A Scone to Die for
by H.Y. Hanna

(Oxford Tearoom Mysteries ~ Book 1)
Genre – Cozy Mystery
• Number of Pages: 360

When an American tourist is murdered with a scone in Gemma Rose’s quaint Oxfordshire tearoom, she suddenly finds herself apron-deep in a mystery involving long-buried secrets from Oxford’s past.
Armed with her insider knowledge of the University and with the help of four nosy old ladies from the village (not to mention a cheeky little tabby cat named Muesli), Gemma sets out to solve the mystery—all while dealing with her matchmaking mother and the return of her old college love, Devlin O’Connor, now a dashing CID detective.
But with the body count rising and her business going bust, can Gemma find the killer before things turn to custard?

*Traditional English scone recipe included!

This wonderful first book in a new series is what I call an intelligent mystery.
It has the characteristics of a cozy: small or close community setting, group of amateur sleuth friends, well crafted red herrings, a connection to a theme, multiple believeable suspects, and more.
It also includes educational elements. Extra information about a subject or environment or something else that interests the reader and is presented in a way he does not feel stupid.
Moving at a steady pace, the clues are organically inserted into the narrative giving the story a smooth, entertaining flow.

I was pleased that Gemma and her former beau did not immediately fall back into old patterns.
I like that I was left with enough questions about their relationship that can unfold over the course of time. 
And a blossoming friendship for Cassie, too.
Even Muesli is allowed to develop a new relationship over time. The theme of second chances appears repeatedly.

Right when the reader may think he has things figured out, as Gemma does, another shocking event occurs. You wonder what you missed or which clues you put together incorrectly.
Although not laugh out loud funny, the amusing characters and some of Gemma's interactions with her mother give added depth to the series. 
I can't wait for it to continue.

I received this book via Netgalley to review.

About the Author

H.Y. Hanna is an award-winning mystery and suspense author, who also writes sweet romance and children’s fiction. After graduating from Oxford University with a BA in Biological Sciences and a MSt in Social Anthropology, Hsin-Yi tried her hand at a variety of jobs, before returning to her first love: writing. She worked as a freelance journalist for several years, with articles and short stories published in the UK, Australia and NZ, and has won awards for her novels, poetry, short stories and journalism. A globe-trotter all her life, Hsin-Yi has lived in a variety of cultures, from Dubai to Auckland, London to New Jersey, but is now happily settled in Perth, Western Australia, with her husband and a rescue kitty named Muesli. You can learn more about her (and the real-life Muesli who inspired the cat character in the story) at: www.hyhanna.com.

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