"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
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"Ignore the cover and buy this cozy mystery"
I have been listening to a lot of cozy mysteries lately. Often they are silly, bumbling, and light entertainment. This is a REAL cozy mystery. Good character development as well as a well structured plot. Narration was very good. I enjoyed it, will definitely buy more in this series. I don't know why they illustrated the cover in such a silly style, it takes away from the quality of this book. Good lesson here for me, don't judge a book by its' cover... no, wait, I think I've heard that somewhere before... thanks Mom.
"Perfect With A Cup of Tea! Just Perfect!"
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.
"A Cozy Mystery You Don't Want to Miss"
This audiobook was excellent -- the narrator captured the voices perfectly, and that is such a fine line to walk because we all have pre-conceived notions of what the characters sound like.
I was kept on the edge of my seat because I was really rooting for Gemma to catch the murderer, and I loved how the Old Biddies would push her into investigating. At the same time, I was worried that the murderer might think that Gemma knew too much and would go after her.
Oh goodness, they were all so good, but she really nailed Gemma -- I was really impressed.
No, because I didn't want to miss anything, like the lovely descriptions of Oxford and Gemma's relationships -- I wanted to savor the story. However, toward the end, you couldn't have gotten me to hand over the headphones!
This Oxford Tearoom Mystery was truly delightful. Gemma is a lovely protagonist, the setting in Oxford is wonderful, and each friend and character comes to life and you come to care for most of them. I highly recommend this book and the rest in the series, they are truly brilliant!
"Fantastic reading of a Fabulous 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.
"Nice start to a new series"
This was a nice start to a new series. The characters were well developed and believable. Pearl Hewitt brought the characters to life.
"Better on Audible"
I had this book as an upload to Kindle and could not finish it. The audio version was so much better since hearing it read with the British inflection made it a really enjoyable book.
"Don't Judge A Book By It's Cover"
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.
The story has just the right amount of suspense. The ending was not predictable. The character development was well done.
A nice comforting cozy mystery.
The perfect escape from real world.
"Delightful cozy in an Oxford setting"
I really enjoyed this cozy tearoom mystery. It had warmth and delight-filled moments as well as mystery. A real pleasure to listen to while commuting.
"Well crafted fun"
This was a fully developed cozy mystery complete with quirky characters, great twists, and a well managed ending.
The most masterful part of this book was the twists and turns just when you think you've got it figured out, you don't. Unlike a lot of other books in this category the author did a wonderful job of keeping the ending a secret till the very last moment.
As an audiobook this was very well done. The narration was smooth. The characters distinct. And very well mastered, excellent sound quality.
"Cosy, mystery with everything you could want."
I am a big fan of miss Marple and Agatha Rasin books so I really enjoyed this! Apart from having all the usual themes of a cosy murder mystery, it genuinely kept me guessing.Just gutted tgerey are no more in this series on audible.
"Really, really bad. Unoriginal and almost no characterisation"
I was really disappointed in this; I really like the cosy mystery genre but this was a very poor example.
It was very generic, full of cliches, the plot was both guessable and hung on some very unoriginal ideas including… [Spoiler alert] the clocks going back. This is one of the most tired plot hooks ever.
The character descriptions are almost all situational; there is almost nothing about who these people ARE. You get a couple of weak characteristics per person, just openly stated, and most of the characters are simple cliches: for example the nagging posh mother.
I really wouldn't recommend this to anyone, if you're looking for a fun cosy mystery, this isn't it.
Don't know yet
the story needs to get a move on....I gave up on it.
"Great story and narrator"
Can't wait for the next in the series to be done. Really enjoyed this till the end.
"An excellent story line, keeps you guessing"
Yes, I would recommend this audiobook. The storyline keeps you guessing as to who the murderer is until the end. The narrator, Pearl Hewitt is just right for the characters and brings them to life. Throughout the story you're piecing together the clues just like Gemma and the 'old biddies', and are sure that you know who the murderer is, only to have your guesses proven wrong.
The characters are all so believable and the antics that the 'old biddies' get up to are hilarious. Gemma's mother is forever forgetting her password for her iPad, and keeps phoning Gemma up to remind her what it is, which is quite funny, if very annoying for Gemma.
When Gemma goes in search of her scarf at Gloucester College, only to find the 'old biddies' there, listening to an interview between the Detective Inspector and a suspect. With the door about to open, five eavesdroppers need to find a hiding place.
I think where Gemma, a 'dog person', has taken Muesli to a Rescue centre to have her rehomed, and realises that she actually loves the little cat.
I received a copy in exchange for a honest review.
"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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