Summertime is the perfect time to laze-away a quiet afternoon pouring over a new book. This summer I thought I’d get around to sharing some of my favorite books with y’all! Let’s take a look at this mini mystery series by husband and wife writing team, Ron and Janet Benrey…
Of course I enjoy all sorts of books ~ probably just like you do! Mysteries are my particular favorite books for just happy reading and not studying anything in particular.
My mother introduced me to the animal stories (shown here in this mantel vignette) when I was in elementary school. She also introduced me to the Nancy Drew series of books, which at one time I had read them all and saved up my babysitting money to buy 23 for myself. The others I read through our school and local libraries. During the summertime on Hickam AFB, we had a Bookmobile which came around one day a week to check out books to read. THAT was a favorite day of the week!!!
But let’s get back to our book series, shall we? Yes!!!
Dead As A Scone is the first book in the Royal Tunbridge Wells miniseries created by the Benrey couple. Set in the real town of the same name over in England, Royal Tunbridge Wells, the book begins with Nigel Owen having just come aboard as acting director of the staff of the Royal Tunbridge Wells Tea Museum. He is rebounding from a job loss in London, his hometown and favorite city, and is now bumbling around in hick-city Tunbridge Wells, or so he thinks.
American Felicity “Flick” Adams from York, Pennsylvania, born of ex-pats from Britain, has flown to her parents’ ancestral home across The Pond and has been newly-hired as the museum’s chief curator. Partly because of her love of tea (and everything there is to know about tea!) and because of her prestigious background in forensics and knowledge of antiquities, Flick is hired by Dame Elspeth Hawker although the eight trustees aren’t sure if this American woman is up-to-snuff.
The pair of Nigel and Flick make a good team and soon put their heads together to try and solve just how the daughter of Commodore Hawker, the founder of RTW Tea Museum, Dame Elspeth Hawker has died. Flick suspects foul play while the attending and revered doctor (and one of the museum’s board of trustees) calls the death a heart attack due to her age…
This short series of three books is very good and the characters are fun! Dame Elspeth ends up leaving her four pets to the museum ~ Earl, the grey African parrot; Cha-Cha, a small reddish dog “of the Shina Ibu breed;” and two British short-hair cats, Lapsang and Souchong (which nobody knows which is which) ~ along with funds to care for them ~ and funds to help acquire the Hawker antiquities outright which the commodore acquired in the 19th century. More mysterious problems abound but I don’t want to spoil the fun… 😉
I believe the series might have been longer as I believe these two books were selling well, but Ron Benrey passed away in May 2014 and the third book, A Jam of a Different Color, was probably rushed to print in November 2013.
I read one review which said that “too much was going on in this [third] book,” which leads me to believe that perhaps Mr. Benrey had been ill for sometime and was working on the book up until he couldn’t. Perhaps Janet Benrey had it published, unfinished and really unedited, anyway.
Nevertheless, the first two books, Dead As A Scone and The Final Crumpet, are really fun who-dun-it mysteries with tea parties, scenes around the village and elsewhere. Enough scenery to fill our Anglophile-loving senses with images of England’s countryside and with fun scenes within this fictional museum where sometimes the pets steal the show!
My rating? 5/5 💝