Marilu Henner and Skyler Samuels in the new Aurora Teagarden movie. (Image: Hallmark Media)

For her new role as Aurora Teagarden, actress Skyler Samuels spent hours studying the Hallmark mysteries starring Candace Cameron Bure.

“I watched a bunch of the original ones and just really studied Aurora and her world and tried to hone in on her traits and characteristics that really made her her,” Samuels said in an interview with TV Insider. “Then from there, I just reverse-engineered who I imagined she might have been when she was in her early to mid-20s, and that’s really where the fun of inventing the younger Aurora came from.”

New Aurora Teagarden movie

Samuels will play the librarian-turned-sleuth in a new Aurora Teagarden movie coming out on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. A prequel to the series that starred Bure, Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Something New shows a young Aurora, who has just graduated college and moved back in with her mom in the small town of Lawrenceton, Washington.

But instead of seeking out advice from Bure, Samuels relied on co-star Marilu Henner to help her bring the beloved character to life. Henner has portrayed Aida Teagarden, Aurora’s formidable mother, in every one of the mysteries.

“And so she was kind of our encyclopedia for a lack of a better word [for] the world of Aurora and tidbits with that crazy memory of hers,” Samuels said in an interview with Yahoo. “She really was able to fill us in on anything we didn’t know.”

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The prequel

Hallmark premiered the first movie in the Aurora Teagarden mystery series in 2015. Based on the books by Charlaine Harris, the series consisted of 18 movies:

Aurora Teagarden Mystery: A Bone to Pick (2015)

Real Murders: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery (2015)

Three Bedrooms, One Corpse: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery (2015)

The Julius House: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery (2016)

Dead Over Heels: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery (2017)

A Bundle of Trouble: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery (2017)

Last Scene Alive: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery (2018)

Reap What You Sew: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery (2018)

Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: The Disappearing Game (2018)

Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Game of Cat and Mouse (2019)

Aurora Teagarden Mysteries:n Inheritance to Die For (2019)

Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Very Foul Play (2019)

Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Heist and Seek (2020)

Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Reunited and It Feels So Deadly (2020)

Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: How to Con a Con (2021)

Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Til Death Do Us Part (2021)

Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Honeymoon, Honeymurder (2021)

Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Haunted By Murder (2022)

Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Something New

In the new Aurora Teagarden movie, Skyler Samuels stars as Ro, who has just graduated from college and returned to Lawrenceton. While applying for grad school programs and trying to settle on a thesis, Ro works as a teacher’s assistant in a crime fiction class. She also waits tables at the local diner.

In her free time, she discusses cases with her friend, a local police officer named Arthur (played by Evan Roderick), and helps her friend Sally (played by Kayla Heller) plan her wedding.

But when Sally’s groom fails to show up for the rehearsal dinner, Ro and Arthur set out to find him. They find the groom but also discover a dead body, and Sally’s fiancé becomes the prime suspect in the case.

The new Aurora

In recent interviews, Samuels said she felt a responsibility to the fans of the series to portray Aurora in a way they found familiar.

“It was our goal to make something that felt familiar but also exciting to the old audience,” she told Yahoo.

She also said it was fun to play the character before she had become a skilled detective.

“The one thing that I love watching as an audience member is imperfect people,” Samuels told TV Insider. “It’s just not interesting if people are too put together or too polished. It’s fun to see people be human and a little rough around the edges. When we meet Aurora as an adult, she’s pretty polished and she’s good at solving her mysteries and crimes. She’s in her stride.”

“I thought it would be really fun to just embrace the version of her where she’s not good at this stuff yet. She’s still definitely figuring it out, and you’re watching her stumble into her superpower of being this gumshoe mystery solver and how that love and obsession develops for her.”

Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Something New will premiere on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries on Friday, June 9 at 9/8c.

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