Tuesday 29 November 2022


Book review: The Cornish Cream Tea Bookshop by Cressida McLaughlin [blog tour]

I've been in such a Christmas romance mood with my books lately (in fact, I've accumulated over ten new festive reads in the last month alone...) and Cressida McLaughlin's wonderful novels set in the picturesque, fictional village of Port Karadow always hit the spot for me. And none as much as the latest addition to her Cornish Cream Team series, which is all about a new book shop that has opened up in town. Combining a love of books with a festive setting, makes for the cosiest of reads to curl up with on a dark and cold afternoon (hot drink of choice optional, but very much recommended). 

In The Cornish Cream Tea Bookshop we meet Ollie Spencer. A newcomer in the seaside town, who is a force of nature, filled with ideas to bring people to the new independent bookshop where she just started working. After some bad experiences in her previous job and relationship, she feels she really has to prove herself, so she throws herself into her new role with oodles of enthusiasm and seeming confidence. 

However, while her ideas for sprucing up the bookshop's events calendar sound interesting on the surface, not everyone appreciates Ollie's new way of doing things. And when some of her well-meant plans go awry, she has to take a pause instead of continuing full steam ahead. Ollie needs to figure out what's truly important to help the town and the bookshop, rather than doing everything at the same time and hoping for the best. But with one of the most anticipated events of the year up in the air, is it too late for Ollie to turn things around? 

The Cornish Cream Tea Bookshop was an absolutely delightful read from cover to cover. First of all there is the gorgeous setting of (the sadly fictional) Port Karadow with its cute cobblestoned streets, eclectic shops (including the new bookshop!), and wonderful residents (many of which I recognised from author Cressida McLaughlin's previous novels set in Cornwall). Then there are the new characters introduced in this book, from protagonist Ollie to Max, the handsome owner of the cafe next door to the bookshop. 

But what made this book really unique within its genre and even more enjoyable is that it's steeped in Cornish myths and legends. I only visited this British county for the first time myself last summer, and one of the things I vividly remember is how present and important the local legends are. So the fact that Cressida McLaughlin wove this into her contemporary novel, not only add a level of realism but it also makes the book even more entertaining and interesting to read. 

Finally, something that I noticed in her wonderful previous novel The Cornish Cream Tea Holiday as well, is that she very generously includes recommendations of books by other authors within the pages of her stories. Some of those I've already read myself (it makes me feel really smug when that happens), but others are new to me. This means that my already towering to-be-read pile has grown even more while reading this novel. And that's not a bad thing.  

The Cornish Cream Tea Bookshop is everything you want in a festive novel and then some. There is a blossoming romance that makes your heart squee in delight, plenty of descriptions of scrumptious baked goods, and a good old-fashioned mystery amidst the pre-holiday stress and rush to keep readers on their toes. It all makes for a very engrossing story that I absolutely devoured as fast as I possibly could. 

And since I wasn't quite ready to leave the cosy vibes of Port Karadow, I've since bought Cressida McLaughlin's other novels set there that I didn't yet own. Honestly, if it wasn't a fictional place, I would move there in a heartbeat! 

The Cornish Cream Tea Bookshop by Cressida McLaughlin is published by HarperCollins Publishers and you can now buy a copy from your favourite local book shop!

Blog tour stops for The Cornish Cream Tea Bookshop by Cressida McLaughlin

This review for The Cornish Cream Tea Bookshop is a part of the official blog tour for the launch of the book. Make sure to check out the other stops too!

Disclaimer: This book was gifted to me by the publisher, but this has not impacted this honest review.

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