Alison Sweeney’s Hannah Swensen learns first-hand how cutthroat — and in this case, deadly — house hunting can be in A Zest for Death: A Hannah Swensen Mystery.
“Did Rhonda say why she was so eager to sell?” Hannah’s sister Michelle (Tess Atkins) asks in Us Weekly’s exclusive sneak peek of the all-new Hallmark Movies & Mysteries film. The family’s real estate agent replies with a smile, “She’s thinking about moving back east.”
As the sisters tour the house, previously owned by Hannah’s Cookie Jar customer Rhonda, their mother, Delores (Barbara Niven), goes upstairs to explore the closet situation. “Everything you need to know about the house you can tell from the closet space,” Delores teases.
Hannah appears to be sold on the property, telling her sibling, “I was thinking I should bake Rhonda some double-fudge brownies to thank her and let her know that we like the house.” Michelle agrees that it has “potential” and gets excited about putting in an offer.
Just as the two are celebrating Michelle’s possible move, Delores comes downstairs with a frightened look on her face.
“Mother, what is the problem?” Hannah asks before she stumbles upon Rhonda’s dead body on the bedroom floor. Rhonda is lying on the ground with blood near her head, which instantly causes Hannah to jump into amateur sleuth mode.
A Zest for Death is the latest installment in the network’s Hannah Swensen Mysteries franchise. Sweeney, 47, initially portrayed baker turned self-proclaimed detective Hannah Swensen in the Murder, She Baked movies, which ran from 2015 to 2017.
Sweeney revived the character in August 2021 with Sweet Revenge: A Hannah Swensen Mystery. “I am a big fan of Hannah Swensen and if I can make that happen, I will,” Sweeney exclusively told Us in October 2022, teasing the possibility of even more baking-themed films. “I love making those movies. Those are my favorites to be honest.”
The actress has since costarred alongside her franchise love interest, Cameron Mathison (who plays Detective Mike Kingston), in 2023’s Carrot Cake Murder: A Hannah Swensen Mystery and now A Zest for Death.
The newest mystery is described as a “family affair” for Hannah after she discovers Rhonda’s body while helping her younger sister find her forever home. “While Hannah’s convinced that Mike (Mathison) and the Sheriff (Mike Dopud) are focusing on the wrong suspect, the sleuthing becomes a group effort when her other sister, Andrea (Lisa Durupt), pays a visit,” the logline reads.
Check out Us Weekly’s exclusive movie clip above — and watch A Zest for Death: A Hannah Swensen Mystery when it premieres on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Friday, October 6, at 9 p.m. ET.