It’s about time.
We at The Food Channel have been saying for years that culinary novels–which are simply light fiction with a food theme, usually with a set of recipes included–should get more attention. They are the ideal escapism when you understand the romance of food, the emotional connection with meal-preparation, and the way food solves a lot of problems in the world.
Now the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel is stepping up to the challenge with a focus on culinary mysteries. The first series debuts this week, Saturday, May 2, 2015 and the second right behind it. Here are the details:
“Murder, She Baked: A Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery” centers on free spirited Hannah Swensen, an expert baker who becomes a culinary detective when her shop, the Cookie Jar, becomes the scene of a crime, just as she is caught in a romantic mystery of her own. “Murder She Baked: A Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery,” is based on the New York Times bestselling book Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke.
If you’ve ever read a Hannah Swensen novel by Joanne Fluke you’ll recognize the character (and may we say, Alison Sweeney is the perfect embodiment of Hannah). While it makes it fun to know more of what’s coming, even if you haven’t read the books you’ll be in for a treat as you follow the clues along with Hannah and solve the murder. Or, should we say, follow the cookie crumbs?
Sweeney is a Daytime Emmy® nominated actress and TV host (“Days of Our Lives”), and her co-stars include Daytime Emmy® nominated star Cameron Mathison (“All My Children”) and “Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove” star Barbara Niven.
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Original ‘MURDER, SHE BAKED: A CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE MYSTERY’ premiers Saturday, May 2 (9pm ET/PT, 8C). See a promo here.
Bottom line? We don’t care who did it, as long as someone bakes the cookies. That could be you, with the recipe links you can find here.
There’s a second series coming right along in the wake of Hannah. This one is based on a Peter King novel and is called Gourmet Detective. Here’s the synopsis:
Dylan Neal & Brooke Burns Star in ‘GOURMET DETECTIVE’ a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Original World Premiere Saturday, May 16 (9 p.m. ET/PT, 8C). Famed culinary consultant Henry Ross (Neal) is a charming food industry insider in San Francisco. When suspicious sabotage ends in a shocking murder at his friend’s five-star restaurant, Henry is put on the case with strong-willed police detective and single mom, Maggie Price (Burns). Despite Maggie’s protests, they must work together to decipher the clues and investigate all of San Francisco’s top culinary pros. In this first installment in the “Gourmet Detective” Mystery Movie Series franchise, Dylan not only stars, but also co-writes the script with his wife Becky Southwell and serves as Executive Producer. Watch the promo here.
The Food Channel was privy to the first episode and it gets high marks—enough that it pushed us to check out additional books by Peter King so we could get ahead of the series! You don’t have to be that kind of fan, though, to enjoy the mysteries that Hallmark is providing. Just sit back, turn on the Channel, and enjoy the best of food, mystery, and the innate comfort and feel good nature of Hallmark.
Alison Sweeney Photo Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Bettina Strauss
Dylan Neal Photo Credit: Copyright 2014 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Katie Yu