Welcome to our Mad Tea Party!

Hello! I’m glad you could join us for the Mad Tea Party hosted by Vanessa at A Fanciful Twist. When I was little, I thought Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was scary. The Mad Hatter and Cheshire Cat? Too creepy. Of course, now I love creepy and mysterious things. All quotes below are from Lewis Carroll’s wonderful book!

“And what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversation?”

If you’ve never been here before, I’ll quickly introduce myself. My name is Diana, and I’ve been blogging about books for a long time. So, of course, my tea party will also be a book club meeting, and we’ll be talking about one of my favorite cozy series, the Hungarian Tea House Mysteries, written by Julia Buckley.

The covers of these books are absolutely adorable! I was excited to find that I had a matching Sarah Wilkins mug for each book.

• Afternoon Tea Party •

Before we get started, we need the perfect tea-inspired essential oil blend for ambiance. I found one on the Diffuser Blends site called Afternoon Tea Party. Roman chamomile, lemon, and cinnamon bark. Smells amazing!

It was all very well to say “Drink me,” but the wise little Alice was not going to do that in a hurry. “No, I’ll look first,” she said, “and see whether it’s marked ‘poison’ or not.”

• Let your imagination grow •

DEATH IN A BUDAPEST BUTTERFLY | Tea | Whole Grain Blueberry Muffin

Hungarian folklore, European high tea, and just a touch of the paranormal come together to make DEATH IN A BUDAPEST BUTTERFLY a delightful start to this series!

Three generations of the Horvath/Keller family run Maggie’s Tea House in suburban Chicago. Hana, her mother Maggie, and grandmother Juliana are shaken when a guest is poisoned to death at one of their events. With a murderer on the loose and their business in danger, Hana is willing to help Detective Erik Wolf with his investigation and do a bit of sleuthing on her own.

The Hungarian history, culture, and myths blended throughout this book made for an enjoyable and unique cozy mystery. I also loved the budding romance between Hana and Erik.

“I suppose I ought to eat or drink something or other; but the great question is ‘What?’” — Alice

• Take a sip, turn a page •

DEATH OF A WANDERING WOLF | Tea | Jarlsberg cheese & pecans

In book two of the Hungarian Tea House Mystery series, Hana Keller gets more than she bargained for at a yard sale, when the seller, a local artist, is murdered shortly after Hana scores some too-good-to-be-true deals. Hana uses her developing psychic ability and smarts to unlock the secrets in his paintings. Will his art reveal the identity of his killer?

I enjoyed this complex murder mystery that continues to explore Hungarian culture and folklore. It was lovely seeing Hana and Detective Erik Wolf’s relationship grow closer, and the introduction of Erik’s sisters was a lot of fun. I hope they become regulars in future books. Hana and her family are wonderful characters who make this an engaging series.

“Take some more tea,” the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.
“I’ve had nothing yet,” Alice replied in an offended tone, “so I can’t take more.”
“You mean you can’t take less,” said the Hatter. “It’s very easy to take more than nothing.”

• Read & Grow •

DEATH ON THE NIGHT OF LOST LIZZARDS | Tea | Chocolate chip pecan cookies

The third book in this charming series finds Hana busy at her family’s tea house during the bustling Christmas season, but it’s not all comfort and joy. Hana’s psychic gifts turn out to be useful when a Hungarian professor and artifact collector is murdered. With Maggie’s Tea House hosting Prof. Balog’s memorial, Hana and Erik are able to discover many possible suspects with reasons to resent the deceased man, but who among them was angry enough to kill?

DEATH ON THE NIGHT OF LOST LIZARDS was beautifully written with descriptions of snow, Christmas traditions, familial bonds, and amazing Hungarian antiques. What a lovely magical atmosphere for this puzzling mystery.

“I do wish I hadn’t drunk quite so much!” — Alice

Thanks so much for stopping by my book club tea party. I hope I sparked your interest in this delightful cozy series. Please hop over to Vanessa at A Fanciful Twist to check out her beautiful post and find links to the other partiers.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the first two books in this series from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for honest reviews.

27 thoughts on “Welcome to our Mad Tea Party!

  1. Such a wonderful bookclub tea party. And, yes, you sparked my interest in the series. Ah… More to add to my ever-growing pile of books I’d like to read. Anyway, thanks for having me over from Vanessa’s blog for tea and an interesting book discussion.


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  2. Good morning, Diana. Julia Buckley is a new author to me, but her mystery sounds like a fun read. I’ll look for her works. Thanks for the delicious tea and tasty treats.

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  3. Books, beautiful teacups, and treats – OH MY! Of course I jotted down the names of those works because I only have three shelves of books on my “To Read” list. In my opinion, one can never have too many though. They make the best companions and can transport you to places you’d never have known existed. Side note: I REALLLLLY want some Jarlsberg cheese now. Haha.

    Thanks for sharing your magical day with me.
    Please stop by my tea party to join in more festivities.
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  4. I love that you featured these books in your post. I’ve actually read Death In a Budapest Butterfly. But I haven’t read the other two in the Hungarian Tea House Mysteries. I need to catch-up because I enjoyed the first one. I’m especially intrigued with your review of Death on the Night of Lost Lizards. Thanks for the reviews! And *of course* I love that your Tea Party is a book club meeting….I wish I’d thought of that but I haven’t finished a book in three weeks, and my book club meets Tuesday Night….I’m in a world of trouble, LOL!


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  5. What a great post – tea and mysteries seem to go together too. BTW: I used to own that mug – I recall purchasing it at B&N years ago but, I have no idea what happened to it LOL I am one to purge, donate and change my style though so perhaps it was donated.

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  6. Oh goodness, another cozy mystery tea party! I’m delighted to visit and excited to find some new reads at the club gathering. I do love chatting about mysteries! Thank you for dropping in to visit my party earlier today. I will definitely be back!
    God bless,

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  7. What a wonderful party! I love the sound of the oil blend and I love that mug. This is one of my favorite series though it has made me feel like I simply must have a Herend porcelain! I would dearly love to be in your book club!

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  8. I have never heard of this series, but I’ve just added the first one to my toppling TBR pile! It seems like such a fun series.

    Your book club meeting is delightful and book/tea/snack paring is done perfectly!

    Elza Reads

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  9. Thank you for inviting us to your tea party. It’s everything I would like in a tea party—beautiful tea cups, delicious tea and snacks, and, most important, great conversations about great books.

    The Alice quotes are delightful. And lovely photographs!

    Truly, a great party.

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  10. I’ve been looking to add more cozy mysteries to my TBR. Love the colorful covers and your teacups! Where did you get the tea cups/mugs?

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  11. Oh my gosh I love the sound of these books, the gorgeous covers and your photo settings with the mugs. Oh I enjoy tea as well so enticing. Will note the author and series down for the future.


  12. I was always creeped out a bit by Alice in wonderland as a kid lol. I love this idea though! These books look delightful- especially Lost Lizards! Exploring Hungarian folklore, the psychic abilities… I love diffusing scents also.


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