Amateur sleuth, Gemma Rose, is back with her match-making mother, four meddlesome old ladies and her sassy tabby, Muesli, at the Little Stables Tearoom serving scones, biscuits, and tea with milk…and murder? Gemma’s friend Cassie is the spotlight artist for a new art gallery and the apple of the gallery owner’s eye. At the gallery’s open house event an Oxford University art student is fatally poisoned. Suspects abound from the gallery owner, to a fellow student, to an unemployed housekeeper; but the source of the poison eludes police even as the motives for murder abound. Gemma’s friendship with Cassie is strained as she tries to find clues and protect her friend from harm. Handsome detective, Devlin O’Connor and Dr. Lincoln Green are on the scene, testing Gemma’s heart as they, too, try to stop the killer. Gemma’s sneaky tabby, Muesli, reveals the truth, but will it be too late to save Gemma?
As with book 1, A Scone to Die for, 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 Velvet Cheesecake and this reader definitely plans to try it. This story does contain mild suggestive comments 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’. One of the things I particularly like about the story is Ms. Hanna’s descriptive details that allow the reader to visualize the landscape and characters with clarity, and adds the appropriate atmosphere for a mystery. And did I detect a trace of Jane Austen’s Persuasion in the story? There is more to Gemma and Devlin’s relationship than meets the eye!
I enjoyed this second offering in the Oxford Tearoom Mysteries series from H.Y. Hanna and I hope you will too.