Sunday, March 29, 2020

Death in a Budapest Butterfly: A Hungarian Tea House Mystery by Julia Buckley

I first saw this mystery at my library, and decided to buy a copy for myself. I was intrigued by the Hungarian tea house and wasn't quite sure what to expect in this cozy mystery. What I found was a mystery that actually gave me a few hours of time away from  checking the news and staring at my phone. 

This is the first in a new series, and I can't wait to read more about Hana Keller and her extended family. Hana's mother owns Maggie's Tea House in Riverwood, a suburb of Chicago. Hana's family is Hungarian, and her grandmother is especially gifted at reading tea leaves for guests. Most people think she's just using it as a parlor trick, but she's actually quite gifted, as is Hana's mother (who ignores her gift), and Hana, too. Getting ready for a ladies tea, Hana is overcome with dread and reluctant to enter the tea house. And she's correct, as later on one of the women is found dead in the bathroom-by Hana. Someone poisoned her tea, but who could it be in a room full of senior citizen women? 

Enter Erik Wolf, local detective. He's handsome and professional, and sparks fly between Erik and Hana. Her family's tea house is in danger of closing, thanks to the murder that happened there-can Erik and Hana figure out who poisoned Ava Novak and why?

I loved Hana's family--her grandparents, her parents, and her brother. Close knit, supportive, and wow--the food! My stomach was growling the whole time. I would love to try some traditional Hungarian food. I'm all about noodles! 

The mystery itself was interesting, and wove Hungarian mythology into the mix. It was more of an unfolding rather than an aha! kind of a mystery, but I liked that. Lots of tradition, resentment, old histories, and love turned to hate made this murder mystery pretty darn solid. I always enjoy a cozy mystery that has a little magic involved, too. 

I'd add this one to your TBR list is you like cozy mysteries. The second in the series is due out at the end of June, 2020 in the U.S.:

If you love mysteries full of good food, strong family connections, cats, tea and an unfolding romance this is perfect for you. It was perfect for me. 

Rating: 4/6 for a delightful start to a new mystery series set in suburban Chicago. Recipes are also included so you too can try out some Hungarian dishes. 

Available in paperback, a Kindle ebook, and audio. 

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