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Publisher's Summary

When Gemma’s romantic holiday with her boyfriend is cancelled, the tearoom sleuth finds herself heading to Vienna instead with her cat Muesli and the nosy Old Biddies for company. And it’s not long before they stumble across a murder right in the heart of Austria’s historic capital. 

A handsome art critic dies suspiciously at their hotel, and the Old Biddies are determined to sniff out the killer. Is it the bitter hotel owner nursing a grudge? The critic’s jealous mistress wanting revenge? Or even the American horse trainer who seems inexplicably nervous around the police? 

Soon Gemma is dragged into an impromptu investigation which has her tackling Vienna’s famous pastries, snooping in police files and even braving a nude sauna in search of clues! 

But can she sort the suspects from the Schnitzel and solve the mystery before the killer strikes again? 

©2018 H.Y. Hanna (P)2018 H.Y. Hanna

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Holiday fun with a twist

I adored this story! I have to say I was totally worried about Gemma ' s relationship at the beginning and am so glad Hanna didn't leave us hanging to see what goes down with Devlin and Gemma. The old biddies on holiday are a hoot! The things those 3,Muesli,and Gemma get up are great! I didn't want to stop listening to this story. I had to find out who the murderer was and if I was right( I wasn't). I also really enjoyed the author 's descriptions of the places that were visited during the story. I was totally googling them to find out more!
I really love how Pearl Hewitt brought the characters to life and am eagerly waiting the next in the series.
*disclaimer*
All the above opinions are my own. I was given this book for free in return for an honest review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An engaging on-location cozy

I am a fan of the Oxford Tearoom Mysteries from my first reading, and Pearl Hewitt does an excellent job bringing the characters to life. Until this book, the setting has been the environs of Oxfordshire, but this book goes on the road, so to speak, to Vienna, Austria along with her cohorts, the "old biddies". These are recurring characters that lend an element of farce, as well as a device where their antics reveal clues to the central mystery.

Emma's love interest, Devlin, plays a minor role in this book, but the descriptions of Vienna, the charming hotel, and the mouth-watering descriptions of Viennese pastry make up for the lack of romance.

The plot was suitably convoluted to keep my interest, with a liberal sprinkling of red herrings. The real charm of the book, though, was the setting, a sub-plot involving a gifted child, and the descriptions and backstory of the famed Lippizaner Stallions.

Disclosure: A review copy of this audiobook was sent to me by the author. All of the above opinions are my own.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great Cozy Mystery!

A great cozy full of fun, mischief, laughter and mystery. I can't wait for the next book in the series!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

So well-written and entertaining

My fourth read/ listen from author H.Y. Hanna. I love the narrator’s British accent & her cat “meows”, I really enjoyed this read. Cozy mysterish, captivating primary characters, I love Mewsley’s increased role over the course of the series. What other blurbs can I use to describe these books? Oh well, buy the book, read the books, get into a good author and some good characters as I have. (RIP Marley January 20, 2014 - July 24, 2018).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another great mystery by H.Y. Hanna

In <strong>Apple Strudel Alibi</strong> by H.Y. Hanna, Gemma Rose is upset to learn that her boyfriend, Devlin, has to work in his job as the top detective for the Oxford CID and can't go on their planned trip to Malta. So she finds herself changing her plans to go to Vienna to receive an award for the best scones in England. When she arrives at the airport, she discovers that the four senior women collectively known as "the Old Biddies" are traveling with her and have reserved a suite with Gemma in the new hotel opened by Sophia, a close childhood friend of Gemma's mother. At the hotel, they meet ? Wagner, a lifestyle critic notorious for his cruel, scathing reviews, and he schedules a dinner date with Glenda, one of the Old Biddies. But when Glenda goes downstairs to meet Wagner, he doesn't show up, causing Glenda to look for him in the music room of the hotel. With a scream, Glenda comes rushing out after having discovered Wagner lying dead on the concrete beneath the balcony of the music room.

The police soon declare the death a suicide after having found what passes as a suicide note. However, when Gemma sneaks into the office where the police are keeping the note, she notices it seems weird and doesn't end with a complete sentence. The Old Biddies especially feel certain that this is a murder and lure Gemma into their crazy schemes to investigate.

<strong>Apple Strudel Alibi</strong> is the eighth book in the Oxford Tea Room series, and Hanna does not disappoint as she continues this incredibly fun and clever series. The plot is creative, though it doesn't have as much depth and twists and turns as the previous seven books. However, the standard set by Hanna was so high that the mystery is still creative and well done. Further, the setting details and fun scenes make the book a great delight. One of the highlights is a visit to an Austrian spa with the Old Biddies, who are as excited about all the coed nudity around them as Gemma is horrified.

The characters continue to come to life as in all of Hanna's books. Besides Gemma, who narrates the book and has a fun personality, especially in the horror she feels at some of the schemes of the Old Biddies. These octogenarians are the highlight of the book, with wild ideas and nosiness in everything that they get into. The "guest characters" provide a lot of fun as well. The Chinese family, consisting of Mr. and Mrs. Chow and their 8-year-old daughter, Mei Mei, seem sadly realistic based upon my own experiences working with Chinese international students. Mrs. Chow does not like her daughter's amazing gift for art and love of animals because she is determined that Mei Mei will become a successful lawyer, and art and animals do not figure into those plans. The other characters have as much flair as the Chow family.

Pearl Hewitt performs the audiobook of <strong>Apple Strudel Alibi</strong> and does another fantastic job that brings the book to life. Her voices for the characters have plenty of diversity, and she handles the accents well. I was especially impressed that the British narrator is so successful with the American accent of Randy, a horse showman from Florida. Few British narrators handle American accents very believable, usually making them Texan. Hewitt further does a good job at voicing the expressions of Muesli, Gemma's mischievous cat, who goes with Gemma to Vienna.

I had a lot of fun listening to <strong>Apple Strudel Alibi</strong>, which has a creative plot and an especially interesting setting. This includes the famous dancing Royal Lipizzaner horses, a spa where men and women mingle sans any clothing, and secret passages in the mansion turned into a hotel. The Old Biddies particularly add to the delightful flavor of the book. I give this fun book five stars.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Time to end this series

I have enjoyed other entries in this series but this one abuses Hanna’s listeners god will. The story is contrived. The author uses extensive descriptions just to fill pages. She offers up Vienna tourist sights eg the Spanish Riding School, Gustav Klimt paintings and numerous places to dine on calorie filled pastries just to fill pages. The howls of the cat become annoying. I would have been happier to here Muesli’s howls described rather than imitated. The cats antics do not occur naturally
but are also awkwardly contrived to keep the cat in the story.

I would advise Hanna that you don’t have a story to tell wait until uou do. This was an insult

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MaryAnn
  • Idaho Falls, ID, United States
  • 12-11-18

a cozy, but well written

I know cozy mysteries are normally very light and breezy reads, but often they are also very well written and developed and I feel H. Y. Hanna is one of those authors who make that happen...

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Very Enjoyable

I love the Oxford Tearoom Mysteries. This book goes all the way to Austria for a change of scenery. I'm glad Gemma brought Muesli along as I always look forward to reading about her The "old biddies" are a marvel and I'm glad they went along to support Gemma. H. Y. Hanna writes a good cozy mystery. She has lovely characters and good settings. And her mysteries are always, should I say, 'fun'. It was nice to see Gemma elsewhere. Pearl Hewitt is a wonderful narrator. I enjoy her voice and the way she reads.

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Another clever mystery that you will love!!

H.Y. Hanna has done it again. Apple Strudel Alibi is another successful installment to the Oxford Tearoom Mystery series. In it we find ourselves on a trip to Vienna, Austria, where we're introduced to a few new characters that become suspects in a murder investigation that Gemma Rose and the Old Biddies find themselves entangled in.

Regarding the audio narrator, Pearl Hewitt, her voice is absolute perfection. Her depictions of the various characters, (including Muesli the tabby cat’s audible expressions), is incredible. Her masterful narration brings this series to life in a way that can only be fully described if you listen for yourself. Extraordinary talent. I always look forward to listening to Ms. Hewitt's narration. I highly recommended Apple Strudel Alibi.

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5+/5 Strudel-ishious Murder Mystery

Ahhh, Vienna! The thought brings up images of a romantic waltz, Von Trapp family, museums, palaces, mouthwatering desserts, and…murder? Gemma Rose gets a marvelous surprise. Her tearoom scones were secretly entered in the Euro Tearoom Baking Contest and won! A few wrenches pop up, but she decides to travel to Vienna to pick up the award with Muesli and the Four Biddies in tow. There they are confronted with a hotel filled with delightful, some suspicious, guests, pompous critic known for scathing reviews, friends, foes, and hotel owners hoping to build a good reputation for their hotel. These all collide into murder, and Gemma with her octogenarian entourage take on the case.

H.Y. Hanna doesn't disappoint with her signature clever mystery, well-written descriptions, engaging dialogue, and rich, well-developed characters from all walks of life. I enjoyed the change of setting from the comfortable British countryside to the hectic European city, and much like what one would find in a book one, she spends extra time immersing the reader into the culture and history before diving into the murder mystery. It took a bit longer than I normally like for the “dead body” to arrive, but I didn't mind the delay because I enjoy Gemma and the “Biddies,” and was very entertained following them around the city. But, Hsin-yi doesn't rely on the narrative alone nor turn it into a travel log, she offers entertaining banter between the “Biddies” and Gemma. Ok, Mable is such a hoot! Although this is the eighth book in the series, there aren't any spoilers and enough background and characters connections to make this an entertaining standalone. But…do not miss the rest of the series! You'll love it!

You'll love the audiobook version even more! The key to an audiobook’s popularity and review ratings is how well the narrator reads the story and captures the interest of the listener. Is it a traditional basic performance, or do they provide more of a radio-play with accents, dialects, tone, and sound effects? Pearl Hewitt’s extraordinary voice artistry greatly has enhanced H.Y. Hanna’s first-person narrative giving an entertaining voice to Gemma Rose’s dialogue and inner thoughts including bringing out her emotion and personality. She effortlessly changes between each of the different British dialects and tone to illustrate the four octogenarians, Gemma’s mother, and along with a good effort at the tricky “woman doing male” voices (kudos on Herr Wagner!), she performed varying delightful Austrian accents, varying tourists like a Chinese family and Americans, and Museli’s “Meorrw!” All marvelous attributes for an entertaining experience courtesy of Pearl Hewitt!

The only negative, which isn't much, is the fact that the wonderful traditional British Tearoom treats found in print and eBook copies is missing in the audiobook. I vote for Pearl reading the recipe for the Traditional Apple Strudel in this print/eBook copy. I can write it done on a recipe card. Just saying…

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  • Teddy
  • 09-21-18

Another fine mystery

As charming and entertaining as the other books in the series.

Somewhat spoiled, for me, by Gemma (a very English character) using Americanisms such as referring to the first floor of buildings as the second floor. It irritated me every time it happened, to the extent of jolting me out of the flow oif the narrative.

Other than that, the nicely crafted mystery I've come to expect from this series.

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  • san2har
  • 08-07-18

Another lovely mystery

These mysteries are so good-natured light and funny. They are also well written and the descriptions of Vienna and its highlights were excellent. Of course all the usual characters were there to help solve the mystery - the old biddies and of course, Muesli.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful