A Body at the Tea Rooms by Dee MacDonald (2021) Review

That moment when you realize you have to solve a murder before you can relax with some clotted cream teas with a seaside view.

Kate Palmer Mystery #3

Why I picked up the book:

Even though this is my first Dee Macdonald book experience, this is the third in her Kate Palmer series.

Kate is our amateur sleuth in this British cozy mystery. And in A Body at the Tea Rooms, her sister Angie finds a body in the cellar of her Tea Rooms when she’s renovating. Initially Kate intends to let the police solve the crime but finds herself intrigued by a curious card found in the victim’s body. When her sister’s involvement with the murder becomes subject of village gossip, Kate jumps into the investigation to clear her sister’s name. The victim seems to be connected to the wealthiest family in Lower Tinworthy, making things even more complicated!

The book through my criteria lens:

A Body at the Tea Rooms was a delightful, fast paced book with a funny, dynamic characters. I have not read the previous books in the series and found that this did not impact my experience at all. This, in my opinion, attest to the author’s ability in create rounded, well developed characters. I felt like I knew Angie and Kate. I would have loved if a certain character’s loss and their resulting mental breakdown had been more explored, but the way it was handled served the plot well.

I loved the book’s atmosphere and felt like I got to know the Mansion and the village. In future novels, I would like to keep exploring Lower Tinworthy and everything the British small seaside village has to offer.

MacDonald played fair with her plotting and solution and I enjoyed myself while reading A Body at the Tea Room.

My personal feelings:

I love mysteries, even though I not always pick up Cozy Mysteries because they tend to be formulaic and a subgenre I prefer watching than reading. For me to pick up a cozy mystery book, relies solely on the main character and I must admit, Kate Palmer was it for me. She is funny and witty and confident, and the fact that she is older and has had a successful career as a nurse added to her charm. I will be picking up other books in the series.

If I can be a little picky, I think that the official synopsis kind of spoils the book a bit – not the plot, but I wish I hadn’t known Kate would eventually go missing because that happens beyond the first third of the book.

Enjoyability     10

Characters       8

Ambience        9

Fairness          10

Plot                  9

Execution        10

My total rating: 4.66


Disclaimer: I first read it as an ARC. In exchange for an honest review, I am thankful to Bookouture, NetGalley and Dee MacDonald for providing me with a copy of

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