Haunted hibiscus

Laura Childs

Book - 2021

"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 w...ith 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."--

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1st Floor MYSTERY/Childs, Laura Due Oct 6, 2023
Childs, Laura. Tea shop mystery ; 22.
Detective and mystery fiction
Mystery fiction
Cozy mysteries
New York : Berkley Prime Crime 2021.
First edition
Item Description
Includes recipes.
Includes excerpt from Twisted Tea Christmas
Physical Description
323 pages ; 22 cm
Main Author
Laura Childs (author)
Review by Booklist Review

Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston, and her tea sommelier, Drayton Conneley attend the opening night of the Heritage Society's literary haunted house, located in the crumbling Bouchard Mansion. The two are horrified when author Willow French is killed after being tossed from an upper-story window with a noose around her neck. For personal reasons and at the request of Timothy Neville, Willow's great-uncle, Theodosia begins an investigation. She soon learns that Willow's expensive diamond earrings are missing, and she identifies numerous suspects, from Willow's fiancé to an intern who was attracted to her, to Ellis Bouchard, who is contesting the Heritage Society's inheritance of the mansion. The likable Theodosia, the true-to-life secondary characters, the lovingly described Charleston setting, and the tea-shop frame, with its delicious-sounding menus and descriptions of various teas, will appeal to tea drinkers and readers who enjoy food-centered mysteries. Childs concludes the story with recipes and an extensive compilation of tea resources.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Library Journal Review

In this latest "Tea Shop Mystery," queen-of-teas Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier Drayton are attending a fundraiser at the Bouchard Mansion--now gussied up as a literary- and historically-themed haunted house for Halloween--when the body of a young author signing at the event is seen dangling from a tower window. Theodosia gets involved when her detective boyfriend is shot in hot pursuit of a suspect.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

A Halloween visit to a haunted house leads to a challenging murder investigation. Tea shop owner Theodosia Browning has a storied reputation throughout Charleston as an amateur sleuth. So when she and her tea sommelier, Drayton, attend a fundraiser for the Heritage Society held at a decrepit mansion the society just inherited, she's shocked but not surprised to be asked to investigate a murder. Willow French, the grandniece of Heritage Society bigwig Timothy Neville, was using the fundraiser to promote her book on true crime and low-country legends, which seemed like a perfect match for the haunted venue until someone hanged the author from a high window. When Theodosia's boyfriend, police detective Pete Riley, checks out Willow's apartment, an intruder shoots him, spurring Theodosia in her investigation. The valuable yellow diamond earrings Willow was wearing have vanished. Robbery is certainly a reasonable motive for murder, but Theodosia can't help wondering if this crime is more personal. The long list of suspects begins with Willow's fiance, who's just inherited the expensive house she'd recently purchased. Her book publisher gives off an odd vibe; the man whose family owned the Heritage Society's new mansion thinks it should be his; and several of the people working the fundraiser are short of funds themselves. As Pete recovers, his dire warnings don't deter Theodosia, who continues to investigate even though she's fully booked for holiday teas. Historic Charleston and a gaggle of interesting helpers make this another winner in this long-running series. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.