Death in a Budapest Butterfly by Julia Buckley

Death in a Budapest Butterfly

Julia Buckley

Hana and her family must catch the killer when a guest is poisoned at a tea event. They work to save Maggie's Tea house and bring the beautiful Budapest Butterfly teacup back home where it belongs.

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Hana Keller serves up European-style cakes and teas in her family-owned tea house, but when a customer keels over from a poisoned cuppa, Hana and her tea-leaf reading grandmother will have to help catch a killer in the first Hungarian Tea House Mystery from Julia Buckley.

Hana Keller and her family run Maggie's Tea House, an establishment heavily influenced by the family's Hungarian heritage and specializing in a European-style traditional tea service. But one of the shop's largest draws is Hana's eccentric grandmother, Juliana, renowned for her ability to read the future in the leaves at the bottom of customers' cups. Lately, however, her readings have become alarmingly ominous and seemingly related to old Hungarian legends...

When a guest is poisoned at a tea event, Juliana’s dire predictions appear to have come true. Things are brought to a boil when Hana’s beloved  Anna Weatherley butterfly teacup becomes the center of the murder investigation as it carried the poisoned tea. The cup is claimed as evidence by a handsome police detective, and the pretty Tea House is suddenly endangered.  Hana and her family must catch the killer to save their business and bring the beautiful Budapest Butterfly back home where it belongs.

Advance Galley Reviews

A Budapest Butterfly china teacup is a thing of beauty but can it be turned into a weapon of death?? Hana Keller sets up a special display for the Anna Weatherley butterfly teacup in Maggie’s Tea House for a function hosting a group of Hungarian women. Somehow the teacup is removed from the display. A Hungarian saying is written inside the cup, poison added then the cup is served to one of the attendees by a non employee of the Tea House. After drinking from the cup, she dies. Who removed the cup, added poison to the team and gave it to the woman??? This is a very informative read as the reader will learn about Hungarian customs, folklore, common saying and many delicious Hungarian food specialties. Hana, her mother, her grandmother and her mother have a paranormal gift of sight which will aid in the solving of the murder. Characters are vivid, very colorful, well define, quirky and extremely interesting. There are several fur babies that add to the story: Hana’s cats: Anthony & Cleopatra (one black & one gray), Boris the wolfhound, Serena the Siamese cat, Inspektor the store cat and a Major a house cat. The plot is complicated by mixing the past and present. It is a fast moving story, intense with plenty of thrills and chills, intrigue plus some humor and romance. This is the first book in the A Hungarian Tea House Mysteries series. A very enjoyable read!!! Hungarian Recipes included at the end of book. I volunteered to read Death in a Budapest Butterfly. Thanks to Penguin’s First-to-Read Program for the opportunity. My opinion is my own.

Tea house mysteries, in general, are becoming a thing as I've lately read a hundred little variations of this plot. What made Buckley's entry into the overcrowded market interesting was the addition of a Hungarian community and, thus, their culture and beliefs. Three generations of women - with very different personalities despite being family - help the local police solve a crime that takes place in their tea house. And, as with any good cozy mystery, there is the prerequisite romantic interest between the homicide detective and the (nosy) leading lady. It really does feel at times like Buckley had a checklist of mandatory cozy mystery elements, but she uses them well so I'm willing to forgive it. This is indeed a very cozy mystery that you can spend a pleasant afternoon enjoying while drinking a nice cup of tea... just not at a tea house because those places are apparently very dangerous.

Three generations of Hungarian women own and manage Maggie’s Tea House, specializing in the European high tea. Grandmother Juliana is known for her ability to read the future in a person’s tea leaves. The tea house is named from Hana Keller’s mother, Maggie. The three women are getting ready for a special event for the Magyar Women. During the high tea, Ana Novak’s tea is poisoned. Detective Erik Wolf comes to investigate and through the course of inquiry learns that Hana and Juliana both have special abilities for sensing what’s going on around them. Hoping to help catch the killer before their business is ruined, Hana does her own sleuthing, feeding what she finds to Erik. Julia Buckley incorporates the rich Hungarian culture throughout the story adding layers of interesting background on Hungarian food, art and mystical beliefs. Ms. Buckley fabricates an imaginative mystery with twists and a suspense driven pace. The first Hungarian Tea House Mystery is truly a treat to be savored.

A nice start to a new series. I was interested in and enjoyed the story. Some though seemed to drag a bit. I liked it over all.


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