Posts Tagged ‘laura childs’

Pekoe Most Poison (A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

Pekoe Most PoisonOld cities have some pretty odd traditions and Charleston is no exception. However, even though the tradition was originally for a good cause, the idea of “Rat Teas” is perhaps one of the oddest. According to author Childs latest Tea Shop Mystery, the idea of holding fancy teas with servers dressed up in rat costumes comes from an effort to raise funds for rodent prevention early in the city’s history. In Pekoe Most Poison, the eighteenth book in the Tea Shop Mystery series, the tradition was revived by socialite and philanthropist Doreen Briggs. Although the costumed “rat Servers” are a little unnerving, the tea seems to be going quite well until a fluke accident causes a fire at one of the tables and hostess’s husband ends up dead. Worse yet for Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop, it initially appears as though it was the orange pekoe tea that caused the dead.

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I have been a fan of both the Tea Shop books and Childs’ Scrap Booking series, because each puts readers right in an old American city like none other. In the Tea Shop books it is Charleston. Over the years the author has done an excellent job of setting each book’s plot around something unique to that area. Having visited Charleston fairly regularly over the years, it is fun to see how very accurate some of her descriptions are. But setting alone won’t carry a book. The main characters need to be well developed letting readers get to know them over the course of the series. And the characters need to be true to themselves. It is with the main characters in this book, and frankly the previous book in the series, that things have gone off track. Something is different. The characters just aren’t the same. Theodosia isn’t acting at all like herself nor is Drayton. I for one don’t like the change. Read the rest of this entry »

Devonshire Scream: A Tea Shop Mystery by Laura Childs

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

Devonshire ScreamAuthor Childs treats readers to the seventeenth Tea Shop mystery with Theodosia Browning as the protagonist in Devonshire Scream. In this edition of the series, readers don’t have to wait long for the action to begin. The book opens with Theodosia and her crew catering a trunk showing at a high end jewelry store.

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Scorched Eggs by Laura Childs

Scorched EggsReviewed by Caryn St. Clair

Scorched Eggs opens with a bang-literally. An explosion rocks the County Services Building killing Hannah Venable. While the explosion was first thought to be caused by a gas leak or some other accident, it was soon found to be caused by an accelerant and obviously intentionally set. Hannah was killed, but was she the intended victim or was the County Agent who was out of the building at the time? Was there possibly even another reason for the building to be destroyed? Even though the police are on the case, the Cackleberry Club members are soon snooping around as well. Read the rest of this entry »

Scones & Bones (A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs

Scones & BonesReviewed by Caryn St. Clair

The Heritage Society’s Pirates and Plunder opening party comes to an abrupt ending when one of the jewels of the exhibit, a skull that supposedly was Blackbeard’s, is stolen. During the crime, one person is killed and another seriously injured, but no one remembers seeing anything unusual before or immediately after the attack. Of coarse Theodosia Browning and her co-worker Drayton start nosing around looking for clues. The skull is one of three Blackbeard artifacts that supposedly together leave the exact location of the legendary treasure Blackbeard supposedly left behind somewhere in the Low Country.

Author Childs does an excellent job of placing readers in Charleston. This is a series that just could not happen anywhere else. Each of the twelve books in the series focuses on some part of Charleston or the Low Country’s past or traditions. Bones & Scones is built around the fascinating legends surrounding the pirates-specifically Blackbeard, who terrorized the Carolina coast in the 1700’s. While taking readers on a tour through the architectural history of the city, the rise and fall of the antiques market and lands us on one of the barrier islands that line the coastline.

Besides giving readers a fun look into Charleston’s past, the series is also filled with interesting tidbits about tea of all kinds. On the tea side of this book, Theodosia’s Indigo Tea Shop is preparing for the Charleston’s Food and Wine Festival by planning to host a tea and cheese tasting. As most readers I’m sure, I’ve never thought of those two items as going together, but by the time I’d finished the book, they seemed like the perfect fit. Read the rest of this entry »