Series: #6 in the Teashop Mystery series
Publication Date: 2005
Challenges: Support Your Local Library Challenge #34, The Southern Reading Challenge #3, TBR 2009 Challenge #11
This is such an enjoyable series. Charleston, South Carolina, interesting information about tea, a heroine who is a smart businesswoman, secondary characters who are interesting and a bit quirky while still being intelligent all combine to make it a series I enjoy returning to about once a year. I think this was the best one of the series so far.
Theodosia Browning is a former advertising/PR person who gave up working for other people in order to open up a teashop in Charleston’s historic district. She’s assisted by master tea blender and slight fuddy duddy Drayton Conneley and the young pastry chef/part time student Hayley Parker.
As the book opens, Theo and Drayton are setting up for an outdoor “Poet’s Tea” at Charleston Heritage Society as part of Charleston’s annual Spoleto Festival. When a storm blows in they have to make a last minute change of venue and move everything inside to the main hall. Just as they’re finalizing the move and the program gets started, things take a sudden turn for even worse when the body of local auction house owner Roger Crispin falls from the balcony and lands on Theo’s serving table in the middle of the cake.
Of course, Theo can’t resist doing a bit of investigating herself when a new friend appears to be the prime suspect. Once again she assists (bothers) detective Burt Tidwell of the Charleston police.
As I said, I think this was the best of this series yet. They always make me want to curl up with some new tea I haven’t tried. The books also always include recipes for some of the yummy treats mentioned as well as suggestions and interesting information about tea.