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Plum Tea Crazy

Tea Shop Mystery #19

By Laura Childs

Berkley Prime Crime Hardcover

March 6, 2018


Includes recipes

Received the book from the publisher for an honest review


While carefully navigating the widow’s walk of Timothy Neville’s Charleston mansion, Indigo Tea Shop owner and amateur sleuth, Theo Browning, and her tea sommelier, Drayton Conneley watch two-dozen tall ships in the harbor during the Gaslights and Galleons Parade. They are among other guests enjoying the event until fate strikes its deadly blow. Immediately after the cannons are fired, the unthinkable happens.

Banker Carson Lanier falls three stories to his death from the widow’s walk. Those present witness the horrible scene and run out of the mansion to see if the poor man is still alive. There was no way he could have survived impaled on a sharply pointed old fence. The movement of a curtain on the Stagwood Inn’s upper window has Theo and Drayton running next door to see if the person responsible for Carson’s death is still there. The quarrel from a pistol crossbow is still in Carson’s body so it was no accident. He was murdered. They aren’t the only ones to believe that the murder was committed from a distance. Detective Burt Tidwell of the Charleston Police Department’s Robbery and Homicide Division feels the same way.

Feeling guilty for inviting Carson, Timothy requests Theo’s assistance in finding out who wanted Carson dead. At the same time, Jud Harker is threatening the heritage society for sponsoring a historical weapon show and Delaine is planning a Silk Road Fashion Show. Carson’s nearly-ex wife, Sissy Lanier is steaming mad, but not over his death. His co-worker Betty only seems concerned about herself. There’s never a boring day in this historic town.

I’ve read a number of books in this series and never tire of them. Theo’s intuition and bravery are on target. Each characters’ personality has you knowing who they are just by their antics and attitudes. This is a very animated book. I don’t know how Theo plans themed tea parties and still finds time to solve crimes.

Plum Tea Crazy touches upon the history of weapons and both our interest and outrage. It slides into rumors and putting a price tag on marriage. I think focusing on weapons and how they ruin lives might have been an opportunity to parallel what’s going on in our lives now. Instead the author focused on another motive. All in all, the book was entertaining and keeps on giving us another chapter in Theo’s life.

Four scones with Devonshire cream out of five

Denise Fleischer


April 1, 2018

GWN’s TBR list for reviews:

th     a tale of two murders  image