"Scones, a tea shop in England, a kitty, and a murder - yes, please!"
When an American tourist is murdered with a scone in Gemma Rose's quaint English tearoom, she suddenly finds herself apron-deep in a mystery involving long-buried secrets from Oxford's past.
Armed with her insider knowledge of the university and with the help of four nosy old ladies from her local Cotswolds village (not to mention a cheeky little tabby cat named Muesli), Gemma sets out to solve the mystery - all while dealing with her matchmaking mother and the return of her old college love, Devlin O'Connor, now a dashing CID detective.
But with the body count rising and her business going bust, can Gemma find the killer before things turn to custard?
©2016 H.Y. Hanna (P)2016 H.Y. Hanna
Based on the cover of this book, I didn't think I would like it. However, I took a chance and I'm glad I did, This is a light cozy mystery but it's not just fluff. The characters are engaging and realistic. The plot was believable and well written with a bit of humor. This was a fun cozy mystery and I look forward to listening to the next book.
I have read the book and listened to the entire book and I loved both. I don't know that I would say that the audio was better, but I think I appreciated the book even more because of the way Pearl Hewitt performed the reading.
The plot was engaging and had enough consistency to make it believable, yet plenty of information and clues that were discovered along the way to make it interesting. I loved the humor and the cast of characters and the way they all contributed to the plot line throughout the book.
I liked that Pearl Hewitt was able to alter her voice enough so that different characters were discernible throughout her performance. It was not stiff at all and she had plenty of color in her voice that kept my attention throughout.
I absolutely loved this book and all of the others in the series. I'm looking forward to listening to the next one in the series on audio.
YES, I am highly recommending this audiobook to all my friends. It is a delightful journey from the engaging storyline to the quirky characters, from the descriptions of the little Meadowford-on-Smythe village to Oxford University, from more than a few suspects to more than a few mysteries to ponder. This story has me hooked and eager to continue the journey.
The most memorable moments came as Gemma reflected on the thoughts and memories of her past relationship with DI Devlin O'Conner...the passion, the quiet, the regrets. We all had those college relationships and first loves, and for her the possibility of reigniting those feelings is an intriguing direction I look forward to see how it is addressed in the series.
Pearl Hewitt is "Absolutely Fabulous!" Her British accent is the perfect dialect for Gemma's educated manner, and the tone changes helped add a bit to the other characters: proper English for the 'old biddies" and the Oxford Dons, street English for the pub owner and some questionable villagers, and the change she mastered for the Americans. She kept me engaged, giggling at the British tone I so enjoy...even murder sounds great with an English accent.
I was very moved by how Gemma was looked after by so many of her friends and family. Even when her mother drove her crazy with comments about her change in career not worthy of an Oxford education, Mabel shared advice for keeping regular, Glenda remarked a man who is good at 'dancing' is also..., Cassie pointed out the dangers, and DI O'Conner scolded her, their motives were to protect her...showing their love and friendship.
No Spoilers! But, the final solution to the mystery was not expected, and I choked back a tear when all was revealed. H.Y. Hanna gave a twist that often is not part of the 'cozy mystery' formula. But it was the right decision. I really LOVED this book, and am inviting Pearl over for tea and scones and...will you read book 2 to me?
The Traditional English Scone method is described in the audiobook as Gemma tries her hand at Fletcher's recipe, but in the eBook/print the recipe is included.
Definitely in the top ten
The quirky characters, the humor, and the Oxford area setting
This first book in the Oxford Tearoom series by H.Y.Hanna is a delight from start to finish! The author brings the Oxford area setting to life, as well as the quirky characters who live there. This well written story held my interest from the beginning, and I was sorry to have it end. (Thank goodness there are more books in the series!) The "Little Stables Tearoom" is a place I would love to visit, and the well drawn and completely believable cast of characters, including Gemma Rose, the spunky tea shop owner, her artistic assistant Cassie, Gemma's well meaning but annoying mother, handsome police inspector Devlin O'Connor, and a group of customers fondly referred to as "the old biddies", are people I would like to know.. The "old biddies" in particular provided several laugh out loud moments. This book has it all - humor, mystery, a wonderful setting, and a hint of possible romance in the future. I really enjoyed listening to the Audible version - the reader, Pearl Hewitt, did a great job with the different characters, and has a perfect reading voice which was easy and pleasant to listen to. I highly recommend this Audible book.
I already had this book on my Kindle and fell in love with the story and characters, but hearing the story made it so much more. Being able to hear pronunciations and emotions instead of reading them made it so much better.
I love tearoom mysteries so I guess it would compare this to the first teashop mystery I read. That was Laura Childs' Death by Darjeeling. The victim had drank their tea at an event they were catering and died.
This is the first of Pearl Hewitt's performances I have listened to but I did think it was wonderful
"A brilliantly penned mystery with lots of humour."
Pearl Hewitt's performance was very easy to listen to and I loved how she performed the various characters.
There are many things that I loved about this book. The author's sense of humour really shines through in this book. I don't usually find the circumstances surrounding a murder to be humorous but I couldn't help it with this one. The murder victim was discovered in the courtyard of Gemma's tearoom with one of her scones shoved in his mouth. I didn't feel too badly about him as he was such a nasty character to begin with.
I loved that Gemma wasn't the only amateur sleuth trying to solve the murder. The 'Old Biddies' proved helpful on occasion and more often a source of hilarity. Gemma's mother is also a great, eccentric character. Between her matchmaking schemes and forever forgetting her Ipad password she injects another layer of humour into the story.
I enjoyed the romantic subplot of the story. I'm not sure Devlin deserves to have a second chance with Gemma this early in the series so I was glad that she has other options to play with. I hope Devlin suffers a little bit before/if they end up together.
The murder mystery itself was well thought out and had an element of suspense which I really enjoy. I also had no clue who the killer was until it was revealed in dramatic style.
The really important and huge mystery of where Muesli the cat disappeared to also came to a timely conclusion and I was (spoiler alert!) relieved that he was okay.
A really great, entertaining read and I can't wait to get my hands on the rest of the series.
I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.
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