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The Cornish Cream Tea Bookshop by Cressida McLaughlin
Many thanks to NetGalley and to Harper Collins UK for letting me see an advance reader’s copy of The Cornish Cream Tea Bookshop.
This is Book 7 in the Cornish Cream Tea series, and Book 13 from the author. However, it’s the first time I’ve read anything by McLaughlin. This didn’t detract from the standalone-ability of this story, and the little insights into characters and places I assume appear in earlier books in this series tweaked my interest enough for me to add them to my wishlist.
As soon as I saw Cornwall, Christmas and books I thought this was the book for me, and I really loved both the location and the community, and it’s a lovely easy read telling the tale of Ollie and her move to Cornwall.
I did think that everything came a bit too easily to Ollie, I thought the reason behind Becky’s animosity was a bit weak, and I knew who the mystery author was almost the moment s/he was first mentioned. But I didn’t mind Ollie’s gung-ho city attitude and sometimes wished she’d stand up for herself a bit more.
The location was wonderful and brought the little town to life for me. But if it hadn’t been such an easy, relaxed read, I might have been confused by the number of characters whose names began with the same letter.
We had (and I made a note): Becky, Ben, Bryan, Beryan, Billy, Belrose, Byrne and Becker.
And if you think 8 is bad, we also had: Melissa, Maisie, Meredith, Max, Marion, Martin, Mailer, Meg, Megan, Marcus, March, Molly, Merrick and Magee.
That’s 14 different characters with names all beginning with M. FOURTEEN. (I initially thought it was 13, which was bad enough.) Meg and Megan were two different people, unrelated, but to add to these we also had Michael Bublé referenced twice. So he gets an M and a B!
This is something that annoys me more and more with lots of authors and it detracts from the enjoyment of the story as I have to keep checking back who’s who. For goodness sake, how hard is it to create a character A to Z list just to keep track of everyone?
Rant aside, it is a nice story, it is well written, it does conjure up images of Cornwall, and I will read others in the same series. Plus, the author has put a lot of work in to produce her 13th book.
That’s why this book gets 4 stars and not 3.