Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Salon: The Teaberry Strangler, A Tea Shop Mystery by Laura Childs

Award-winning author Laura Childs brings tea shop owner Theodosia Browning back for another exciting adventure in “The Teaberry Strangler.”

This is the 11th installment in the Tea Shop Mystery series. Don’t let that scare you from reading it as it is a stand alone book and can be read without having read the previous books. However, once you get started, you’ll want to read every book in the series.

Theo organizes a “back-ally crawl” where the shop owners dress in historic costumes and open their back doors to customers. The cobblestone street of Church Street filled with visitors and the event was deemed a great success.

But after everyone leaves and store keepers start closing, Theo decides to take a basket of goodies to her friend, Daria Shand. Daria is the owner of the Antiquarian Map Shop located just a few doors down from Theo’s Indigo Tea Shop.

Starting down the alley, Theo spots Daria with someone. She thinks at first it’s a romantic encounter and then she quickly realizes someone is strangling Daria. Theo screams and rushes to her friend. The intruder flees, but Theo is too late and finds Daria laying dead on the cobblestone.

Feeling she should have done more, Theo agrees to look into her friend’s murder for Daria’s mother and sister.

While questioning possible suspects, Theo also caters a tea for a Bed and Breakfast Tour, as well as for a book signing at the Heritage Society. In addition, the tea shop hosts a children’s “Alice in Wonderland” theme tea party. She does have the help of Drayton, her master brewer and right-hand man; and Haley, the tea shop’s creative baker.

Throw into the mix the return of her former boyfriend, Jory Davis, along with his ex-fiancée  Beth Ann, who is now stalking Theo. Add in that Theo’s attempting to move into a carriage house when her faithful dog, Earl Grey, brings her a human bone. Now the backyard of her new home has turned into an archeologist dig.

Along the way Theo meets the new owners of the fragrance shop “Jardin Perfumerie” located next door to Daria’s map shop. The owners - Cinnamon and her aunt, Miss Kitty - seem just a little off to Theo. The duo is in a big hurry to buy out Daria’s shop from her estate.

Laura Childs will take you on a roller coaster ride of adventures with twists and turns you can’t image. Just as you think you’re closing in on who the killer is, a new lead takes you in a different directions.

Shattered throughout the book are references to wonderful flavored teas, tasty sandwiches and delicate desserts. An added bonus to the book is several of the dessert and sandwich recipes are included in the back, along with tea time tips.

If you’re not a tea lover, you will still enjoy the mystery and not be overwhelmed with tea talk. But by the end, you may be reaching for a cup of freshly brewed Teaberry Tea or maybe Oolong. I wanted to drink tea the entire time I was reading “The Teaberry Strangler” and I’m mainly a coffee drinker. The Tea Shop Mystery series has lead me to understand and appreciate tea much more. This is a great cozy murder mystery to curl up with on these last cold days of winter.

For more on Laura Childs, the Tea Shop Mystery series and other series by Laura, go online to

The Teaberry Strangler, A Tea Shop Mystery by Laura Childs * Berkley Prime Crime * @2010 * ISBN: 978-0-425-23245-3 * Hardcover * 320 pages

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Now for the winner of "The Last Surgeon" by Michael Palmer is Marjorie R. of Woodstock, Ontario. Congratulations Marjorie.
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Thanks to Anna and the Hachette Audio Book Group I have three new audio books to giveaway. To enter this giveaway, send me an e-mail with "Win" and the book title in the subject line. In the body of the e-mail include your name and mailing address. You can enter for one or all of the books, but I need a separate e-mail for each book giveaway. The deadline for the giveaways is Wednesday, March 17. The giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents. No post office box addresses allowed. I have three copies of each audio book to giveaway.

"BLACK HILLS" by Dan Simmons and read by Erik Davies and Michael McConnohie. (Fiction, unabridged, ISBN:9781600247866)

In "Black Hills," Dan Simmons weaves the stories of Paha Sapa and Custer together seamlessly, depicting a violent and tumultuous time in the history of Native Americans and the United States Army. Listen to an Excerpt and visit
"ON THE BRINK," The Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System by Henry M. Paulson Jr. and read by Dan Woren. (Business and economics, unabridged, ISBN:9781600249129)

Former Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson -- who was at the epicenter of the crashing financial markets -- provides his first person account of what really happened. Listen to an Excerpt
"WORST CASE" by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge and read by Bobby Canavale, John Glover and Orlagh Cassidy. (Fiction, suspense and thrillers; unabridged, ISBN:9781600247842)

One by one, children of New York's wealthiest are taken hostage. But the criminal doesn't crave money or power--he only wants to ask the elite if they know the price others pay for their luxurious lifestyles. And, if they don't, he corrects their ignorance--by killing them.

From the bestselling author who brought you the "Alex Cross" novels comes James Patterson's most action-packed series yet. With the heart-pounding suspense that only Patterson delivers, "Worst Case" will leave you gasping for breath until the very end. Listen to an Excerpt, view the Video and visit

Have a great Sunday. Grab a book, find a comfortable spot, relax for awhile and enjoy reading.


  1. What a great review. You always make the books sound so interesting. Oh and I am actually drinking a cup of hot tea as I read this.

  2. Thank you so much for this super
    giveaway book, I am looking forward to read it.

  3. I didn't even know these books existed. Thank you for your review.

  4. Mason - Thanks for this terrific review! This sereis sounds like a very effective blend of cozy and strong mystery plot, and that sounds good to me!

  5. The Teaberry Strangler sounds like a fun read - with a lot of characters! I do like a book that keeps you guessing.

    Straight From Hel

  6. Sounds like a great series - and I'm a tea drinker so it should be right up my alley :)

  7. Sounds like a very interesting book!!! Like one I would enjoy, The Teaberry Strangler, that is. Love the sound of THAT!

  8. Teresa, such kind words. Thank you. A cup of tea with this book is perfect. I actually started drinking hot tea because of this series. I love the oolong tea (it came from a prior book).

    Majorie, be sure to check out the three new audio book giveaways. They all sound very interesting.

    Ann, I think you'll enjoy this tea shop series. These are delightful cozy mysteries and the characters are very entertaining.

    Margot, it is a blend of cozy and strong mystery. In this one, I had the wrong person pegged as the killer. Nice twist at the end.

    Diane, I like the variety of the giveaways.

    Helen, one other thing about the tea shop mysteries is that there is so much going on you're trying to guess which characters will figure in the murder.

    Jemi, this is a perfect series for a tea drinker. One thing I enjoyed was the descriptions of the teas that were mentioned. That way I had a better idea if I wanted to try those teas myself.

    Mary, it does have a nice ring to it doesn't it? It is an interesting book, as is the entire series.

  9. I like the idea of the story unfolding among all these quaint shops, and shop owners! Sounds like a great read, with lots of charm & character.

  10. Joanne, I found myself wanting to visit Charleston after reading this to see if there were streets like Church Street.

  11. Oh,what a wonderful book. I haven't read this one and boy, I LOVE the cover! Sold to the Scottish Lass who loves Sci-Fi!

    I love Sci-Fi with romance. I can relate to your comment: "I grew up reading science fiction, Asimov, Heinlein, Clark, EE Doc Smith, and to me a library was heaven." Amen sister. To this day I love the smell of libraries.

    I enjoyed the post Mason and Susan!


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.