“Flower Shop Mystery: Mum’s the Word” Hallmark Movies & Mystery Review

By Ruth on January 17, 2016 in movie, mystery, review, television
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Former attorney-turned-small-town-florist, Abby Knight, has a nose for sleuthing, quickly embroiled in a murder investigation, grateful for the help when she teams with retired private eye, Marco Salvare, who now owns a local bar and grill.
[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxjE5zr03jc[/embedyt]
Disclosure: For those of you who do not know, I am a massive supporter of Brennan Elliott, so if you are looking for a completely unbiased opinion of his acting, you are probably going to have to look elsewhere. Furthermore, I just interviewed him before I screened this film, and the guy can practically do no wrong in my book. While I will attempt to remain as objective as possible, this mystery series has now tied with The Gourmet Detective for my favorite mystery series. Furthermore, if you are searching for a review that will dissect the film and tell you what is wrong with it, you are also  going to have to look elsewhere. This is one of the most exquisite mystery films I have seen in awhile, and I do not see the point of concentrating on the film’s shortcomings when they are practically imperceptible.
Celeste Desjardins as Sydney Night

Celeste Desjardins as Sydney Knight

As the college daughter of the meddling Abby Knight, Celeste plays the wholesome, caring, and maternal Sydney. While Celeste is only on screen for a brief time, she seems appropriately cast. She is not new to the acting world, nor to the Hallmark brand (you might remember her from Good Witch), and I hope that this young beauty will appear in future episodes and be featured more prominently.

Lewis Hodgson as Building Inspector

Lewis Hodgson as Building Inspector

I always believe in featuring as many actors and actresses in my reviews as I can, and the role of the building inspector is small but integral to the development of the story. Lewis (whom I saw featured this Christmas in one of those movies that I ran out of time to review–Last Chance for Christmas), depicts this man whom everyone dreads if they own any kind of business. The moment he waltzes into Abby’s flower shop, the tension soars, but Lewis maintains his character’s demeanor throughout every part of his unsightly task.  While Lewis’ career resume seems relatively short, he gives a solid performance to whatever role he is given, and therefore, deserves an honorable mention.

Michael Vincent Dagostino as Detective Blasco

Michael Vincent Dagostino as Detective Blasco

For a moment, I thought this film was a Last Chance for Christmas reunion as Michael was featured in that film as well. Additionally, you may remember him as the waiter in Love’s Complicated, which premiered on Hallmark a little over a week ago. As Detective Blasco, he has been given a somewhat somber and foreboding role, but after all, the detective is just doing his job. And Michael instills all the characteristics that one would expect from just this sort of shadowy personage.  Detective Blasco has a responsibility to complete his assignment, and there is no way on earth that anyone is going to impede him from his ultimate objective (even if we are not certain what that might be). Michael has mastered the art of making the police detective seem aloof and even ambiguous while still performing the work that he must do. The audience never knows whether they can trust Detective Blasco or not. And if we go by what Abby thinks–no spoilers on that. You have to watch for yourself.

Christian Lloyd as Dave King

Christian Lloyd as Dave King

As another significant cast member, Christian portrays lawyer Dave King with all the elegance and ease a well-respected court official should possess. I have not seen Christian in any other role as far as I know, but as Dave, he is approachable, down-to-earth, and never gets caught up in the questionable parts of the law, if he can help it. He has an uncomplicated relationship with Abby, and unofficially, she does some work for him to help a friend. And to hopefully tidy up some of the strange happenings in her recent life. After all, a divorce case is never a simplistic one, no matter what one may think. And it just may give Abby and Marco the clues they need to decipher the complex conundrum.

Ron Lea as Tom Harding

Ron Lea as Tom Harding

As the owner of the local nursery, Ron infuses Tom with all the explosive, cheating, deceitful qualities he can. As the story unravels, we learn more about the unsavory nature and dealings of Tom, and Ron instills the correct amount of plausibility into this repugnant scoundrel. As I watched Ron on the screen, I knew I had seen him before (and recently), but I just couldn’t place him. Then movies in his resume jumped out at me: Christmas Incorporated, Christmas at the Cartwright’s, Christmas With Tucker, and the list goes on.  Ron has a varied list of credits, but no matter what role he plays, small or large, one can count on the fact that he will give it his all and be as convincing as possible. To look at that smirk on his face, you just know you can’t trust him. Or at least, you question whether you can.

James Thomas as Greg Morgan

James Thomas as Greg Morgan

At first, I wasn’t certain I had seen James in any other role, but as I scanned his list of credits, Northpole: Open For Christmas caught my eye. That’s right–I remember him from that film. And here, he plays the urbane and refined Greg, district attorney extraordinaire. There is no doubt that he has eyes for Abby, and there evidently are a few sparks left over from an old romance, but it would appear that Greg is the one who still holds out hope that one day he will win Abby’s heart. As far as Abby is concerned, Greg is a means to an end who is easy on the eyes and occasionally drops snippets of information that Abby may be able to use to uncover the truth about what is really going on in the murder investigation. James imbues Greg with all the dry wit and tremendous appeal he can muster, but above all, he only has eyes for Abby. While he knows he will probably never win Abby’s affections, James is able to depict Greg in such a way that we can see the hope and sometimes wistfulness Greg naturally exudes.

Beau Bridges as Jeffrey Knight Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Steve Wilkie

Beau Bridges as Jeffrey Knight Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Steve Wilkie

Definitely a legend in his own time, Beau plays Abby’s retired father, Jeffrey. As Jeffrey Knight, he is genuinely concerned for his daughter’s welfare, since he is a retired police officer himself. I tried to count everything in which I had seen Beau, and I honestly couldn’t as his career has been quite eventful and spanned the decades.

Beau Bridges Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Ben Mark Holzberg

Beau Bridges Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Ben Mark Holzberg

He’s a perfect fit for this role, and I look forward to seeing him in many more installments. He and Brooke (Abby Knight) work exceptionally well together and are the ideal father-daughter fit.  I hope to see him featured more prominently in the next installment as we are only beginning to catch a glimpse of his character’s temperament.

Photo: Kate Drummond, Brooke Shields, Brennan Elliott Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Christos Kalohoridis

Photo: Kate Drummond (Nikki Bender), Brooke Shields (Abby Knight), Brennan Elliott (Marco Salvare) Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Christos Kalohoridis

It is a genuine gift to see Kate as Abby’s partner in the flower shop. As Nikki, she adds so much spunk to every scene in which she is highlighted. I knew I had seen Kate in something fairly recently, but I couldn’t recall until I looked up her works and saw Lead With Your Heart on the list. However, in this film series, she has been given a role that allows her to demonstrate her versatility and capabilities in an incredible way. She and Brooke interact exceptionally well together, and she plays her role in such a way that she pushes and prods Brooke’s character to consider love again and to stay safe as she snoops around in police affairs that could really get her in trouble. Nikki is well aware Abby capabilities, and she will be the one who is there to make certain that Abby is grounded in all things. And if she has any say in anything, she’ll see that Abby more than notices the handsome bar and grill owner next door.

Brooke Shields Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Christos Kalohoridis

Brooke Shields Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Christos Kalohoridis

Hearing the name Brooke Shields took me back to my childhood when I used to hear about her on television. In fact, her name brings back the commercial jingle that was associated with her doll–in fact, as I write that, I am singing the song in my head. As I was growing up, I never watched anything in which she appeared, but I knew her name and that she was a glamorous, young actress. I will also admit that I hadn’t thought about her in years until I began to see the promotions concerning this mystery series. And the first thing I found myself thinking is, “Wow, she looks really good.” But I still don’t believe I had seen her in anything (As I have mentioned, I am way behind in television and movies.). So I went into this film, expecting a marvelous performance from Brooke, and she didn’t disappoint.

Brooke Shields Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Christos Kalohoridis

Brooke Shields Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Christos Kalohoridis

From the moment Brooke appeared on screen, I was captivated with her character. For the first five minutes, as the details of the story are being established, the film seems minimally slow (not boring, but remember this is the first film in the series, and it often takes awhile for things to get underway). Brooke was fully in character as Abby from the start, and I was quite taken with her portrayal. Brooke has a knack of immersing herself so much in her character that the audience finds her entirely credible. But she makes it look effortless. Every mannerism, tone inflection, hand gesture and more adds to the overall persona of her character. Add to this fact that she has that quality about her that makes her instantly relatable and likable, and you have an actress who has created a role with which audiences will immediately connect.  Abby is down-to-earth, but she is also quite astute. Abby is regularly underestimated because she never is overbearing nor arrogant about her ability for solving mysteries and seeing those details that professionals might overlook. Well, I suppose her attorney background does assist her in this process, and although Abby has attempted to give up her love for the law, there is no doubt she cannot. She is quietly relentless and always scheming the best way to uncover those facts that the police have somehow neglected. She thinks differently from others, and that is why I relate to her. I always applaud those women (especially) who seek to be unlike everyone else.  And indeed, Brooke has saturated Abby with intelligence, beauty, subtle wit, and naturally flawless beauty. There is no doubt that she will quickly become one of the favorite amateur super sleuths.

Brooke Shields, Brennan Elliott Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Christos Kalohoridis

Brooke Shields, Brennan Elliott Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Christos Kalohoridis

While it is no secret what I think of Brennan, it was a veritable feast to see Brooke and Brennan together. Someone asked me if I thought he and Brooke had better chemistry than he and Lacey Chabert (a definite fan favorite). My answer to that is rather complicated. I have never seen a co-star of Brennan’s who has not had fantastic chemistry with him, but I tend to have my favorites. There is no denying that I adore Brennan and Lacey together, as they have that instantly sweet chemistry that excites and inspires fans to no end. With Brooke and Brennan, the chemistry is just as heavenly, but it is not the same. I would say that he and Brooke have a chemistry that transcends romantic ties. The interactions between their characters Abby and Marco are always as equal, co-competitors and co-conspirators. Both have been married before, and neither one is looking for any romantic complications. Their primary focus is to resolve the mystery that the professionals cannot decipher, and each one wants to best the other. From the moment Marco and Abby meet, there is a mutual respect between them, but there is also an underlying competitive perception. Each one wants to unmask the clue before the other does, and this makes for some delightfully subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) humor between the two of them.

Brennan Elliott, Brooke Shields Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Christos Kalohoridis

Brennan Elliott, Brooke Shields Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Christos Kalohoridis

Of course, there is no need to fear. There is some romance between them, but it is elusive and reserved–almost like watching the kind of romance between a couple from a few decades ago when much more was implied, and looks exchanged said more than torrid and sultry kisses do today. The competition between them is almost reminiscent of Hart to Hart, but Abby and Marco are even more restrained than that couple (after all, the Harts were married). Interestingly enough, that enchanting reserve between them makes the scenes appear more ardent than other similar films where the main couple is all over each other. When a couple actively keeps from doing or saying too much, it only results in raising the bar on intrigue and passion. And I think it is a look at what is yet to come in this film series. We can be assured that things are not going to happen too quickly between this couple, which furthermore ensures many more installments.

Brennan Elliott Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Steve Wilkie

Brennan Elliott Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Steve Wilkie

For anyone who knows me, it will come as no shock that Brennan Elliot is one of my all-time favorite actors, and I say that unabashedly. And in this household, I am not the only fan, as I was just talking with my mother about his work. And in her words, she told me exactly what she loves about Brennan’s acting. “It is that he identifies with the character so much that you believe he is that character. Not every actor can do that.” That is from my mother (who is not always so easily impressed with people, but there is no doubt Brennan’s characteristic charm has affected her as well), and I agree wholeheartedly with her assessment. Brennan is the kind of actor who gets inside the head of each character, whether good, bad, or anything in between. And he never judges any of the actions of his characters. Instead, he decides to portray each one with understanding and true credibility. It is rare to see an actor of his caliber anywhere in the world of entertainment, and Hallmark is quite fortunate to have someone who is so gifted in their corner, so to speak.

Brennan Elliott Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Ben Mark Holzberg

Brennan Elliott Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Ben Mark Holzberg

As to this new character of Marco Salvare, he warned us that this fellow is very different from anyone he has played before. After all, one of Brennan’s true trademarks is his unparalleled versatility no matter what role he is given. And in the case of Marco, I was completely thunderstruck by how uncommonly deep and quietly mysterious this character is. I kept sitting there studying this character and attempting to figure him out, but that’s almost impossible. Marco is quite possibly the most complex character I have ever seen Brennan play, and because of that, getting inside the head of this ex-private investigator is a task that requires more than just a two-hour film. I believe that in this installment, the audience will only be able to scratch the surface in attempting to comprehend the inner workings of this man. Every time Marco was on the screen, I watched with intense scrutiny, and I realized what a daunting task it was to venture much more than a generally vague description. The best way I can describe him is that he shrouds a deep-seated arrogance beneath the veneer of dark charm and over-confidence (that appears genuine on the surface until you examine its source). He assumes that he will always win the power struggle, no matter who his opponent is, and he is not about to divulge any secrets that will betray his vulnerability. Because, you see, he honestly does construct a wall of bravado, especially when consorting with Abby, lest he betray any of the weaknesses he has nestled deep within his soul.  For him, appearances are everything.

Brooke Shields, Brennan Elliott Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Ben Mark Holzberg

Brooke Shields, Brennan Elliott Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Ben Mark Holzberg

What I relish about Marco is what Abby’s character is able to bring out of him. From the moment Marco meets Abby, he is in competition with her, but it is clear he is attracted to her, even though he strives strenuously to conceal that from her. Because they are equally matched, strong personalities working together, it is a true pleasure to see them pull together and even make each other better, kind of like the old adage “as iron sharpens iron.”  While both of them can be tactless, the audience knows they are on each others’ sides. While at one point Marco’s sarcastic wit really does go too far, he is forgiven easily because he is Marco. I mean, can you really stay mad at a gentleman who just oozes such smooth charm? It is in one of his dealings with Abby that we get a brief glimpse of the “little boy” who really does want Abby to like him, but it’s not for long as he has to go right back into defense mode.  No matter how nonchalant Marco appears about any danger Abby may experience, the audience never doubts how much he cares for her, and the ending is indicative of this fact as well as the slowly budding romance developing between them (that neither one is ready to admit). Actually, the last few frames of the film had me cheering for Hallmark’s masterful conclusion to this installment, and I greatly anticipate the next film in the series.

brennan filming flower shop 3

As for Brennan, the fact that I was able to deduce so much about Marco’s character through his clever and heartfelt portrayal speaks exactly to his phenomenal prowess. However, there are still so many unanswered questions concerning Marco Salvare, and I greatly anticipate what I will learn in the next installment. I am a great lover of mystery films and shows anyway, but rarely is there a main character like this who is so complex and has so many layers. The fact that Brennan plays Marco in such an easygoing but restrained fashion speaks to his mastery of the art of his craft. While I often say the film in which he is currently featured is my favorite, I may have to hunt far and wide to find another such captivating character as Marco Salvare. While I shall always adore Warren Sagest of Cedar Cove and Brennan’s sensational portrayal of that misunderstood man, I can honestly say with his presentation of Marco, I have another new and favorite character of his. Indeed, all the acclaim Brennan receives for this role is so well-deserved.

For more information:

http://www.hallmarkmoviesandmysteries.com/flower-shop-mysteries-mums-the-word

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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth

43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl
Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA
Entertainment Writer
Available For Interviews and Reviews
Substitute Teacher

34 Comments

  1. Lisa Colangelo January 17, 2016 Reply

    Thank you Ruth. It was I who asked about the chemistry between Shields and Elliott. Color me sad that there will not be a bit more romance, either way, I am looking forward to watching TONIGHT.

    • Author
      Ruth January 18, 2016 Reply

      Thank you Lisa–I couldn’t remember who asked. But I think that there will be plenty more romance to come in the next installments.

  2. Jeanna Massman January 17, 2016 Reply

    I love Brooke Shields! This sounds like a fun movie!

  3. Debbie Welchert January 18, 2016 Reply

    This sounded like a great and fun movie to watch. I missed it and wish I hadn’t. I really like Brooke Shields and have always loved Beau Bridges in anything he is in.

    • Author
      Ruth January 18, 2016 Reply

      Oh it is! You will love it. Be sure to check it out when it reruns!

  4. Linda Manns Linneman January 18, 2016 Reply

    I can’t believe I missed this. It sounds so good. I will have to see if I can find it to watch soon. Thank you so much for sharing

    • Author
      Ruth January 18, 2016 Reply

      Linda I know it will be airing again tomorrow night as well as at other times. Be sure to check it out.

  5. Jodi Hunter January 18, 2016 Reply

    I adore Brooke Shields, this seems like a great movie.

  6. Rita Spratlen January 18, 2016 Reply

    I love the Hallmark channel!! They have so many great movies there that are just great!! Not too overpowering!! Thanks for sharing! I didn’t see this one!!

    • Author
      Ruth January 18, 2016 Reply

      So glad Rita. Hope you get an opportunity to see it when it reruns.

  7. Melissa S January 19, 2016 Reply

    This looks like a great movie. I think Hallmark is the one channel I can say I really miss after cutting the cord. I wish they would come up with a sub service.

  8. suzanne January 19, 2016 Reply

    This looks like a good one. I don’t have Hallmark channel, but my parents love watching the Hallmark movies.

  9. Bonnie January 19, 2016 Reply

    According to a November 2015 Nugget article, this is the first of 14 planned films starring Brooke,which I hope are in this series. I have to confess I first saw Brennan in roles where I found his character unlikable. However, I really liked him in this, and Brooke Shields was terrific.

    • Author
      Ruth January 21, 2016 Reply

      You’re not alone Bonnie. Oh my goodness, Brennan knows that I couldn’t stand his character of Warren in Cedar Cove, and I hoped he’d be locked up in prison and gone from the season two. And then he just won me over. But oh, this role, he was born to play!

  10. Emily Endrizzi January 19, 2016 Reply

    This sounds like a really sweet movie. I’ll have to check for it. Maybe Netflix?

  11. Jenn January 20, 2016 Reply

    Wow, Ruth, this is an excellent review (but … where’s Elvis?). I was familiar with the work of Beau and Brooke, but not the other actors; I appreciate learning about their other work in your review.

    I watched the movie last night and loved, loved, loved it. I really liked how the relationship between Abby and Marco developed, and I really liked how Brooke and Brennan played their characters. The many moments of wit were fun — the stakeout, her Southern belle flounce, his injured hand. Everybody was great in it, the story was good and it was fun to watch. I hope there will be more in the series.

    • Author
      Ruth January 21, 2016 Reply

      Thank you Jenn. They say there could be 15 in the series so let’s hope so. So glad you enjoyed it!

  12. Katherine Riley January 20, 2016 Reply

    I love Hallmark movies. And this is a mystery – double bonus!

  13. Joy Brill January 23, 2016 Reply

    Do you know where the series is filmed?

    • Author
      Ruth January 24, 2016 Reply

      yes, it was filmed in North Bay, Canada

  14. Lauren January 28, 2016 Reply

    Only watched part of it… It was terrible… You want to know why? Because I read the book… Abby is 26 and single in this book and not 50 with a kid… They left out two major characters in the movie that were very important… Abby’s father was in a wheelchair due to getting shot while a cop…I can go on and on and on

    • Author
      Ruth January 28, 2016 Reply

      I’m so sorry that you were expecting it to be just like the book. Oftentimes, they make a lot of changes when they put it into film form. I was just captivated by the actors. The author was very supportive of the film as well, but thanks for stopping by.

  15. Elizabeth January 30, 2016 Reply

    Both my husband and I really enjoyed this Movie!!

    • Author
      Ruth January 30, 2016 Reply

      That is just awesome!

  16. Tricia February 2, 2016 Reply

    Haven’t seen this yet, but will look for it. It’s fun that Hallmark does so many replays so we can see favorites or catch up. As far as the poster being disappointed so much of the book was left out – what two- hour movie can possibly include all the characters and plot threads of a book? – very few! If memory serves me from seeing it so long ago, Scarlett O’Hara was married three times in Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind, but the lengthy classic movie didn’t have room to explore them ALL! hehe

  17. Linda Szymoniak February 4, 2016 Reply

    Sounds like a great movie. We finally got the Hallmark channel again, after our cable company didn’t carry it for a couple of years. (Another great thing about finally getting the Hallmark channel again is being able to watch the Kitten Bowl on Snday, too!)

    • Author
      Ruth February 4, 2016 Reply

      very happy for you Linda! Enjoy!

  18. Flo Bennett March 29, 2016 Reply

    I was so disappointed that Hallmark paired Brooke with Brennan Elliott in Flowershop Mysteries. Brennan is soooo much shorter than beautifully statueque Brooke.In their scenes together she is either sitting down or obviously having to bend her knees to scrunch down next to him. Brooke will end up with bad knees and/or a painful back. Why not get a taller actor for her? ie: Brian MacNamara her co-star in Army Wives. I love Brooke and like Brennan but NOT AS A COUPLE!!!

    • Author
      Ruth March 31, 2016 Reply

      Flo, I’m so sorry that was the focus. My understanding is that Brennan was the author’s choice for Marco. I don’t see the height difference as a big deal. When you see the two of them acting, it’s great. They interact well. And I know there are already two more that have been filmed. While sometimes I know there are peripherals, I think they look more at talent when casting people in roles. They don’t worry so much about how they look on screen. I hope that you can watch again and look past the height issue and try to watch again as it sounds like there are slated to be many more in the future. But to each his own–thank you for stopping by with your opinion.

  19. Jenn April 9, 2016 Reply

    Oh, Ruth, thanks for the update on there being at least two more movies for these characters. I loved it, but didn’t know how well it did ratings-wise. I’m looking forward to the next one.

    I can’t say that I noticed a height difference, but I can understand how that could enhance or detract from a viewer’s perspective. I tend to notice the tone and pattern of voices. Loved Brennan’s voice.

  20. Jenn April 18, 2016 Reply

    First, your post that there will be more Flower Shop Mystery movies; then, I discovered the next one — Flower Shop Mystery: Snipped In The Bud — is scheduled for Sunday, April 24th at 9pm. I’m looking forward to it.

    • Author
      Ruth April 18, 2016 Reply

      Jenn that is correct! I hope you will tune in!!

  21. Carly January 15, 2017 Reply

    Having read all the Flower shop murder mystery books, I was hugely disappointed and only watched the first 30 minutes. Abby never had a daughter and wasn’t a middle aged lady. They should have given this movie another name.

    • Author
      Ruth January 15, 2017 Reply

      Carly, I hope that you read the author’s interview I did with her as she was quite pleased with what they had done with her books, and she even explained some of the reasoning. Rarely can a book be kept true to its original form, but the author was very happy with them and hope for more eventually. However, it would seem they are on hiatus for now, so I would invite you to check out the other mysteries Hallmark is offering. Thank you for stopping by.

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