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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 (11 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

What listeners say about Four Puddings and a Funeral

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    5 out of 5 stars

Love this Series!!

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

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Profile Image for Victoria J. Mejia-Gewe
  • Victoria J. Mejia-Gewe
  • 14-04-2018

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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  • Catherine
  • 10-08-2018

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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  • Laurie I
  • 20-04-2018

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

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  • Becks
  • 13-04-2018

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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  • carina
  • 03-06-2020

Love These Lovely Tea Shop Mysteries

I want to listen to them all. They’re so light and sweet, like the pastries. The characters are becoming familiar friends. Looking forward to the next ones.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Julie
  • 18-04-2018

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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  • Beatrice
  • 05-04-2018

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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  • mysteryreader4
  • 18-08-2020

Great story

This series is well written and the characters are well developed in each one! The narrator is especially good at adding to the telling of the story.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-01-2020

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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  • Chocolate-Lover
  • 18-01-2020

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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  • Carôle
  • 30-08-2018

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Sue
  • 13-03-2019

I've changed my mind.

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nadine
  • 09-02-2019

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Inishowen Cailin
  • 16-04-2018

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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  • Dr Ian
  • 12-07-2020

Thinly disguised homophobia

For a book written in 2018, there is language in here that comes straight out of the middle ages. There is something forced and unauthentic generally about the language of the book, the "forced" artificial Englishness. It's like someone has tried to turn quintessential Englishness into squeezy cheese and is forcing it down your throat. I googled the author and found her to be American.Try it yourself. The worst part of this book is the homophobia. The book mentions 2 women being together. The term "one of those" is used. I haven't heard that expression for 20 years. Was this book really released in 2018? Rather than saying that being gay is as much part of this world as being straight (It is, it has been around for all human history), little put-down expressions are used such as it's fine "as long as their happy" (Again, which century has this author done her research in, or has she decided that she's just going to use this as a vehicle for her own homophobic views). Also, there's an implication being gay is somehow wrong, but "as long as they're happy" it's OK. This is patronising, offensive and again, lacks authenticity in the 21st Century. Being gay is also referred to as a "lifestyle choice". Is being straight a "lifestyle choice"? Can this homophobia get any worse? I thought we'd left these outdated expressions back in the 80s where they belong. It's quite clear that the expressions thinly disguise homophobia: "He would have never have accepted all these new fangled ideas about 2 women living together" = He was homophobic "He was traditionally minded" = He was homophobic It's like being at an alt-right white supremacist convention in the USA where sayings and expressions thinly disguise what is actually being said. Just like racist comments, there is no place for homophobic characters in a book. The attitude towards gay people seems to be one of begrudging tolerance with a view to saying that they should be kept in background, seen but not heard. It's reminiscent of "Don't ask, don't tell" by the US army. And this is where the author makes one of the biggest mistakes. I lived and worked in Oxford for a number of years at the university. The university (both staff and students) has a high proportion of gay people, and there is absolutely no difference in they way they are treated by people in this part of the world. This is an enlightened, educated city. Just like most other places in the UK in the 21st Century, it doesn't even cross most peoples' minds to make any distinction between 2 men being together, or a man and a woman, or two women. The outdated language used in this book does not exist in the real Oxford. Shame on Pearl Hewitt for agreeing to narrate this book. I feel I've wandered into a bygone age in this book ... and not in a good way ... an age of thinly disguised racism, homophobia and other prejudice. It left a very bitter taste in my mouth.

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  • Janbo127
  • 16-06-2020

Excellent tea Grommet

Well written, narration excellent. My complements to the chef. All the characters are believable and I certainly know a few myself Would recommend

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  • Gwen
  • 25-02-2020

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
  • 08-08-2019

loved it

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

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  • Carmela
  • 13-06-2018

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.