Friday, August 13, 2010

Review # 78: Death by Darjeeling by Laura Childs

Title: Death by Darjeeling
Author: Laura Childs
Series: Tea Shop Mystery #1
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Format: Own Copy
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
ISBN: 0-425-17945-1
Price/Pages: $5.99/242

Description from back cover:

Meet Theodosia Browning, owner of Charleston's beloved Indigo Tea Shop. Patrons love her blend of delicious tea tastings and southern hospitality. And Theo enjoys the full-bodied flavor of a town steeped in history-and mystery...

It's tea for 200 or so at the annual historic homes garden party. And Theodosia, as event caterer, is busy serving steaming teas and blackberry scones while guests sing her praises. But the sweet smell of success turns to suspense when an esteemed guest is found dead-his hand clutching an empty teacup. All eyes are on Theo...who is now trying desperately to save her reputation and track down the real killer. If only she can make sense of it all-before someone else takes their last sip...

My Review:

I have been told to read these for over a year now by my friend Trever. He is a tea lover and absolutely adored these books. Whenever we are in NYC, we go to Tea and Sympathy and have tea and scones. In fact, in May, we went there several times because we love it so.
I know very little about tea but I LOVE the pleasure of taking a sip of the hot liquid and then biting into a delicious scone with clotted cream and thick raspberry jam.

This first book in Childs' Tea Shop series is a foodie's dream. Her descriptions of the tea shop and the treats they bake and the teas they blend jump out of the pages. You start to feel warm and cozy and enveloped by that atmosphere.

It takes place in Charleston, so, for those of you who have read my reviews on Karen White's books, know that I am a little bit in love with Charleston right now.
Childs' also does a really good job at setting the mood and the feel of the Low Country, the history, the quirky residents, the culture.

Another thing I liked about this particular cozy was that Theodosia's involvement in the "murder" wasn't hoky or "Oops, looks like I ran into a dead body!".
Golly, I better solve this crime!
It was a bit more genuine and realistic.
She poked around but wasn't an immediate sleuth. Some cozies you find the lead character immediately put themselves in silly danger and find out everything at once.

Theodosia is a strong figure in the community, coming from a distinguished family, that her nature was much more calm, refined, eloquent and educated. I liked that.

I am excited to keep reading this series. I am horribly behind on my Cozy Mystery Challenge! The challenge was to read atleast 6 cozies by the end of September. This would be #2 for me.
I could, possibly, read 4 more of this series before then. Possibly....

Rating: 5 stars/ 6 stars
I highly recommend this one. A great start to a series and perfect for the upcoming fall season.
Even in the 98 degree weather outside, I still wanted tea.
Good job, Laura Childs.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child


Marce said...

I have this one on my TBR list from a recommendation from Emidy. I love tea but wasn't sure if I would enjoy a 'cozy' mystery so to speak. I am going to try it.

My blog title is Tea Time with Marce right, lol

jenna said...

I love the cover of this book and had never heard of the series before your review. I think I'll read this!


Gina said...

Great review! I've never really read one of the "cozy" type mysteries before, but the more I hear about them, the more I think I may need to try one out one day soon. They sound so darjeeling...I mean a "ooh-there's-more-than-tea-here" sort of way. Thanks for sharing a look at this book...and happy reading! ^_^

Lisa said...

I discovered cozy mysteries with M.C. Beaton's two series but haven't been able to find another series I really liked. This one does sound like fun and I'll have to give it a try.

Marie Cloutier said...

Sounds like fun! :-)

Tales of Whimsy said...

I've been meaning to try these. I'm so glad to hear it's good. I adore Tea & Sympathy.