Friday, April 7, 2017

Pekoe Most Poison

I read Laura Child's latest tea shop mystery for the Craving the Cozies Reading Challenge.  It is the 18th installment of the tea shop mystery series and I have read every one of the books.  This is one of my favorite series.

In this installment of the series one of Charleston's wealthiest men, Beau Briggs, dies suddenly after drinking a cup of pekoe tea while at a rat tea party in his home.  Rat tea parties were prominent in Charleston in the mid 1900s and the waiters all wear rat headwear.  The main character, Theodosia Browning, owns the Indigo Tea Shop and is a guest at the event as is her tea master Drayton Connelly.  Her sleuthing begins immediately after Briggs collapses when she says that she thinks that the tea was poisoned.  With a reputation in the community for solving crimes Theodosia is asked by the victim's widow Doreen Briggs to look into his death.  So whodunit?  Was it the wife, the business partner, the neighbor or the publicist? Someone else?  You will have to read the book to find out.

One thing I like about Laura Childs' writing is that the crime occurs early in the story, usually in the first chapter. Some mystery novels don't have the crime committed until well into a third of the book.  I think that is a waste of paper. I want to know right away what crime needs to be solved so that the entire book is really about solving the crime.

The author also follows the cozy mystery formula perfectly.  What you get is a well crafted, fast paced story with several twists and turns and red herring or 2. This is must read for cozy lovers.


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