Remember Murder She Wrote featuring Angela Lansbury? The show was a cozy mystery television series featuring a spunky heroine, Jessica Fletcher, as an amateur detective and mystery writer. The show ran for a successful 12 seasons from 1984 to 1996. What does this have to do with A Scone to Die for by H.Y. Hanna?
As I was reading this delightful cozy mystery, (book 1 in the Oxford Tearoom Mysteries series), I could virtually see it playing out as an episode for family friendly mystery series, appealing to both an older and younger crowd. The heroine of this story is Gemma, who in her late 20’s has decided to return home after 8 years in a successful, but unhappy, corporate job to ‘start over.’ She runs the Little Stables Tearoom in a village near Oxford University, with her friends Cassie and chef, Fletcher. An obnoxious American tourist makes a scene in her tearoom, only to be found dead on the premises the next morning with a scone stuffed in his mouth. The murder creates a backlash of poor sales for Gemma as the police take their time with the investigation. Realizing she is has some clues the police do not have, clever Gemma takes the role of amateur detective to help solve the mystery faster and keep her business afloat. Add some meddlesome old ladies, a mischief making tabby named Muesli, a nervous professor, a tantalizing widow, a handsome detective, and a matchmaking mother and you’ll find this story full of twist and turns, some humorous, some suspenseful, leading to a satisfying ‘who done it.’
I will caution readers that some of the word spellings are British spellings and should not be mistaken for misspelled words. There is a glossary of terms in the back of the e-book for reference. There is also a recipe for scones that readers with culinary skills will want to try. This story does contain mild rude comments, humor, and manners primarily by the murder victim. Some characters partake of alcohol in a pub. There is mild violence (this is a murder mystery). This is not a faith-based story but I would classify it as a ‘clean read’. I found this story entertaining and look forward to book 2, Tea with Milk and Murder.