Crossword Mysteries Riddle Me Dead 2021
The previous Crossword Mysteries film, Terminal Descent, caught me off guard with a newfound tenderness between sleuths Tess (Lacey Chabert) and Logan (Brennan Elliott), so I was excited to see how the relationship would develop in this latest movie, Riddle Me Dead. Unfortunately, the partnership hits a bump here, and the warm feelings between the crossword editor and the New York police detective get a bit frosty following the murder of a popular quiz show host.
Tess and her Aunt Candace (Barbara Niven) are abuzz when the former is invited to read clues for the Jeopardy!-like program, Riddle Me Thi$. Thanks to Tess’s ex, Hunter (Jon Cor), a logic and word puzzle writer for the show, they also score tickets to a taping and a private meeting with its magnetic host, Aiden Brooks (Lane Edwards). Their impression of Aiden sours though when they see him berating staff, and the night ends on a real downer when he is found strangled on the studio floor.
A cloud of suspicion hangs over many involved in the show, from a fired PA (Maddy Hills) to an exasperated executive (Bruce Dawson) and an overworked producer (Lucia Walters). All clashed with Aiden’s abusive personality and are indifferent at best to his sad end. Star contestant Matthew Nasr (a delightfully obnoxious Adil Zaidi), on the other hand, finds himself in limbo after this turn of events. With production on hiatus and the show’s future in doubt, his multimillion dollar winning streak comes to a halt, suggesting he is not the killer. Accusations of a cheating scandal and financial troubles soon bubble up though, leading to extra scrutiny for everyone.
The person who really catches Logan’s attention is Hunter, and Tess immediately comes to her ex’s defense when she learns that he’s the focus of the investigation. Hunter seems to have enjoyed a close relationship with Aiden, but he was also the last person to see the deceased alive and is now poised to take over the hosting position. The case puts all thoughts of romance between Tess and Logan on ice. She takes his interest in Hunter as a challenge to her own integrity while he allows jealousy to creep into his detective work. The two, who are both used to being right, have never been more at odds.
If the bitterness lingers, the series won’t get far, so the pair are certain to patch things up. Nevertheless, the tonal shift is a disappointing comedown from the high I had going into this movie. Tess’s investigative instincts also seem a bit off; she can’t figure out why she can’t find evidence of cheating on the show tapes that she’s reviewing at 7x speed. Candace’s hesitation about starting a relationship with Logan’s dad, Chauncey (John Kapelos), adds to the malaise, and she steps away from their Italian date nights to reassess her commitment to him. The developments make sense from a storytelling perspective and the trials only strengthen the many partnerships at stake, but if you want something to cheer for, you won’t find much here. My favorite Hallmark rep player, Cardi Wong, gets sidelined, though officemate Sonia (Aadila Dosani) sees more screen time as the newspaper’s resident Riddle Me Thi$ expert. Logan’s colleague, Amrita (Parveen Dosanjh), also sticks around for a second case. The revolving door of supporting characters, however, adds more to the plot than the personality of the show.
- File Name: Crossword Mysteries Riddle Me Dead 2021.mp4
- File Size: 186.17 MB