Aurora goes to show a 3 BR house for her Realtor mom. The handsome client finds the body of a Realtor in the backyard. Suspicion is aimed at all Realtors. Aurora starts investigating with help from her friends at Real Murders Club.
Aurora hosts Martin's niece and her newborn for the night, but then his niece disappears, the baby is found hidden in the bathtub and Aurora discovers a stranger in her linen closet, along with $10,000 cash in a diaper bag.
When her nephew and his roommate disappear, following the suspicious death of the roommate's girlfriend, Aurora investigates. Enlisting the help of her friends, she is also assisted by her new neighbor, college professor Nick Miller.
I'm not going to do a detailed review of any movie, but an overall of the first 3 - all I could bear to watch. No spoilers (I think), except for overall quality.
First, let me say I'm not one of those snobs that thinks the book is always better than the movie. I enjoy both mediums. I fact, I prefer to view the video first and read the book second. That way I get the visuals in my head (how people look for instance), and often the action is better visually. Then the book adds a lot of texture and detail.
That said, THESE books are INFINITELY BETTER than THESE movies. There is no comparison. The main character is tremendously annoying - really just want to see her spanked and then run out of town on a rail.
I only watched the 1st 2 movies, and skimmed (with gritted teeth and determination) thru the 3rd. I will watch no more of this series. In fact, I had thought to check out more of Hallmark's mysteries, but now feel they're likely to share the same flaws.
For some reason, Hallmark decided to flip the order of the first 2 books. If you've read the books this is confusing.
As I said "Roe" is an annoying know-it-all snoop who constantly sticks her nose where it doesn't belong, uses social occasions as excuses to interrogate friends and acquaintances (while often ruining the gathering) and generally makes a nuisance of herself.
In the most juvenile of writing techniques, Hallmark has decided she MUST be the most amazing, sought-after and clever person in every scene, generally making the whole thing more irritating and unbelievable.
In an early scene there's a comment like "Is she always 3 steps ahead of everyone?". In the 3rd movie she TELLS her mother to call a staff meeting of HER MOTHER'S business. (In the books, her mother is a strong, independent business woman and Roe is a bit intimidated by her.) In the movies, she has a prior relationship with a detective which is implied to have been more important to HIM than her - exact opposite in book. Of course, She MUST be the most important, desired, etc.
In "bone", movie and book, she starts by doing something very questionable that sets up the whole movie. It's rather ridiculous on both, but somewhat understandable in the book, while just obnoxious in the movie - "Do you have to solve every crime in a 15 mile radius?" or some such. Also, there's a hiding place that's just plain stupidly obvious in the movie, but rather clever in the book. AND this also explains the very odd actions of another character. In the movie, no such luck.
In the movies, the police are often slow, stupid, incompetent, and motivated by personal feelings - very unprofessional. This necessitates Roe solving the crimes. This is an issue in most amateur detective series, i.e. why is the NON-police person always solving the case. In the books, (and any series I'll read/watch) thiia s handled reasonably - such as her stumbling across clues through her everyday life in this small town and generally knowing the suspects/victims in her personal life. In the movies, she actively investigates. Remember, she's smarter than everyone else!!!
Each book and movie (so far) ends with Roe in a physical struggle with the killer (SPOILER she survives :'( ). In the movies, these are generally stupid, with her instigating without backup. In the books, while sometimes questionable, you can get how it happens.
I only recently started reading Ms. Harris. By chance started watching Midnight, Texas TV series, then read those books by her. (FYI if you enjoy supernatural/horror, I recommend both.) Because I enjoyed those books/TV, I started on these. I really like the books, but the movie adaptations are completely unfaithful.
It's as though they read a short outline of each book and went from there.
I understand the need to change some things when going to video - the amalgamation of the best friend and reporter for instance. Since the books are written in the first person they had to have someone for her to tell her thoughts and "reasoning" to. They also "pretty-ed" up many characters, most notably Roe. I get it, but one of the things I like in the books is that Roe isn't gorgeous and most of the men she takes interest in are not either. I get it, I just don't like it. The world has far more average looking people, but TV is a visual medium and we all like seeing pretty people.
They dumb down the plots to fit into the time of a movie. Ok, I get that.
What I cannot abide is the complete loss of the "feel" of the books.
In the books we see a LIKEABLE, smart, modest, occasionally insecure, highly relatable small town librarian with a odd hobby that solves crimes because of inside knowledge and circumstance.
In the movies, she's full of herself, obnoxious and actively - often ridiculously - investigates.
Why any man would waste his time on her is beyond me.
At the end of each movie, I root for the killer to finish her off so there won't be any more of these terrible movies.
Again, I don't primarily hate these movies in relation to the books, I hate them on their own merits. If I had seen the movie first (also before any of the Midnights), I never would have read any of the books, which I'm excited to be reading the 4th. I'll also try at least some of Ms. Harris's other series as I've enjoyed her writing this far.
Kudos to Ms. Harris.
To all who enjoy these movies, sorry.
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