Review: ‘A Christmas Mystery’ is a pleasant new holiday film on HBO Max

'A Christmas Mystery'
'A Christmas Mystery.' Photo Courtesy of HBO Max

“A Christmas Mystery,” directed by Alex Ranarivelo and written by John Ducey, is a pleasant new holiday film, which premiered on HBO Max.

The synopsis of the movie is as follows: One hundred years ago, a strip of Santa’s magical jingle bells were discovered by a young boy in Shelter Bay, Oregon, bringing about a century of prosperity and peace for the small town. Now, just days before Christmas, the bells – the lifeblood of the town – are missing, and it’s up to a group of intrepid kids to solve the case, find the bells and restore the Christmas magic to Shelter Bay and its citizens.

When her best friend’s dad is falsely accused of stealing the town’s prized jingle bells, a young amateur sleuth and her friends must find the real thief before Christmas.

Violet McGraw is precocious and irresistible in the lead role of Violet. She steals every scene she is in, she is reminiscent of a young Dakota Fanning, and that should be taken as a compliment. All of the young stars bring something unique to the table. Also, Eddie Cibrian delivers in the role of Sheriff Pierce, the father of Violet in the movie.

The Verdict

Overall, “A Christmas Mystery” is a warm, fun, and thoroughly entertaining new holiday film that ought to be enjoyed with the entire family. Compliments to Alex Ranarivelo for his solid vision and direction. All of the actors are memorable in their own right. It garners four out of five stars. Well done.