Prequel: Oxford Tearoom Mysteries ~ Book 0
STORY-LINE ALL-BUTTER SHORTDEAD BY H.Y. HANNA:
Gemma’s headed back home to England in All-Butter ShortDead. Giving up a high paying job in Australia, Gemma’s decided to open a tearoom in Oxford. Flying home, she meets Jenn Murray, a fellow passenger, on the 24 hour flight. Jenn and Gemma strike up a conversation and become friendly during the flight; Gemma finds Jenn’s scarf tucked in the arm of her seat. Gemma contacts Jenn’s hotel to let her know she has her scarf. Returning the scarf, Gemma decides to stay and have a drink with Jenn, leaving late; she helped a slightly drunk Jenn to her room.
When Jenn’s found dead in her hotel bathroom, the CID’s looking into foul play and Gemma’s their prime suspect. Gemma’s the last person to see Jenna alive. With four noisy old ladies to help her, Gemma must find the real killer. My cozy mystery book review of All-Butter ShortDead follows.
CHARACTERS, PLOTTING DEVELOPMENT:
With writing so vivid and descriptive, I could clearly picture Jenn in my mind’s eye. The descriptions of Oxford were so vivid I could see each quaint building and the sorry state of the building where she planned to open, The Little Stables Tearoom. However, there maybe a snag, as a second tempting offer came in from a Chinese corporation wanting to turn this 500-year-old building into a tacky tourist trap. Then of course, after the awful expose′ in the newspaper, who in their right mind would give Gemma a loan; I could feel Gemma’s indignation at the turn of events.
The Old Biddies, so dubbed by Gemma, were a hoot! Friends of her mother, I laughed and laughed at their conversations with Gemma. Andrew Manning, a guest at the hotel, thinks more of himself than anyone else does. He made a play for Jenn earlier and he’s obviously upset the night of the murder, but why? Gemma’s observations about Andrew were so funny. Then we have Gemma’s mother and her I-Tap; at first I thought it was a stove, you know, like a Tappan Range you find in America. Hanna filled this story with funny quips and snarks making All-Butter ShortDead a fun read.
Murder’s not funny, but the ensuing investigation by Gemma and The Old Biddies will make the reader laugh. Of course, what’s a cozy mystery without a murder victim? In this case, it happens to be Jenn, Gemma’s new friend. Hanna skillfully crafted Gemma’s despair and frustration with the situation and police. Endowing The Old Biddies with common sense, investigative sneakiness, and a “go for it” attitude, which transferred to Gemma with either amazement or horror. Depending on what the Old Biddies had done at the time, she was either amazed or horrified.
Hanna skillfully developed her characters and the pace’s perfect for the length of the book; just fast enough for relaxed reading. I found I couldn’t put the book down. Revealing the killer at the last possible moment, Hanna held the identity close to her chest. What a surprise, I think I yelled “what”! The plot held my attention from the first pages as Hanna skillfully wove all the plot threads together.
Between the snips, snarks, The Old Biddies, and Gemma, All-Butter ShortDead’s a wonderfully entertaining cozy mystery book. Hanna must have a wonderful sense of humor and she had the skill to transfer that humor to her stories. I would not hesitate to buy this book for my self or a friend.
ALL-BUTTER SHORTDEAD RECOMMENDATION: STARS 4
FINALLY, PLEASE NOTE:
In addition, I borrowed this book from Kindle Unlimited and received this book from the author. I chose to voluntarily review the book with an honest cozy mystery book review. Lastly, book reviews of any novel are dependent on the book review author’s opinion. Consequently, all book reviews on-line and on my blog, are my opinions. No one influenced my voluntary cozy mystery book review.
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