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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... 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 men 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... 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 slightly 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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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... 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 men 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... 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 slightly 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)

30 review for All-Butter ShortDead

  1. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    Gemma was finally heading back to London after working in an executive position in Sydney for the past eight years. She missed her best friend Cassie most of all – and was excited to be returning to Oxford as she was going to open her own tearoom. The loan application was with the bank; she was assured it would be ready for her signature when she arrived home, and the building was waiting for her to take it over. But trouble was on the horizon. Gemma had chatted with the lady sitting next to her Gemma was finally heading back to London after working in an executive position in Sydney for the past eight years. She missed her best friend Cassie most of all – and was excited to be returning to Oxford as she was going to open her own tearoom. The loan application was with the bank; she was assured it would be ready for her signature when she arrived home, and the building was waiting for her to take it over. But trouble was on the horizon. Gemma had chatted with the lady sitting next to her on the plane, and it was only a matter of days after their arrival at Heathrow Airport that Gemma was involved in a murder investigation – with her as chief suspect. How could this have happened? What was Gemma to do? And could the four determined old biddies actually help her out? All Butter ShortDead is the prequel (#0.5) in the Oxford Tearoom Mysteries by H.Y. Hanna and it was a quick, light and easy read which I flew through in a couple of hours. The eye-catching cover took my attention and although the story didn’t have much depth, I’ll continue with the next in the series some time soon. Recommended to cosy mystery fans.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sabine

    This was the first book that I have read in this series and I liked it a lot. The prequel is a short read but a great mystery that didn't feel rushed. It introduces us to the beginnings of the tearoom and gets us to meet the very loveable and interesting characters. I especially hope to meet the Old Biddies again, they are a hoot. I am looking forward to reading more of Gemmas' adventures.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jody McGrath

    Gemma Rose has given up her life as a high paid executive in Australia and is moving back home to open a English Tea Room in Oxford, England. On the plane ride home, she starts chatting to the woman sitting next to her. She finds out that her name is Jenn and she is traveling to visit Oxford as well. When they land, Jenn accidentally leaves her scarf behind and Gemma picks it up. They meet to exchange the scarf and get to chatting some more. The next morning Jenn is found murdered in her hotel r Gemma Rose has given up her life as a high paid executive in Australia and is moving back home to open a English Tea Room in Oxford, England. On the plane ride home, she starts chatting to the woman sitting next to her. She finds out that her name is Jenn and she is traveling to visit Oxford as well. When they land, Jenn accidentally leaves her scarf behind and Gemma picks it up. They meet to exchange the scarf and get to chatting some more. The next morning Jenn is found murdered in her hotel room and Gemma is the number one suspect. How can she open a tea room if she is in prison? This book is a prequel to the Oxford Tearoom Mysteries, but it was my first foray into the series. I really enjoyed it. The characters were likable and funny and Gemma was a great lead. This book really sets up the storyline for the other books, so I am really glad I read it first. The conclusion to the mystery was a little far-fetched, but I still enjoyed the journey. * I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    I really enjoyed this mystery. Gemma had her hands full trying to get her loan from the bank and also being accused of a murder! Loved the nosy little ladies and Muesli. Will definitely get the next one in this series.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lola

    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 y 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.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tari

    I really enjoyed this prequel to the Oxford Tearoom series. It's been a couple of years since I read the first book, so I might even give it a reread before continuing on. This was a fairly quick read and easily wrapped up mystery--but I still hadn't guessed the killer. At first I thought the old ladies known as the Old Biddies were just annoying, but as Gemma found out, they did come in handy when she needed to prove her innocence. Gemma is smart and figured most of it out on her own by sleuthi I really enjoyed this prequel to the Oxford Tearoom series. It's been a couple of years since I read the first book, so I might even give it a reread before continuing on. This was a fairly quick read and easily wrapped up mystery--but I still hadn't guessed the killer. At first I thought the old ladies known as the Old Biddies were just annoying, but as Gemma found out, they did come in handy when she needed to prove her innocence. Gemma is smart and figured most of it out on her own by sleuthing. I did get a kick out of the ladies rifling through papers in the office though. They at least gave Gemma the idea that if she wanted to be cleared of the murder, she'd better sleuth it out herself, because the inspector was looking a retirement and simply wanted things wrapped up quickly. Great characters and a picturesque setting!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    This is a prequel to a book I read a few weeks ago. When I finished that book I wondered how the author could create a prequel (view spoiler)[ when one of the main characters is a murderer (hide spoiler)] ? Well she did. We see her returning from Australia, settling in at home, buying a bike, stumbling into and being accused of murder. The solution is very convoluted and the murderer a shock. The story itself ends at 70% on my Kindle the remaining 30% being samples, a glossary (it would be really This is a prequel to a book I read a few weeks ago. When I finished that book I wondered how the author could create a prequel (view spoiler)[ when one of the main characters is a murderer (hide spoiler)] ? Well she did. We see her returning from Australia, settling in at home, buying a bike, stumbling into and being accused of murder. The solution is very convoluted and the murderer a shock. The story itself ends at 70% on my Kindle the remaining 30% being samples, a glossary (it would be really helpful if there were footnotes or a link to the glossary

  8. 4 out of 5

    Anastasia

    All Butter Short Dead by H.Y. Hanna is the prequel to the Oxford Tearoom Mystery series. Gemma returns home to Oxford, England after working in Australia with plans to open a tea room. When her travelling companian is murdered, her plans are put on hold when she becomes prime suspect. This is one of my favourite series and it was interestintg to read of the start of Gemma's adventures. A quick mystery with not as many descriptions of Oxford as in the coming books which make them stand out. Short All Butter Short Dead by H.Y. Hanna is the prequel to the Oxford Tearoom Mystery series. Gemma returns home to Oxford, England after working in Australia with plans to open a tea room. When her travelling companian is murdered, her plans are put on hold when she becomes prime suspect. This is one of my favourite series and it was interestintg to read of the start of Gemma's adventures. A quick mystery with not as many descriptions of Oxford as in the coming books which make them stand out. Short and sweet.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Plethora

    2.5-3 stars. This was a quick start to the series, which is to be expected. I read book one before, mostly by mistake, I didn't realize this existed at the time. It does give you a brief outline of how the characterset and tea shop come together with a quick n murder mystery.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Two stars mostly because I never really felt like the heroine, who is narrating, seemed to be a character. She simply seemed to be a mouthpiece more than anything else. I also didn't quite by the solve the mystery reveal (in fairness, there is acknowledgement of the far outness of the plot). However, there were a few things here I liked. Even while feeling wooden, the character does grow. Furthermore, the heroine is not jealous of her best friend - they are best friends for real. I like the baker Two stars mostly because I never really felt like the heroine, who is narrating, seemed to be a character. She simply seemed to be a mouthpiece more than anything else. I also didn't quite by the solve the mystery reveal (in fairness, there is acknowledgement of the far outness of the plot). However, there were a few things here I liked. Even while feeling wooden, the character does grow. Furthermore, the heroine is not jealous of her best friend - they are best friends for real. I like the baker. I have book 1, and will give it a try.

  11. 4 out of 5

    FangirlNation

    In All-Butter Shortdead, the prequel to the Oxford Tea Room Mysteries by H.Y. Hanna, Gemma Rose has decided to give up her high-power job in Australia to move back to Oxford, where she grew up. Her plan is to start a tea room, and the bank has assured her that she will have no trouble getting approved for the loan to purchase the tea room. On the airplane, Gemma sits next to a woman who shows a really strong fear of flying and drinks heavily, ostensibly to ease her fears. With 20 hours sitting n In All-Butter Shortdead, the prequel to the Oxford Tea Room Mysteries by H.Y. Hanna, Gemma Rose has decided to give up her high-power job in Australia to move back to Oxford, where she grew up. Her plan is to start a tea room, and the bank has assured her that she will have no trouble getting approved for the loan to purchase the tea room. On the airplane, Gemma sits next to a woman who shows a really strong fear of flying and drinks heavily, ostensibly to ease her fears. With 20 hours sitting next to each other, the pair get to know each other, with Gemma's learning that the woman is named Jenn Murray and will be staying close to Gemma's home with her parents in Oxford. Read the rest of this review and other fun, geeky articles at Fangirl Nation

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    I quite enjoyed this short story introduction to Oxford Tearoom Mysteries. I am definitely ordering more! Gemma Rose has left he career in Australia to return to Oxford England to fulfill her dream of owning a tearoom. With support and encouragement from her BFF Cassie, a building in Oxfordshire looks like the perfect place. On the 20 hour light, Gemma's seatmate Jenny Murray became a friend. When Gemma returns a scarf Jenny left on the plane seh ends up helping Jenny back to her hotel room whic I quite enjoyed this short story introduction to Oxford Tearoom Mysteries. I am definitely ordering more! Gemma Rose has left he career in Australia to return to Oxford England to fulfill her dream of owning a tearoom. With support and encouragement from her BFF Cassie, a building in Oxfordshire looks like the perfect place. On the 20 hour light, Gemma's seatmate Jenny Murray became a friend. When Gemma returns a scarf Jenny left on the plane seh ends up helping Jenny back to her hotel room which makes Gemma the # 1 suspect when Jenny's body is found he next morning, bludgeoned to death. With they help of her Mom's friends "the Old Biddies" Gemma confronts the murderer. Likable characters I look forward to having more adventures with.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sally906

    This is the prequel to Book 1 in the Oxford Teashop Mystery series. Gemma had been living in Australia for a few years and is returning to England to start up a teashop business in Oxford. On the flight she sits next to a woman who is also travelling to Oxford. A few days later Gemma is under suspension for the Woman's Murder. A group of 4 old biddies help Gemma with the investigation as she fights to prove her innocence. A quick and easy read as the author sets the reader up for the rest of the This is the prequel to Book 1 in the Oxford Teashop Mystery series. Gemma had been living in Australia for a few years and is returning to England to start up a teashop business in Oxford. On the flight she sits next to a woman who is also travelling to Oxford. A few days later Gemma is under suspension for the Woman's Murder. A group of 4 old biddies help Gemma with the investigation as she fights to prove her innocence. A quick and easy read as the author sets the reader up for the rest of the series

  14. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    I enjoyed this prequel. Gemma is coming back to England to start a tea room. When she meets a woman on a plane who turns up dead leaving Gemma as the main suspect, her world is turned upside down. Enter the "old biddies" who turn out to be quite humorous, you end up with a fun read. The mystery was good, I thought that I had it figured out but was thrown a twist at the end. I will continue on with this story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Worth reading. The prequel quite surprised me because it explains, for the most part, why Gemma Rose came back to England. While on the plane flying from Sydney to England Gemma chats with her seat mate Jenn Murray. After leaving the plane Gemma finds a scarf left behind by Jenn and remembers where she is staying a drops it off. The next morning Jenn is found dead and Gemma is the prime suspect. It turns out Jenn is not who she claims to be and the murderer isn't someone I thought of till a slight s Worth reading. The prequel quite surprised me because it explains, for the most part, why Gemma Rose came back to England. While on the plane flying from Sydney to England Gemma chats with her seat mate Jenn Murray. After leaving the plane Gemma finds a scarf left behind by Jenn and remembers where she is staying a drops it off. The next morning Jenn is found dead and Gemma is the prime suspect. It turns out Jenn is not who she claims to be and the murderer isn't someone I thought of till a slight slip of the tongue. And the motive, one I never would have thought of. Even though I had read book 1 it was fun to go back and see how Gemma returned home and purchased her tea room. It didn't give a complete introduction to the characters and I still think there is more to Gemma coming home, yet the description of the town and the colleges in Oxford are Inspector Morse worthy. H.Y Hanna also gives a glossary of terms in case someone isn't familiar with British terms.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kav

    A great beginning to this cozy mystery series. Love the Oxford setting -- I can picture everything thanks to previous binge-watching of British dramas Inspector Morse and Endeavour. Gemma's back home in Oxford to follow her dream of opening her own tearoom...if she isn't arrested first. It's a classic case of wrong place, wrong time that propels Gemma into her first ever murder investigation. And she has a posse of opinionated old ladies to help her out. Love the way Hanna weaves humour througho A great beginning to this cozy mystery series. Love the Oxford setting -- I can picture everything thanks to previous binge-watching of British dramas Inspector Morse and Endeavour. Gemma's back home in Oxford to follow her dream of opening her own tearoom...if she isn't arrested first. It's a classic case of wrong place, wrong time that propels Gemma into her first ever murder investigation. And she has a posse of opinionated old ladies to help her out. Love the way Hanna weaves humour throughout. And there's a cat! We don't see a lot of Muesli this time round but this author knows how to write felines with plenty of cattitude! I listened to the audible edition narrated by Pearl Hewitt who has become one of my favourite narrators. She also does a mean 'meow' which gives her extra bonus points. Already downloading the next book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    The cover is very colourful and cute, and attracted my attention. The large eyed kitten, fancy teapot, cup of tea with lemon, fancy sweets and books evoke happy memories. I enjoyed reading this prequel to The Oxford Tearoom Mysteries series by H Y Hanna. It is a short stand alone story about Gemma Rose moving back to Oxford, England from Australia with plans to follow her dream and open a traditional English tearoom. "You only get one life and I'm going to take the chance to follow a dream." Ther The cover is very colourful and cute, and attracted my attention. The large eyed kitten, fancy teapot, cup of tea with lemon, fancy sweets and books evoke happy memories. I enjoyed reading this prequel to The Oxford Tearoom Mysteries series by H Y Hanna. It is a short stand alone story about Gemma Rose moving back to Oxford, England from Australia with plans to follow her dream and open a traditional English tearoom. "You only get one life and I'm going to take the chance to follow a dream." There is humour and mystery and several red herrings. I guessed who was the guilty one, but as this is the first time I have read anything by H Y Hanna and it was a 'fun read', I will read other books in this series. Gemma is accused of a horrible crime and may never see her dream come true. Who is the guilty one? Will Inspector Glenn solve the mystery? Can Gemma prove her innocence? Will she be able to make her dream come true? 3.5 ⭐️ Thanks to NetGalley, CrushStar Multimedia LLC and H Y Hanna for the Kindle version of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rumeur

    This prequel in the Oxford tea shop cozy mystery series was...well...guess uh sometimes get only what you pay for. In this case it was a free download from Amazon. It is a prequel,so I'm hoping others in the series are longer as this book reminded me of , not even in the category as The Hardy Boys & Nancy Drew mysteries I read as a young girl. This is a bit too cozy as it practically put me to sleep, I was that cozy, & not really with the book, but my surroundings Gemma ( main character) is excit This prequel in the Oxford tea shop cozy mystery series was...well...guess uh sometimes get only what you pay for. In this case it was a free download from Amazon. It is a prequel,so I'm hoping others in the series are longer as this book reminded me of , not even in the category as The Hardy Boys & Nancy Drew mysteries I read as a young girl. This is a bit too cozy as it practically put me to sleep, I was that cozy, & not really with the book, but my surroundings Gemma ( main character) is excited to open up an Oxford English tea room. She has a cat named Muesli. Some sort of mystery took place ( this is about time I started my cozy snoozing) & not much longer later, the mystery solved. Can only hope the series in full length is much, much more interesting than this snoozy mystery prequel zzzz *yawn.....zzzzzzzz ( deep sleep, dreaming of better books need reading/reviewing) AWAKE--darn, wasn't just dream, I really read this book. Mad at self now for wasting time! Downloaded as freebie from Amazon

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joann

    I downloaded this for free and was hoping I would run across a new British cozy that I could sink my teeth into. This was a big disappointment. It took one half of the book before a murder was even mentioned. At that point, I was OK as I was enthralled with the Oxord scenes and the talk of academia and the wonderful description of the English countryside. When we finally get to the murder it was downhill from there. So rushed and quite silly with a lot of cartoon characters. Not sure I will foll I downloaded this for free and was hoping I would run across a new British cozy that I could sink my teeth into. This was a big disappointment. It took one half of the book before a murder was even mentioned. At that point, I was OK as I was enthralled with the Oxord scenes and the talk of academia and the wonderful description of the English countryside. When we finally get to the murder it was downhill from there. So rushed and quite silly with a lot of cartoon characters. Not sure I will follow this series. I could have done without the silly old ladies, I think. Loved the cat, though.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    I loved the cover of this book! That is what originally caught my eye. This was a prequel to the series and was a quick enjoyable read. It looks as if this will be a fun series to read. The prequel introduces you to the main characters and how the tea room/bakery got started. And of course, there is a murder involved! This has potential to be a cozy mystery series I'd like to read. Now, I've got some catching up to do. 😃

  21. 5 out of 5

    John

    2019 grade C- An origin story novelette with a lot of faults. It is written in first person which requires a very good story to maintain my interest. The protagonist is the main suspect in the murder with the police seeming to not investigating farther. The news media blows everything out of proportion. The bank refuses the protagonists loan because of it all. That's all been done before many times and I got so bored that I almost abandoned the book. Instead I jumped ahead to the investigation wh 2019 grade C- An origin story novelette with a lot of faults. It is written in first person which requires a very good story to maintain my interest. The protagonist is the main suspect in the murder with the police seeming to not investigating farther. The news media blows everything out of proportion. The bank refuses the protagonists loan because of it all. That's all been done before many times and I got so bored that I almost abandoned the book. Instead I jumped ahead to the investigation which does not start until 70% of the way through the story. I don't plan to read any more of these stories.

  22. 4 out of 5

    terpkristin

    I bought the combined audiobook of the prequel, book 1, and book 2 of The Oxford Tearoom Mysteries. This was the prequel. I actually picked up on the hint that lead the protagonist to the murderer, so...yay? It was light and continues to be something I need as nothing is really grabbing me right now.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Vesper

    Three stars and 1/2. Three for the mistery and four for the setting and the characters.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Neene

    I like the old biddies.

  25. 5 out of 5

    LuAnn

    Full review to follow.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Fee Roberts

    All-Butter ShortDead by H.Y. Hanna is a prequel to the Oxford Tearoom Mysteries. Gemma finds herself in deep water when she is accused of murder. This was a quick and interesting read. This prequel gives us an insight to Gemma and her plans for her future.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey DeLost

    Quaint. A slow start for the series, but I’ll give the next two which I bought together a shot.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    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 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.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Daniele

    3.5 stars All Butter ShortDead tells Gemma’s story before her beloved teashop came into being. She sells her home in Sydney, left her high salaried, high power job to return home to her dream of owning a teashop. Gemma sits next to Jenn Murray on the long flight from Australia to England. Jenn is a nervous flyer and, though she checks and double checks to make sure she has everything before disembarking the plane, Gemma finds her scarf tucked into her seat. Remembering where Jenn said she would b 3.5 stars All Butter ShortDead tells Gemma’s story before her beloved teashop came into being. She sells her home in Sydney, left her high salaried, high power job to return home to her dream of owning a teashop. Gemma sits next to Jenn Murray on the long flight from Australia to England. Jenn is a nervous flyer and, though she checks and double checks to make sure she has everything before disembarking the plane, Gemma finds her scarf tucked into her seat. Remembering where Jenn said she would be staying, Gemma reaches out to her to return the lost item, and they meet up in the hotel’s bar. The next morning, Gemma learns that Jenn has been murdered, and she finds herself the prime suspect. All Butter ShortDead is a quick novella length read and a fun introduction to the recurring characters in the Oxford Tearoom Mystery series. Gemma, Cassie, Fletcher, Mom, the Old Biddies, and Muesli all play roles here. The mystery surrounding Jenn Murray’s death is interesting, but its effect on Gemma’s plans, to me, is the best part of the story. Rumors and assumptions about Gemma’s role in the mystery threaten to ruin everything. Because of the novella’s length, I do not feel that the mystery is developed enough. Everything moves along quickly, and there is just not time for a lot of clues and red herrings. There are a few good suspects presented, but the murderer’s identity snuck up on me. In hindsight, clues are there, but I did not pay enough attention to their importance at the time. The writing is well executed, and the pace of the story good. All Butter ShortDead is both an entertaining introduction to the Oxford Tearoom series, and for fans of the series, a nice “behind the scenes” look at Gemma and crew.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Linda Baker

    Gemma Rose is on the long plane journey from Australia to England, having sold her condo and left her high-powered job. Her dream is to open a tearoom in her Oxford hometown. Her seatmate, Jenn Murray, is a very nervous flier and consumes a lot of wine on the flight. She also seems to have a lot of knowledge about Oxford for someone who claims to have only visited as a child. When Gemma discovers that Jenn has left a scarf behind on the plane, she picks it up and plans to return it to her. Jenn Gemma Rose is on the long plane journey from Australia to England, having sold her condo and left her high-powered job. Her dream is to open a tearoom in her Oxford hometown. Her seatmate, Jenn Murray, is a very nervous flier and consumes a lot of wine on the flight. She also seems to have a lot of knowledge about Oxford for someone who claims to have only visited as a child. When Gemma discovers that Jenn has left a scarf behind on the plane, she picks it up and plans to return it to her. Jenn mentioned that she would be staying at an upscale spa hotel. After having a few drinks at the hotel, Gemma helps the tipsy Jenn up to her room and goes home. Next morning a call comes in; Jenn has been murdered and Gemma seems to be the last one to see her alive. When it becomes clear that Gemma is the primary suspect, she and the "Old Biddies" spring into action to save not only her dreams for the future but her freedom. All-Butter ShortDead is a prequel to The Oxford Tearoom Mysteries; a series that has rapidly become one of my favorites. It gives lots of background on recurring characters: Cassie, Gemma's best friend, the "Old Biddies", and Muesli the Cat. I never knew that opening the tearoom was so fraught. All-Butter ShortDead is a quick, fun read with lots of humor and Oxford atmosphere.

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