Murder investigation mysteries are always intriguing to watch because they let us into the psyche of the murderer and let us understand their motives. But what happens when you sugarcoat the crimes and the motives and colorfully present the final product with zero intention of making it tense? We get films like Aurora Teagarden Mysteries. Given that it is a Hallmark film, there should have been an interesting plot that would not unconsciously give away the killer’s identity very early in the film.
Aurora’s Love For True Crime Stories
Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Something New begins with a young Aurora Teagarden being introduced as a teaching assistant at the University of Lawrenceton in 2008, where she showcases her interest in the subject of true crime literature and how she is using it to gain her degree in Library and Information Science. The young woman comes across as an enthusiast for this subject because she has grown up reading books in the genre, which allows her to understand the nature of any investigation. Her best friend Sally is set to get married to a start-up whiz Matt, who is about to earn millions from selling off his company. Sally is excited, but Aurora is not sure how Sally could be okay with marrying someone after knowing him for only seven months. Her protective nature as a best friend kicks in, and the fact that she has read too many true crime stories has made her suspicious of everything around her. But at the end of the day, Aurora is a supportive friend.
Sally and Matt host a wedding party just a few days before their nuptials when Matt and his partner Carson are confronted by an angry young man, which again makes the audience wonder if Matt was into shady business because it is obvious that he was hiding something, especially from Sally. Aurora was the first one to point out Matt’s stashing away details related to his high-valued company, which is about to be sold. The man who created the ruckus at the party was probably after Matt and Carlson’s money.
Matt Is Missing
Matt is found missing the next day, and Aurora, along with her childhood friend Arthur, who is a cop, take it upon themselves to find out what must have happened to the groom-to-be. Aurora, as a friend, wants to help Sally, and Arthur also wants to join in to understand the depth of this matter. There is a high chance that Matt is indeed missing, and it is probably related to his company, which is about to be sold. There seems to be no other possible motive that one can think of. The duo gets into his apartment through the balcony, only to see blood stains, pieces of ceramic, and a dead body in the backyard of the building. They are genuinely worried that the body might be that of Matt because that would make the case messier, and Sally would be devastated. The police at the scene of the crime identifies the body of Brody Kresser, the man who gatecrashed the wedding party.
Matt being the prime suspect is an easy assumption, for he was missing right after Brody’s death. There is a chance that Brody would have asked for a stake in the company, which Matt and Carson were not willing to part with. This is just a theory until proven right. From here, it feels like the police were able to solve the case in a jiffy, which seems preposterous for a murder investigation that should take time to crack. Even with investigations going on, Aurora seems to be hardly affected by the fact that her best friend’s fiancé might be the culprit. There seems to be no sense of stress about how she would break the news to Sally.
Who Killed Brody Kresser?
As the investigation into Brody Kresser’s death begins, Matt is the prime suspect, but it slowly fizzles out because, even though the theory is strongly backed by circumstantial evidence, the police have yet to find strong evidence to prove their conclusion accurate. Everything, in this case, points to the fact that Matt and Carson’s sale of their company has something to do with it. Carson also acts weird after hearing the news of Matt’s disappearance, which again points to the above-mentioned observation. The audience won’t be surprised when the final revelation turns out to be true because the story is presented in such a way that it only points everyone in the same direction.
Sally, on the other hand, is in denial because she loves Matt and believes there is no way he would not come back before the wedding. She is unwilling to consider the worst at this point. This is because she subconsciously wants to prove her best friend wrong. Sally is not ready to face the reality that her fiancé might just be a murderer on the loose who will be caught soon. Her hope and optimism are supported by Matt’s sister, Kara, who is also of the belief that Matt did not kill Brody. The two women closest to Matt vouch for him because they know him as a person and stand up for him.
Aurora is asked to step away from the investigation because she is neither a lawyer nor a police officer and therefore should not be working with Arthur. The law does not allow any civilian to be involved in an ongoing case, but she takes it upon herself to research the victim and his background. She comes across information about Brody and his father, John Kresser, on her university computer. Her teaching assistant post allowed her to get access to information that eventually helped her and Arthur crack this case. She finds proof that Brody and Matt knew each other from their college days, and he lied to everyone around him. It was obvious from the very beginning that Matt knew Brody, and presently the lie is out in the open. There is no element of surprise for the viewers to enjoy because the story is very predictable.
Matt is caught alive by Arthur and Aurora, and he reveals that he and Carson knew John Kresser from their university days because he helped them run their million-dollar website. Brody’s father was killed a few days before he was planning to file a lawsuit against Matt and Carson, as per the information collected by Aurora, which shifts the focus on the partners because they seem to have done something in the past that made John legally pursue them. This proves the theory that their company’s current valuation is the reason why Brody was behind them, for he strongly believes his father was killed by the two of them.
Carson turns out to be the man who killed John Kresser because he was not keen on offering John enough as a stakeholder on the website, which was built by John using his code. Carson, being a selfish man, was too greedy for his own good, and just like any tech entrepreneur who did minimal work, he decided to eliminate John. He is now on the hunt to delete information that Matt has which would prove Carson as the culprit. Carson repeatedly says he did not kill Brody because he never considered the kid a threat. This man turned out to be far more diabolical than anybody else who managed to carry out a crime and was willing to do more just to save himself.
Carson is arrested thanks to Aurora’s presence of mind, who, under the pretense of calling Matt, phones up Arthur. But Matt turning up to save Sally did not make any sense at all. This proves there are some major loopholes in the story that the makers did not bother to touch upon. It turns out that Aurora and Arthur reveal that they followed the pattern mentioned in a true crime novel the two of them had recently read. This sets a bad precedent as to how an investigating officer can rely on a book to solve a case instead of basing their investigation on the evidence they find.
Aurora initially feels Carson cannot be the killer, and evidence against Matt does not mount up. Based on the course she had taken, she concluded that it was Kara who was closest to Matt and someone who knew the digital lock combination of his apartment, and she would have as much information about his company as he did. Aurora confronts Kara, who immediately confesses to having killed Brody. She did the unthinkable when Brody came by Matt’s apartment in the hope of confronting him. She killed him because, as a sister, she was not ready to let an external factor such as Brody be responsible for her brother’s downfall, and she knew Brody would stop at nothing. This is where the issue begins, because if the killer was Kara, the makers should not have taken so many diversions to finally arrest the actual killer. Kara being the killer was easy to predict because, from the beginning, she was protecting Matt from getting arrested by painting a saintly picture of him, but sadly, things didn’t go as planned because Matt and Carson were also arrested for John Kresser’s murder. Only if there was a better way to structure this movie.
How Does The Movie End?
Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Something New ends with Sally breaking up with Matt for keeping her in the dark about his shady past. Her move makes sense because she truly believed him to be innocent, and it hurts to see her conscience proven wrong. Aurora submitted her thesis topic for her degree, which happens to be “How the knowledge of true crime literature can help law enforcement secure justice.” This comes across as an obvious choice from her end, and one can wonder how her thesis will help law enforcement in the bigger scheme of things.