Hallmark Movies & Mysteries: The Jane Mysteries "Inheritance Lost"

Review by Kathleen Costa

Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is rolling out several new mysteries including The Jane Mysteries starring Jodie Sweetin (Full House alumni) and Stephen Huszar (Ruby Herring Mysteries). The drama is based on K.K. Beck’s 1993 book, A Hopeless Case, following lounge singer Jane Da Silva. It’s exciting to see Hallmark reaching out to find unique storylines to capture mystery fans’ attentions, gathering a cast of actors with solid acting skill, showcasing Sweetin’s own singing voice, and presenting a realistic performance. Thumbs up to The Jane Mysteries: Inheritance Lost.

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It’s Paris, and Jane Da Silva (Jodie Sweetin) belts out sultry tunes as a popular cabaret singer, but she’s devastated when the tragic news of the death of her Uncle Harold is delivered by his friend and Baltimore P.D. Detective John Cameron (Stephen Huszar). Her uncle’s final request is for Jane to return home and take charge of her inheritance; an inheritance that turns out to be heading up his Foundation of Righting Wrongs. Aunt Sadie (Paris Jefferson) is thrilled to have Jane home, but John is obviously disappointed that Harold put a novice like Jane in charge and not him. He has years of detective experience and cares deeply about the pleas for help the foundation has received. However, despite her limited skill set, Jane decides to try hard to fulfill her uncle’s wishes, and spurred on by her Aunt Sadie’s eagerness, Jane puts one foot in front of the other to bring closure to one of the loved ones seeking a wrong to be righted.

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The first case comes knocking at Jane’s door. Sixteen-year-old Lia Martin (Danielle Smith) desperately wants to learn what really happened to her mother, Linda, fifteen year ago. Her mother drowned in the Collingwood Club pool, and the police quickly deemed it suicide. She had exhibited erratic behaviors according to family, friends, and her therapist due to her involvement in a pyramid scheme in which she invested and lost the family savings. But, she also had inheritance money totaling near a quarter million dollars that had never been recovered. Lia’s interest is, first, to learn about her mother, but if the money is still out there, it could be the support she needs to attend Juilliard. Jane lost her own mother in a hit and run that to date has not been solved, so she identifies with Lia’s desire for closure. Her uncle was an investment banker and was successful at these probes, so why can’t she, as an amateur, be just as successful?

A “Top of the Chart” Hit!

The newest Hallmark Mystery is definitely a great addition to its already long list of cozy delights with this clever cold case mystery pulling at one’s heartstrings, an amateur snoop trying the detective’s patience, and lots of wigs and costumes providing various undercover personae, and of course, when Jane’s snooping gets too close, there’s threats, physical attacks, and an attempt on her life, as well as a dead body that creates a dead end. Jane is pretty much a solo act with Aunt Sadie and Detective Cameron as back-up, logistic support, or last minute savior, so her false starts, false accusations, and false sense of security in the face of a killer are all on her. It ends well with an arrest and plenty of evidence, heartwarming closure, and one young girl getting a life-changing surprise. But, is this successful conclusion enough to keep Jane wanting to right more wrongs?

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Jodie Sweetin did very well performing the novice mannerisms with realistic reactions to her lack of detective skill along with the emotions connected to the tragic mystery and is capable of holding her own as a cabaret singer turned private investigator for a multiple-movie series. However, although her attempts to hide her identity and purpose with wigs and costumes were an entertaining element, adding accents seem necessary for a complete performance; I’m not sure she can pull that off, but I’d like to see her try. The support cast worked well together as a realistic family unit, her Aunt Sadie had a fun flamboyant side I’d like to see utilized in the future, and the detective is definitely a good candidate for the needed romantic element. And the singing? Jodie Sweetin is actually singing; she has a lovely voice, and with the jazz club, b-Minor, a regular hangout, she just might find a more local place to continue her singing career. Great addition to Hallmark’s Movies & Mysteries lineup!

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Based on a Book!

I am easily inspired to check out the books behind a television show or movie, and in the case of The Jane Mysteries, A Hopeless Case by K.K. Beck is worth a look. The premise is similar with Jane Da Silva being a cabaret singer who, after her Uncle Harold dies, gets entangled in a cold case investigation by continuing her uncle’s “good works,” but there are differences that make reading the book well worth while (even if you’ve seen Hallmark’s movie). Jane is a young widow with money challenges, so a financial inheritance is fortuitous. However, before she can acquire any of the money, she needs to join her uncle’s “secret society dedicated to aiding and abetting offbeat lost causes” accompanied by his “old-codger cronies.” Earns 5/5 Amateur Detectives.

More Mysteries to Come!

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Friday, May 19 — A Hannah Swenson Mystery: Carrot Cake Murders

Hannah Swensen, everyone’s favorite crime-solving baker, is back on the case when the discovery of a skeleton in an old building sparks a murder investigation. Starring Alison Sweeney, Cameron Mathison, Gabriel Hogan, and Barbara Niven.


Friday, June 2 — The Dancing Detective: A Deadly Tango

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“Constance Bailey is a no-nonsense detective who prefers to work alone. Detective Bailey is sent undercover [at a high stakes ballroom competition] as one of the contestants [to solve a murder]. The only problem? She can’t dance. To convincingly compete, she must team up with charismatic and free-spirited performer Sebastian Moore. But … it’s going to take more than a little fancy footwork to solve this case. Starring Lacey Chabert and Will Kemp.”

Friday, June 9 — Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Something New

“Young Aurora Teagarden returns home to Lawrenceton after college to pursue her post-grad degree and finds herself embroiled in a mystery involving her friend Sally's fiancĂ©. Starring Skyler Samuels, Evan Roderick and Marilu Henner.”

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 Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode went up this week.

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.

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