Three Bedrooms, One Corpse: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery (2016)

After a solid second installment of the Aurora Teagarden mysteries, Three Bedrooms, One Corpse takes one step back. A routine whodunit that sputters by on Candance Cameron Bure’s overacting, the movie dips into the world of real estate and art theft. Librarian/crime solver Ro (Cameron Bure) has quite a day when she stumbles upon her mother’s handsome client and then immediately onto her mother’s strangled coworker at a house viewing. Never one to leave murder to the actual detectives, Ro tries to find the killer herself lest her mother, Aida (Marilu Henner), become the next victim.

It’s not a terribly exciting ensemble of suspects. Clues point to various agents, from Aida’s cagey coworkers, to those at a competing agency. Aida resents Ro’s suspicions, but the case takes an early and mysterious turn when it’s discovered that someone driving the deceased’s car returned the house keys to the office the night she died. It doesn’t help that her husband is lashing out and making public threats. Then Ro discovers that a valuable painting was taken from the house and that other agencies and companies have also had art stolen from their properties. When another body turns up, evidence suggests an unlikely suspect – Ro’s latest blind date.

Martin Bartell, aka Yannick Bisson, aka Detective William Murdoch of Murdoch Mysteries, seems like the perfect guy, at least Aida thinks so, but he might be hiding something. Ro’s other romantic prospects have not lasted more than one episode, so the odds aren’t great for suave Martin. A more dependable relationship is the one between Ro and her ex (Peter Benson) and his wife, Lynn (Miranda Frigon). I like the latter’s frostiness and constant need to maintain the upper hand. Frigon is more fun to watch than Cameron Bure, who is always trying to figure out how to cram all the requisite emotions onto her face. There’s an arched eyebrow here, a dilated pupil here, and a contorted lip just in case. One of my favorite characters recedes into the background though. John (Bruce Dawson), one of Ro’s amateur detectives in arms and Aida’s sometimes boyfriend, is reduced to random elderly man. His treatment is symbolic of the whole movie. Even if your brain hasn’t been numbed by a Hallmark marathon, this one is easy to forget.

Released: 2016
Dir: Lynne Stopkewich
Writer: Teena Booth
Cast: Candace Cameron Bure, Marilu Henner, Lexa Doig, Miranda Frigon, Bruce Dawson, Peter Benson, Yannick Bisson, Nicole Oliver, Giles Panton, Scott Lyster
Time: 83 min
Lang: English
Country: United States
Network: Hallmark Movies and Mysteries
Reviewed: 2017

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