the name to “Hannah Swensen Mysteries.”
‘Curious Caterer: Fatal Vows’ Premieres on October 13
In “Curious Caterer: Fatal Vows,” which originally had a working title of “Curious Caterer: The Last Suppers” when it was filmed this past spring, DeLoach reprises her roles as professional caterer and amateur detective Goldy Berry, working again with Walker’s character, Detective Tom Schultz. The new movie is set to premiere on Friday, October 13 at 9 p.m. Eastern time.
This will be the third installment of the “Curious Caterer” mystery wheel, based on a series of books called “A Culinary Mystery” by Diane Mott Davidson. The first, “Curious Caterer: Dying for Chocolate,” debuted in April 2022, followed up by “Curious Caterer: Grilling Season,” premiered in February.
According to a synopsis of the movie, in “Curious Caterer: Fatal Vows,” Goldy is hired to cater for a big wedding. The bride, Jessamyn Cole, played by Amanda Khan, is the ex-wife of Goldy’s “current romantic interest,” Detective Schultz. But before the wedding, groom Sterling Clearwater, played by Kareem Malcolm, is found dead and Jessamyn is missing. In addition, there’s a new detective, played by Brock Morgan, overseeing the case and he has “a vendetta against Tom.”
“Forced to take matters into their own hands,” the synopsis says, “Goldy and Tom must find Jessamyn before she meets Sterling’s fate.”
DeLoach and Walker, who are good friends in real life, have a well-established rapport on-screen, having co-starred in multiple Hallmark rom-coms together before becoming a mystery-solving duo. Their past movies include 2016’s “A Dream of Christmas,” 2017’s “The Perfect Catch,” and 2020’s “Sweet Autumn.”
“Nikki and I are, you know, seven movies deep now and people still want to see us,” Walker told Heavy in June. “It’s amazing. Here we are, being able to just have some stability in our work and thriving … and really supported by the network.”