Book Review: Drink the Tea by Thomas Kaufman

Drink the Tea
Thomas Kaufman
Minotaur Books, 2010
ISBN 031260730X

Willis Gidney grew up rough.  He grew up homeless, no parents in sight.  A smart kid, he didn’t let that stand in the way of his survival.  Along the way, he ran into a guy named Shadrack Davies, a captain in the D.C. police department.  Davies takes Willis as his foster child, and tries to raise him right.  Willis learns a lot from him, although not enough to keep him out of trouble.

Willis is now an adult, trying to make a living as a P.I.  One of his friends, a jazz musician, wants Willis to track down his daughter, who has been missing for a quarter of a century.  Even a P.I. with a lot of practice might have a tough time with this one, and Willis finds this out very early on.  But it’s his friend asking, and so he won’t let go of the case, although there are lots of people trying to persuade him otherwise.

Kaufman has written a wonderful mystery.  He’s also taken the “character-driven mystery” to a whole new level.  This is a well-written novel, with great setting and plot.  Kaufman’s writing credits make this an exceptional first novel.

Reviewed by P.J. Coldren, August 2010.