Plum Tea Crazy (A Tea Shop Mystery)
by Laura Childs
About the Book
Plum Tea Crazy (A Tea Shop Mystery)
19th in Series
Berkley (March 6, 2018)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Digital ASIN: B071K4DPRH
Theodosia Browning investigates a Charleston steeped in tradition and treachery in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.
While viewing the harbor’s Gaslights and Galleons Parade from the widow’s walk of Timothy Neville’s Charleston mansion, local banker Carson Lanier seemingly tumbles over a narrow railing, then plunges three stories to his death. But a tragic accident becomes something much more sinister when it’s discovered that the victim was first shot with a bolt from a crossbow.
At the request of the mansion owner, Theodosia investigates the tragedy and is soon neck deep in suspects. An almost ex-wife, a coworker, a real estate partner–all had motives for killing the luckless banker, but one resorted to murder to settle accounts.
INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!
About the Author
Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.
Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:
The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.
The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!
The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.
Website – http://www.laurachilds.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/laura.childs.31
Ms. Cat’s Review
This was my very first Tea Shop Mystery book I have read and, I must admit that I received this to review as part of its book tour, I was hooked! The first time I came to the U.S., I lived in Charleston, SC near Goose Creek. I absolutely loved the Southern history aspect of the houses, not so much the alligators, palmetto bugs, and paper mills though.
The time period that follows Theodosia Browning is present day, cell phones and all. However, the feel of the book is reminiscent of at least a couple centuries ago and, admittedly, I read most of it with an English accent. The tea made me do it!
The following excerpt I found to perfectly capture the essence of this series:
It all worked like clockwork because they had done it so many times before. Drayton brewed tea and handled takeout orders, Haley kept the luncheon entrees coming, and Theodosia… well, she simply immersed herself in the goings-on. The Indico Tea Shop was her baby, after all. Plus, aside from her dog, Earl Grey, her Aunt Libby, and her dear cohorts Drayton and Hely, this ws the thing she cared most about in all the world.
A cozy little shop, a bit of English, a modicum of Victorian, with a pegged wooden floor, beamed ceiling, fireplace, leaded pane windows, chintz curtains, and sturdy tables and chairs.
Theodosia Browning (Theo) is deep in the midst of the murder of one banking vice president, Carson Lanier, whom she had never even heard of before. However, her dear friends, Drayton Conneley and Timothy Nevile do know the deceased seen as they are all members of the Heritage Society.
The twists, turns, plots had me cheering Theo on the whole way as she met new people throughout the story who in turn, unknowingly, would set themselves up as a suspect and at the same time point the finger towards someone else who was just as guilty as they were.
Round and round this vicious circle they went and, as the circle was getting tighter, lives started to become “at risk” from broken bones to tail gating and chases to rocks through windows.
The twists and turns teased me almost towards the end as I was incessantly thinking “Who done it?!”. It will not let you down, neither the “Who done it?!” nor the superb writing skills of Laura Childs.
The Favorite Recipes From The Indigo Tea Shop was definitely the cream on top! Pun intended!
Haley’s Plum Crazy Plum Crisp / Cinnamon Whipped Cream / Turkey Waldorf Tea Sandwiches / Sinfully Chocolate Tea Bread / Baked French Toast / Greek Meatload / Apple-Yogurt Chicken Bake / Old-Fashioned Griddle Scones / Drayton’s Easy-Peasy Devonshire Cream / Asparagus & Gruyere Cheese Tart
Pretty sure that was the whole lunch menu given throughout the story, sans all the various scones and other sweet breads served of course.
Even though this was my first Tea Shop Mystery as stated before, it was easy to follow right along even this being the 19th in the series due to having just the right amount of background written in at the moments when needed. Rounded out each character perfectly and am looking forward to reading more from not only this series, but the author over all.
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