Mystery Woman Television Series

Have you ever wondered what a young Jessica Fletcher would be like? What if Jessica wasn’t a retired English teacher but rather the owner of a mystery bookshop? What would you think if Jessica’s sidekick was an assistant district attorney instead of Seth, the town’s doctor?

If you have ever pondered any of these questions, then have I got news for you! Just by watching one of the Hallmark channel’s Mystery Woman television movies, you will have the answers to these questions.

Mystery Woman is a series of television mystery movies that originally rotated with several other mystery shows on the Hallmark channel. The rotation included Mystery Woman, McBride, Murder 101, and Jane Doe. (The Mystery Woman‘s television movies are my personal favorites of that Hallmark mystery rotation.)

The show stars Kellie Martin as Samantha Kinsey, the owner of a mystery bookshop that she inherits from her uncle. The fact that Samantha owns a mystery bookstore makes it easy for the plot lines to include the mystery book references that are sprinkled throughout the different shows. Whether Samantha is finding a rare first edition copy of a mystery book or she is hosting a mystery author’s signing appearance, Samantha is sure to find a corpse during the (+/-) one and a half hour shows.

Samantha’s sidekick is Cassie Hillman, assistant district attorney. Cassie is played by Nina Siemaszko, and the “girls” have a very believable relationship. They seem to always be on the search for the perfect boyfriend although they don’t seem to have much luck.

The police chief (Casey Sander) usually follows a different path while solving a case. (It’s a good thing that Samantha’s path is always the correct one, and her path leads her to catch the culprit!) The police chief’s path usually means that he arrives to the crime scene (and the crime clue scenes) just as Samantha is leaving. She is always at least one step ahead of Chief Connors.

Clarence Williams III plays Philby >>> a great help to Samantha. Philby holds down the fort at the mystery book shop as well as provides all sorts of computer (and espionage!) help. It seems that Philby once worked for an agency akin to the C.I.A.

I have seen all of the Mystery Woman episodes and am currently making my way through them for the second time. It’s that enjoyable of a show. The show has a truly “Cozy” feel to it. Everyone in the community knows each other; there are “regulars” who go from one show to another. There is a sense of community, the which seems to be comprised of people who look out for each other, no matter how eccentric they are.

After watching this series, you may come away with an “aha” moment. >>> So this is what Jessica Fletcher was like years before she moved to Cabot Cove!

P.S.  I didn’t mention this before, but Mystery Woman‘s pilot had several different actors in it, however Kellie Martin was the only Samantha.

P.P.S. I think this is the correct order of the Mystery Woman episodes:

  1. Pilot (It is very difficult to get the pilot. )
  2. Mystery Weekend
  3. Snapshot
  4. Sing Me a Murder
  5. Vision of a Murder
  6. Game Time
  7. At First Sight
  8. Wild West Mystery
  9. Oh Baby
  10. Redemption
  11. In the Shadows

For more Cozy viewing ideas, click on my Cozy Mystery TV & Movies page.

(I have added this information on the Upcoming Television Mystery Movies for January 2014.


  1. says

    This is so great! I reviewed the one and only episode I’ve been able to find and am so excited to find out I can DVR all of these. Thanks so much!

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Karen, that’t the beauty of DVR-ing these movies. You can watch them in their chronological order even though the Hallmark Movie channel is choosing to show them “not so organized”.

  2. Sheila says

    I watched and enjoyed all the Mystery Woman shows. Was quite sorry when the series ended. Thanks for the update. Will check my local listing (Eastern Time Zone) to see when the shows will air.

      • Sheila says

        Thanks Danna. I guess my brain is still thawing out from the “Polar Vortex” cold we just had in Connecticut.

        • Danna - cozy mystery list says

          I know I have said this before, but I bet it is absolutely beautiful up there during your snowy times. (If it could just be beautifully white without all of the dirty snow sludge and blistering cold, right?)

  3. Laurel says

    This is a great series! I’ve seen all of them quite a few times. It seems like there hasn’t been a new one in awhile, though. Hope they haven’t stopped making them. It’s hard to find anything worth watching these days.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Laurel, Mystery Woman was first aired in the early to mid 2000s. I doubt there will be any more made, although it would be nice.

  4. PamB says

    I’m excited for a new mystery DVD as I ordered the DVD with 3 of the shows on it. I do have all of the Murder She Wrote DVDs so I know I will enjoy these. Thanks, Danna, for all the information you share with us.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      PamB, I take it you don’t get the Hallmark Movie channel. I hope you enjoy these very Cozy mystery shows.

      • PamB says

        Danna, where I live to have the Hallmark Movie Channel I would have to subscribe to digital service which is quite a bit more money so I just have the basic service. I’m not techy at all so I am not for sure if there is another way to receive it.

        • Danna - cozy mystery list says

          PamB, if you’re not “techy” than I would guess basic cable service would be your best bet. I am very lucky to have a husband who enjoys all things “techy”.

          • PamB says

            Danna, guess what? I asked my daughter if she has the Hallmark Movie Channel and she does (may be a promo tho for a short time for her) so she is going to DVR these movies for me (excluding the 3 on the DVD I ordered). I am so excited…what does that say about my life if I’m so excited about cozy mystery movies!! She lives fairly close to me. I ‘m sure you are thankful to have a husband who enjoys technical stuff.

  5. Colleen says

    I love these shows also! Like Ann, I couldn’t place Philby right away.
    The show that has Michael Cole, his costar from Mod Squad in it is one of my favorites! I also love the McBride show that has Charles Robinson from Night Court as the judge.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Wow, Colleen! I remember that McBride show vividly. I also enjoyed seeing Charles Robinson back with John Larroquette.

  6. Nikki says

    Love Mystery Woman. Also if anyone has Netflix you can watch another fav series – Rosemary and Thyme. They are two middle aged English ladies who landscape beautiful gardens while solving crime. Wonderful series. Wish they had more of both.

  7. Mari says

    For the theme where a doctor is the mc, how about Caroline Roe’s Issac of Girona medievel series?

    Really enjoy and appreciate this site. Thanks.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Thank you, Mari, I just added Caroline Roe’s medieval Chronicles of Isaac of Girona Mystery Series to the list.

      (And I’m glad you are enjoying the site!)

  8. SHW says

    I love these movies! I watch them all the time. I am not a big fan of the pilot movie. It’s still good, but some of the characters aren’t the same. Very good movies especially for the cozy mystery lovers!

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      SHW, while I know these movies aren’t for everyone, I agree that they are especially perfect for Cozy Mystery lovers.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      BrendaC, I hope you enjoy these television movies. I truly think they are very much like Murder, She Wrote >>> with a younger sleuth.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Ann, I would miss it, too. I am finding that most of the things I’m interested in watching are on either Turner Classic Movies, the ID channel, or Hallmark – in either its movie or non-movie format.

  9. Sofi says

    I saw the pilot. They are all the same actors in the pilot except for Philby and Cassie. In the pilot Philby was payed by an actor J. E. Freeman and Cassie was played by Constance Zimmer.

  10. Annelise says

    Has anyone approached a company like PBS, Movies Unlimited, Acorn or the like to see if the Mystery Woman shows could be released on DVD for all of us diehard fans? I gave up on TV and cable years ago and now it’s just Netflix, books, my e-readers and my very small DVD player. I’ve collected Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, Poirot, Cadfael and Phryne Fisher so far. I’d love to have Mystery Woman in my collection.

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