Miss Willoughby and the Haunted Bookshop Parent Guide
The plot is thin, the characters thinner, and the solution isn't hard to figure out but a good time is had by all.
Parent Movie Review
Upon the unexpected death of her parents, young Elizabeth Willoughby (Scarlett Graham) becomes the ward of their friend, Robert Windsor (Giacomo Gex). Assuming the management of Lizzy’s Yorkshire estate, Robert also oversees her education, which consists of indulging her obsession with ancient history all morning and requiring physical activity all afternoon. Her exercise regimen involves a heavy dose of martial arts and boxing, which will come in very handy in the years to come.
Twenty five years later, Elizabeth (Nathalie Cox) is happily established as a book author and classics professor, with a reputation for amateur detective work. Still living with Robert (Kelsey Grammar) on her estate, she is contacted by friends of her late parents in the hopes that she can help with an unusual problem. Helen Deakin (Louise Bangay) is being haunted by the ghost of her late father, and her husband, Oliver (Steven Elder), isn’t sure whether the apparitions are real or the manifestation of a mental disorder. As Elizabeth starts to investigate, she encounters catty book club members, an oily property developer, and some very eerie occurrences…
If you are familiar with the Murder, She Wrote television series that ran from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, you will know exactly what to expect here. True, Miss Willoughby lives in northern England instead of Cabot Cove, Maine, but the same cozy mystery vibe pervades both the classic series and this film. The plot is thin, the characters thinner, and the solution to the puzzle isn’t hard to figure out but a good time is had by all. If you’re looking for a movie that will allow you to gently tease out the solution with minimal mental effort, Miss Willoughby and the Haunted Bookshop fits the bill. And if you like it, you’ll be thrilled to know that it’s envisioned as the first in a series of films geared to the family market. There’s more to come for fans of the intrepid Miss Willoughby.
Parents will be relieved to know that this show also contains minimal amounts of negative content. There’s some plot-related violence, although it’s kept to a minimum, and some scenes of social drinking. There’s nothing here that can’t be watched by tweens or fastidious grandparents (unless they are unusually sensitive). If your ten year old loves reading Nancy Drew books and wants to watch mysteries on TV, this is a good place to start. It’s clean, it’s easy, and it won’t haunt anyone’s dreams.Directed by Brad Watson. Starring Nathalie Cox, Kelsey Grammer, Steven Elder. Running time: 90 minutes. Theatrical release February 8, 2022. Updated May 31, 2022
Watch the trailer for Miss Willoughby and the Haunted Bookshop
Miss Willoughby and the Haunted Bookshop
Rating & Content Info
Why is Miss Willoughby and the Haunted Bookshop rated PG? Miss Willoughby and the Haunted Bookshop is rated PG by the MPAA for violence, thematic material, scary images and brief language.
Violence: A woman collapses. A main character hears a struggle and people screaming over the phone. A very decayed corpse is seen in a body bag. A character threatens another with a gun and hits her on the head with it, knocking her out. There’s brief conversation about killing people. There are scenes of physical combat.
Sexual Content: A man and woman kiss. There is mention of adultery.
Profanity: There are a few terms of deity in the film.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A woman takes anti-anxiety medication. Main characters drink alcohol to relax. Adults drink alcohol at social events.
Page last updated May 31, 2022
Miss Willoughby and the Haunted Bookshop Parents' Guide
Why does Robert insist that Lizzy learn self defence and martial arts? How does that help her in the long run?
Do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not?
What clues help Elizabeth solve the case? Did you notice them? Did you notice any clues that led you to the solution?
Related home video titles:
The go-to films for catching ghosts are Ghostbusters, its all-female reboot, Ghostbusters: Answer the Call, and its 2021 reboot, Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
Ghostly flicks include Goosebumps, Scooby-Doo, The Haunted Mansion, The House with a Clock in its Walls, and The Corpse Bride.
If you want more family movies about amateur sleuths, you can try Nancy Drew, Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase, Spy Cat, Sherlock Gnomes, or Pokemon Detective Pikachu.