A Bundle of Trouble: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery (2017)

Aurora, girlfriend, you have got to move house. This is the second movie in a row that her front yard has doubled as a crime scene, and I’m not confident that the third time will be that much of a charm. Ro (Candace Cameron Bure) discovers a body after coming home from a party with her boyfriend, Martin (Yannick Bisson), and the deceased turns out to be his niece’s husband, Craig, whom he’s never met. In fact, Martin hasn’t even seen Regina (Carly McKillip) in several years and is surprised when she suddenly shows up. Even more surprising is the two week old baby she’s cradling.

But now dad’s dead and mom’s missing, and the two sleuths are left with a lot of questions and a little human. Ro later finds another body in her closet, but luckily this one is alive and talking. Craig’s friend Rory (Andrew Francis) was released from jail just that morning, and Ro suspects a disagreement led to murder. Martin is not so sure, but he knows something is going on because there’s a wad of cash in the diaper bag and Rory cops to writing bad checks to pay for a midwife.

I didn’t care too much for this story. We’ve barely met Regina when she disappears, and frankly I’d rather wash my dishes than watch these guys chase after someone I don’t care for. The more we know about these characters, the muddier it gets, and you start to wonder if the baby even belongs to Regina. If so, why did they hide the pregnancy from Craig’s parents? Are they actually involved in some child trafficking ring? The confusion makes the crime a little more interesting than your average Aurora Teagarden mystery, but besides Martin, no one else has much of a stake in this story.

Instead, I found myself enjoying the adventures in babysitting far more. I suspect we’re headed for some wedding bells soon, between Ro’s mother, Aida (Marilu Henner), and gentle-hearted John (Bruce Dawson) but also between Ro and Martin. Of course the baby is a perfectly timed test of their parenting skills. The two find they have a lot to learn; those tiny things are adorable until they start to leak everywhere. Aida enjoys playing grandma though, and she and Ro’s boss, Lillian, compete for baby time.

The movie ends in dramatic fashion, and Bundle does offer more action than you might expect from the laid back Hallmark Channel (well, it’s all relative). But that doesn’t mean you won’t fall asleep a few times before getting there.

Released: 2017
Dir: Terry Ingram
Writer: Shelley Evans
Cast: Candace Cameron Bure,Yannick Bisson, Marilu Henner, Lexa Doig, Miranda Frigon, Bruce Dawson, Peter Benson, Andrew Francis, Jessica Heafey, Keenan Tracey, Carly McKillip, Michael Antonakos
Time: 83 min
Lang: English
Country: United States
Network: Hallmark Movies and Mysteries
Reviewed: 2017

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