“Sweet Revenge: A Hannah Swensen Mystery” picks up six months after the last movie left off, with Hannah (Alison Sweeney) and Mike (Cameron Mathison) just starting to think about planning their wedding. The film has all the familiar elements that fans of the series have come to love: romance, suspense, baked goods, and of course, Hannah’s mother Delores (Barbara Niven) giving her humorous unsolicited opinions.
There were several mysteries sprinkled into the movie keeping Sleuthers on their toes. Who killed Ronni Ward, where is Hannah’s engagement ring, and why is everyone giving Hanah weird looks when discussing her mother’s new novel?!
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This article will have SPOILERS for “Sweet Revenge: A Hannah Swensen Mystery.” Do not keep reading if you do not want to read spoilers.
Any good whodunnit has a list of suspicious characters, and “Sweet Revenge” did not fail to deliver on this front. The murder victim is a woman named Ronni Ward. She’s new in town, teaches classes at the local gym, and has a mysterious past.
Shortly before Hannah discovers Ronni’s body floating in the gym’s hot tub, a couple of strange incidents occur. First, a woman gets into an argument with Ronni in Hannah’s bakeshop and throws a drink at her. Unfortunately for Hannah, she steps between the women at just the right moment to get peach smoothie all over her face.
Then, Ronni’s car is vandalized with the word “homewrecker” in the gym parking lot. Turns out, the vandal was the same woman who threw the drink in Hannah’s shop. She was trying to send Ronni a message after she discovered her husband was driving Ronni to work and giving her money.
But the jealous wife didn’t commit the murder. So could it have been Ronni’s estranged husband who she left behind to move to Eden Lake? He’s cagey when Mike and his new partner question him. He also hired a Private Investigator to follow Ronni to find incriminating evidence for their divorce proceedings.
When Mike tracks down the Private Investigator, he learns that a gym employee named Marco was romantically involved with Ronni. This is suspicious, seeing as Marco lied about the nature of his relationship with Ronni and about the last time he saw her. But Marco tells Hannah he thinks another employee named Brett committed the murder.
Although Mike does identify Brett as the culprit behind a robbery at the gym, he isn’t sure that any of the suspects they’ve identified actually committed the murder. Meanwhile, Hannah is trying to perfect her creampuff recipe for her mother’s gala in honor of her debut novel. Plus, she left her engagement ring in a gym locker right before finding Ronni’s body, and now it’s nowhere to be found.
Echoes of the old Mike-Hannah-Norman Love Triangle
Hannah and Mike are now engaged but Hannah and Norman had plenty of sweet moments in “Sweet Revenge.” When Hannah goes to the flower shop to find out who bought roses for Ronni just before the murder, she runs into Norman. Hannah strikes out trying to convince the florist to tell her who purchased a specific bouquet and Norman comes to her rescue, even pretending to be her husband.
The pair also dance together briefly at Hannah’s mother’s gala. Norman tells Hannah he will always be there for her if she needs him and asks her if she’s happy. Hannah says yes, but seems slightly hesitant. Could Hannah be having second thoughts about choosing Mike? If so, she’s not the only one.
Hannah realizes that her mother’s debut novel “A Match for Anna” is not-so-subtly based on her own dating life. Delores may have used Hannah’s real relationships for inspiration, but she wrote her own ending! In the novel, Hannah ends up with the character based on Norman.
Hannah Finds Her Ring and the Killer…all at Once!
While dressed in a Regency Era costume for her mother’s gala, Hannah gets a call from the gym security guard, Tad. He’s found her ring! She rushes off to claim it. But when Tad hands her a pen to sign for the release of the ring, she recognizes his pen.
It’s from the flower shop, given to customers who make purchases…like the bouquet of roses purchased for Ronni…and then thrown in a trash can at the gym on the night of her murder! Hannah’s wheels start turning, and Tad sees the realization written all over her face.
Hannah quickly leaves the gym and calls Mike, but Tad follows her and drags her back inside. He then confesses to the murder. He was smitten by Ronni, but she rejected his advances. When he saw her with Marco, he became enraged and killed her when he knew she’d be alone at the gym.
Hannah hits Tad with a dumbbell and tries to escape but he chases her, locks her inside the sauna, and turns the heat up all the way.
Alison Sweeney, who plays Hannah, told Heavy a funny story about the final chase scene. The director instructed her to try escaping through a pair of side doors while running down a hallway. Sweeney figured the doors would actually be locked and ran right through them during the first take.
“The crew burst out laughing,” Sweeney said. “They were like ‘you’re supposed to be acting, Ali!”
Hannah and Mike are Taking it Slow
Lucky for Hannah, she called Mike right before Tad could get ahold of her. Mike shows up at the gym, unlocks the sauna door, and has Tad detained. Mike’s new partner takes Tad to the station so he and Hannah can share a dance at the gala.
Hannah confesses that she doesn’t want a big fancy wedding, which Mike is fine with. She wants to take things slow and enjoy their engagement. He agrees. They share a kiss.
It might be some time before we get to see Hannah and Mike exchange vows. Sweeney told Heavy that fans “might have to buckle in and get settled in for some fun, romantic drama in between.”
Well, it sounds like that could mean a lot more Hannah Swensen movies to come!