by Kathleen Costa
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win either a print or kindle copy of Another One Bites the Crust, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.
H.Y. Hanna’s Oxford Tearoom Mystery is my all-time favorite! Starting in January 2016, A Scone to Die For introduced Gemma Rose, who after quitting her high paying job in Sydney, returns to Meadowford-on-Smythe, England, to open the traditional and quaint Little Stables Tearoom with her BFF. The tearoom becomes a popular destination for locals and tourists, the “Old Biddies” become saviors and thorns, a romantic triangle occurs with one real winner of Gemma’s heart emerging, and family…Gemma’s mom is a hoot, but after the first murder of a ‘rude’ American tourist, continued success is in question. But it delightfully turns around, and in the same year we get a prequel and four more marvelous mysteries that have made me a passionate fan: All-Butter ShortDead, Tea with Milk and Murder, Two Down, Bun to Go, Till Death Do Us Tart, and Muffins and Mourning Tea. In 2017, we are served two more deliciously creative tales in Four Puddings and a Funeral and most recent Another One Bites the Crust. And with a Glossary of British Terms and an easy-to-follow recipe for a traditional British treat included…I am in heaven!
Ok, so a diet of Chelsea buns stuffed with raisins and brown sugar, sticky toffee pudding oozing with caramel sauce, and Victoria sponge slathered in jam and cream wasn’t the best idea (Wow! That was hard to write without drooling!), but Gemma still needs to find a Cinderella-inspired ball gown that fits. No fall back “little black dress” will do for the annual Oxford ball, even Devlin, will need to wear a black tie tuxedo. But despite dietary choices, her fashion dilemma, and a ‘doily’ explosion courtesy of the “Old Biddies,” the tearoom has been doing extraordinarily well including an online review raving about the “Little Stables” custard tarts and comparing them to those created by celebrity TV chef Josh McDermott. It’s a big ‘coup’ to be compared to such a brilliant chef, and the “Old Biddies” are excited to meet him since it’s announced he’ll be providing a cooking demonstration. Well, McDermott turns out not to be a cordial mentor-style personality, and then…the accusations of recipe stealing and using McDermott’s name for self promotion, women scorned, competing chefs, and…murder?
Yeah with a big fist pump! H.Y. Hanna has ‘baked up’ another delightful mystery to solve with a clever murder that supports the idea ‘Karma’ exists, at least in literature. But with enough twists and turns and ample motives and suspects to challenge and delight anyone’s inner amateur detective and with Gemma often in peril if not just from the “Old Biddies’” antics, this seventh book is a Top 2017 favorite. Her characters, albiet well developed and enjoyable, continue to grow as people do…and entertain? Absolutely! Gemma’s and Devlin’s romance may be derailed causing some drama, the “Old Biddies” continue to cause headaches and comic relief, and Muesli is always there to ‘meorrw’ in some bother. All of this creates a marvelous experience topped off with your own easy-to-follow recipe for Egg Custard Tarts! Yummm!
Another One Bites the Crust earns 5+/5 Egg Custard Tarts…Sinisterly Delicious!
Be a Big H.Y. Hanna Fan!
I am a self-proclaimed Anglophile which explains one of the reasons I’ve become such a big fan of H.Y. Hanna’s Oxford Tearoom Mystery series, and as a matter of fact, also her Bewitched by Chocolate series which is set in the Cotswolds. With each book we are treated to a variety of typical British words, but we’re not left to our own devices or need to Google since she provides a Glossary of British Terms along with special terms used in the Oxford University community. But, it is fascinating and informative to also be treated to some typical or traditional British tearoom culture from the perfect pot of tea to the best tea sandwiches to serve. In Another One Bites the Crust Hanna gives us an excellent understanding of scones, arguably the signature tearoom treat. She explains creatively England vs the United States scones, how clotted cream is made, and addressing the debate over whether scones should be slathered first with jam (Cornwall-style) or first with clotted cream (known as Devonshire cream tea). Either way scones and these books are best accompanied by a pot of tea.
News BBC – Check out the debate over “How Do You Take Your Cream Tea?…Cornish? Devon?”
To enter to win either a print or kindle copy of Another One Bites the Crust, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “crust,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 30, 2017. U.S. residents only for the print copy. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address. PLEASE STATE IN ENTRY WHETHER YOU WANT PRINT OR KINDLE & which book you want.
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