While at an Oxford cocktail party, tearoom owner Gemma Rose overhears a sinister conversation minutes before a University student is fatally poisoned. Could there be a connection? And could her best friend Cassie’s new boyfriend have anything to do with the murder?
Gemma decides to start her own investigation, helped by the nosy ladies from her Oxfordshire village and her old college flame, CID detective Devlin O’Connor. But her mother is causing havoc at Gemma’s quaint English tearoom and her best friend is furious at her snooping… and this mystery is turning out to have more twists than a chocolate pretzel!
Too late, Gemma realises that she’s could be the next item on the killer’s menu. Or will her little tabby cat, Muesli, save the day?
(** Velvet Cheesecake recipe included!)
This book follows British English spelling and usage.
Clean read: no graphic violence, sex, or strong language.
Genre: humorous culinary, cat cozy mystery series / women amateur sleuth / British mystery
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review
This book was just as good as the first one, maybe a bit better even. As I was already familiar with the characters and setting, I easily got into this book. It starts with a party where some of Cassie her painting are being displayed and the murder takes place early in the book. At first it seemed pretty clear what happened, but it soon it turns out to be more complicated. The mystery kept me guessing and suspecting people and I was pleasantly surprised by all the twists and turns this murder mystery took. I thought the poisoning made for an interesting mystery and it was very well written.
Beside the mystery there’s a lot going on, the tearoom, Cassie and her new boyfriend, Gemma her potential love life, Gemma’s mother who discovers online shopping. There was enough going on to keep me interested and there wasn’t a dull moment. I also appreciated how lots of scenes had a bit of foreshadowing, where only later you could full put things in perspective.
I liked Gemma and how she handles things and got involved with the mystery again in this book. Although there were a few scenes which felt slightly off, like how it was obvious something happened as Gemma had to be at a certain place. I also liked how we see a bit of Gemma her flaws as well. She doesn’t like Cassie her new boyfriend and she not handles it the best way at times, but overall I think she did have her heart on the right place and just wanted the best for Cassie. I liked getting to see more of the character we got introduced to in the first book, like the old biddies, Gemma her mom, Cassie, Delvin and some new characters too. There’s also a connection with Oxford and the college again, which was a fun touch. And ofcourse the tearoom setting and the adorable cat Meusli.
There’s a bit of romance mixed in, but not much more than in the first book. She goes on a date with both potential love interest, but beside seeing there’s some mutual interest in both cases, it doesn’t go much further. I am still preferring Delvin as it seems she would settle for the other guy, just because it was easy, I don’t think she felt as much connection with him. he did seem like a nice character ad obviously has a soft spot for Gemma.
To summarize: I really enjoyed this book! The pace was well done and the mystery was interesting with lots of twists and turns, foreshadowing and it kept me guessing. There’s enough going on besides the murder mystery as well I liked seeing more of the familiar characters we got to meet in the first book already. There’s also an interesting plot line involving Cassie her new boyfriend and Gemma’s dislike for him. Gemma doesn’t handle it the best way, it was obvious she just wanted the best for her friend. Then there is a bit of a romance subplot, it doesn’t progress much, but just a bit to keep me interested in what will happen with that. All in all this was a great sequel and I can’t wait till the third book will be released!