The Gourmet Detective
Death Al Dente
Dylan Neal, Brooke Burns
Hallmark Mystery series
90 minutes 2015
Death Al Dente is the kind of TV mystery you can follow even when you are brain dead. This Hallmark Mysteries adaptation of the Peter King Gourmet Detective series takes the viewer by the hand through every possible suspect and is big on expository dialogue to make sure you can spot the big neon clue signs. All that does not mean it is not a fun little thriller.
Dylan Neal is Henry, the Gourmet Detective, and Brooke Burns is Maggie, the San Francisco PD Detective who finds herself partnered with the foodie when there is a murder at a local restaurant. The movie works very hard trying to create some chemistry between the two characters but the actors do not seem to have any, especially with Burns pouting every time the botoxed Neal character says something.
Death Al Dente opens with the gourmet detective being asked to investigate sabotage at a local fancy restaurant. On the restaurant’s big night, an investigative journalist is murdered. There are of course, lots of suspects.
There are quite a few incredible moments: Henry is coerced into helping the police. The detective takes a glass from a suspect’s house to check it for prints without a warrant or asking. The baddie actually sends Henry a warning note with the letters cut out from magazines.
This Hallmark Mystery is the TV version of the typical cozy: nothing violent, nothing complicated, entertaining but forgettable.