All-Butter ShortDead (Prequel: Oxford Tearoom Mysteries)by H.Y. Hanna
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
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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.
THE OXFORD TEAROOM MYSTERIES:
All-Butter ShortDead (Prequel)
A Scone to Die For (Book 1)
Tea with Milk and Murder (Book 2)
Two Down, Bun To Go (Book 3)
Till Death Do Us Tart (Book 4)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Enjoyed the mystery and the characters! Look forward to more in the series.
A good cozy read
I love books set in the English countryside....it's a cozy book...Gemma and her friends are fun!!! I wish Nook offered the rest of this series.......waiting
Positively Perfect Prequel You’re on a long plane flight and leery about engaging other passengers, but it would pass the time, and when one leaves a beautiful scarf behind, you question whether to get involved. In the affirmative, you may gain a delightful friend; in the negative, you might get dragged into a murder investigation. Gemma Rose has returned home to Meadowford-on-Smythe, applied for what appears to be a done-deal bank loan, and is eager to get started on the renovations of the fifteenth century Tudor-style building for her “Little Stables Tearoom.” However, circumstances have turned into a ‘monkey wrench’ in her dream machine. Gemma delivers the lost scarf to Jenn Murray making a new friend in the process. However, Jenn’s indulgence in several double vodka martinis has Gemma also assisting to get her safely to her hotel room. When Jenn ends up dead, Gemma’s time line of that night is in question, and the nature of her relationship with the victim is closely scrutinized by the police and the tabloid press, Gemma is horrified when she becomes a serious ‘person of interest.’ Gemma cannot let a police investigation focus unfairly on her and neither do the “Old Biddies.” The four octogenarians, long-time residents, and busy bodies of Meadowford-on-Smythe decide to provide their “just get nosy, and ask questions” style. Sneaking around, reviewing confidential police files, and making a nuisance of themselves helps Gemma discover valuable evidence to solve the murder. However, she is on a tight schedule to solve the crime quickly before her dream of having the Tearoom is gone…forever. I LOVED this prequel! It is shorter with 200 pages (16 chapters), but does not short the reader on having a delightful experience. Since most fans have read the other full-length novels, going back in time is an entertaining look into Gemma’s first arrival home and getting ready to embark on her new venture with the tearoom. For those just starting off on the Oxford Tearoom Mystery journey, the prequel is a great place to get introductions to Gemma, her BFF Cassie, her mother (OMG, her mother!), the ‘Old Biddies” (stewed prunes and all), and the engaging style of H.Y. Hanna. The only thing missing in this book is a recipe…how do I make traditional English shortbread biscuits—rich and crumbly?
This is the prequel to the Oxford Tearoom Mystery. I absolutely love the covers of this series, they are very eye-catching which was what drew me in the first place. This is a short stand alone story about Gemma Rose moving back to Oxford, England from Australia. She has given up her job, home etc and planned to return to Oxford to open a Tearoom with her friend. Unfortunately, it did not go smoothly. On the plane home, Gemma sits with Jenn and strikes up a conversation. When they deplane, Gemma realizes that Jenn has left her scarf, caught between the seats. Remembering where she is staying, Gemma contacts her and makes plans to get the scarf to her. AFter a few drinks in the hotel bar, Gemma takes Jenn up to her room, goes back down to find her handbag, and returns it to her. The next morning she received a call from the police that Jenn has been murdered. Being the last person to see her alive means she is a suspect. When her loan for the tearoom is threatened, she gets herself involved with the investigation along with the four old biddies from town. The characters in Oxford are a hoot, especially the old biddies, one of which is constantly trying to clean off smudges from Gemma using spit on her finger. Her mother is another character that I hope we see more of, they give Gemma more dimension as we see her interactions with them. The baker she has hired will also add much to the series as it goes on. I love the setting of Oxford and the descriptions given are enough to add character but not bog down the novel. Along with the mystery, there is humour thrown in. I did not guess who the culprit was so that bodes well for this series. This was a fun read and I am looking forward to the series. I recommend this book to cozy mystery lovers, especially if you like the English setting. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I received an advanced copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. After graduating from Oxford University, Gemma Rose moved to Australia. She wanted to make a life for herself, and cut the apron strings. Eight years later, she quit her corporate executive job to fulfill her lifelong dream. She plans to open an authentic English tea room with real English tea and traditional tea foods. To do this, she must return home in England. On the flight home, she meets Jenn Murray who is going to England on holiday? Jenn is very vague as to her plans. When she is found murdered in her hotel room, the chief detective, Inspector Glenn makes it quite clear that his primary focus is on Gemma. Due to a newspaper article about the investigation, the bank is hesitant to loan her the money needed to open her tea room. Gemma also learns that a Chinese firm is looking to purchase the same building she has her eye on! With Inspector Glenn retiring in a month, he does not want to leave any cases open, especially a murder case. Gemma has very little time, if she hopes to prove her innocence. Where will she find help? It is apparent that she cannot depend on the police, since she seems to be the main (only) suspect! Will Gemma be able to prove her innocence? Or is she doomed?