We’ve seen Lacey Chabert in a number of love stories on Hallmark Channel, but this time around, she’s trying something new.
The Mean Girls actress, who will be starring in the upcoming film A Puzzle to Die For — the first film of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ Crossword Mysteries series — opens up to PEOPLE in this week’s issue about why she chose to do a mystery, what attracted her to the part, and how she’s managing to balance work life and being a mom to 2-year-old daughter, Julia.
“While this is my 17th movie with Hallmark, it’s my first mystery with Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, which is a separate channel from the Hallmark Channel,” the actress, 32, explains. “I was really excited about it because it’s the first time I did something of this particular genre. I’ve done a lot of Christmas and the love stories and I love doing those, but it was nice to have a bit of a departure and start the mystery series.”
Chabert, who plays crossword editor Tess Harper, stars alongside Brennan Elliott — her former costar on the All of My Heart series of films on Hallmark Channel.
“When Brennan and I decided to collaborate on it, I was thrilled,” she says. “He’s become a dear friend. Our families are close friends. You can really only be as good as your partner in the scene. We challenge each other.”
In the film, crossword editor Tess finds herself in the midst of solving a murder after a prominent figure suddenly dies. As she quickly realizes that clues in one of her newspaper’s weekly puzzles are possible leads, she quickly becomes invested in trying to track down the killer.
“I hope the audience just enjoys trying to solve the mysteries along with us,” she says. “When I was approached with this idea I instantly fell in love with it because I thought it was so different to utilize the crosswords in solving the mysteries.”
And while Chabert has had many different roles, she can’t compare them to her best role yet — being a mom!
“My daughter is my No. 1 priority,” the actress gushes. “I’m lucky and incredibly fortunate that my family is able to travel with me most of the time.”
“This is my first time being a mom and I’m figuring out as I go. But Julia is the light of my life. I’m very thankful that I’m also able to continue working. I hope to set that example for her to let her know that you can do it all, but with a lot of help and support!” she says.
A Puzzle To Die For premieres March 10 at 9 p.m. ET on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. The additional series’ films will premiere later this fall.