The Twenty-Second Tea Shop Mystery
A night at the Heritage Society's haunted house turns into one of horror as a young woman is murdered, hung outside an upstairs window. The victim is a promising new author who was signing copies of her new book about true crime and various low-country legends. She is also Timothy Neville's grandniece and a good friend of Hayley. With her need for the adrenaline rush of an investigation Tea shop owner Theodosia Browning is once again on the trail of a killer.
HAUNTED HIBISCUS gives readers a complex, emotional mystery. Not only is our victim a pleasant young woman just starting a successful writing life, Detective Riley, Theo's boyfriend, is injured in the line of duty. When young lives are cut short and close friends hurt, tension and drama are automatically intensified. Seeing Timothy near despair and Haley's too bubbly personality dimmed push Theo to get involved and when Riley is shot nothing will stop her.
The thing that bothers me is Theodosia's belief that she is an investigator. No longer quietly talking to people on the periphery she now confronts suspects and demand they speak with her. While Theo has been investigating for some time, this is her twenty second outing after all, she is not part of the police department, nor is she a PI. She courts danger and think she is capable of dealing with suspects and finding murderers without police assistance. Her cocksure attitude is starting to put me off.
That being said, I love the Indigo Tea Shop and revel in the delicious
descriptions of the various tea events. Drayton, with his dry
sensibilities, has become my favorite character. I'd love to see a short
story featuring him and Miss Dimple!
Laura Childs has a great talent for adding a variety of red herrings and she does so here with aplomb. Shying away from some of the more probable motives for murder, I thought for sure I was onto something. I wasn't. The various suspects were all interesting and the revelations as the story continued were surprising adding even more dimension to the plot.
HAUNTED HIBISCUS combines thrilling action with comforting culinary delights in an intricately plotted Halloween themed mystery.
Haunted Hibiscus (A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs
About Haunted Hibiscus
Cozy Mystery 22nd in Series
Publisher: Berkley (March 2, 2021)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Tea maven Theodosia Browning brews up trouble in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.
It is the week before Halloween and Theodosia Browning, proprietor of the Indigo Tea Shop, and her tea sommelier, Drayton, are ghosting through the dusk of a cool Charleston evening on their way to the old Bouchard Mansion. Known as the Gray Ghost, this dilapidated place was recently bequeathed to the Heritage Society, and tonight heralds the grand opening of their literary and historical themed haunted house.
Though Timothy Neville, the patriarch of the Heritage Society, is not thrilled with the fund-raising idea, it is the perfect venue for his grandniece, Willow French, to sign copies of her new book, Carolina Crimes & Creepers.
But amid a parade of characters dressed as Edgar Allan Poe, Lady Macbeth, and the Headless Horseman, Willow's body is suddenly tossed from the third-floor tower room and left to dangle at the end of a rope. Police come screaming in and Theodosia's boyfriend, Detective Pete Riley, is sent to Willow's apartment to investigate. But minutes later, he is shot and wounded by a shadowy intruder.
Timothy begs Theodosia to investigate, and shaken by Riley's assault, she readily agrees. Now, she questions members of the Heritage Society and a man who claims the mansion is rightfully his, as well as Willow's book publisher and her fiancé, all while hosting a Sherlock Holmes tea and catering several others.
But the Gray Ghost holds many secrets, as do several other key suspects, while this murder mystery plays out on the eve of Halloween.
INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!
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.
Website – http://www.laurachilds.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/laura.childs.31