Author: H.Y. Hanna
Series: Oxford Tearoom Mystery #4
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: H.Y. Hanna
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Description: When Oxfordshire tearoom owner, Gemma Rose, enters her little tabby, Muesli, in the cat show at the local village fair, the last thing she expects is to stumble across a murder. And when her meddling mother and the nosy Old Biddies decide to start their own investigation, Gemma has no choice but to join in the sleuthing. She soon finds there’s something much more sinister sandwiched between the home-made Victoria sponge cakes and luscious jam tarts … But murder isn’t the only thing on Gemma’s mind: there’s the desperate house-hunting that’s going nowhere, the freaky kitchen explosions at her quaint English tearoom and an offer from her handsome detective boyfriend that she can’t refuse! With things about to reach boiling point, can Gemma solve the mystery before the killer strikes again?
I have been a fan of this series from the start. It is a charming British cozy that is well written and keeps the reader engaged with a cast of wonderful characters and a solid mystery. In my opinion this is a series that keeps getting better and better with each new installment. I will have to say, in real life I am not a cat person, but I have grown to enjoy Muesli.
This is the fourth book in the series and at this point the characters are wonderfully developed. To me, they are starting to feel like old friends that the reader can relate to and root for in their lives. Gemma is growing both personally and professionally and you can really see this in her relationship with her Mom and Devlin. I like where the author is taking the romance between Gemma and Devlin and how she is writing it into the series. The "Old Biddies" are back as well and are at the center of trouble, as usual. However, this time, they get Gemma's mom to join their group. I love Gemma's mom. I think after Gemma she is my favorite character. She provides a wonderful dose of humor in each story and honestly, sometimes I not sure if I look forward to a new mystery or a chance to see what she is up to. As I mentioned before, I am not a cat person, but Muesli has been written almost like another character in these stories. She takes after Gemma's mom and can always find a way to get herself in trouble.
As always, the mystery in this story was solid. There were plenty of suspects, which one would expect with the Old Biddies investigating. There are also a nice dose of twists and turns that led this reader down the wrong path when trying to decide who I thought committed the murder. The suspects are very plausible and the motives given to each are very believable. In the end (you guessed it) I did not figure out the identity of the killer until it was revealed.
This is a terrific series and is at the top of my favorite series list. It has a charming British feel to it with a cast of wonderful characters, solid mysteries, a nice dose of humor and a little romance thrown in as well. If you haven't tried this series yet, I think you should consider picking up one of the books. I have not read a bad review on any of the books in this series to date and I think you will not be disappointed.
I was provided an ARC by the author in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my opinion and the thoughts expressed are my own.