Four Puddings and a Funeral

Oxford Tearoom Mysteries, Book 6
Narrated by: Pearl Hewitt
Series: Oxford Tearoom Mysteries, Book 6
Length: 7 hrs and 30 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (472 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Business is going well at Gemma Rose’s quaint English teashop, and she's delighted about her first big catering job at a local village funeral...until the day ends with a second body and one of the Old Biddies accused of murder! Now, the resourceful tearoom sleuth must find out which delicious pudding contained the deadly arsenic - and who might have wanted the wealthy widow dead....

But Gemma has other troubles to contend with, from her naughty cat, Muesli, running loose in her tearoom to an unexpected hedgehog guest in her home - and that's before the all-important "meet the parents" dinner with her handsome detective boyfriend turns into a total disaster! With so many things on her plate, can Gemma solve the mystery in time to catch the murderer or will she come to a sticky end?

Audiobooks in the Oxford Tearoom Mysteries:

All-Butter ShortDead (Prequel) - available as part of the Box Set Collection

  1. A Scone to Die For
  2. Tea with Milk and Murder
  3. Two Down, Bun to Go
  4. Till Death Do Us Tart
  5. Muffins and Mourning Tea
  6. Four Puddings and a Funeral
  7. Another One Bites the Crust
  8. Apple Strudel Alibi
©2017 H.Y. Hanna (P)2018 H.Y. Hanna

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A highly clever mystery

In Four Puddings and a Funeral, the sixth in H.Y. Hanna's Oxford Tearoom series, Gemma Rose, owner of Little Stables Tearoom, gets her first catering job, for the funeral of Rex Clifford. The much younger widow, Adele, who flirts with the eligible men there, showing no sense of mourning for her husband, is triumphant that the night before he died, Rex changed his will to disinherit his only daughter and give everything to his wife. Then, at the funeral, a strange man gives a sudden announcement that he is the half- brother of Rachel Clifford, the long- lost love child of Rex, conceived during one of his trips to China. As they all argue over the man's identity and Rex's will, Adele clutches her stomach and falls over. The next morning word spreads all over town that Adele had died, and she was killed by a high dose of arsenic.

Gemma then becomes surprised to see a new detective in Oxford show up at her tea shop, demanding to know all about the food she served at the funeral. When he learns that Mabel Cook, the leader of the Old Biddies, served Adele a treacle tart at the funeral, the detective demands that she come back with him to the police station "to help him with his inquiries." At this moment, Detective Inspector Devlin O'Connor, boyfriend of Gemma, comes to the tea room and is horrified at the prospect of his colleague's forcing Mabel to go to the police station. But Mabel is delighted at the opportunity because she has always wanted to be grilled. That should have warned the arrogant new detective, come from London, and Mabel gives the man such a hard time that he can't wait to release her. However, Mabel has now made a mortal enemy, and the detective, who has put himself in charge of the case, spends his time trying to prove Mabel guilty instead of actually investigating the case. So Gemma gets involved in order to be sure that the true murderer gets arrested.

Four Puddings and a Funeral is another strong entry in the Oxford Tearoom series. I really enjoyed the quality of the mystery as well as the relationship issues we see arise between Gemma and Devlin. It is not common to get to enjoy a mystery with both a very strong plot and a wide range of clever and vividly drawn characters, Hanna accomplishes this effectively. The plot, with its many possible solutions, unfolds to keep our fascination drawn to the book.

The characters are especially delightful. We have fun with the Old Biddies, especially hearing the account of how Mabel created havoc in the police station. We appreciate Gemma and Devlin, and we can identify with the challenges that they have been facing to make their relationship work, even in the face of Gemma's mother's determination to marry Gemma off to Lincoln, the doctor son of the mother's best friend. There is a fun but excruciating scene in which Gemma brings Devlin to have dinner with her parents, only to discover that her mother has invited Lincoln and his mother to the dinner as a way to show up Devlin. Gemma's mum is a crazy character herself, having lost her iPad and desperate to locate it.

I enjoyed the secret joke of naming the dead couple Rex and Adele. This harks back to Agatha Christie's Pocket Full of Rye, in which the murder victims are named Rex and Adele, the latter being Rex's much younger and new wife, just as in Four Puddings and a Funeral. Further, with Adele's death, Rex's daughter, Rachel, inherits his estate, just as is the case in the Christie Miss Marple book.

Pearl Hewitt performs the audio edition of this book. I always enjoy her performances, which contain so much expression. She truly does seem to embody the character of Gemma as she reads the book. She creates strong voices for all the characters and makes the book particularly enjoyable to listen to.

I really loved getting to listen to Four Puddings and a Funeral. The book has all that anyone could want in a cozy mystery: a strong plot, delightful characters, and creative relationship plots. I look forward to the next book's coming out on audio, and I give this book five stars!

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Why not pen the main character as self assured?

I did enjoy the first few books so I gave the series 5.2 books and then I stopped listening. I was getting a bit tired (well, no more like frustrated) of the lead character's side of the romantic storyline always being high-schoolish. But, with the last two volumes, it's gotten worse! This Gemma character is penned with a love interest that she is much too emotionally unstable to handle, and a mother that she kowtows to, with this being a substantial part of the books recurring storyline I need to say goodbye to this little tea room and with it sadly the other characters that have a quirkiness that makes you like them.
P.S. I also find it kind of funny that one of the volumes murder suspects was a daughter that let her mother tell her what and how to do everything in her life while Gemma felt sorry for her! Pot/Kettle

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Another clever, thoroughly enjoyable mystery

Four Puddings and a Funeral is book 6 of the Oxford Tearoom Mysteries series, and it’s another clever mystery with entertaining characters, keenly inserted red herrings, an adorable hedgehog, appearances by the old biddies, and relationship troubles between the main character, Gemma Rose, and her boyfriend, CID Detective Devlin O’Connor. And let’s not forget mischievous little Muesli, Gemma’s little tabby cat.
When a woman falls dead at a funeral reception that Gemma is catering with many delectable desserts from her successful Little Stables Tearoom, many come under suspicion since the woman wasn’t at all liked. But when one of the old biddies is arrested Gemma gets involved. But will she find the murderer before she becomes the next victim?

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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H.Y. Hanna is such fun!

If you could sum up Four Puddings and a Funeral in three words, what would they be?

Laugh out loud!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mabel. I laugh out loud at her antics.
Another fun story set in Oxfordshire featuring strong and wonderful female characters!

What does Pearl Hewitt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

OMG Pearl is incredible! She conveys each character with incredible skill and conviction so much so it is as if there is someone different portraying each character but it is not farcical or irritating. She is so talented!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Arsenic and old ladies.

Any additional comments?

I look forward to every Oxford Tearoom mystery. They are fun and the setting is great.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Four puddings and a prickle

This is such a fun cosy series and this book is another great one to add to the collection.

Even though one of the old biddies is accused of murder it is once again the animals that steal the show for me. Leading to some fun and games.

Gemma once again finds herself getting dragged into a murder investigation to clear a friends name, when she caters her first big social event at a funeral. The story flies by with lots of food that could have been used to poison the victim and lots of suspects too.

The narrator was very good and I think she is perfect for the voice of Gemma.

1 person found this helpful

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Fun and Entertaining

Four Pudfings add nd a Funeral is a fun and entertaining mystery. It has the perfect balance of rt omance and mystery. The story is light and well placec. I hope tgd nrxt book ix available soon for Aufinlf lovers.

1 person found this helpful

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Entertaining and fun books!

I absolutely love these books and the narrator is so endearing! I can hardly wait to read the next one!!

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Series Gets Better with Each Book

Oh, what a good and funny book. The characters are so believable that I can't imagine them not being based on real people.

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Tea Room Mysteries Bingo

- Gemma mentions her former “high flying corporate career”
- Gemma mentions being “more of a dog person”
- a series of extremely fortunate and convenient events occur
- Gemma suspects the wrong person for most of the book
- A second murder happens
- Gemma gets mad at someone for doing something she herself does
- Cassie’s appearance is gushed over
- Gemma puts herself in a dangerous situation only to be rescued by an animal in some way
- “meow” “meow?” “meow!”

So which book is this? So far, all of them. That said, the performance is quite good and the stories are nice background noise so long as you don’t think too hard about them. It’s predictable and formulaic but fun.

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another winner

this is such a delightful series I just love all the characters I just love the narrator and I absolutely love the story looking forward to book 7

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  • Carôle
  • 08-30-18

Hard to get my head around.

I find it hard to marry the English diffidence of Gemma Rose and her rambunctious attitude to getting information. So, sometimes I just want to shot out that this is the 21st century and that her missish ways just aren't credible for someone who has lived for 8 years across several continents in a 'high powered' environment.

In my opinion it makes her less credible! However the stories are very interesting, even if she isn't.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Inishowen Cailin
  • 04-16-18

Great!

Immensely entertaining and enjoyable. The series certainly hasn't lost any of its charm.
A good mystery and brimming with humour- this series is a must read.
I voluntarily received an advance reading/audio copy.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Gwen
  • 02-25-20

Cricket is good everyone.

I listen to these stories for light releif, which on the whole works. But would Gemma please get over her class issues. She obviously hasn't been to a cricket match , especially Western terrace Headingley, or would know it is supported and played by people from all social groups. Stop making an issue about Devlin being working class he isn't that anymore.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-08-19

loved it

can't wait to start next book
narrative very good and pricklebum comes to the rescue

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Sue
  • 03-13-19

I've changed my mind.

I'm sorry but I've really gone off the heroine. She's a total idiot.
End of review.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Nadine
  • 02-09-19

4 puddings & a funeral

I enjoyed the book although I wish the main character had more of a back bone & could say ‘NO’ & mean it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Carmela
  • 06-13-18

another fun mystery

likable characters, good plot and great narrator. June is a hard month for Jemma as the next book, 7, is also taking place in June.
I hope the 8th book will be available in audible soon.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-05-19

Love this Series!!

This is another great book in the Oxford Tearooms series. Great story and well narrated.