Author: Leslie Meier
Series: Lucy Stone Mystery #17
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Kensington Books
No. of pages: 265
Published: July 1, 2011
My Rating: 3 Stars
In London, Professor Quentin Rea, a ladies' man and former flirt of Lucy's, arrives to take over the tour—and she finds that while his hairline has receded, his amorous intentions have not. Lucy also begins to notice peculiar behavior among other members of the group. And when she discovers all of them have pasts connected to the late Professor Temple, she suspects his death was an elaborate act of revenge. Then another tour member dies, and Lucy is suddenly ensnared in a daring scheme that could lead her to a mastermind of murder—or make her the next victim. . .
If Lucy Stone wasn't nervous at being at least seven miles high in the air while flying to London, on a sponsored trip by Winchester college, when a fellow passenger suddenly drops dead, she certainly is now.
The man that died was tour leader, George Temple. The cause of death was apparently an asthma attack, but, as always, Lucy seeks to see if there was anything else at play here. So, par her natural course, Lucy acts as amateur sleuth yet again.
When in London, Lucy runs into someone from her past - and a man that has sparked her interest - Quentin Rea. Lucy has no business being drawn to Quentin as she is married to Bill, and is the mother of four, and is also now a grandmother.
Not only must Lucy ignore Quentn's overtly flirty behavior, she begins to notice other odd activity among other members of the group that are part of the tour. Strangely enough, just about everyone on the tour has some type of connection to the victim. When it is discovered that there was a real motive for revenge, then Lucy gets even closer to the cause. After another tour member dies, Lucy realizes that she just have to dig deeper and that she might have an idea as to what has happened. Can she prove her ideas, or will this place her in grave danger?
English Tea Murder was a quick read. I wasn't too keen on Lucy being tempted by Quentin, but I guess as it it can be human nature, it was understandable. However, there was enough intrigue to keep the story rolling at a great pace. I look forward to continuing the series. The next book is Chocolate Covered Murder.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I started writing in the late ‘80s when I was attending graduate classes at Bridgewater State College. I wanted to become certified to teach high school English and one of the required courses was Writing and the Teaching of Writing. My professor suggested that one of the papers I wrote for that course was good enough to be published and I sent it off to Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine’s Department of First Stories. I got $100 for the story and I’ve been writing ever since. The teaching, however, didn’t work out.
My books draw heavily on my experience as a mother of three and my work as a reporter for various weekly newspapers on Cape . My heroine, Lucy Stone, is a reporter in the fictional town of Tinker’s Cove, Maine, where she lives in an old farmhouse (quite similar to mine on Cape Cod!) with her restoration carpenter husband Bill and four children. As the series has progressed the kids have grown older, roughly paralleling my own family. We seem to have reached a point beyond which Lucy cannot age–my editor seems to want her to remain forty-something forever, though I have to admit I personally am dying to write “Menopause is Murder!”
I usually write one Lucy Stone mystery every year and as you can tell, my editor likes me to feature the holidays in my books. Of course Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year and my newest mystery “Eggnog Murder,” is included in an anthology with two other Christmas novellas by Barbara Ross and Lee Hollis. I’ve long been a fan of the classic English country house mystery, and was a faithful watcher of “Downton Abbey,” so I couldn’t resist trying to write one. I think I succeeded rather well, if I do say so myself, with “British Manor Murder,” which came out in October, 2016.
My books are classified as “cozies” but a good friend insists they are really “comedies of manners” and I do enjoy expressing my view of contemporary American life.
Now that the kids are grown — we have five fabulous grandchildren — my husband and I are enjoying dividing our time between Braintree and Cape Cod, along with our cat, Sylvester.