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Death by Darjeeling

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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 flavor 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 blac 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 flavor 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 suspense 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...


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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 flavor 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 blac 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 flavor 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 suspense 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...

30 review for Death by Darjeeling

  1. 5 out of 5

    Luffy

    I thought that the length of the book, short as it was, carried the illusion of even more brevity due to the 50 chapters that bisect the prose. Theodosia, our main character, is a tea connoisseur, and that is her trade. The name, obviously of Greek origin, means God's gift. Theodosia had friends and strangers, one of whom was her enemy, and the murderer. That's a given. The death of the unfortunate person occurs around 30 % into the book. The verdict that it was quickened by poison occurs at 60%. I thought that the length of the book, short as it was, carried the illusion of even more brevity due to the 50 chapters that bisect the prose. Theodosia, our main character, is a tea connoisseur, and that is her trade. The name, obviously of Greek origin, means God's gift. Theodosia had friends and strangers, one of whom was her enemy, and the murderer. That's a given. The death of the unfortunate person occurs around 30 % into the book. The verdict that it was quickened by poison occurs at 60%. The pacing must have encountered a panel of advisers with the author, because it's perfect and I loved reading most parts of it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    I spotted the "Tea Shop Mystery" series piled on a table at a friend's house and borrowed them, as I was in the mood for a "cozy" mystery, and the trio of paperbacks also promised "Scrumptious recipes." Mysteries *and* recipes! What could be better? I have now read Gunpowder Green, Shades of Earl Grey, and The English Breakfast Murder (but not the first of the series, Death by Darjeeling). The titles are unavoidable, of course, but they also could definitely be better books. Worse, the recipes te I spotted the "Tea Shop Mystery" series piled on a table at a friend's house and borrowed them, as I was in the mood for a "cozy" mystery, and the trio of paperbacks also promised "Scrumptious recipes." Mysteries *and* recipes! What could be better? I have now read Gunpowder Green, Shades of Earl Grey, and The English Breakfast Murder (but not the first of the series, Death by Darjeeling). The titles are unavoidable, of course, but they also could definitely be better books. Worse, the recipes tend to be too frou-frou for my taste (though I might try out the Sweet Potato Muffins). The books are *very* firmly set in the historic district of Charleston, South Carolina. Having read them, I now know a great deal about the historic district of Charleston. It seems charming, but if any of the people living there are black, none of the characters is willing to mention the fact. I have also learned a lot about tea and service dogs, and I'd actually love to visit Theodosia Browning's tea shop, at least as long as Delaine Dish, the annoying clothing shop owner, stayed away. But I've also learned several things about how not to write a book. For example, sentences depicting the main character's thought processes should not be repeatedly concluded "Theodosia decided." It makes very little sense and gets annoying. In addition, if you're using the close third-person point of view, and the point of view shifts away from the main character, there should be a discernible reason for it. Also, the reader feels cheated if the point of view shifts into a suspect's head and the suspect's thoughts deliberately mislead the reader - especially when the amateur sleuth's investigations proceed to have exactly the same effect. Overall, though, these are perfectly workmanlike examples of their type - that type being what I might call the Topical Mystery. The reader is assumed to want to be fed (pardon the pun) tidbits of knowledge about a consistent subject - here, it's tea, and also Charleston - as well as whatever's needful for the plot (antiques and related subjects come in a lot in this series). This is the model that Dick Francis used to extraordinary effect. Childs' efforts tend to be clunkier; more forced, somehow. It probably doesn't help, from my point of view, that I'm not interested in Theodosia's thoughts about fashion or decorating her shop and apartment, or even her relationship with her lawyer boyfriend. In fact, nearly *everything* Theodosia encounters seems to be an excuse for a mini-lecture, and that's just taking the technique too far. On the other hand, I did become quite fond of Theodosia, and her employee-friends Drayton (who has *got* to be gay but is so-carefully never caught on screen with a man) and Haley (perpetual student and baking wizard). Overall, in fact, the characters are the best features of the books. The mysteries are perfectly adequate and even credibly constructed. The biggest treat, though, is Burt Tidwell, Charleston police detective and the epitome of "not a people person." His peculiar relationship with the amateur Theo (you couldn't call it "friendship" but it's definitely not hostility either) is the most interesting part of the book - something that is actually *not* smooth and civil and all surface value. All in all, I'd say: Good beach reads, especially for people who haven't developed my rudimentary editor's eye.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Kay

    ★★★★☆ Yes, finally started this interesting series. What is not to love? Tea, mystery, and South Carolina! Some people won't like all the tea facts, but I gulped them down. I studied the art of tea for one of my cultural classes in collage and drink tea everyday. There were a few bumps, but I'm more than happy with this book that satisfies my arduous "double-decker" challenge. I'll be continuing with the series, though I'll seek them out at the library. ★★★★☆ Yes, finally started this interesting series. What is not to love? Tea, mystery, and South Carolina! Some people won't like all the tea facts, but I gulped them down. I studied the art of tea for one of my cultural classes in collage and drink tea everyday. There were a few bumps, but I'm more than happy with this book that satisfies my arduous "double-decker" challenge. I'll be continuing with the series, though I'll seek them out at the library.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kathie H

    Oh dear, where do I start? This was a selection for our Goodreads "cozy mysteries" book club (our July author was Laura Childs). I wanted to like it. I love tea & love the idea of the owner of a teashop as the protagonist for a mystery series. Childs has an issue with writing in complete sentences. Also, she has an odd way of changing well-known phrases into you-almost-got-it-right word groups. For example, instead of saying "dribs & drabs," she uses "drips & drops." Instead of "slapdash" she say Oh dear, where do I start? This was a selection for our Goodreads "cozy mysteries" book club (our July author was Laura Childs). I wanted to like it. I love tea & love the idea of the owner of a teashop as the protagonist for a mystery series. Childs has an issue with writing in complete sentences. Also, she has an odd way of changing well-known phrases into you-almost-got-it-right word groups. For example, instead of saying "dribs & drabs," she uses "drips & drops." Instead of "slapdash" she says "slap-dab." I got to the point where I was convinced she just needed a decent editor. She wrote, "Rounded cobblestones poked at the soft leather soles of her Todd loafers..." She meant Tod's loafers. http://www.tods.com/en_us/ She uses "noodled" instead of "doodled." Referring to the classic Parker Brothers board game Clue, a character says, "Mr. Mustard in the library, so to speak." No, it's Colonel Mustard. Little things like this are so easy to research (for the author) & should be double-checked or corrected (by the editor). One loose end that wasn't properly tied up was the character who had a romantic interest in Theodosia. He just rather faded away, instead of there being a substantive exchange between the characters to provide closure for the reader. Some things I enjoyed were the descriptions of exotic kinds of tea, & the charming city of Charleston, South Carolina (where the story takes place). I like the idea of an ensemble of characters who work in the tea shop & share a sense of ownership & camaraderie. This is the first book in the Theodosia Browning Tea Shop Mystery series. I also bought the first in the Scrapbooking Mystery series, Keepsake Crimes (which I haven't read). Both books are going to Goodwill.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chaitra

    Death by Darjeeling started out pretty well, but turned lame around midway. just when I was thinking that it didn't follow any of the clichés that cozies with middle aged protagonists employed too. Heh. I will never read a cozy that I like unconditionally. (Flavia de Luce excepted). The middle aged heroine of this novel is Theodosia Browning, who runs the Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston, SC. This was an immediate win for me. I like tea, and I visited Charleston some years ago and immediately fell i Death by Darjeeling started out pretty well, but turned lame around midway. just when I was thinking that it didn't follow any of the clichés that cozies with middle aged protagonists employed too. Heh. I will never read a cozy that I like unconditionally. (Flavia de Luce excepted). The middle aged heroine of this novel is Theodosia Browning, who runs the Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston, SC. This was an immediate win for me. I like tea, and I visited Charleston some years ago and immediately fell in love with it. The description of Charleston is one of the better parts of the book, even after it turned lame. I digress. Returning to the novel, there is a dead body of a particularly ruthless real estate guy, who makes ugly condos and ruins the ambience of the town. He's eyeing Theo's building, and he is drinking her tea when he falls down dead. She isn't much of a suspect, but a nervous young lady helping her out that day is. And Theo will do anything to protect her - even nosing around to solve the murder. The clichés I was happy this book didn't follow, even after it turned lame. 1. The lady knows how to use a computer. Oh, thank heavens. I don't think I could read another book about how our charming lady of the 21st century sees a desktop and goes "What is that funny looking box?" That charm gets old real quick. Theo is aware of and uses internet to search all the good stuff about her prime suspect and nobody has to show her how to turn on her computer or printer or whatever. 2. Theo doesn't go around accusing people of being the murderer. She also doesn't eliminate suspects by asking them upfront if they did it and believing them if they said no. Seriously, this happens in more books than I care to remember. Theo does some old fashioned snooping, and staying (mostly) out of her suspects' notice. But, there is also #2 in the next section. 3. She shares information with her clique and they work this thing together. Too many dumb heroines don't do that, and they don't do that over and over again, even after they've been brought to death's door. She also needlessly doesn't expose anyone to danger. She receives a threat to her dog, and removes it immediately from her house to her aunt's where the dog will be safe. The clichés that it did follow, lamely. 1. The unending information dump about the small business Theo runs. I like tea. But, I don't want to know about how to steep every single blend that her store owns. Even before someone can say T, Theo is already running on about the history, the price and the nutritional information on the package of the tea. This gets super bugging. Get to mystery, lady. 2. Theo jumps to conclusions based on "Clues". This is THE unavoidable cliché. Hey, he knows about poisonous tree frogs, so he must be the killer! This guy's eyes go all googly when the dead guy is mentioned, so he must be it! That fellow's has an anger management issue, he must be the one. Well, at least she keeps it in and doesn't do "Confrontation!". 3. The ending. I had an idea that the killer might be the killer, but this was basic guesswork. As in every other cozy, the ending has exactly zero things to do with the actual book. We're given a basic set of clues, and a set of characters with motives to commit murder. There are also a few (mostly just one, except for the heroine) characters with no motive established within the book. This is the killer. Honestly, the whole 'I don't want anyone to guess who the killer is, so I won't place them even remotely in the shadow of suspicion' doesn't work - not here, not in other cozies. It just makes your book lame. 4. The absurdly amazing love interest and the other guy. Just when I was thinking Theo is a self sufficient gal who doesn't need male validation, enter love interest from stage left. He is handsome, he knows his stuff, likes tea (which is a requirement obviously), even cooks adorably. And all of a sudden Theo is basking under the attention of a rival guy who is also handsome and knows his stuff and so on. In this book at least, we're left under the impression that he's a creepazoid. 5. Someone suspects Theo even though he has no sane reason to do so. Self explanatory. In fact, he's established as a really great crime solver, but in this case gets exposed as a complete chump. Even the writing in the book felt weird. It's like Childs lost the plot around midway and dumped a whole lot of information and plot threads all dangling around like so many... things that dangle. There are weird perspective changes in the middle of scenes. One minute you are following Theo walking around the block and the next you are following the guy who's following Theo for like two lines and then the guy is never heard of again. This is cyclic, confusing, and all around bad writing. I've actually no idea why this is a two star read, when it's closer to a one star. I have even less of an idea as to why I've written a novel length review for a book that actually doesn't deserve even a line. Oh well. It's been that kind of a day.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    List of lovely things this book has: * Tea * Teacups *Teapots * Tea trays * Scones and other baked delights * Historic Charleston, South Carolina * More tea wonderfulness As a lover of all things tea, the setting and vibes of this book were absolutely perfect. I loved discovering historic Charleston through the various characters and their shops! Reading this book felt like being cozily installed at one of the tables in Theodosia's Indigo Tea Shop, sipping a warm cup of Darjeeling while watching the my List of lovely things this book has: * Tea * Teacups *Teapots * Tea trays * Scones and other baked delights * Historic Charleston, South Carolina * More tea wonderfulness As a lover of all things tea, the setting and vibes of this book were absolutely perfect. I loved discovering historic Charleston through the various characters and their shops! Reading this book felt like being cozily installed at one of the tables in Theodosia's Indigo Tea Shop, sipping a warm cup of Darjeeling while watching the mystery unfold. This book is exactly what I picture when I think of a relaxing read. It's written in a very simple and unassuming style without feeling juvenile, and I found the mystery well-done (though I'm certainly no expert) and engaging even if the book is overall very summery and cheery and tea-focused. I was okay with that. It was utterly charming. I loved the character of Theodosia a lot, she was incredibly winsome! Oh, to have some of her energy and entrepreneurial skills! She was really great, strong and intelligent without making a big show of it. I also really liked her assistants, the refined tea connoisseur Drayton, and the bouncy baker extraordinaire Haley. They were a wonderful trio and I knew I'd have to keep reading the series because it was so pleasant to be lost in modern historic Charleston, drinking flavorful teas and solving mysteries.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    4 stars for enjoyment, an education in teas and the Charleston, SC setting. Theodosia Browning runs a tea shop in a historic section of Charleston, SC. She provided teas and goodies at a stop on one of the city's historic garden tours, a seeming success until Hughes Barron ends up dead at the tea party. And with all good cozies, there are a number of people who had motive. Theodosia gets involved with tracking the killer when it appears he was poisoned while drinking one of her teas and a frien 4 stars for enjoyment, an education in teas and the Charleston, SC setting. Theodosia Browning runs a tea shop in a historic section of Charleston, SC. She provided teas and goodies at a stop on one of the city's historic garden tours, a seeming success until Hughes Barron ends up dead at the tea party. And with all good cozies, there are a number of people who had motive. Theodosia gets involved with tracking the killer when it appears he was poisoned while drinking one of her teas and a friend is on the Detective Tidwell's radar. This was just what I needed after my last book left a bad taste in my mouth!

  8. 4 out of 5

    JoAnna

    This is my first book by this author, and it will be my last. I chose to DNF this book due to an overtly racist description of a black character as "almost simian-looking" and in the next sentence "a little monkey of a man." What century are we in??? This is not ok. Laura Childs should be ashamed of herself. This is my first book by this author, and it will be my last. I chose to DNF this book due to an overtly racist description of a black character as "almost simian-looking" and in the next sentence "a little monkey of a man." What century are we in??? This is not ok. Laura Childs should be ashamed of herself.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Sometimes being a writer is burdensome to being a reader.. On the plus side, Ms. Childs infused (no pun intended!) "Death by Darjeeling" with a distinctive sense of place--I'd love to have a cuppa in that tea shop! Especially if the fun character Drayton Connelley is there to pour and have a chat about the properties of tea. On the critique side.. "Death" could have benefitted from a few read-throughs by a good writing group. If you're an avid reader who delights in a well-wrought mystery, this one Sometimes being a writer is burdensome to being a reader.. On the plus side, Ms. Childs infused (no pun intended!) "Death by Darjeeling" with a distinctive sense of place--I'd love to have a cuppa in that tea shop! Especially if the fun character Drayton Connelley is there to pour and have a chat about the properties of tea. On the critique side.. "Death" could have benefitted from a few read-throughs by a good writing group. If you're an avid reader who delights in a well-wrought mystery, this one might drive you a bit nuts. But if you just read for enjoyment and don't invest too much emotional capital in nitpicky craft, Drayton and the lovely locations will suit you to a "tea." ;) And on the critics side: I've seen several reviews criticizing this book for its extensive passages about tea, tea history, and methods of serving tea. Um..excuse me? It's a TEA SHOP mystery! If you're going to be bored by tea, you're in the wrong place! In conclusion: Now I really need a cuppa Earl Grey. :)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I am currently reading the fifth in this series. Great bedtime reading. Light with a modicum of murder, very well done. Gives the flavor of Charleston as a very historic city. With the tea shop as a base Theodosia gets into a lot of fixes and barely gets the killers.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Book Concierge

    Theodosia Browning and her staff at the Indigo Tea Shop are catering a garden party during Charleston’s historic homes Lamplighter Tour. As the guests depart and they are cleaning up, one young helper discovers a guest has died. But what looks like a heart attack turns out to be murder, and the tea he was drinking puts the focus on Theo’s business. This is a good cozy mystery. I like how Childs took time to build the relationships among the tea shop’s employees, and other characters – the detect Theodosia Browning and her staff at the Indigo Tea Shop are catering a garden party during Charleston’s historic homes Lamplighter Tour. As the guests depart and they are cleaning up, one young helper discovers a guest has died. But what looks like a heart attack turns out to be murder, and the tea he was drinking puts the focus on Theo’s business. This is a good cozy mystery. I like how Childs took time to build the relationships among the tea shop’s employees, and other characters – the detective, attorney, and other nearby shop owners. Theo’s efforts to ferret out the truth seems reasonable and, except for one snooping episode, she doesn’t appear to take chances with overtly risky behavior. There are plenty of suspects, and a couple of red herrings to keep the reader guessing, although I did spot the culprit fairly quickly. Still, it was fun to watch Theo and the police arrive at the appropriate conclusion. I’ll keep reading this series.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    I was so hoping to fall in love with this series, as it seemingly contained all the elements of things I enjoy. Whilst there is nothing wrong or bad about this book there is nothing endearing about it either - its dull and sadly boring. Characters are underdevelped, plots are thin and chapters are strangely formated. It may not help that at the same time I am reading a Kate Morton book. These two authors are poles apart - whilst Morton is a blockbuster big screen release, Childs is a lazy Sunday I was so hoping to fall in love with this series, as it seemingly contained all the elements of things I enjoy. Whilst there is nothing wrong or bad about this book there is nothing endearing about it either - its dull and sadly boring. Characters are underdevelped, plots are thin and chapters are strangely formated. It may not help that at the same time I am reading a Kate Morton book. These two authors are poles apart - whilst Morton is a blockbuster big screen release, Childs is a lazy Sunday afternoon episode of Murder She Wrote.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    Death by Darjeeling (A Tea Shop Mystery, #1) by Laura Childs. This was a reread for me. I had read this and others in this series years ago but had not reviewed it at that time. This was the beginning of Theodosia's decision to leave the business world and enter the world of her own small tea shop. The beginning of the relationship between Theo, Drayton, and Haley. Drayton being the connoisseur of teas and the cultures they were derived from. Haley the queen of the tea shop kitchen; who could coo Death by Darjeeling (A Tea Shop Mystery, #1) by Laura Childs. This was a reread for me. I had read this and others in this series years ago but had not reviewed it at that time. This was the beginning of Theodosia's decision to leave the business world and enter the world of her own small tea shop. The beginning of the relationship between Theo, Drayton, and Haley. Drayton being the connoisseur of teas and the cultures they were derived from. Haley the queen of the tea shop kitchen; who could cook/bake up the most tantalizing treats at a moment's notice. And, of course, Theodosia Browning. The central figure at the tea shop as well as the sherlock in the Charleston area. Lest I forget Earl Grey, Theo's beloved dog who has become as much an intricate part of this clan as the rest of them. This story was a welcomed escape into the world of the Indigo Tea Shop. So well written and just as well researched by this very capable author. A favorite for me and highly recommended.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This was a delightful introduction to a new-to-me series. Theodosia Browning owns the Indigo Tea Shop, selling teas from around the world and supplies for brewing. But when a catered affair turns deadly, what's brewing for Theodosia and her staff is a world of hurt, and a rich mystery. Theodosia knows that she must solve this mystery and find a killer to clear the names of everyone on her staff! Plenty of twists and turns in this book, and I never guessed whodunit! I learned a LOT about different This was a delightful introduction to a new-to-me series. Theodosia Browning owns the Indigo Tea Shop, selling teas from around the world and supplies for brewing. But when a catered affair turns deadly, what's brewing for Theodosia and her staff is a world of hurt, and a rich mystery. Theodosia knows that she must solve this mystery and find a killer to clear the names of everyone on her staff! Plenty of twists and turns in this book, and I never guessed whodunit! I learned a LOT about different teas and how to brew them, and there are recipes included! Only one in the first book, but more in subsequent ones. No cat, darn it, but a sweet dog, Earl Grey.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Kapuler

    romantizing the beauty of the olden golden times in the south usa. you know, the golden times wwith the plantations? oh, what fun is to have selective memory!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Marian

    When a man is poisoned by tea, Theo is the prime suspect. Now she has to prove her innocence and track down the real killer-before someone else takes their last sip. Just the right blend of cozy fun and clever plotting.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    3.5 This was a fun easy read. I really liked the development of characters and tea references. I feel like a few of the tea references were a bit forced but I still appreciated them. I also figured out who the killer was pretty early on but I liked how they moved in and out through the story. I will continue to read this series for a nice easy read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Darlene

    The first book in the Tea Shop Mystery series, "Death by Darjeeling" , is just about what you would expect from a cozy mystery. This story comes with quirky characters, an interesting and historical setting.. in this case, the historic district in Charleston, South Carolina.... and of course, this a murder to start things off. Theodosia Browning (who was named for Theodosia Alston, wife of former governor, Joseph Alston and daughter of former vice-president Aaron Burr), is the owner of the Indi The first book in the Tea Shop Mystery series, "Death by Darjeeling" , is just about what you would expect from a cozy mystery. This story comes with quirky characters, an interesting and historical setting.. in this case, the historic district in Charleston, South Carolina.... and of course, this a murder to start things off. Theodosia Browning (who was named for Theodosia Alston, wife of former governor, Joseph Alston and daughter of former vice-president Aaron Burr), is the owner of the Indigo Tea Shop , which is a quaint shop located in in the old historic district of Charleston. Theodosia is preparing to cater a garden party which is part of the Annual Tour of historic homes. She and her staff... Bethany, Haley and Drayton Connelly (a master tea blender and taster), are hard at work putting together their own Lamplighter Blend for the garden party. When the night of the garden party arrives, in attendance were a 'who's who' of Charleston society.. many of the old families of Charleston along with members of the Heritage Society. The evening was progressing nicely until Hughes Barron, a well known real estate developer was found dead, clutching his tea cup. As the investigation proceeds, suspicion falls on Theodosia. After all, it was HER party and her own special tea blend being served to the guests. So Theodosia does what anyone would do (or at least what ALL characters under suspicion in the cozy mystery genre do!).... she becomes an amateur sleuth, trying to find the killer so she can put the matter to rest once and for all. Theodosia assembles her own list of potential suspects and systematically goes about trying to eliminate them. Unfortunately, a person who does not make the list starts to become very worried and begins to feel threatened; and Theodosia finds herself in grave danger. I enjoyed reading the first book in this series. Theodosia and her staff were a unique group of characters... right down to her rescue dog, "Earl Grey'. Theodosia seemed an intelligent and street smart woman so it did bother me a bit that she completely overlooked the very person who turned out to be the killer... it seemed perhaps something done for plot purposes but to me, it didn't really match what I knew about her character. All in all, this was an entertaining mystery which takes place in a very old and beautiful historic city of the Old South. I believe I will ultimately read other books in this series.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

    I went on a shopping spree last year to the local independent used bookstore and grabbed up a lot of first books in several cozy series - tea focused (this one), coffee shop themed, bookstore themed, random themes. What a nice but expensive day that turned out to be. This one drew my eye because it focused on tea - of which I'm a fan - but I went to into aware of mixed reviews and ratings. It turned out pretty good for an introduction into a typical cozy world. A lot of these series start out med I went on a shopping spree last year to the local independent used bookstore and grabbed up a lot of first books in several cozy series - tea focused (this one), coffee shop themed, bookstore themed, random themes. What a nice but expensive day that turned out to be. This one drew my eye because it focused on tea - of which I'm a fan - but I went to into aware of mixed reviews and ratings. It turned out pretty good for an introduction into a typical cozy world. A lot of these series start out mediocre for some reason, although I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because they tend to follow tropes and formula to remain a cozy mystery genre fitter, much like traditional romances and little drama-filled harlequins. Something unique is always welcome, and I don't mean the setting or theme (like tea or bookstore), but something unique about the characters or the writing style. Unfortunately this book doesn't offer much new in that department...the characters are typical of other series and it doesn't choose to deviate too much from the basics. Still, the mystery is strong enough and that's the main point of these. There were clues, directions, an investigation, and satisfying conclusion that makes sense. There's that potential love interest that has yet to take off, fun companion characters that add warmth to the combo, an independent protagonist who ends up in the end of trouble but handles it well. This cozy will suit those who like Southern lit, food or drink related themes, small town feel, and of course tea enthusiasts. Unlike the book I tried in another tea series, Ghost Of A Chance, this one avoids tea bags and seems to actually know about tea. It was a delight to see the different combinations came up with, the creative names for parties and festivals, brewing tips, and familiar and unfamiliar names. That made it worth reading for tea collectors. The one recipe included was weak (tea infused eggs) compared to the delicious pastries and such the novel made me crave.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sensitivemuse

    What can I say but that I absolutely loved this book. Everything about it just got me so wrapped up in Theo's Indigo Tea Shop and the mystery itself was intriguing in its' own little way I had to read this from cover to cover. Everything about it was just so "cozy". I loved the different descriptions about tea, and being a tea lover myself am now in the look out for new teas to try. Aside from the wonderful tea descriptions and the desserts that went along with it, the mystery was a fun read. No What can I say but that I absolutely loved this book. Everything about it just got me so wrapped up in Theo's Indigo Tea Shop and the mystery itself was intriguing in its' own little way I had to read this from cover to cover. Everything about it was just so "cozy". I loved the different descriptions about tea, and being a tea lover myself am now in the look out for new teas to try. Aside from the wonderful tea descriptions and the desserts that went along with it, the mystery was a fun read. Nothing too flashy and sensational. However there were proper moments of suspense and intrigue which kept the reader going and more engrossed to keep reading some more. I loved the characters in the book. The suspects were believable and each had a motive for murder. I liked Theo and her staff at the tea shop who supported her through her investigation. They were all likable characters (although I found Drayton to be a particular favorite as he was the actual tea connoisseur). As for the real murderer and the solving of the case, I thought I had guessed correctly but I was blindsided and it wasn't who I expected it to be. There were a couple of questions I would like to have answered but I figured they would wait until the next book or two to see what would happen to certain characters I'm curious about. Plot flow was good and interesting. Nothing distracting to take away from the main theme. Theo is a great strong character and her determination to solve this case and save the reputation of her business and friend makes her even more likeable and noble. Overall a wonderful mystery cozy! this will definitely be a series I will continue reading. I recommend this for cozy mystery lovers and tea aficionados alike.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    In the middle of reading this book I got to thinking about why I read so many series similar to this one in which the mystery is not extraordinary and the characters are similar. I suppose it’s the appeal of escaping the tensions of the day by reading about women (usually) who have left behind a stressful job or have been widowed/divorced and open up a tea/coffee/book shop. And they aren’t taxing or gut wrenching stories. Just a nice diversion at the end of a stressful week, which allows me to l In the middle of reading this book I got to thinking about why I read so many series similar to this one in which the mystery is not extraordinary and the characters are similar. I suppose it’s the appeal of escaping the tensions of the day by reading about women (usually) who have left behind a stressful job or have been widowed/divorced and open up a tea/coffee/book shop. And they aren’t taxing or gut wrenching stories. Just a nice diversion at the end of a stressful week, which allows me to live vicariously, enjoying the idea of having a coffee shop, tea shop, or book store without the long hours and worry of bringing in customers. This book is very much in this category. Theodosia Browning gave up advertising to run a teashop in Charleston. It’s a world of southern gentility except that someone has slipped some poison in a cup of Darjeeling belonging to a highly unpopular developer. Theodosia becomes involved in trying to solve this murder in order to help out an employee who is under suspicion. If you enjoy tea, this book has a great deal of information about blending varieties, brewing, etc. It’s good for passing the time, and had me looking for a brown betty.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Marina

    There are many cozy mysteries set in tea shops, but this one has something more: the tea shop is not merely a cozy setting, the reader also gets to know the culture of tea drinking and brewing. It's a very interesting book in that respect. My only complaint is that the ending felt pretty rushed, other than that I really enjoyed this novel and will definitely go on reading the other books in the series. There are many cozy mysteries set in tea shops, but this one has something more: the tea shop is not merely a cozy setting, the reader also gets to know the culture of tea drinking and brewing. It's a very interesting book in that respect. My only complaint is that the ending felt pretty rushed, other than that I really enjoyed this novel and will definitely go on reading the other books in the series.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    Since I loved the cozies about the coffee shop I thought I would try this one about the tea shop but it didn't grab me. Didn't even finish it. The tea info was a little heavy-handed as was the characterization. Since I loved the cozies about the coffee shop I thought I would try this one about the tea shop but it didn't grab me. Didn't even finish it. The tea info was a little heavy-handed as was the characterization.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    1.5. Could not finish this. Boring and the writing really wasn't great. I'm sure there are better cozy mystery series out there. 1.5. Could not finish this. Boring and the writing really wasn't great. I'm sure there are better cozy mystery series out there.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    A well written mystery that kept me guessing to the end! It reminded me of the TV show “Murder, She Wrote”. I recommend going along on this journey with these colorful characters!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    I've had this on my TBR for ages and finally got around to reading it. I enjoyed this. I am not a tea-drinker . . . at all! It doesn't appeal to me in the slightest, but I do find the rituals around tea interesting, and this book offered some enjoyable education about tea - types, preparation, history and accoutrements. I enjoyed that. I also liked the characters in this. Theodosia is an above-average cozy lead character, because she does not do the "too-stupid-to-live" things so many characters i I've had this on my TBR for ages and finally got around to reading it. I enjoyed this. I am not a tea-drinker . . . at all! It doesn't appeal to me in the slightest, but I do find the rituals around tea interesting, and this book offered some enjoyable education about tea - types, preparation, history and accoutrements. I enjoyed that. I also liked the characters in this. Theodosia is an above-average cozy lead character, because she does not do the "too-stupid-to-live" things so many characters in the genre tend to do. At one point, she actually calls the police when something is happening, and she also walks away from someone she suspects of questionable behaviour. I liked that Theo is sensible and intelligent in how she investigates the goings-on. It put this story in the high end of cozies I have enjoyed. I am also a Southern-a-phile, loving all things Southern, so the fact that this is set in Charleston and that much of the culture and manners of the lovely, charming Southern folks in Theodosia's world are fully on display in this book was an added feature I enjoyed. I will definitely continue on and read more books from this series. Especially since I don't have to actually drink tea to enjoy these books!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Gem

    I enjoyed this cozy, it's one I've wanted to read for a while. Cozy mysteries are easy read "comfort foods," so to speak and I do love a good cup of tea, so this seems like it would be right up my alley. I found the character development a bit lacking and I'm hoping as the series continues the characters will be developed better. I'm really glad that I didn't see the "who done it" coming. I initially though it was one particular character, however that was the "obvious" person and that would hav I enjoyed this cozy, it's one I've wanted to read for a while. Cozy mysteries are easy read "comfort foods," so to speak and I do love a good cup of tea, so this seems like it would be right up my alley. I found the character development a bit lacking and I'm hoping as the series continues the characters will be developed better. I'm really glad that I didn't see the "who done it" coming. I initially though it was one particular character, however that was the "obvious" person and that would have been a disappointment. The mystery itself keep me guessing until the last minute, and that's the kind of cozy I enjoy.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Doreen Petersen

    What a wonderful start to what promises to be a very delightful cozy mystery series!!!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kathy McC

    Found my new fun series. Light-hearted, clever, and filled with information about tea.

  30. 5 out of 5

    ML Blair

    Good light read that made me more interested in learning about tea. Just no dead bodies, please!

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