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Ratings and Book Reviews (3 3 star ratings
3 reviews

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    I loved it!

    This is a truly delightful first in a new series. This is a fresh and unique take on a "tea shop" cozy mystery. It is great to have a female protagonist who is strong and not starting over again after a messy break-up, divorce or job loss. I really enjoyed the characters of Hana and her family. The Hungarian folk tales and customs that were mentioned in the mystery were interesting and ones I would like to read more about. The Hungarian food that was discussed made my mouth water and wish I had some. The whodunit was top notch and kept me guessing. I highly recommend this book and look forward to the next one in the series!
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    Great Start to a New Magical Cozy Series

    I was drawn to this book because of the teahouse. I’m studying to become an herbalist, and making tea is a daily event for me, so I love reading stories that revolve around it. And this being the start of a new cozy mystery series made it that much more enticing! Also, I read and really enjoyed the first book, A Dark and Stormy Murder, in A Writer’s Apprentice Mystery series by Buckley, so I was pretty confident this would be a good book. I know nothing about Hungary or it’s legends, so that aspect was also very interesting to me. Legends and folklore always add a unique layer to fiction, and learning about cultures this way has always fascinated me. And I always look at the recipes at the end of cozies, but have never made any of them. With the Hungarian recipes that Buckley has included though, they actually seem pretty easy to make and super tasty. Maybe I’ll finally make something. For me, cozies need to have good character development, and Buckley has a real talent for it. I enjoyed watching the different generations interact with each other, and you could see the love that Buckley has for her own heritage through these characters. I’m excited to read more about Hana and her family, and see where Buckley takes this series next. So often in cozies, the heroine is not believed by the police and greatly discouraged with their investigating. Buckley did something I really like, and have been seeing more of recently in newer cozies, the detective actually worked with Hana and didn’t tell her continually to stop investigating. Det. Wolf even told her a couple of times she should become a cop because she has such an inquisitive nature. This is such a refreshing change. Even better, Det. Wolf believed Hana and her grandmother when they started sharing information that came to them from their feelings and psychic powers. He didn’t believe them right away, but came around quickly enough, and didn’t ever make them feel like they were crazy. It is nice to see open channels of communication and encouragement in a cozy mystery. Buckley also handled the romance part of the book well, not only between Hana and Det. Wolf, but with all the other couples. It was sweet seeing older couples still in love, and Hana’s brother trying to encourage his girlfriend to become more part of the world. I’m happy that Buckley doesn’t make use wait forever to see if Hana and the detective will be together, and am looking forward to see how everyone’s relationships continue. As for the mystery itself, Buckley had me guessing through most of the book. The clues and red herrings she left were the perfect amount. And the final reveal was handled really well. I’m excited to see what Buckley comes up with for the next book in the Hungarian Teahouse Mystery series!
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    Debut of A Hungarian Tea House Mystery series

    Death in a Budapest Butterfly is the first novel in A Hungarian Tea House Mystery series written by Julia Buckley (A Writer’s Apprentice Mystery series). Hana Keller is twenty-six years old and of Hungarian descent. Hungarian food and the culture are a big part of the family’s lives. We get a comprehensive account of the various Hungarian dishes prepared. It was interesting to learn more about the Hungarian culture, cuisine, traditions and folklore. I wish, though, that the Hungarian words had come with a pronunciation guide (next to each word). Hana works with her mother (Maggie Keller) and her grandmother (Juliana Horvath) to run Maggie’s Tea House which features high tea and delicious pastries made by Francois, a French culinary student. I enjoyed hearing about Hana’s teacup collection. The mystery starts off with a bang early in the book. Since many of the suspects are Hungarian, Detective Wolf asks them to be present while he conducts interviews to help with translations. This allows readers to be introduced to various characters plus we find out what they knew about the victim. Hana stays involved in the case as she uncovers information and relays it to Det. Wolf. While I was able to pinpoint the who, I did not know the why. Clues are revealed as Hana talks to various people in the community. I appreciated that we are given all the details of the murder for a complete wrap-up. There were instant sparks between the single Hana and the fetching detective. Hana’s grandmother is happy to give them nudge or two since she would like to see Hana wed. Erik Wolf needs more fleshing out because I thought he was one-dimensional (lacks life). There is a hint that Hana and her grandmother have special psychic abilities. I hope this will feature more prominently in future books. Julia Buckley is a detail oriented writer. She needs to find a balance between not enough and too much which would greatly help the flow and pacing of the book (in my opinion). My favorite phrase was when Detective Wolf said to Hana, “You’ve got the bug, haven’t you? Solving puzzles exhilarates you.” I can certainly understand the feeling. There are recipes at the end for Chicken Paprikash, dumplings and stuffed cabbage. Death in a Budapest Butterfly has Hungarian charm, dainty teacups, a poisoned patsy, a canny killer, a dashing detective, and a neophyte sleuth.

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