When Poppy inherits Hollyhock Cottage and its adjoining garden from her deceased grandmother whom she never knew, she’s thrilled, albeit a little overwhelmed. Her current situation is that she doesn’t have her own place and she’s low on cash. If that weren’t bad enough, she’s impulsively quit her job after her unreasonable boss made a rude, insensitive comment, leaving Poppy in an even worse financial predicament. Fortunately, this inheritance has come upon her at the right time. However, there are stipulations that go along with taking possession of the property and Poppy feels unsettled about it. The cottage and garden have been neglected for some time and she’s far from having a green thumb. So how can she restore it and bring it back to its former glory? Poppy’s circumstances move her to take a chance on the old cottage and grounds. It’s a huge undertaking, but not more life altering than finding a dead body in the garden.
H.Y. Hanna has delivered another deliciously clever mystery with book 1 of her English Cottage Garden Mysteries series, Deadhead and Buried. I enjoyed this story immensely, having moved swiftly through it. I was caught up in the imagery of the cottage and surrounding garden, as well as the various plants and flowers that were named and described for me to envision. I learned about an exotic flower in this book, which I gained much joy from briefly researching. As is usual with an H.Y. Hanna mystery, the characters were interesting, quirky and fun, and there were pets to enjoy with their lovable antics and unique characteristics.
The audio narrator, Pearl Hewitt, is masterful in portraying both humans and animals. She adds so much delight to an already enjoyable, creative and plausible murder mystery. I highly recommend this book and look forward to the next one in the series.
Thank you, H.Y. Hanna, for a complimentary download of Deadhead and Buried. All thoughts expressed in this review are my own.
Gemma Rose gets the opportunity of a lifetime when a wealthy talent show creator, Monty Gibbs, chooses her Little Stables Tearoom to provide the daily catering for his show, From Pleb to Celeb.
A menagerie of contestants ranging from the talented to the eccentric, eager to get their chance at fame, are practicing their talents in preparation for their big chance at winning the show.
Gemma isn’t too keen on the show’s creator. She’s figured out that behind his magnanimous facade is an ambitious businessman more interested in sensationalism than the welfare of his contestants. He’s even resorted to embellishing their backgrounds and exploiting them for the benefit of ratings. And although some may have checkered pasts, Gemma is adamant that it’s no reason to take advantage of them. So when one of the contestants is found dead behind the stage, Gemma wonders just how far Monty Gibbs might go to advance his show. Or might there be some other killer lurking amongst them?
H.Y. Hanna has done it again. I was thoroughly entertained by The Dough Must Go On. The “old biddies” characters are always comical….
“The police are as effective as a chocolate teapot.”— Old Biddies
One of the highlights of this series is revisiting some of my favorite characters. Gemma’s geeky friend, Seth, always teaches some interesting scientific fact or lesson that enlightens me. And Gemma’s uppity but harmless, sweet mother is a great character whose appearance in the books always makes me happy. These Oxford Tearoom Mysteries never fail to provide a hilarious scene or three, and I can count on a great mystery and a top-notch narrating performance from the inimitable Pearl Hewitt. The Oxford Tearoom Mysteries is one of my absolute favorite cozy mystery series.
Thank you, H.Y. Hanna, for a complimentary download of The Dough Must Go On. All opinions expressed about it are my own.
Another One Bites the Crust is cozy mystery done right. HY Hanna always delivers on a solid mystery with plenty of red herrings, engaging characters, an atmospheric setting (in and around Oxford, England), at least one amusing animal and a totally plausible outcome. There’s so much to love about this book, including the sub-plots which keep the story moving along at a pace that keeps you in anticipation of the next revelation.
When famed celebrity chef and former Oxford student, Josh McDermott, (aka “Posh McDishy”) is special guest at the Oxford University Ball, doing a live cooking show, the college ball committee and Josh’s fans are beside themselves with anticipation and admiration. Gemma’s friend Cassie, who attended the same College as McDermott, isn’t enthused. She’s always thought of him as an obnoxious snob who thinks he’s God’s gift to women. His ex-girlfriend would agree with that assessment since Josh dumped her. And then there’s rival chef, Antonio Casa, who believes Josh tried to sabotage him. Clearly, Josh McDermott had foes as well as fans. But when Gemma finds Josh dead before the cooking show competition even begins, she dons her sleuthing cap to determine who might have despised him enough to do him in.
I loved this book. You don’t get to book 7 of 8 in a series if you don’t enjoy it. The audio narrator, Pearl Hewitt, brings the characters to life. The unique voices she uses to portray each character makes it easy to recognize who’s speaking, and the emotions and actions are always performed in an entertaining, realistic way—even the animals! She’s one of my favorite audio narrators, and her skill and proficiency enhanced my enjoyment of this book.
I received a free download of this book in exchange for my honest review which I have given.
Have a great day everybody, and thank you for visiting. 😊
Two Down, Bun to Go by H.Y. Hanna My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Professor Quentin Barrow is found dead, stabbed to death with an Egyptian Dagger. Gemma’s former Oxford chum and still good friend, Seth Browning, is charged with the murder. Seth was seen arguing with professor Barrow before the body was discovered. A staunch advocate for the homeless and other such causes, Seth was getting pushback from the professor regarding a piece of college donated property that would have benefited the homeless. Barrow’s pompous, elitist attitude disgusted Seth, and his repulsion for the man was evident. Gemma knows her friend could not have committed the murder, although she must admit his current odd, uncharacteristic and mysterious behavior is quite alarming. But how can she prove his innocence when there is so much circumstantial evidence pointing to Seth? With the help of handsome CID Detective and former boyfriend, Devlin O’Connor, contending beau, Lincoln Green, and the meddlesome but lovable Old Biddies, Gemma uncovers a slew of others who might have killed the unpopular professor. The question is, which one of them actually did?
I don’t know how H.Y. Hanna manages it, but each successive book in her Oxford Tearoom Mystery series is better than the last. Don’t let the whimsical, cute little cover fool you. They rival other renowned and beloved writers of British mysteries hands down. Her characters’ magnetic personalities captivate; from the endearing to the villainous, they’re all equally entertaining. The way in which she describes her mother’s witty charms and hapless adventures, the antics of the Old Biddies, and little Muesli the cat, never fails to elicit chuckles. The plot moves along effortlessly as the reader is immersed in English life and subtly educated about the peculiarities and uniqueness of the University of Oxford—a real treat and added bonus.
Read it, you’ll LOVE it. And if you want an even greater experience, do yourself a favor and listen to the audio version. The narrator does a stupendous job of bringing the characters to life. Very, very highly recommended.
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A Man of Some Repute by Elizabeth Edmondson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ THIS WAS AN AUDIOBOOK. I loved, loved, LOVED this mystery set in a castle in rural England.
Lord Selchester vanishes one evening during a blustery winter snow storm while entertaining guests at Selchester castle. His body is never discovered and he is presumed dead. Several years later Hugo Hawksworth, an intelligence officer injured in Berlin, is reluctantly relegated to a desk job at Thorn Hall supposedly as “a statistician” and is offered lodging at Selchester castle along with his young, precocious sister Georgia (age 13). When Lord Selchester’s body is discovered, Hugo sets about trying to piece together what might have happened to Selchester, and who would have wanted him dead. Lord Selchester’s guests on the night of the murder were peculiarly uncharacteristic for a man of some repute; an actress, a photographer, a local businessman, and a few others who were practically unknown to one another. Why would a man among the ton include as guests somewhat ordinary people? Eager to dismiss the case rather than engulf the town in scandal, investigators are intent on pinning the crime on Selchester’s dead son Tom Arlingham, and niece, Freya Wryton, since a heated dispute arose between Tom and his father on the night in question, and Freya and Tom, close companions, were seen leaving the castle together that night. Might they have circled back and killed Selchester? This is one theory, but as other characters and relations begin to surface with possible motives for murder, will that theory ultimately hold water?
A Man of Some Repute was an audiobook Daily Deal that I snagged and I am so glad I did. My first book by author Elizabeth Edmondson, it will certainly not be my last. The setting was intriguing and mysterious, and the characters were interesting and alluring, down to Freya’s surly and temperamental horse, Last Hurrah.
Overall, the story was a solid English mystery done right, with an ending that surprised me. I’ll be back for the next installment in the series. Highly recommended, especially to those who enjoy a good British mystery.
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