Apple Strudel Alibi

Oxford Tearoom Mysteries, Book 8
Narrated by: Pearl Hewitt
Series: Oxford Tearoom Mysteries, Book 8
Length: 6 hrs and 42 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (468 ratings)

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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

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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 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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 person found this helpful

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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 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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 person found this helpful

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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 person found this helpful

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Time to end this series

I have enjoyed other entries in this series but this one abuses Hanna’s listeners good 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 person found this helpful

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apple strudel alibi

loved the story, amazed at all the situations Gemma gets into. love the narrator in these stories, love the British touch to all, great pleasure in listening to these tales

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I am hooked

the narrator has a soothing voice it's not sing song it's not boring it's perfect the characters are great I love the old bitties and the story was very good look forward to another edition of the series

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Pleasant fun

Always enjoy this series after a tough day. Muesli always makes me smile. And the old biddies are the best!

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The Oxford Tearoom on Holiday!

Apple Strudel Alibi is my new personal favorite in the Oxford Tearoom Mysteries series by H.Y. Hanna. It is the 8th book in series with Gemma and the Old Biddies flying off to Vienna, Austria for a European baked goods championship after Gemma’s little tea room is a finalist for Best Scone in Europe.

For those who have not had the good fortune of listening to this series before, the Oxford Tearoom Mysteries features Gemma Rose who is a struggling owner of an adorable tearoom in a tiny Cotswolds village near Oxford University. The Old Biddies are four octogenarians who frequent Gemma's tea room, each of whom thinks of herself as a Jessica Fletcher from the 1980’s TV series Murder She Wrote series. The Old Biddies are always stumbling into awkward situations and mysteriously disappear just when authorities arrive, leaving Gemma to explain how and why she is there.

In this installment, one of the guests staying at the same bed and breakfast as Gemma is found dead by apparent suicide. The Old Biddies are convinced he was murdered as there are just too many suspects who wanted to see the man dead. The rest of the story is Gemma investigating the murder and trying to convince the local authorities that he did not die by suicide.

Pearl Hewitt did a fantastic job narrating as she always does. She provided varying voices for all characters, and emoted enthusiasm and excitement in all the right places. My husband listened to this audiobook with me as we were traveling out of town and even he enjoyed it immensely, which is high praise considering he had not listened to any of the previous books in the series.

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  • Katerina
  • 06-10-19

Humorous

I have read the series, and I have found this one the funniest, although they are not situated in the comforts of oxford and the tearoom, the humour and new sew settings adds a new dimension to the novel, I really enjoyed it.

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  • Rory
  • 04-20-19

Nice but not my favourite

I have listened to 8 books now and this was my least favourite.

It's set in Vienna; which is a good idea to give a change of scene. She takes her cat wth her on holiday (I don't believe anyone would do that and let them out in the street etc). There is an incident and suspects. I didn't care for any of them; and found the storyline dull.

Nowhere near enough of the old biddies or Gemma's mum.

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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.

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  • cozy lover
  • 03-10-19

sweet as apple strudel

Another charmer by H Y Hanna delightfully narrated by Pearl Hewitt.
A feel good cozy.