Review: A Scone to Die for by H.Y. Hanna

Posted February 15, 2016 by Lola in Coyer, Mystery, Review / 18 Comments


A Scone to Die ForA Scone to Die For (Oxford Tearoom Mysteries #1)
by H.Y. Hanna

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?

My Review:
I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review

A Scone to Die for caught my attention while I was browsing on netgalley. The cute cover and the interesting blurb made me think this would be a book I enjoyed. I had a lot of fun reading A Scone to Die for and I really enjoyed this book. A Scone to Die For is about main character Gemma who opens her own tearoom and not long after the opening an American tourist get’s killed with one of her scones in his mouth and Gemma get’s entangled in the trying to solve the mystery.

The American tourist who got killed could be quite rude and it seems more than one people have a motive to want him death. I really liked how the mystery was handled in this book, it felt natural and realistic how Gemma got tangled up in the mystery and how she helped. I also liked how the police and detectives seem mostly capable in this book, even though Gemma solves the mystery in the end. The mystery kept me guessing till the moment when Gemma solved the mystery. The mystery was very intriguing and well written and I liked how there were also other secrets that got figured out and how those tied into the investigation.

I liked Gemma as a main character and I could relate to her, I am a small business owner as well and Gemma her struggles with her business and conversations with her mom felt very realistic. I thought Gemma was a nice and likeable person, she was smart enough to stay out of trouble and handled things well. Although it did bother me a bit when later in the book she let her feelings of jealousy get in the way of things and she even wrongly accuses her ex of something.

The side characters all play a role too. We get a bit of a feel for most characters, but not all of them play as a big a role. I like did like how many of the characters had some kind of quirk, like the group of old ladies who gossiped a lot and wanted in the investigation as well, Gemma her best friend who liked to draw, Fletcher who works in the kitchen but can’t interact as well with people. They all had something unique to make it easy to remember them by even though we don’t learn as much about each of them, those characteristics did make them recognizable.

There is a bit of romance, two potential love interest that get hinted at and there are scenes involving Gemma and her interactions with the men. But as with most cozy mysteries it doesn’t really take center stage. It was mostly a set-up of potential love interest in this book and hints to what might get more in the next book. I didn’t really feel the romance yet, but that might change. I was curious what kind of past Gemma and her ex have and why they separated now that they meet again, but we don’t hear as much about their past as I hoped.

I liked how this book was set in the UK, I mostly have read cozy mysteries set in the US and the small cozy village close to Oxford made for a great setting. I also liked how the author shared a bit about life at college and such in Oxford. I could imagine how everything looked like well. The tearoom made for a fun setting and job. I always like it when there is a connection with food like that in a book. Oh and Muesli the cat was adorable, although I wish she played a bigger part, but I do think we’ll see more of her in the next book.

To summarize: I really enjoyed this book! Its a fun and enjoyable cozy mystery with an intriguing mystery that kept me guessing till the end. The mystery was handled well and it felt realistic how Gemma got involved and how the policy handled things. I liked main character Gemma and could relate to her as I have my own business too. Gemma was a likeable character, although her jealousy and accusations when it came to her ex did bother me a bit. There is a hint of romance and two potential love interest, but not much more yet in this book. I liked the small town UK setting and the tearoom and the quirky characters. All in all this was a great cozy mystery and I am looking forward to the rest of the books in this series.


Amazon UK

What’s the last book you read that took place in the UK?

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18 responses to “Review: A Scone to Die for by H.Y. Hanna

  1. I can see you are enjoying cozies 🙂

    The setting is attractive to me too. Like you mentioned, I’m used to small town cozies set in the US, a U.K. One would be good in that it’s different and almost like a trip for me.

  2. This one looks so good. I’m adding it to my TBR list! I love it when the main character of a cozy mystery owns a tea shop or small business, it just adds more depth to the character.

    Have you read the Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs? The main character, Theo owns a tea shop and the author includes recipes in the back of the book.

    The last book I read set in the UK was Beauty, Beast, and Belladonna–a cozy fairytale mystery.
    Angela @Simply Angela recently posted…Product Review: COVERGIRL and Pure Ice Nail PolishMy Profile

    • Yay! I hope you’ll enjoy it once you get around to reading it! I also like it when cozy mystery main characters own a small business. It’s fun to read about.

      I’ll check out the Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs. The author name sounds familiar, but I know I haven’t read that series. It sounds like a fun series!
      Lola recently posted…Review: A Scone to Die for by H.Y. HannaMy Profile

    • What a coincidence you’re reading a book set in the Uk right now. I hope it’s a good book.
      I liked the Uk setting and it made the setting feel a bit different, I definitely liked it :).

  3. Ah, that does sound cute. I haven’t read any books set in Oxford, but I love the BBC mystery series, Endeavor and then Inspector Morse that are set in Oxford.
    I don’t read many cozy mysteries, but I like mysteries in general. I still have to read a couple that I added after reading your reviews, but they are set in the US.
    I’m trying to think of the last book I read set in the UK. And that would be my re-read of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. But then I got curious and the ones before that were all historicals. Guess I need to try some modern stories set there for a change. 🙂
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    • Some of the historical romances I read so far where set in the UK, I actually would like to read some books in that genre that are set in the US. as most cozy mysteries are set in the US, it was a nice change to have one set in the Uk and the way Oxford is described was well done.
      I am glad to hear you added some cozy mysteries to your to-read list :). I am really enjoying cozy mysteries so far and am hoping to branch out into other mystery genres eventuallt as well.

  4. I liked this one too! I didn’t guess who did it until Gemma was on the doorstep, and I went ‘uhoh’ lol it was a twisty mystery, which is what I liked about it the most 🙂 It was nice to read a cozy set in the UK, most of (if not all…) of the ones I’ve read are set in the USA too and it made a good change of pace.

    I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed it! 🙂
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    • Same here I didn’t realize who the murderer was until Gemma pieced it together. I like how twisty it was, the second book had that same twisty mystery feel, I love how the author handles the mystery in these books. I can’t wait to read the third book! And the Uk setting made for a nice change of pace indeed.
      Lola recently posted…Review: A Scone to Die for by H.Y. HannaMy Profile

  5. Hi Lola – thank you so much for your lovely, thoughtful review of my book! (And thank you everybody else for the nice comments!)

    I’m so happy that you enjoyed it so much – I loved reading your reactions to the setting and characters – and I’m pleased I managed to keep you guessing with the mystery until the very end! 🙂

    Best wishes,
    (H.Y. Hanna)

    • You’re welcome :). Thanks for stopping by! And I can’t wait to read the third book. I love how you wrote the mysteries in the first two books, with all the twists and turns. I like it when the mystery keeps me guessing. And the UK setting was well done, I would love to visit Oxford if I ever visit the UK again, it sounds like a beautiful place.

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