Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Game of Cat and Mouse (2019)


Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Game of Cat and Mouse Storyline

Aurora Teagarden – Ro to her friends – is a librarian and president of the Real Murders Discussion Club in the town of Lawrenceton, she seen as the smartest of the club members when it comes to those real life murders. Who she brings new to the club are her younger cousin, college student Phillip Pifer, which does not sit well with Ro’s mother, realtor Aida Teagarden who only sees trouble in talking about murder, and relatively new friend, Nick Miller, a Psychology professor at the local college, Ro and Nick who seem to be on the cusp of a relationship. In Ro setting up a day before a meeting in leading a discussion about the Lipstick Murders, the club members arrive to discover that Ro’s discussion materials have either been vandalized or stolen, the vandal who left a calling card of sorts in some literary quote scribbled on one of Ro’s Lipstick Murders crime scene photos. When Aida’s office is subsequently vandalized with a similar literary quote calling card on another Lipstick Murders crime scene photo and some of Ro’s materials stolen in the previous crime, Ro, on other evidence, is assumed to be the common bond and the target of whatever the criminal’s actions. Police Chief Lynn Smith, and her husband, Homicide Detective Arthur Smith – a Real Murders member himself much to Lynn’s chagrin – look to anyone who may have a grudge against Ro. The suspects include: new club member Davis Mettle, who seems to resent Ro’s superiority on the subject; Edward Irons, a regular at the library who blames Ro for among other things not having his self-published book stocked in the library; Nick’s new T.A. Dina McMillan, an academically bright but socially insecure woman who seems to have a hate at first sight for Ro; and much to Ro’s chagrin Valerie Wagner, a longtime family friend who reacts unusually to the fact of the crimes and who had access in being both Ro and Aida’s cleaner with code access and keys to both properties. Although Lynn has always resented any assistance from the Real Murders club members especially Ro herself, she does somewhat welcome that of her friend and Nick’s boss, Forensic Psychologist Bree Carson who may be able to provide additional insight beyond the on the surface evidence. This collective will have to work fast to discover the perpetrator as he or she has committed subsequent crimes – with the same signature of the literary quote on a photo and stolen items from the previous crime left at the scene – against people close to Ro, those crimes increasingly violent with arguably the end target being Ro herself.—Huggo

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Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Game of Cat and Mouse Movie Reviews

A really well written script

I found this an exceptionally well written script.

At first it feels very predictable–Aurora is with her new love interest, Nick Miller. A young girl shows up and appears to be jealous of Nick’s attention toward Aurora, Then another girl, a student at the university where Nick teaches also shows signs of jealousy–and it felt like I knew where the story was going even before it got started.

But then the script adds a sort of Agatha Christie twist. The perpetrator is leaving taunting clues, for Aurora in particular as to who the next attack victim will be. Another mystery cliché, true. But it adds a nice layer of complexity and makes events seem less predictable.

Then, Aurora’s best friend, Sally Allison is attacked and almost dies. This ratchets up the suspense immensely, especially when the last clue seems to be indicating that the last victim is going to be Aurora herself, and she won’t be as lucky as the other participants in this “cat and mouse game”.

Yes, all this is standard mystery stuff–but what matters is how it is put together. This was filmed in 2019. No one can write anything original in the mystery genre anymore. All anyone can do is to reassemble the pieces in a new and exciting way. And the producers did just that, IMO. The episode does a wonderful job of building regret, guilt, and tension.

Finally, mystery-wise, the actual perpetrator did come as a surprise to me, and not in an unfair way. The taunting nature of the clues being left made the perpetrator a logical choice even if I never suspected.

A Worthy Whodunit

This is the third Aurora Teagarden mystery I have watched and the best so far. This is not a murder mystery, but, as the title suggests, a game of wits between Aurora and someone who is committing lesser crimes and leaving clues, daring her to solve them.

This mystery has plenty of suspects. Could the perpetrator be a romantic rival? Could it be someone with a grudge? Or maybe someone who just wants to test wits against the Lawrenceton legend?

Teena Booth, the writer who has penned most of these episodes, gives us a solid whodunit that includes literary references. And the cast turns in some good performances in support of this entertaining mystery.

Aurora is the target

This Aurora Teagarden mystery is a bit different in that our sleuthing librarian is the target from the beginning. Of course this has something to do with a real murder mystery that took place several years back that got a bit of notoriety.

Several members of her real murders club are targets. But in this case they are targets for lesser crimes, some of them falling into the range of pranks.

When Candace Cameron Bure confronts the author of all these events and this individual is the murderer in that other case, you won’t believe the motive. It is fascinating some of the things that can build up in a mind if you let it.

Nicely done, looks like Candace will be going strong with this series for a while yet.