On this Mysterious Monday, we are taking a quick look at a delightful cat cozy in the Oxford Tearoom Mystery series by H. Y. Hanna. Till Death Do Us Tart is the fourth book in the series, but it’s the first one we’ve had a chance to read. As you might have guessed, this series is set in Oxford (the one in England), and there are tasty pastries involved. That’s because the main human character, Gemma Rose, owns a place called the Little Stables Tearoom. She also has a tabby cat named Muesli, and she (Gemma, not Muesli) has a penchant for getting involved in murder investigations.
Till Death Do Us Tart has Gemma’s mother entering Muesli in the Cotswolds Cat Fancy Club Show at the Meadowford village fair. Things go weird when a rather odd woman accuses Gemma of trying to poison her cats. Then this odd woman also accuses the rude and snooty Dame Clare Eccleston of trying to poison the prized cats, whereafter Dame Clare Eccleston drops dead. Heart attack, as the doctor quickly proclaims, or…murder?
Gemma’s mother and her band of friends involve themselves in trying to solve the murder, and of course Gemma gets drawn in too, despite the protests of her detective boyfriend, Devlin. Will they be able to convince anyone in authority that a crime was actually committed, or will they just spook the culprit into killing again?
We found this to be a totally enjoyable and very funny read. With the odd murder and touch of humor in an Oxford setting, this book is sort of like Midsomer Murders meets Inspector Lewis, only with tea and cats. (That sentence will only make sense to you if you are addicted to British mysteries on PBS, which if you aren’t, what on earth is wrong with you?) We add the Oxford Tearoom mysteries to the series we want to read from the start and give Till Death Do Us Part a very enthusiastic Two Paws Up.
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