Gemma ditches her high-flying job and returns to Oxford to follow her dream: opening a traditional English tearoom serving warm buttery scones with jam and clotted cream, and fragrant tea in pretty bone china… Only problem is–murder is the first thing on the menu and Gemma is the key suspect! And the only people Gemma can turn to for help are four nosy old ladies from her local Cotswolds village – not to mention a cheeky little tabby cat named Muesli. Who was the mysterious woman Gemma met on the flight back from Australia and why was she murdered? Now Gemma must find the killer, solve the mystery and clear her name if she’s to have her cake–and serve it too.
This PREQUEL to the OXFORD TEAROOM MYSTERIES includes BONUS CHAPTERS FROM “A SCONE TO DIE FOR” (BOOK 1). It is shorter than the rest of the series – which are all full length novels – and can be read as a standalone, before or after any other book in the series.
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review
All-Butter ShortDead is a short prequel novella for the Oxford Tearoom Mysteries series. As a big fan of this series I was excited to hear there would be a prequel. This prequel takes place before book 1 and tells the story of how Gemma returned to the UK and started her tearoom. I have already read the first 4 books in this series, but I thought it was fun to go back where it all started and see a glimpse of what happened before 1. But I think you can also read it before book 1, it will just be a different experience. As I knew what is going to happen in the next books, it provided some fun perspective in a few scenes and the last few lines of the story made me smile knowing what’s going to happen next.
There is also a small murder mystery in this book, I thought it wasn’t as good as in the full length books simply because things happened a bit faster and there was less slow build-up, wading through clues and red herrings. It all just happened a bit faster, but with how short it was the author still did a great job making it a fun mystery. And I liked the plot twist at the end. I had guessed someone else as the murderer. So overall it was still an interesting mystery that kept my attention. Although it also made me a bit sad about who died and why.
I enjoyed seeing Gemma adapt to the British weather and life when she returned and how nostalgic Oxford was for her. I enjoyed seeing this piece of her history. We also see most of the characters we got to know in the series like the Old Biddies, Gemma her mom, Gemma her friend Cassie and Muesli ofcourse. There was a fun scene where Gemma meet Muesli for the first time.
To summarize: this is a fun prequel novella, that shows how Gemma started her tearoom and returned to Oxford. We see how Gemma meets Muesli and the old Biddies, gemma her mom and Cassie play a role as well. I liked getting this extra piece of Gemma her story and there was a short and fun murder mystery as well. It was a bit less intricate than the mysteries in the full length novels, but it kept my attention and I there was a good plot twist at the end. Overall a fun read for fans of the series or for those new to the series to start the series here.