‘Warm characters and wonderful writing… It’s steeped in Yorkshire like a mug of hot, strong tea… I loved it’ SJ Bennett, author of The Windsor Knot
Retirement can be murder…
Every Thursday, three retired school teachers have their ‘coffee o’clock’ sessions at the Thirsk Garden Centre café.
But one fateful week, as they are catching up with a slice of cake, they bump into their ex-colleague, Topsy.
By the next Thursday, Topsy’s dead.
The last thing Liz, Thelma and Pat imagined was that they would become involved in a murder.
But they know there’s more to Topsy’s death than meets the eye – and it’s down to them to prove it…
Sit down with a cup of tea, a slice of cake and this perfectly witty, page-turning cosy crime novel.Readers love A Spoonful of Murder:
‘Poignant and relatable, I want these ladies as my friends!… I enjoyed it very much… Recommend’ NetGalley review, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Quirky and down to earth… Delightful’ NetGalley Review
‘A great cozy mystery… Quite the enjoyable ride… Wonderful’ NetGalley review, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘A cosy crime mystery but with added bite, and cake. Liz, Pat and Thelma are curious and inquisitive and you’ll warm towards them and their sometimes unpredictable ways of discovering clues’ NetGalley Review
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 47 members
A very good debut novel. Three former primary school teachers run into an older colleague, Topsy Joy, at the garden center. They are dismayed at her apparent senility. To assuage their guilt and worry over their old friend, they take to visiting her in turn. Unfortunately she reveals some worrisome things, they find she has been conned out of her life savings of £475K, she also has a dodgy builder harassing her and claiming payment. Daughter KellyAnne is beside herself with worry for her mother’s future. Within a week, Topsy is dead. “A muddle over her pills” is KellyAnne’s explanation. Thelma, Liz, and Pat are not convinced and they start investigating. Interspersed with vignettes of the three former teachers lives, we find Liz worried her bright son Liam will lose his place at Durham University and end up living in a trailer with a baby and his “Celtic poet” girlfriend. Thelma, childless worries who will look after her and her husband when they are old and infirm. And Pat worries about her grandson, obviously on the spectrum and not settled into primary school with the “5 star” teacher Mrs. Bell. A sad and yet funny adventure as the three ladies trap the dodgy builder, solve the £475K theft, and find the killer. Poignant and relatable, I want these ladies as my friends! A bit slow going at first, getting to grips with all the characters and the back stories, it is well worth pursuing. I enjoyed it very much. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for this advance copy. Recommend.
A Spoonful of Murder by J.M. Hall is a great cozy mystery that takes a trio of retired educators and turns them into amateur sleuths…a murder/mystery novel that was quite the enjoyable ride. I really enjoyed reading along as the three friends and retired school teachers work their way through an unintentional post-retirement position: amateur sleuths solving a murder/mystery plot involving an ex coworker. Not what they had planned…but stumbled into nevertheless. I enjoyed learning the backstories between the three main characters: Liz, Pat, and Thelma. Learning how the characters have become how they are, and how they are currently connected gives then depth and a sense of realism. Each has their own issues, but getting to the bottom of a suspicious murder…well that takes precedence. I enjoyed as they weeded through the suspects and solved the mystery. Maybe they will be able to solve additional crimes in future books? I would be interested in reading those as well. 4/5 stars Thank you NG and Avon Books UK for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 3/17/22.
Three retired schoolteachers enjoy coffee and cake each week at the Thirsk Garden Centre café. It’s a chance to relax and have a gentle gossip about their nearest and dearest. Until one morning when they meet an ex-colleague, Topsy, a woman who was so well put together when working, and who has failed terribly since the death of her husband. Her daughter, KellyAnne, is there to help but Liz, Pat and Thelma appreciate it must be difficult. However, by the following week, Topsy is dead. The three friends know that there’s more to their ex-friend’s death than meets the eye, and don’t believe it was natural or a byproduct of her recent onset confusion. So what do you do in that case? Well, accidentally get entangled in a murder, naturally, and work together to get justice – and resolution – for their deceased friend. This feels like a cosy crime mystery but with added bite, and cake. Liz, Pat and Thelma are curious and inquisitive and you’ll warm towards them and their sometimes unpredictable ways of discovering clues.
This ARC was provided to me via Kindle by Avon Books UK and #NetGalley for my honest opinion. Opinions expressed are completely my own. Wonderful debut! I look forward to many more from J. M. Hall.
This is the story of three retired school teachers who meet for coffee once a week at their local garden centre and end up getting involved with solving a murder, the theft of £425K and a suspicious builder. Pat, Liz and Thelma are all upset by the death of their friend Topsy but certain things don’t make sense to them, Topsy thought someone wanted her dead and the three sleuths want to see if she was right. There are some great moments in this book, I loved the Zumba Insanity class, I could definitely relate to that! I also like how the characters get their own chapters meaning we can have an insight in to their own personal stories and the back stories are beautifully written. However, I did struggle when I started with this book though as it has a lot of characters being introduced throughout. There are the three main ones, then their partners and families, we then meet ex colleagues and ex pupils and their families, along with a lot of other people including cleaners, the over 60’s social group and even male strippers! I had to have a little who’s who written down next to me when I was reading to keep track. Don’t let that put you off though, the story itself is a delight to read touching on some very emotional subjects as well as a giggle or two. I don’t think this will be the last we here of Pat Liz and Thelma.
Cosy With An Edge… When three retired teachers bump into an old colleague at a garden centre a catalogue of bizarre events ensues not least involving a death and, possibly, a murder. A cosy crime with an edge as the tragi-comic events unfold with a credible and well crafted cast, a keen sense of wry humour and of character and an entertaining, immersive storyline. Enjoyable reading.
I absolutely loved this cosy mystery story. I really enjoyed how the characters had their own lives layered into the storyline, and how relatable they all were. The writing reads well and keeps you turning the pages. It's an easy read and perfect for these cold winter nights.
Three retired school teachers enjoy their “coffee o’clock” sessions every Thursday at the Thirsk Garden Café center. Until one day, they bumped into a former colleague, Topsy Joy. Next Thursday, they found out that Topsy was dead. “Was she murdered?” or “Was it a tragic accident?” For Pat, Liz and Thelma, they think the questions never quite feel resolved. It’s for them to find out what have really happened to Topsy. It’s cute and charming to have elderly people teamed up to solve a crime. Although the beginning of the story is a slow-paced for me, I’m glad to be entertained by these three nosy retired teachers who have involved themselves in solving a mystery. As the story progresses, I find it difficult to keep myself attentive in the story. Each chapter all throughout, there are new characters or code names introduced. It makes me confused who is who. Even if I take down notes of the important characters (and clues) to help myself solve the mystery, the author's writing style has managed to make me engaged in the story as I follow the journey of the main characters to reach the revelation. In the end, I have made myself extremely annoyed. The author has created a good villain that I will never like. Overall, A Spoonful of Murder by JM Hall, is a cozy crime mystery about three people embracing their messes and finding justice for an ex-colleague’s unclear cause of death. If you are looking for a crime adventure without those dark disturbing violence, this could be a good read for you. Many thanks to @netgalley and Avon Books UK Publisher for providing me an e-ARC in exchange of honest feedback.
A Spoonful of Murder by J M Hall This book is a joy, I really really loved it.. I really liked the three ladies and I was invested in their lives. Every Thursday, three retired school teachers have their 'coffee o'clock' sessions at the Thirsk Garden Centre café. But one fateful week, as they are catching up with a slice of cake, they bump into their ex-colleague, Topsy. By the next Thursday, Topsy's dead. At first it looks like a accidental death caused by the dementia that Topsy is suffering from but something is not sitting right with the 3 ladies and they start to making enquiries into Topsys life and her nearest and dearest. It is about small close communities and everyone being connected and knowing everything about each other. What I liked most was the juxtaposition of the absolute mundane routines of these ladies lives such as watching garden rescue, planning for the families dinner, making lists for a shopping trip with the extraordinary - trying to solve the murder.. life goes on even when murder is involved I totally recommend this book, it is a contemporary murder mystery with 3 older protagonists who investigate murder while balancing their ordinary lives. A five star read #England #Mudermystery #cosy #modern #Aspoonfulofmurder #Netgalley
There was something about the pace of this book that made me really appreciate it, not too fast or fancy or all. those. turns and twists you've sometimes got in a whodunnit. All three women were interesting characters with their human flaws and surprising actions. And how Liz made me smile with her intervention when it came to a certain wall. Very pleasant read! Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of the book.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 Set in the charming village of Thirsk, Yorkshire , when three retired primary school teachers, (Thelma, Pat and Liz), are faced with the suspicious death of a friend, Topsy, they reluctantly take up the task of uncovering the “ordinary evil” lurking beneath the unassuming facade of their quiet and comfortable neighborhood. Written by a first-time (and ex-teacher) author, the friendship of the three main protagonists, built upon a shared history of tea, support and companionship nurtured on the worn chairs of their former staff room, is steeped with authenticity. How the male author manages to also nail the middle-aged female psyche is truly a marvel, with each of the three characters so well-crafted you would swear you have met them. Thelma, the unofficial leader, outwardly strong and practical, can always “find the exact words the other two are fumbling for”. Childless, and married to a college professor, Teddy, Thelma fills her days with charity work - hiding a heartbreaking secret and a inner core as vulnerable and uncertain as her more emotive friends. Pat, bright and attractive, the wife of Rod, (a builder), worries about her youngest, teenage son, Liam, the bodily trials of aging, and a generation raised in a world where the internet in all its trappings can clearly be seen to “sap the soul”. Liz, a seasoned gardener, anxious grandmother to Jacob, life-long worrier with a sweet and sensitive conscience, is the heart-and-soul of the group, most likely to be on hand when someone is needed “to dispense tissues, wipes, and make gentle conversation”. The plot is cozy and tricky, with just the right blend of “Miss Marple”, interesting and quirky characters, secrets, unexpected nuance, colorful cardigans, and of course, heaps of tea and warm companionship. I loved this book and look forward to reading more from this wonderful (and talented) new author. A great big thank you to NetGalley, the author and the publisher for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.
Absolutely loved this book!! I really enjoyed the characters and the sweet story line!! I was up all night reading and couldn't put the book down! I highly recommend!!
Gripping and addictive. Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for the chance to read a digital arc in exchange for my feedback.
A cozy wonderful mystery that feels like a nice hot cup of coffee and a blanket. As a lover of Miss Marple mysteries I felt very at home reading this wonderful book. The perfect blend of tricky and cozy, the plot was thoroughly enjoyable to read! I say grab a copy, fill up your mug and sit by the fire and nestle into this for a few hours, you wont be disappointed! - Thank you to Netgalley & AvonBooks for the ARC
As the daughter of a retired primary school teacher, this cozy mystery about three retired teachers stumbling into - and solving - the murder of an old friend was both convincing and entertaining. A Spoonful of Murder is a gentle mystery, full of wry observations on the lives of the locals but also deeper thoughts on family and ageing - and on dementia in particular. Liz, Pat and Thelma are twenty-first century Miss Marples with smartphones, investigating with the same sort of subtle questioning, and using of their knowledge of children and parents gained over years of teaching to see beyond what they're being told by their suspects. In the end, for me, the mystery actually came in second to the personal dilemmas the sleuths were dealing with - real world problems for women who, by the end of the book, felt like real friends rather than fictional characters. A brilliant debut and highly recommended.
Oh how brilliant was this book?! I must have read it in about to servings as I just couldn't put it down. The old women where absolute dears and the book had great comical moments throughout. A really good murder mystery book, which I'm hoping there will be lots more to come.
Thanks to NetGalley and Avon Books UK for this free digital book in exchange for an honest review! This book will be out 3/17/22. This is a charming and enjoyable cozy mystery! It gave me the "Thursday Murder Club" vibes with the England setting, main characters of a certain age, and of course, murder. It took me a bit to really get into the story but I was invested by the end. If you have paid attention so far, I've become a huge fan of novels with main characters over 50. The "sleuths" in this story all felt very real--they had insecurities, reservations about "investigating" and relatable pasts--Pat, Thelma, and Liz are all retired teachers which was fun. I can't say that I definitely felt attached to any particular character but I was interested in them throughout the story. Also, the chapter titles were entertaining! I would read another book by this author, particularly if there is another book with these characters!