A Tea Shop Mystery #6
Published: March 2006
Berkley Prime Crime, mass market pbk, 306p.
Charleston, South Carolina, is alive with music, dancing, and the arts as the Spoleto festival gets underway But Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning feels far from festive when the inaugural Poet's Tea is forced into one of the Heritage Society's austere halls by rain. And when it rains, it pours - as proven when a respected auction house owner plummets from the balcony, landing dead on Theodosia's specially-prepared cake. Worse yet, it looks like someone helped him over the edge. With a full kettle of suspects, Theodosia pursues an investigation into the murky swamps of the Low Country, where she uncovers a thriving criminal enterprise of art forgery, fraud - and murder...
What I liked? Well, this is the book where Parker is introduced. I liked him more than Jory as a character, but he's still not stellar.
The relationship between Theo and Drayton is also very sweet and paternal. Earl Grey is always a favourite. Such a sweet and loyal friend to Theo, and so adorable in his role as a service dog in the nursing home and hospital.
Those recipes people! I don't think I have to say anything else on that score. I only wish that I had a tea shop like this near me.
But on the flip side...
I say this for every book. Theo needs to learn how to say 'NO!' to people. She is such a people-pleaser that I find this aspect of her personality very frustrating. Also, Delaine is such a selfish and pushy person that I wish she'd develop laryngitis, or take a world cruise, at some stage so we could have some Delaine-free time.
Theo's insatiable curiosity - and the need to stick her nose into a police investigation - is very predictable plot device and really I think there needs to be a shake-up of what's happening in the story arc in general.
Unfortunately I've had to read these books out of order. My library only has a few, and I pick them up where I can so I've been all over the place in terms of continuity. However, Theo has remained a constant character with no extremes of behaviour so reading books out of order is not such a huge deal. The only glitch is the spoilers as to whom she is currently dating if you happen to pick up a book further on in the series.
So, despite all the gripes that I have about this series in the way the characters never seem to develop and lose some of their more annoying traits, I do enjoy diving into the world of the Indigo Tea Shop. Will definitely be filling in the gaps in my bookshelves, and eagerly await getting my hands on the latest book.
Not the best book in the series, but a good way to spend an hour or two.
Overall I rate this book
Until next time,