Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Oxford Inheritance

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Title: The Oxford Inheritance

Author: Ann A. McDonald

Published: 2016 by Harper Collins

Pages: 320

Genre: mystery, paranormal

Obtained: library

Summary: Cassie Blackwell applies and is accepted to Raleigh College at Oxford.  She is there for one purpose- to find out the secrets of her deceased mother's past. While she searches for clues, she turns up additional information related to deaths- past and present.  Have these people been murdered, and if so, can she stop the murderer?

Thoughts:  I liked this author's writing style.  It was clear and organized and most of the story flowed well.  The book kept me interested and I wanted to read on until a little over three quarters through when there was a twist.  I didn't like the twist.  It just didn't seem to go along with the beginning and middle of the story. Also, I thought that the climax and ending were hurried.
     I really enjoyed the setting and the mood the author created.  The author did a great job giving the story a mysterious, kind of creepy feel through the setting, especially the parts that took place in an old restricted library.  I would say that this is the best part of the book.
     Some of the characters had distinct personalities, but some were just sort of generic.  Unfortunately, this included the main character, which really was disappointing.  Sometimes she did things that didn't seem to fit with who she was.   I would question what she was all about, but the different ways she acted at times and things she did never came together to make a believable character.  This was similar to the plot.  After the twist I didn't like, the rest of the story did not completely fit in with the beginning and middle, so to me, it made the last quarter of the book not believable, almost silly.
     I think this is one of those books that you could love or hate, depending on who you are and what you are looking for in a book.


Company: Joy's Teaspoon

Tea: Earl Grey

Obtained: purchased online

     I bought myself a present. I usually don't do this, but I ran out of tea I haven't reviewed and I had to keep blogging, right?  Tea is what people usually give me for my birthday, Christmas, Mother's Day, etc..  Anyway, I came across a really cute name of a tea company- "Joy's Teaspoon".  So, I decided I'd be daring and try something new.  (Yes, I picked it because of the cute name.)  I ordered a "Top Teas Sampler" box which would give me eight teas to sample.  I would get two cups of tea from each sample.  The cost was $10.49 plus $4.50 for shipping.  I received the tea very quickly in the mail and was delighted with the cute box the teas arrived in (just like a present).  I opened the box up and sure enough, eight samples, all nicely labeled in high quality tins.  I wanted to try something new, but I was reading "The Oxford Inheritance", so I picked the Earl Grey for something English.
     I opened the tin, and got a strong whiff of very sweet bergamot.  The leaves were long and dark brown.  I put a teaspoon of leaves in my tea ball and poured eight ounces of water over it.  I let it brew for four minutes (4-5 minutes was recommended online).  I have to say, there are way more tea leaves left in the tin than one teaspoon.  I will definitely get three cups, if not four out of the tin.
     The liquid was a yellowish brown (the picture's color above is off).  The scent of the liquid was that of the leaves - a very strong, sweet bergamot.
     I sipped the tea.  It did not taste as sweet as it smelled.  I could taste the bold black tea and the light sweet bergamot- a nice blend.  The sweet was very pleasant, not overpowering like I thought it was going to be. I usually put a little honey and milk in my Earl Grey tea.  This Earl Grey does not need anything added.
     If you like Earl Grey tea, I would definitely recommend trying this one.  Joy's Teaspoon also has an Earl Grey Creme that I'd really like to sample.  I can't wait to taste my other samples!  I need to be daring more often.

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