Monday, March 12, 2018

Plum Tea Crazy by Laura Childs - #review #giveaway

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.




Before I get into the meat and taters of the book review, can someone please talk about how gorgeous this cover is?  When I opened the package, I think it actually took my breath away for a second or two!  I'm more of a smoky back room, family-run coffee bar kind of gal, but if I got to sit at a table that awesome, I could put on my "Sunday best" and learn to hold out my pinky!

And I'm just about in love with the tea shop and its staff.  They provide a level of product and service that is sadly lacking in the world today.  (Ask me about my ignored at Nordstrom's story sometime.)  I can definitely see myself as one of the regulars, or going there as my go-to reward for goal achieved!

Theodosia (such a great name), her partner, and the chef make a superb team - in the tea shop or when 'unofficially' investigating local crime.  And the first chapters present us with a doozy - a man is on the roof of a mansion, is shot by a crossbow arrow, falls over the rail, sails down a couple parts of the roof and finally is impaled through the neck on one of those pointy metal fences.

Me?  I'd probably be losing my lunch right there.  But Theo notices an open window in the B&B next door and takes off running after a possible suspect, followed closely by her business partner.  There is an exciting chase through the three stories of that business, which ends with Theo running into the investigating detective.  Normally, that would be her beau, but he is taken off the case because of their relationship.  But like a good cozy heroine's main squeeze, he no more stops investigating any more than Theo does.

There are actually a number feisty females in Plum Tea Crazy.  And anyone who thinks Southern belles have class but not a lot of fire, needs to read the scene where two of them throw down in the middle of a posh fashion show.  To paraphrase  W. Shakespeare, I would be "half stunned, half cringing and half *ahem* LMAO".

There are nearly as many Tea Shop Mysteries (19 - yes, you read that right - nineteen) as there are years in my marriage.  Maybe if I start 'hinting' now, more books from the series (and yes, I have a 'stretch yen' - for the entire set) for my 21st wedding anniversary in May! :D



Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop MysteriesScrapbook 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.




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(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book tours in exchange for my honest review.)

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