Tea-Maven Theodosia Browning brews up trouble in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.
Tea maven Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier Drayton Conneley are guests at a bird hunt styled in the precise manner of an English shooting party. Which means elevenses (sloe gin fizzes), gun loaders, the drawing of pegs, fine looking bird dogs, and shooting costumes of tweed, herringbone, and suede.
But as gunshots explode like a riff of Black Cat firecrackers, another shot sounds too close for comfort to Theodosia and Drayton. Intrigued but worried, Theodosia wanders into the neighbor's lavender field where she discovers their host, Reginald Doyle, bleeding to death.
His wife, Meredith, is beside herself with grief and begs Theodosia and Drayton to stay the night. But Theodosia awakens at 2:00A.M. to find smoke in her room and the house on fire. As the fire department screams in and the investigating sheriff returns, Meredith again pleads with Theodosia for help.
As Theodosia investigates, fingers are pointed, secrets are uncovered, Reginald's daughter-in-law goes missing presumed drowned, and Meredith is determined to find answers via a séance. All the while Theodosia worries if she's made a mistake in inviting a prime suspect to her upscale Lavender Lady Tea.
INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!
At the outset of bestseller Childs's agreeable 21st Tea Shop mystery (after 2019's Broken Bone China), Theodosia Browning, the owner of the Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston, S.C., and her tea sommelier, Drayton Conneley, are attending a bird hunt at Creekmore Plantation when their host, pharmaceutical company CEO Reginald Doyle, is found fatally shot in his neighbor's lavender field. Reginald's hysterical widow asks Theodosia, who has a reputation as an amateur sleuth, to help with the investigation. Later that evening, the main plantation house burns down, and days later Reginald's daughter-in-law goes missing and is presumed dead. Theodosia and Drayton proceed to interview all the usual suspects, including the victim's widow, his business partners, and the plantation caretaker, much to the chagrin of Pete Riley, Theodosia's police detective boyfriend. An appendix collects the recipes from the Indigo Tea Shop mentioned in the story, including candied edible flowers. Cozy fans will be more than satisfied.