Popsugar Reading Challenge 2021 – Book 24

Prompt – A book set in a restaurant

This is one of the few prompts that I did not have a book on shelves that would fit. I picked up a copy of A Nice Cup of Tea by Celia Imrie at a local book swap which fitted perfectly and seemed a fun read so I thought I’d give it a go.

What it’s about?

From Goodreads:

In this witty third novel in the Nice series, from beloved actress Celia Imrie, the retired expats in the South of France must rally to save their failing restaurant, and protect Theresa from an unsavory stalker.

The beautiful town of Bellevue-sur-Mer, tucked between glitzy Monte Carlo and the plush red carpets of Cannes, is home to Theresa, Carol, William, Benjamin, and Sally: five retired expats who have pooled their resources to set up La Mosaïque, a divine little restaurant. But there is trouble in paradise: the friends are desperately struggling to make ends meet. It will take every bit of their talent and gumption to save La Mosaïque. With fussy customers, obnoxious cruise parties, and a failing delivery van, it’s certainly not going to be easy.

On top of this, Theresa and Sally have their own distractions. Theresa’s teenage granddaughter has run away, and Theresa herself has been getting mysterious phone calls and the strong sense that someone’s watching her. Meanwhile, Sally’s run into a nasty couple from her acting days, and their barbed jibes are enough to send her on an ill-advised search for the limelight.

A Nice Cup of Tea is a delightful cozy mystery, a wickedly fun page-turner that’s sassier than a cup of tea, no matter how Nice!

What I think:

This is fun read. Lots of very Brotish humour, it reminded me of a classic sit-com. Lots of misunderstandings, farcical situations and larger than life characters.

The book focuses in three different story lines that eventually join together at the end.

The restaurant is failing and the business partners fear that their friendship is going to be affected if they don’t pull together and find a way to salvage the situation.

At the same time Theresa’s granddaughter has disappeared and run off to France. Influenced by Romeo and Juliet, Chloe is caught up in the romance if a doomed love affair. Theresa’s daughter, Imogen is such a delightfully horrid creation.

Sally has the chance to resurrect her acting career when she is offered the part in a film being mad locally. Her co-star is Edgar Taylor-Markham, who along with his wife Phoebe, is an acting treasure. And while they away be loved by the public Eggy and Phoo are actually a nightmare. Self-indulgent and incredibly rude, Sally is less than thrilled to have them back in her life. I wonder if the writer has based them on actors she has worked with.

This is such a fast-paced story – there is something funny happening in every chapter. Imrie manages to find the humour in language barriers and clash of cultures without resorting to nasty stereotypes. She even manages to make Theresa’s stalking storyline darkly musing.

This is a light- hearted and fun read, perfect for the summer.

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