Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
A Tour With Mystery & Intrigue WIthout Leaving Your ArmchairJuly 12 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
I must admit from the "Get-go", that, outside of a couple of short story collaborations with other authors, "English Tea Murder" is the first full volume of work by Ms. Meier that I have read. However, believe me when I tell you, it will not be my last as I want to read more about Lucy Stone, the mystery solver from Tinker's Cove. This is an easy read you'll enjoy. I know I did! Lucy Stone bid a reluctant farewell to her husband and family and joins a tour group, sponsored by Winchester College, and heads to jolly, old England. She soon finds that England may be old, but at times, not very jolly. We are introduced to a widely mixed group of personalities starting with Lucy's "Inner Circle of Friends", Sue, Rachael and Pam, who all talked her into this trip in the first place, followed by the puzzling and often sad, Smith family, Dr. Cope and his supposed anorexic granddaughter, Jennifer, tough and totally Goth Amber, and last but not least, fretful Laura Barfield and her "wild child" son, Will. You will start catching possible clues within the first couple of chapters, especially after tour guide as well as College Professor George Temple suffers a seizure on their plane and dies. No one is counted out as a suspect, not even poor Lucy who witnessed his demise. To add some spice to all of the drama, Quentin Rea, a Professor for whom Lucy had a slight crush many years ago, is sent by the college to replace Professor Temple and escort the group to various sites of interest in London and beyond. I must interject here that I have not had the opportunity to travel abroad and I truly enjoyed the colorful descriptions of historical places one might visit within their own tour. When clues, large and small, start adding up with some incidents to spike some extra intrigue, Lucy puts her "Sleuth Cap" on to uncover the guilty party. You won't want to put this book down until, with Lucy's help, you find out who did the nasty deed ,all while taking a tour of London and surrounding areas without leaving the comfort of your cozy armchair!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
"Virtual Tour of England"Nov. 5 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
I really enjoyed this book, and felt as though I was on a virtual tour of England. I really enjoyed that! I enjoyed the sites and tours and shopping, the rolling green hills, the busy city and the country. It was a fun "vacation" in England.
This book is a cozy mystery. To me, it was fun and enjoyable, and I couldn't believe the low ratings it received. It is "cozy", it is not a hard-boiled mystery, and I know cozies aren't for everyone. But cozies are for me, and I loved this book.
In this book, Lucy Stone goes on a college-sponsored trip to England (even though she is not a college student, she had other connections). Lucy's three closest friends, Sue, Pam, and Rachel go on the tour, along with some college students and their families, and a professor who is the guide. For Lucy and her 3 friends, the trip is a vacation. Each day they had trips and tours. I looked forward to each new day and each new tour. I loved it!
Lucy enjoyed the trip, but also couldn't wait to get back home to her husband and kids. I would have felt the same way. I "enjoyed" the trip, but at the same time, I knew I would also had loved getting back "home", as I love "home". When Lucy mentioned the rolling hills and green grass that made her glad that she took the trip even though she was homesick, it made me realize that my ancestors (many, many years ago) were at home right there where she was at, and if they hadn't of come over here, I would have been "right at home" at the time. But instead, I also couldn't wait to get back to what "home" is now. This book was special to me in a way, because I know it was actually "home" to my ancestors, and it could have been more than a "vacation" to me - it could have been "home".
Throughout all these fun adventures and sight-seeing, several interesting and vital pieces of information turn up. All the information and conversations fit together in the end like a jigsaw puzzle fitting together perfectly. At the time, the individual pieces might not seem important, but they are necessary in order to complete the puzzle. I love how the pieces all come together for the completion of the whole puzzle.
There was fun food and sights. The scones and tea, sandwiches, and everything else. I wonder if Ye Olde English Roast Beef is a real restaurant. I will look it up.
I enjoyed Lucy and her 3 friends. Her husband Bill and her children did not star in this book. They did not come on the England trip. Eldest daughter Elizabeth was only featured in emails. Lucy and her friends had a ball . . . except for the stress of worrying about husbands/kids back home, but not so much as to not enjoy the tour, and also the stress of murder and accidents . . .
There is something funny in the middle of page 209 (do not go there if you haven't read the book yet); it really made me chuckle. It was funny that somebody asked Lucy that question. The only thing that would have been funnier, is if Elizabeth had been asked that same question. Now that would have been the joke of the century.
I've heard people complain that Lucy doesn't usually do much "investigating", that clues and solutions usually just fall in her lap on a silver platter. I don't have a problem with that - in fact, that is one thing that I like so much about this series. It cuts down on the hard-core investigating and focuses more on the cozy situations. Remember, this is a soft cozy mystery series, which I mentioned earlier is not for everyone, but it is for me. Just warning you, in case you are looking for hard-core mysteries.
I loved this book!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
My least favoriteAug. 6 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
This book was my least favorite, and I love the Lucy Stone series. I have read each book a few times. I guess I like her in the Tinkers Cove setting, with her family as part of the story. It is farfetched how many murders Lucy finds herself involved in, but this one was just too unbelievable!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
complex cozyJuly 1 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
Winchester College Professor George Temple sponsors a tour of England. Tinker`s Cove, Maine newspaper reporter and surprisingly good sleuth Lucy Stone and her three close friends excitedly join his group. However, while still in the air crossing the ocean, George dies from anaphylactic shock. Another member of the tour Dr. Cope tries to save Temple, but fails.
Lucy is sad by the professor's death, but did not know him so she, her BFFs and the rest of the group tour the country. After a while, Lucy notices an odd vibe amongst the group excluding her pals. There is a lack of passion towards the deceased and in fact she thinks there is general sigh of relief. Then there are the strange dangerous accidents including a student falling off Brighton Pier and someone tried to push Lucy's friend Pam into oncoming traffic. Lucy has a theory to what is happening, but Metropolitan Police easily explain an alternative to her concerns.
Leslie Meier writes a complex cozy in which life imitates art. Fans of the long running series will enjoy the first book outside of Maine, as armchair travelers will appreciate the tour that provides timely insight into British history. The characters are believable as American tourists who have to get used to a new culture very different than in the United States. The whodunit is clever as Lucy Stone amateur sleuth investigates once again.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Was This A Book Or An Outline?June 30 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
Lucy Stone and three of her friends, Pam, Sue and Rachel have signed on to take a English vacation with a group from Winchester College.
Things don't start out well, when the tour leader, Professor George Temple dies during the flight.
No one seems suspicious, so the tour goes on as planned, joined by George Temple's replacement, Professor Quintin Rea.
But things start to get strange and Lucy is suddenly wondering if George's death was the accident it appeared to be.
Lucy's spoiled rotten brat of a daughter, Elizabeth is in the story only via e-mails.
Quentin Rea - I like it when an author brings back a character from earlier books (Back To School Murder - 1998 - Lucy Stone Mystery #4). It doesn't matter if you've read that book, as all the important information of that storyline is included in this book.
The best thing about Lucy Stone mysteries (at least the early ones) are her interactions with her family, husband Bill and 3 of her 4 kids. Except for a few e-mails they are completely missing from the storyline.
Lucy's friends have been in the books from the beginning, but they are so alike that I have to be reminded who they are, her editors wife, the caretaker of the town's oldest woman, to remember who they are. Not that it matters, they could be anyone.
The Mystery. Not only is there not much of a mystery, there isn't much of a story. Almost the entire book is, they go somewhere, they shop, they look for somewhere to eat, they eat, they shop, they sightsee - which doesn't seem to involve actually looking at anything, but to do more shopping. (Would you actually go all the way to London and buy underwear for your husband at Marks & Spencers? Or buy books from a book store) Have these women ever heard of overweight luggage?
Chit Chat - the entire story involves a lot of conversations with each other about absolutely nothing, when suddenly out of the blue someone will tell Lucy the horrifying details of their life.
Quintin Rea - Why bring back a previous character when there is no reason for it to be him. The character in this book could have been any professor (male or female) from the college, there is no reason for it to be Quintin.
Unfortunately the Lucy Stone mysteries seem to be taking the same path as another of my previous favorite writers Jill Churchill, where the books go downhill and you begin to wonder if the books being written are actually written by the original author or someone they had write one to fulfill a contract.