Thursday, March 3, 2016

Devonshire Interview, Review, and Giveaway

I'm always happy to welcome Laura Childs to Cozy Up With Kathy. Theodosia Browning is back in the 17th Tea Shop Mystery, Devonshire Scream, which was released this past Tuesday!

Kathy: In Devonshire Scream, we enter the world of jewel thieves. Although not a thief, are you enamored of these expensive baubles?

LC: Who doesn’t love a little bling? Back in the thirties and forties, my grandfather was a traveling jewelry salesman. So when I was a kid, playtime was spent diving into all these enormous trunks filled with shiny beads, Bakelite bracelets, and flamingo pins. We were always draping ourselves in jewelry and pretending to be an empress or sultan. I must confess that today I’ve managed to upgrade to a few pieces of Cartier, Bulgari, and Tiffany.

Kathy: There’s a Russian flair to be found in Devonshire Scream with a Fabergé Egg and a Romanov Tea. Is the era of the Russian czars of particular interest to you?

LC: I’m fascinated with this time period. Starting with the death of Czar Nicholas II, the Russian Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Ottoman Empire all collapsed in the span of a few years. New countries emerged, the Industrial Revolution began, and literature and the arts changed radically. This was basically the beginning of modern history.

Kathy: Have you ever had the chance to see a genuine Fabergé Egg in person?

LC: I’ve seen a few Fabergé Eggs and they’re really quite dazzling. Most are in private collections (think Russian zillionaires), but I’ve caught two traveling exhibitions of Fabergé Eggs, one at the deYoung Museum in San Francisco and one at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Kathy: Was there a specific inspiration for this story?

LC: I saw an article in Town and Country magazine about a daring group of international “smash and grab” thieves, basically a high-end “bling ring.” They blasted cars right through store windows and grabbed diamonds, Dior bags, and Chanel jewelry in boutiques in France, London and Monaco. Of course I thought, “Hmm. What a fun way to kick off a first chapter.”

Kathy: Are you able to share any future plans for Theodosia?

LC: Theodosia returns again in Pekoe Most Poison, coming March 2017. She attends what is billed as a “rat tea,” a kind of homage to the fancy, quaint rat teas that were all the rage in Charleston some eighty years ago. Only problem is, a sip of the wrong brew and someone turns up dead. Theodosia may not be to blame, but she certainly won’t turn a dim eye to this affront against tea!

Kathy: Will you share any other upcoming books?

LC: I have a new thriller series coming out July 5, 2016. These books are a lot tougher and grittier than my other books and are, by the way, written under the name Gerry Schmitt. The first book in this series is Little Girl Gone and features Afton Tangler, a single mom and liaison officer with the Minneapolis PD, who gets pulled into a bizarre high-profile kidnapping. It’s got believable characters, lots of page-turning action, and a ripped-from-the-headlines plot. This book is available for pre-order on and


Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbooking Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO of her own marketing firm, authored several screenplays, and produced a reality TV show. She is married to Dr. Bob, a professor of Chinese art history, enjoys travel, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.



Devonshire Scream by Laura Childs
The 17th Tea Shop Mystery

Devonshire Scream starts off with a bang as a genteel event turns into a deadly robbery! Although local police, including Detective Tidwell, are investigating the FBI have also been called in. The belief is that an international jewel theft ring may be involved and they may be sticking around. Theodosia and the gang at the Indigo Tea Shop find themselves in the midst of the investigation once again. Not only was Theo a witness to the robbery, but the Heritage Society is about to have a rare antiquities show and the pièce de résistance is a genuine Fabergé Egg! Was the crime at Heart's Desire Fine Jewelry just a practice run for the main event? Will the criminals strike again?

Russia comes to Charleston in this, the 17th Tea Shop mystery with a visiting scholar, a Romanov tea, and a Fabergé Egg. Childs also brings us into the world of smash and grabs and international jewel thieves  The murder, in this case, is not personal, but rather accidental. There are plenty of suspects, most of whom are newcomers to town. How are they able to climb the social ranks so quickly? Certainly that quick rise to Charleston's upper echelons is cause for suspicion. Childs skillfully combines an action packed mystery with fascinating facts about czarist Russia and tea.

 Devonshire Scream is a face paced, high octane rush that starts and ends with a bang.

Recipes and tea tips are included.


For a chance to win an autographed copy of Devonshire Scream simply leave a comment on this post telling us something about tea or Fabergé Eggs! Be sure to leave your e-mail address so I may contact you should you win and leave the comment no later than 11:59 pm EST Friday, March 4th. Sorry, US addresses only.


  1. Fabergé Eggs start as an expensive Easter Egg gift to Empress Maria Fedorovna from her husband the Czar Alexander III.

  2. What an interesting interview. It was really interesting to read.

  3. The artist Peter Carl Faberge made decorative eggs of platinum, gold and silver with embellished with enamel and gemstones. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)xom

  4. Teas was introduced into India by the British. Tea is the second most consumed beverage on earth after water. Tea ceremonies have arisen in various cultures. I only drink tea and love chai. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  5. I never realized that we drink so much tea in the United States. In 2014, 80 billion cups of tea were consumed during the year. Millenials are the most likely group to be drinking tea and 85% of the tea consumed is iced tea.

  6. 1. Faberge Eggs are usually the size of a large egg, but can come in all different sizes
    2. Can still be bought today, but for a very expensive price.
    3. Miniature Faberge Eggs are commonly wore as necklaces.
    4. The most famous eggs were made at the House of Faberge

    These are all items I found interesting about Faberge Eggs.

  7. Elizabeth Taylor collected faberge eggs.

    Drakebdog at gmail dot com

  8. Faberge eggs are also known as Imperial eggs, and there were only 50 made originally !

  9. Tea is the second most consumed beverage (water is the first) in the world. I start just about every day with a pot. Thanks so much for the interesting interview and giveaway. Dmskrug3(at)hotmail(dot)com

  10. There are a limited number of 'real' Faberge eggs, of the 50 made, only 43 remain. I love to try new teas, too. Thanks for the chance to win this new release in a favorite series!

  11. An early credible record of tea drinking dates to the third century AD, in a medical text by Hua Tuo, who stated, "to drink bitter t'u constantly makes one think better."
    Thanks for a great interview!

  12. I don't know very much about tea and even less about Faberge eggs! I do know that at night I like a nice peppermint tea (hubby ordered a pound of loose leaf for me1) or peach - of which the aroma is part of the attraction. Thank you for the chance to win, and congrats on the new release! jeaniedannheim (at) ymail (dot) com

  13. I really love this series. Ice tea is my favorite drink. I like that your series involves tea, Charleston (my favorite city) and bling! Can't wait to read Devonshire Scream.

  14. How I would love to visit the Indigo tea shop - if only it existed in real life. I visit area tea shops regularly and any tea shop I can find when we vacation. I haven't ordered this book yet, but I have read all the rest. Thanks so much. Loved reading your interview.
    Sips and Smiles,

    1. Thank you for allowing me to enter your contest. I won a copy of Devonshire Scream on another blog, so please remove my name from your drawing. Thank you.

  15. On any given day, over one half of the American population drinks tea. On a regional basis, the South and Northeast have the greatest concentration of tea drinkers.

    Thanks for the chance!

  16. Thanks for the chance to win this book. When my family went to Europe, my mom actually got a beautiful Faberge Egg!

  17. Black tea is actually the most popular tea.

  18. I would love to see a Fabergé Egg in person. Since I do live near San Francisco I should be on the lookout for the possibility. As for tea, it really is a great beverage to relax and read in the evening. I tend to go to the traditional blends though, not too adventurous I guess.

  19. Congratulations DarcyO. chose your comment, so be on the look out for an e-mail from me.