Sunday, March 8, 2020

Lavender Blue Murder - A Review & Giveaway


The Twenty-First Tea Shop Mystery

Theodosia Browning and her friend and tea sommelier, Drayton, decide to do something different and enjoy a shooting party at the home of an anglophile friend. Upon hearing what sounds like a pistol shot among the gunfire, Theo goes to investigate, only to find their host bleeding out. As Theo calls for help, the remaining guests gather round, stunned, as Reginald Doyle dies before their eyes. When his high strung wife asks Theo for her help, the curious tea shop owner can't resist getting involved. Will Theo be able to sort through the various suspects and help the grieving widow?

There's lots to love in this long running series. The mystery here in intriguing and complex. There are several legitimate suspects, many of whom are nasty and unpleasant, all with good motives. As she investigates Theo uncovers very interesting family dynamics, a needy wife, an angry son, and a mousy daughter-in-law...each one suspicious in their actions.

I appreciated how Theo went about the business of running her shop and didn't go overboard in her sleuthing...until the end. As for the penultimate scene, I understood the first step Theo took, and don't fault her for following the car. I had a problem when, once again, her adrenaline rush apparently stopped her brain and she continued to follow, chase, and confront the murderer. That being said, her actions did make for a pulse pounding, page turning, finale.

The special tea events held during each of the Tea Shop Mysteries are always so special, and generally also relevant to the plot. I am a huge lavender fan and really enjoyed the attention it received. Although I still consider Delaine more an annoying frenemy than anything else, I do thank her for bringing Madame Emilia and a séance to the story. I hope to see more of the medium in the future.

LAVENDER BLUE MURDER is an intricately plotted mystery imbued with Southern grace, exemplary food, and fine tea. Sit back with a lavender scone and a cup of steaming Asaam and prepare for a delightful read.


Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs

About Lavender Blue Murder

Cozy Mystery 21th in Series  
Publisher: Berkley (March 3, 2020)  
Hardcover: 336 pages 
Tea-Maven Theodosia Browning brews up trouble in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.
Tea maven Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier Drayton Conneley are guests at a bird hunt styled in the precise manner of an English shooting party. Which means elevenses (sloe gin fizzes), gun loaders, the drawing of pegs, fine looking bird dogs, and shooting costumes of tweed, herringbone, and suede.
But as gunshots explode like a riff of Black Cat firecrackers, another shot sounds too close for comfort to Theodosia and Drayton. Intrigued but worried, Theodosia wanders into the neighbor's lavender field where she discovers their host, Reginald Doyle, bleeding to death.
His wife, Meredith, is beside herself with grief and begs Theodosia and Drayton to stay the night. But Theodosia awakens at 2:00A.M. to find smoke in her room and the house on fire. As the fire department screams in and the investigating sheriff returns, Meredith again pleads with Theodosia for help.
As Theodosia investigates, fingers are pointed, secrets are uncovered, Reginald's daughter-in-law goes missing presumed drowned, and Meredith is determined to find answers via a séance. All the while Theodosia worries if she's made a mistake in inviting a prime suspect to her upscale Lavender Lady Tea.

About Laura Childs

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs. Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.  

Laura’s Links:  
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  1. Kathy, thank you for a lovely review of Lavender Blue Murder. Laura Childs

  2. Sounds real interesting. Don't read many books with the hunt in them any more. Thanks for this opportunity.

  3. Love all of the cozys of yours that i have read peggy clayton