Saturday, January 30, 2016

A Scone to Die For

It is National Inane Answering Message Day!  Ever receive a stupid message (meaningless, stupid, a prank call) on your voice mail or answering machine?  Today is the day to talk about it and make fun of it!  On this day in 1933 Adolf Hitler was sworn in an Chancellor of Germany (a very bad day in history).  The Beatles' last public performance took place in London (on the roof of Apple Records) on this day in 1969 (it was an impromptu performance). The performance was broken up by the police!  Unfortunately, the other events that happened on this day dealt with war and death. We do not need more of that!  Actress Vanessa Redgrave was born on this day in 1937.  Ms. Redgrave currently does the voice of Jenny Lee on Call the Midwife (that we hear at the beginning and end of the show).  

A Scone to Die For by H.Y. Hanna is the first book in an Oxford Tearoom Mysteries.  Gemma Rose (age twenty-nine) has left her executive job in Sydney (that she disliked) to open Little Stables Tearoom in Meadowford-on-Smythe (her hometown in Cotswold near Oxford).  Gemma has hired her best friend, Cassie to wait on the tables and has a great chef named Fletcher.  One day a rude American comes for tea (he actually touched Cassie’s butt and thought it was okay to do it).  The next day Gemma comes to work to find Brad Washington (the rude American) dead in her courtyard outside the tearoom.  There is one of the tearoom's scones stuffed into his mouth.  Who killed him and why did they have to leave him there?  Gemma sets out to find the killer with the help of the "Old Biddies" (four elderly ladies that have their nose in everyone's business).  When Professor Geoffrey Hughes is killed (went to college with Brad), Gemma knows the cases are related.  Can she find the killer?

A Scone to Die For is a satisfactory cozy mystery.  We are not given clues that help solve the mystery until just before the killer is revealed.  The mystery is very good, but I like trying to solve the crime as I read the book (don't we all).  I felt that there was too much romance in this book.  Gemma's old boyfriend, Devlin O'Connor is the inspector assigned the case.  They have not seen each other in eight years.  However, Gemma gets jealous when Devlin questions a beautiful suspect (there is also much admiration of Devlin's looks--goes on and on).  There were also some puzzling items.  Like Gemma wanting to call Devlin but does not know his number (but he called her a couple of times).  Also calling the library to get information in the newspaper archives (has she not heard of the internet).  I give A Scone to Die For 3 out of 5 stars.  Be aware that the novel contains British spelling of words (does not detract from novel).  Some of the desserts (i.e.—sponge is a thin cake) mentioned are not what we are familiar with here in the United States (unless you watch the British Baking Show).  I just felt A Scone to Die For was a superficial novel.  There is not enough information on the characters and too much information on Devlin’s good looks.

A Scone to Die For is available on Kindle Unlimited.  The next book in an Oxford Tearoom Mysteries is Tea with Milk and Murder.  I received a complimentary copy of A Scone to Die For from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I hope everyone is having a great Saturday.  I have to admit that I took it easy today.  I am reading No Ordinary Life by Suzanne Redfearn.  I am going to go eat dinner and be lazy!  I hope you have a great evening. Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

P.S.--on February 19 I will be doing a review of Kim Vogel Sawyer's new book Room for Hope and I will be giving away a copy of the book! Make sure to stop by and check it out.

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