January 27, 2014

Book Review: Death by Darjeeling

Death by Darjeeling
A Tea Shop Mystery, Book 1
Laura Childs

Released: May 2001

Berkley Prime Crime Mystery, mass market paperback, 242p.
ISBN: 978-0-425-17945-1

Meet Theodosia Browning, owner of Charleston's beloved Indigo Tea Shop.  Patrons love her blend of delicious tea tastings and Southern hospitality.  And Theo enjoys the full-bodied flavour of a town steeped in history - and mystery ...

It's tea for two hundred or so at the annual historic homes garden party.  And Theodosia, as event caterer, is busy serving steaming teas and blackberry scones while guests sing her praises.  But the sweet smell of success turns to suspence when an esteemed guest is found dead - his hand clutching an empty teacup.  All eyes are on Theo... who is now trying desperately to save her reputation and track down the real killer.  If only she can make sense of it all - before someone else takes their last sip...

It was nice to go back to where it all started and finally see how all the characters were introduced.  I was surprised to find that the Indigo Tea Shop was already a budding success, and that our three main characters, Theo, Drayton and Haley, were already working together.

From reading her later books in the series, I was never quite sure of Theo's age (36yo), or whether Delaine had always been a part of the scene - she was, and is not one word different than she is in future books.  Where had Theo met Jory (have answer now), and where did Det. Tidwell, and his slightly adversarial relationship with Theo, come from.  I now have answers for all the questions I had regarding the nitty gritty of the characters.  Anal I know, but I do like to get all the facts about my series characters ;-D

This was a great first book in a series.  The author's world building skills just made me want to pop over to Indigo Tea Shop for a quick cuppa, and one of Haley's fabulous scones... just to see if they're as good as my mum's!

For all that was fabulous about Death by Darjeeling, I only had one tiny little complaint.  I was a little disappointed with the way the book ended.  Yes, Theo was in danger, caught the killer - who is in police custody - and now we're all heading off for a hot cup of tea...  Okaaay.  The book ended so quickly that there was not much time to decompress with the characters so I was left hanging a little.   Oh, and there is only 1 recipe! 

I love the Indigo Tea Shop, and the small world that the author has created for Theo and the gang.  This is such a fun and fast paced cosy that it doesn't take much to fall into the world.  A great way to spend a few hours with a hot cup of tea!

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