I recently watched the Hallmark premier of popular weatherman and morning show celebrity, Al Roker’s Billy Blessing Mysteries. I hate to admit that I was a little tentative about watching it. In fact, I planned not to watch and set my DVD to record. However, when the time came, I found myself glued to the set. I truly enjoyed the movie and I felt Holly Robinson Peete did a great job as an amateur sleuth. So, why was I reluctant to watch? If I’m honest with myself, it’s because I didn’t expect to like the series. Famous athletes, television personalities and movie stars often venture into new fields and those endeavors, aren’t always successful. Memories of Shaquile O’Neal’s movie debut in Kazaam along with his rap video still make me shudder. So, the honest truth is that I expected to be disappointed. Thankfully, I was wrong when it came to Roker’s Billy Blessing series.
Roker is just one of several celebrities that have proved me wrong. In addition to the Billy Blessing series, Hallmark also dramatized the famous former special prosecutor and television personality, Nancy Grace’s Hailey Dean Mystery series. Produced and featuring veteran actress, Kellie Martin, the series is well plotted, logical and engaging. However neither Al Roker nor Nancy Grace are the biggest surprise when it comes to celebrity mystery authors. It’s hardly surprising that a former special prosecutor could come up with ideas for murder mysteries. I’m sure she’s got a plethora of ideas she can draw from. It’s not even a big stretch that after decades on a successful morning show that Al Roker could write a successful mystery about a celebrity chef who’s also on a morning show. No, the biggest surprise for me came when I stumbled across former NBA star, Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s Mycroft Holmes Mystery series; yes, Mycroft Holmes, the older brother of Sherlock Holmes. Apparently, the basketball player is a big Sherlock Holmes fan. Who knew?
Roker and Jabbar both utilized co-authors to help write their books, which proved to be a great idea. Take it from me, writing a mystery isn’t easy. So, now I’ve found some new mysteries to add to my mountainous To-Be-Read (TBR) pile. I’m thankful that celebrities are writing new mysteries. Having famous celebrities declare their love of mysteries by putting pen to paper (or hand to keyboard) can only bring additional attention (and hopefully new fans) to the genre. So, I say, Bring it On!