Book Review: Sweet Tea Revenge by Laura Childs

Sweet Tea RevengeSweet Tea Revenge
A Tea Shop Mystery #14
Laura Childs
Berkley Prime Crime, March 2013
ISBN 978-0-425-25288-8
Hardcover

This fun, cozy mystery, Sweet Tea Revenge, is set in charming Charleston, South Carolina, a tourist town with quaint shops and friendly people.

Theodosia runs the bustling Indigo Tea Shop where the action takes place almost daily amongst a litany of delicacies, such as tomato cream cheese tea sandwiches or Brie and Pear Crostini with Peanut Butter Scones for dessert, served up by her dapper friend, Drayton, a tea connoisseur.

But, at Theodosia’s best friend’s wedding, the groom is most brutally murdered and Theodosia takes on the task to help the inept and over-weight Detective Tidwell solve the crime. Thus begins a nonstop between Charleston’s horse-drawn carriages, strolling through haunted mansions or serving her customers Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits, and dozens of various and sundry flavored teas brewed up in antique Royale Garden Amari Chintz teapots.

Amidst gallons of tea and multi-flavored scones, her friend’s disastrous wedding, and a spur of the moment Home Tour Garden party in the murdered groom’s backyard, Theodosia unravels the clues.

Sweet Tea Revenge is a fairly good read, strongly steeped in tea and crumpets. Ms. Child weaves a plot with a satisfactory mystery, though she follows the much-expected template fairly typical in so many mysteries today. Surrounded by quirky friends and an inept police force, amateur female sleuth Theodosia, must solve the crime, and in so doing, finds herself and the killer in a hand-to-hand battle in the garden at a haunted mansion.

If the reader is a tea connoisseur, or a devoted pastry baker as well as a cozy mystery reader, she will love this book.

Reviewed by Elaine Faber, July 2014.
Author of Black Cat’s Legacy.