CBS broadcast eight Jesse Stone TV movies from 2005 until 2012 that starred Tom Selleck as a former Los Angeles cop turned chief of police of Paradise, a fictional town in Massachusetts. The movies were based on a series of mystery novels by Robert B Parker, and though the Jesse Stone of the books is a few decades younger, Parker said that Selleck captured the character perfectly. (I’ve previously published reviews of the CBS Jesse Stone films and Parker’s Jesse Stone novels.)
The films proved popular and developed a loyal following, but perhaps the audiences skewed older, CBS announced after the eighth movie in 2012 that it wasn’t going air any more. Fans of the series complained loudly (not least in comments on the Jesse Stone reviews on this blog).
Selleck indicated he wanted to do more, and when the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries cable channel found re-runs and marathons of the Jesse Stone films among the most popular programming on their schedule, they decided to finance at least two new ones. The first was broadcast last year, and I’m finally getting around to reviewing it.
Jesse Stone: Lost in Paradise finds Jesse still chief of police but depressed and bored, the crime rate in Paradise having fallen to the point that it no longer distracts him from his inner demons. So to preserve his sanity Jesse volunteers to consult on a case in Boston. An admitted serial killer (Luke Perry, looking even older than on 90210) for some reason denies having committed one particular murder even though it matches his unusual pattern, even down to details never made public. There seems to be no reason for him to lie about it, but if he didn’t do it, who did?
In the meantime, Jesse deals with a domestic problem back in Paradise, where most of the policing in Jesse’s absence is handled by his younger protégé Suitcase Simpson. The other members of the Paradise force don’t appear in this film, but Jesse does run into other series regulars.
It’s about average for the series, perhaps better than average in terms of the mystery plot, and fans should be delighted to have Jesse back. I’m not sure when the next film airs or whether there will be more. If anybody runs across answers to either of those questions, please let me know.
Here’s an early scene from the film:
And as I previously mentioned in my post about the Jesse Stone movies on CBS, there’s a Jesse Stone trivia quiz here courtesy of the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel.