A sinister phone call in the middle of the night throws tearoom owner, Gemma Rose, straight into the heart of a new murder mystery–this time with her friend, Seth, arrested as the key suspect! The grisly killing in the cloisters of an old Oxford college points to a bitter feud within the University–but Gemma finds unexpected clues popping up in her tiny Cotswolds village.
Meanwhile, her love life is in turmoil as Gemma struggles to decide between eminent doctor, Lincoln Green, and sexy CID detective, Devlin O’Connor… whilst her quaint English tearoom is in hot water as she struggles to find a new baking chef.
With her exasperating mother and her mischievous little tabby cat, Muesli, driving her nutty as a fruitcake–and the nosy Old Biddies at her heels–Gemma must crack her toughest case yet if she is to save her friend from a life behind bars.
** Traditional English Chelsea Bun recipe at the end of the story!
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
The first two books in this series were great and the third book is just as good. Again we follow Gemma while she helps solve another murder mystery in and around Oxford while managing her tearoom as well. This time one of Gemma her friends Seth is the main suspect, he is found holding the murder weapon and blood all over him when they find the corpse. It seems a simple case, but Gemma is going to make sure the police also considers other suspects.
I liked the mystery in this one, like I’ve come to expect from this series there are some interesting twists and fun revelations. I kept switching from suspects alongside Gemma and in the end there was a nice twist and reasoning for the murder ad everything fell on it’s place. I thought it was well written. It was nicely wrapped up at the end.
The characters are one of the highlights on this book. First we have Gemma who can’t help but stick her nose into the murder mystery, she’s a great main character. Although I was appalled in one scene when she asked Devlin to go against his ethics and job. I thought she went a bit too far, but I did like how she stood up for her friend Seth and did everything she could to help the police find the real murderer.
Then there are the old Biddies, a group of elderly ladies who also get involved in the murder mystery and I just love these feisty old ladies. They add some fun scenes to the book. And ofcourse Gemma her mom has something new in this book, namely an obsession with travel sites and she is continuing her matchmaking ways as well. Then there are a few new characters we meet, most noteworthy a lady with little money that Gemma keeps running into and Owen, an homeless guy with a dog. They were both great characters and while I predicted a twist concerning the first one, I still liked getting to know them and hope we see more of them in the next book. And Cassie, Gemma her best friend, plays a role as well and there are hints about a new romance for her.
There is also a bit of romance surrounding Gemma, the love triangle continues in this one. It frustrated me a bit because I thought she was leading one of them along while it was obvious who she was going to pick, even her own reasons for it sounded weak to my ears. And then there was that nasty comment she made to Devlin, so I wasn’t a big fan of the romance in this book, but luckily it’s only a side plot. At the end though I think the love triangle is finally resolved and it will be obvious for who she goes. And the man who “lost” handled it quite nicely too.
To summarize: Another great instalment in this series. The murder mystery is interesting and kept me switching suspects and I liked how the mystery was handled. There were some nice twists and turns. I really like the characters in this series and come to like them more with each book. There are also some new fun characters introduced. I also liked the main character Gemma and how she’s doing her best to help her friend Seth. I wasn’t a big fan of how the romance was handled as it was a love triangle and I thought it was obvious who she would pick. I do think it’s finally resolved at the end of the book. All in all a great cozy mystery and I am looking forward to the next book!