A Scone to Die for by H.Y. Hanna
Special thanks go to retired West Yorkshire Police Inspector, Kevin Robinson, who shared his wealth of knowledge with me and helped me check the police procedural detail in the story with so much patience.
When an American tourist is murdered with a scone in Gemma Rose’s quaint Oxfordshire 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 the 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?
(*Traditional English scone recipe included)
A Brilliantly Penned Mystery With Lots of Humour
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 liked the romantic subplot in the background 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. By Inishowen Cailín
A Cracking Little Murder Mystery
This is the perfect recipe for a very funny murder mystery.
H. Y. Hanna took a generous helping of characters. I loved the little old ladies.
Added a belly full of laughs. My favourite character has to be Gemma’s mum, who made me cringe and laugh all at the same time, and of course Muesli the cat.
With a good dose of eye candy, in the way of the tasty detective and doctor.
Whisked them all together, to be devoured at leisure. It all works beautifully.
Gemma has lived up to everyone else’s expectations in her life. She has done University. She has had the very well paid job, but she hated it. Now she has returned to the Oxford area and ploughed all her savings into buying a quaint Tearoom. The only draw back is she has had to move back in with her dad and well meaning mum. Everything takes a tumble when after an argument with a mouthy American customer, Gemma finds him dead inside the Tearoom the following morning. Murdered by scone!
This is the first book in a new series so there is a lot to look forward to with H. Y. Hanna. I really liked the idea of the scone recipe at the back of the book and the glossary of British words for U.S.A readers. Lovely touch! By Susan Hampson
Wonderful Cozy Mystery
If you are a fan of Midsomer Murders this book will be right up your ally. The story takes place in a fictitious collage at Oxford University and the surrounding area. What makes it even better is the Tearoom owner, Gemma, and her four helmet haired customers. Before you know it you will be laughing out loud at the predicaments they get into trying to solve the murder themselves. Throw in Gemma’s matchmaking mother and the humor continues.
All laughter aside Hsin-Yi did a great job writing this wonderful cozy mystery, using authentic British slang so that you felt you were actually in England. She also brought the story to life with well developed three demential characters and true-to-life descriptions of the area and events. She keeps you constantly guessing who the murderer was until the very end with several characters who had motives. Hsin-Yi, I commend you for a job well done.
I recommend “a Scone to Die for” to all you cozy mystery lovers out there. By Ansel
Good Plot Lines
Reading this at the mo & loving it! Great story and well written. I love the fact that it’s also set in Oxford, a town I love. Great murder mystery & still keeping me guessing as to the who the murderer might be, great twists & turns, love it ! Looking forward to more in this series as I like the main character, Gemma & her friends. Very enjoyable read. By Michelle
Cakes Humour and Murder
I love this author and this series is another hit. I was disappointed when the thriller series Tender (starting with Tender Deceit, well worth a read) had ended but to be honest, I’m loving the Tearoom mysteries just as much. This series is lighthearted but still a page turner. The characters are so likeable and the interfering old ladies will actually make you LOL! Perfect mix of humour, murder mystery and romance. By Karen Clark
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