A Tea Shop Mystery, Book 12
Released: Hardcover - March, 2011. Paperback - March, 2012.
Berkely Prime Crime Mystery, mass market paperback, 295p.
A search for a missing treasure stirs up the waters of the Charleston social set in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Teaberry Strangler.
Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is lured into attending the Heritage Society's Pirates and Plunder show by her master tea blender. Amid the gold earrings and doubloons, and antique skull cup with a huge diamond steals the show - and gets plundered by someone who murderes a history intern in the process.
Even with that on her plate, Theodosia still has to attend Charleston's Food and Wine Festival, where she's hosting a tea and cheese tasting - the latest culinary trend. But as her thoughts keep drifting to the victim, Theodosia knows she'll have to whet her investigative skills to find the killer among a raft of suspects.
This recent offering had me feeling a little let down by a series that has so far been a joy. The relationship dynamics between the characters is starting to get a tad stale. There never seems to be any change between their interactions. Delaine is a monumental pain, but everyone puts up with her because of her money-making/raising skills for local causes. Theo even comments that she caves because its for a good cause. Just once I'd like to see someone really put Delaine in her place (Nadine too) for all their gossiping and insensitive ways.
The other cause for my disappointment was Theo's relationship with Parker. There were two phone calls, one face to face (where he left). Have they broken up? Cause if they did, I missed it. Yet, Theo then wasted no more than 60 seconds pondering her feelings for Parker, then called Max. It surprised me that Theo would be that mercenary regarding her feelings and a relationship with someone that she supposedly cared about.
On the positive side, I really enjoy the scrapes that Theodosia and gang seemed to get roped into by various friends. As per usual, it's Timothy (or Delaine) that plead the case - learn to say NO Theodosia Browning! - and against her best intentions not to interfere, Theo is once again on the case. I'm actually surprised that Det. Tidwell hasn't hauled her butt into jail for interferring with an active police investigation. Ah, the magic of make-believe ;-D
For the foodie in all of us, there are some fabulous sounding recipes in the back - Haley's Proprietary Lemon Scones sound interesting - as well as some great tea time tips for hosting all sorts of tea related events.
Although I did enjoy parts of this book, I wasn't as engaging as some of her previous efforts. However, I won't give up reading about the Indigo Tea Shop gang, and look forward to receiving Agony of the Leaves in the post this week.