If you're obsessed with both home renovation shows and murder mysteries — really, who can resist either? — you're in luck. The Hallmark Channel continues its streak of Fixer Upper Mystery productions with A Deadly Deed, premiering March 11 at 9 p.m. ET. Believe it or not, though these films share a name with an HGTV hit, Fixer Upper Mystery and Chip and Joanna Gaines aren't actually affiliated with one another.
Rather than garnering inspiration from the rustic charm of the Gaines couple, the The Fixer-Upper Mystery series is based on a series of five books written by author Kate Carlisle. She published the first of the series in 2014, and Chip and Joanna started slapping up shiplap for HGTV just one year prior in 2013. Theoretically, Carlisle may have used Fixer Upper as somewhat of an inspiration, but it seems pretty unlikely given how long it takes to write a book, and the fact that the popularity surrounding Fixer Upper wouldn't be in full swing until further into its run.
Even though the books, and therefore the Hallmark production, aren't based on Chip and Joanna, that doesn't mean that they won't both incorporate some of the same aspects. According to Hallmark's official description of A Deadly Deed, things go awry for home renovation expert Shannon Hughes when a banker is found murdered inside the mansion shes working on.
This plot already has me itching to watch, and there's still a huge perk yet to be discussed — hold onto your mellow pop CDs, people — the star of this whole series is the one and only Jewel. The actress and singer told People magazine in 2017 prior to the first installment of the show that she was particularly interested in appearing in the series because she's always been a fan of murder mysteries. "I’m a closet [marathon watcher] of Murder She Wrote," she told the magazine. "I actually have a t-shirt that says: ‘Angela Lansbury is my spirit animal.' So I’ve always kind of liked the genre — and I’m a big Angela Lansbury fan clearly."
She also said in the same interview that she was excited about the fact that her character was a woman in what may be seen as a typically male field — it reminded her of how she grew up. "I liked this part because she’s a female contractor, so she’s a very empowered, modern woman,” she said. “Coming from Alaska, where I was raised doing everything for myself — we built fences, we shoot our own horses, we trained our own horses, we worked with cattle, and there weren’t these really strong male-female gender roles where I was raised. So I really was excited that she was a character that had that type of job."
This isn't the first installment of the books' adaptations — Vulture first reported Jewel's casting in 2016 ahead of the debut of Framed for Murder: A Fixer-Upper Mystery. It seems like Jewel will be on board with the genre, and perhaps this franchise of TV films, for some time to come. “I think people like to be a sleuth,” she said in the People article linked above. “Everybody, like me, likes to sit at home and be like, 'Who did it? I’m going to figure it out before the end.'"
The Fixer-Upper Mystery franchise still hearkens back to beloved home improvement shows, even if it puts a dark twist on the genre. But, since murder mysteries and home renovation shows are some of the biggest staples of cable TV, when you put them together, what could possibly go wrong?