My Obsession: Ladies Solving Murders

I have talked about my obsession with Murder She Wrote on this blog before, when I visited her house and in my discussion of Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. I am still obsessed with Murder She Wrote (which, by the way, has the first five seasons on Amazon Prime now), but I have also realized that I really just like TV shows and movies with women solving murders. Right now, I’m watching one of my favorites, “Rosemary and Thyme” which is a great British show that doesn’t have enough episodes in my opinion. I love all the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries movies, including Murder She Baked, Aurora Teagarden, Mystery 101, Hailey Dean Mysteries, Morning Show Mysteries, Emma Fielding Mysteries and Chronicle Mysteries. What do they all have in common? Women solving murders! Mostly average women, with regular jobs, solving murders! There aren’t many channels that put women in the leads as often as Hallmark does and on Movies and Mysteries, they not only get to fall in love (as they do on the regular Hallmark Movie channel), but they also get to figure things out that no one else can. They are smart, charming and brave. I love that. PBS and the BBC also have quite a few shows with women solving murders. The aforementioned Rosemary and Thyme, Miss Marple, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (of which there is a new, updated version I have yet to see), and so many more.

I’m not sure why the murder mystery genre is my favorite (I also like men solving murders, just not quite as much as the ladies). I think I like that the loose ends get tied up. I like that there is critical thinking and reasoning going on. I like that the leads have to be smart, read people well and are always on to something that no one else can really see. I also think I like the slight predictability of them. My life is unpredictable enough, I don’t need unpredictable TV shows in my life. I also like the personalities portrayed. And I like the normalcy of it all. They are going about their jobs, like baker or librarian or gardeners or writer, etc. and they are still able to get the information needed to solve the crime. They are able to manage it all, but often with some help from those around them. And most of them are characters who I would love to have as friends.

So, there you have it. My obsession with murder mysteries, especially those with ladies leading the charge.

Mysteries, Uncategorized

Why I love Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel

I’ve gone cordless in the last couple of months.  We dropped our cable TV and went back to straight Roku and Netflix.  I had a few reasons to hesitate on this change.  First, I like local news.  But, we got an antenna and I get the two channels that have local news with that antenna.  Second, we sometimes like to watch sports and Roku doesn’t have the best in sports selections.  But, we decided we don’t watch enough sports to make that a reason to continue to pay the outrageous cost of Cable TV.  And a lot of sports are streamed online now, so we can always access them that way.  The third and most serious reason was that I LOVE Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel.  But, I realized most of what I watched on there was Murder She Wrote and that was on Netflix anyways.  The key word in that last sentence is WAS.  As of January 1, Murder She Wrote is not on Netflix.  In addition, I was seeing my Hallmark Movies and Mysteries newsletters and seeing new movies in some of my favorite series like Gourmet Detective, Garage Sale Mysteries and new ones like Framed for Murder with Jewel and getting really regretful for cancelling my expensive cable.  So, I started a hunt to find where I could watch the channel on Roku and lo and behold, there it is on Sling TV!  I have to pay $24.99 a month, which is a bit expensive, but still much cheaper than my cable bill used to be and we get ESPN (for the hubby) and cooking channels and HGTV, which we also enjoy.  So, all-in-all, it is a great compromise that has given me back my favorite channel.  But, some may ask, why is Hallmark Movies and Mysteries my favorite channel?  Well, let me give you some reasons!


  1. Things get solved!  My life is often composed mostly of problems.  I am dealing with problems with students, problems with TAs, problems with my finances, problems with my schedule, etc., etc.  I love that when I watch a show on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, the problems get resolved.  It seems overly simplistic sometimes, but it is a relief for me to watch something where solutions are had by those who need them.
  2. Those solutions are simple.  My life is complicated.  See the first point.  I don’t need my TV to be complicated.  I don’t want to make a lot of effort to figure out what is happening in a TV show or why it is happening.  I like to enjoy TV and relax while I watch it.  Some may see the shows on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries as predictable (not always, but they are often based on formulaic mystery books), but I see them as effortless.  I am sometimes surprised by the answers to the mysteries, but mostly, I just enjoy the ride and I don’t feel like I have to work at watching the show.
  3. The mysteries are solved by women!  I realize this isn’t necessarily unique to Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, but it is much more prevalent there.  I just saw a commercial for their “Women of Mystery” and every major movie series on the channel has a woman as the main character.  And they are often surrounded by women as well.  This is unusual in modern media.
  4. The women solving mysteries are doing “More at Forty (plus)”.  As a person who is edging closer to 50 than 40, it is nice to see women on TV who are not in their 20s. And I especially appreciate that the women on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel are not constantly concerned about their age or their weight or their looks.  They are simply being women, comfortable with who they are.  Lori Loughlin is 52.  Jewel is 42.  Candace Cameron Bure is 40.  Brooke Shields is 51.  Kellie Martin is 41.  Brooke Burns is the baby of the bunch at 38.  Alison Sweeney is 40.  I love that this channel focuses the majority of its series on women in their 40s plus.  Proving that you can be “more at forty”!
  5. Women are solving crimes rather than committing them.  The Lifetime Movie Network has women committing crimes and going crazy and killing people. But, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries has women who love their friends and families and professions and are solving crimes rather than committing them.  They are good to those around them.  They are caring and they think critically and they are smart and not always concerned with getting the guy.  It is nice to watch women being good people doing good things.
  6. They celebrate the great eighties. I think everyone has a soft spot for things they experienced in their youth.  Music, movies, television, etc.  Well, much of what is shown on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel outside of their movies are TV shows from the eighties.  My favorite, by far, is Murder She Wrote, but I also enjoy Hart to Hart and they are now introducing Father Dowling Mysteries (who doesn’t love the dad from Happy Days solving crimes as a catholic priest?).  I feel like it takes me back to those evenings in my family room, with my parents, all watching non-cable TV and enjoying it together.  It is nostalgic for me.
  7. I can watch it with my 7-year-old.  I love PBS Masterpiece Mystery as well, but I can’t always trust that it will be okay to watch it with my 7-year-old.  There are often story lines and graphic violence that is beyond her capabilities.  Sometimes there is inappropriate language.  But, with the shows on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, I can feel safe having my 7-year-old in the room.  She loves Murder She Wrote as well. She knows the major movie series on the channel and her favorite is Murder She Baked.  It is nice to have something I can watch and enjoy and not worry about her being in the room.

So, there you are.  The seven reasons I love Hallmark Movies and Mysteries.  I am toying with the idea of having a weekly post on Mysteries (Monday Mystery Mashup).  I will have to play with that idea for a bit.  If you haven’t checked out Hallmark Movies and Mysteries and any of the seven reasons sound compelling to you, you really should check it out.  It is my (not-so) guilty pleasure.

Tuesday Truth, Uncategorized

Tuesday Truths

Tuesday TruthWell, this week is my first official week of summer vacation.  I finally have a few hours in my house alone (we’ve had house guests for much of the past two weeks) and I’m in the midst of doing a power clean of our garage because we are getting a freezer (thanks to my in-laws, who gave it to us as a Christmas present, but we didn’t have space for it in December – we decided to take the jump and clean out for it while they were here this time and it is being delivered tomorrow).  I’m almost done with grading for Spring 2015 and I’m already thinking about what I want to do Fall 2015.  My DD gets out of school on Thursday at Noon.  I’m trying to make my backyard look like something other than an empty lot that folks have used as a dumping ground.  If this post does not make it obvious, I am trying really hard to catch up on things I’ve been putting off forever and then settle into summer in a better place – both literally and figuratively.

So, Tuesday Truths this week include:

An empty house is a gift.  I love hosting people in my home.  I love being able to visit, but still be in my own home.  But, an empty house is a real gift.  I get to watch what I want to watch on TV (mostly Hallmark Movies and Mysteries), clean when I want to clean, eat and drink what I want to when I want to, etc., etc.  I realize that I need alone time as much as I need together time.

Summer laid out before me is both bliss and pressure.  I love the start of summer.  So much opportunity.  But, that opportunity also presents pressure to make sure you don’t waste it.  But, I also need down time.  So, my attempt this summer will be to make both memories and time for relaxation.  Right now, I’m trying to figure out how to give myself the gift of time while also giving my mom (who is in hospice) the gift of my time while also giving my DD the gift of my time.  There is only so much time to go around, so I have to try to balance it.

Yards are nice, but a lot of work and cost.  I love our backyard as a concept.  It is big.  Lots of open space.  Not a lot of grass, but a nice little patio and a nice little plot of grass, then a really big area that used to be covered in bark with some nice plants interspersed.  Our landlord provides yard service.  But, we had a pool on the lawn for most of last summer and it killed the grass and it never really came back.  Then we got a puppy who eats everything and takes stuffed animals out there and strews them about.  We aren’t yard care people either, so there are leaves all over on the borders and the bark has decomposed and now its dirt and weeds.  I just talked to the lawn guy and he basically said the lawn is dead and there is too much dog poop back there to deal with it.

I get what he means.  We don’t have a regular schedule for picking up dog poop, which has to end.  So, I’ll put that on my list of things to do each week.  It is easy enough if you do it once a week, right before the trash pick up.  So, I’ve got to put it on my routine chores and just do it.  I’m going to get lawn seed and try to regrow the lawn where it is dead.  They are weed eating for me in that area and I’ll get the leaves picked up that are piled up.  I got string lights to hang back there and moved my bistro set from my front porch to the back patio and got the old BBQ out of the way (my husband got a smoker and basically uses only it now, so we had this big gas BBQ just taking up space on our small patio).  It could be a great place to enjoy the shade (there is a big tree back there) in the summer months and I could set up some fun play things back there.  Maybe a pop-up over in the non-shaded dirt/weed area and I’ve considered getting a plot of fake grass from Costco to put over there as a play place for my DD.  So many ideas.  Not enough money, energy or motivation.  But, as I said above, summer is laid out before me and the possibilities are endless.

Those are my truths for today.  It is almost time to go pick up my DD from school and I’m a bit sad as I’ve enjoyed the solitary couple of hours since my husband went to work.  But, alas, I can’t be alone forever.  The back lawn is cut down and they even weeded over in the open area.  The garbage and recycling are both completely full to overflowing (my in-laws always produce a lot of garbage and recycling when visiting – its a mystery how it is so much more, but it is), so I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to pick up the dog poop and leaves and pieces of toy strewn about by the puppy.  But, hopefully the yard can be making a comeback by this weekend.




Thursday Thumbs Up

Thumbs Up Thursday #22 – Focusing on the Positive


Or, as some might say, ignorance is bliss.  And sometimes I feel like I have way too much information to maintain optimism.  But, this is Thumbs Up Thursday so I’m going to focus on the positive and give some thumbs up today.  Despite the Great White Shark nipping at my heels…


Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel  Seriously, if I created a channel, this would probably be it.  I mean, I might choose some slightly different movies and I would probably have some Golden Girls on there, but overall this channel is like my entertainment Mecca.  It has Murder She Wrote, Diagnosis Murder, Hart to Hart and movies that are right up my alley as well.  I feel like it is my entertainment comfort food.  And I’ve been in need of serious comfort food lately.

hallmark movies and mysteries

Google Calendar  I have decided that I have a slight problem with planners/calendars/lists, etc.  I am constantly trying new things.  The amount of money I have spent on planners thinking that they were going to change my life could probably buy us a new car.  But, let’s not think about that.  I have settled on Google Calendar as my go-to online planning source.  I still have a calendar hanging in my kitchen so others know what is happening and I still carry around a planner, but I rarely look at it.  Google Calendar sends me reminders, automatically adds Meet-up events into my calendar, adds Facebook birthdays and events into my calendar.  It is frigging fantastic.  I still miss things, but it is much less likely if I put it in my Google Calendar and actually have the reminders set to happen.  My frustration right now is that I can’t get it to work right on my phone, but I’ll work on that.