Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Very Foul Play Has Roe and the Gang Investigating a Murderous Setup
Image: ©2019 Crown Media United States LLC/Ricardo Hubbs
Who set our All-American boy up?
If you didn’t already know, Aurora Teagarden (Candace Cameron Bure) has the best job in the world. Not only is she a librarian, who is rarely at her job, but she also gets to fight crime and take as many days off as she can. That’s exactly what happens in the twelfth installment of the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries series, Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Very Foul Play. Soaps.com brought you the eleventh installment, An Inheritance to Die For, and before that, the tenth installment, A Game of Cat and Mouse. Each as equally binge-worthy as the next.
Roe heads out of town to speak at the True Crime and Mystery Conference, run by Linda Bennett (Kirsten Robek). Of course, she’s on a panel with Lawrenceton’s Captain Lynn Smith (Miranda Frigon) to add a little conflict to the story. Roe brings a gaggle of Real Murders Club friends, including Professor Nick Miller (Niall Matter), Sally Allison (Lexa Doig), Phillip Pifer (Dylan Sloane) and Aida Teagarden (Marilu Henner). (OK, we know Aida hates true crime, but she was tricked into a free weekend vacation by Roe.)
The crew stays in a scenic mountain lodge where they run into Roe’s uptight co-worker, Lillian Tibbett. She is meeting her online librarian beau, Andrew Wakefield (John Emmet Tracy), for the first time. Will they have a meet-cute weekend?
Everyone, including Lillian and Andrew, goes to see a murder mystery play. Roe, Phillip, Aida and Captain Lynn are all roped into playing roles in the show. Phillip becomes smitten with castmate Monica Swanson (Brenna O’Brien), who has a creepy ex-boyfriend, Brett Stauberg. Brett tends to stalk Monica, which makes for a few very tense moments backstage.
The show goes on and the lights go off. When the breaker is fixed, the audience sees Monica dead on the floor, lying in a pool of blood with Phillip holding the dripping knife — a real knife, not a prop knife. Roe and Captain Smith can’t save him from being arrested by the big-town police chief. We all know sweet Phillip isn’t a murderer, so who set up our All-American boy up?
Let’s take a look at the suspects:
• Brett Stauberg (Tom Stevens): He’s the creepy, confused ex-boyfriend, but he would be too obvious of a choice to kill Monica, right?
• Boyd Stauberg (Aaron Douglas): Brett’s father and real estate mogul, who loves to buy up property and turn it into condo complexes. He’s dying to buy Linda’s theatre and tear it down. Monica was a former intern at his company, is she a plant at the theatre to get Linda to sell her property to Boyd?
• Linda Bennett: The True Crime and Mystery Conference producer and theatre owner, who is desperately trying to save her business. Now that there’s a murder and the conference is canceled; will her business go under?
• Robert Brown (Matthew James Dowden): He’s a true-crime writer, who used to date Linda. He dumped her when he found success as an author. Robert is currently suffering from writer’s block and he’s turning up in odd places during the murder investigation. The prop knife that Phillip should have had in his hand was found in Robert’s coat backstage.
• Andrew Wakefield: The nerdy librarian who is smitten with Lillian, but he disappears during the play. Did he commit the murder? Is Lillian in love with a criminal?
The Real Murders Club has to save one of their own and even Captain Lynn begrudgingly joins the group. She knows Roe is already two steps ahead of law enforcement.
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
Lillian sadly turns Andrew in to the Real Murders Club after he lies to the police about being in the audience during the murder. Well, Andrew had a good excuse. He was so nervous about being around Lillian, he excused himself to do breathing exercises in the lobby. He promised he was killing his nerves, not Monica.
Phillip is finally released from jail because the investigation starts turning to Brett and Boyd. He is lured to Brett’s house where he discovers a dead Boyd — death by candlestick. Poor Phillip is set up as the murderer once again.
Brett ran away from the murder scene, where he reveals Monica got a job with Linda to convince her to sell the theatre to Boyd. But Monica enjoyed working with Linda and then threatened to reveal Boyd’s bribery to the police. Boyd didn’t like being threatened and Brett thinks he used his right-hand man to kill Monica. Yep, we go back to Andrew, who was in cahoots with Boyd.
Lillian goes off to drown her sorrows in a book because her boyfriend is a murder. Linda is gloating because her business is better than ever — true crime fans want to attend next year’s conference because a real murder happened onsite.
Everyone is confused. Andrew killed Monica? Brett killed Boyd? Why does Phillip keep getting framed for murder? Robert’s fingerprints were on the candlestick? Guess what? None of them killed Monica or Boyd. It was Linda! She framed everyone to save her theatre and her business when she realized Monica was a plant sent in by Boyd to encourage her to sell the theatre.
Roe catches Linda confessing while wearing a wire with the police listening in. This is when Linda goes full-on crazy and starts chasing Roe through the theatre catwalk with a candlestick to try and kill her. Professor Nick flashes a spotlight in Linda’s eyes and Roe glides in on the curtain track to give her a good dropkick to the floor. Bye, Linda.
Lillian goes back to her boyfriend, who is just a librarian, not a killer, and Professor Nick hints at marriage with Roe. Do we get an engagement in the next installment? We were left on high bling alert! Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Heist and Seek was to premiere on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries on April 12 but was pushed to Sunday May 17. The movie involves a priceless crown stolen during a benefit gala held by the Lawrenceton library which is investigated by who else but, Aurora and the Real Murders Club!