Saturday, March 14, 2020

Lavender Blue Murder by Laura Childs – Book Review

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Lavender Blue Murder: A Tea Shop Mystery by Laura Childs.

I'm super excited to be on this tour because I've been wanting to read one of Laura's books. And I just have and I loved it. If this tea shop were real, I'd be one of the first to go! You'll love the dishes they serve and the book contains a few of the recipes mentioned at the end.

Today, I'm reviewing the 21st installment in the series. So, keep reading. Oh and don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Tea maven Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier Drayton Conneley are guests at a bird hunt styled in the precise manner of an English shooting party. Which means elevenses (sloe gin fizzes), gun loaders, the drawing of pegs, fine looking bird dogs, and shooting costumes of tweed, herringbone, and suede.

But as gunshots explode like a riff of Black Cat firecrackers, another shot sounds too close for comfort to Theodosia and Drayton. Intrigued but worried, Theodosia wanders into the neighbor's lavender field where she discovers their host, Reginald Doyle, bleeding to death.

His wife, Meredith, is beside herself with grief and begs Theodosia and Drayton to stay the night. But Theodosia awakens at 2:00A.M. to find smoke in her room and the house on fire. As the fire department screams in and the investigating sheriff returns, Meredith again pleads with Theodosia for help.

As Theodosia investigates, fingers are pointed, secrets are uncovered, Reginald's daughter-in-law goes missing presumed drowned, and Meredith is determined to find answers via a séance. All the while Theodosia worries if she's made a mistake in inviting a prime suspect to her upscale Lavender Lady Tea.

Book Review of Lavender Blue Murder: Book 21 in The Tea Shop Mystery Series by Laura Childs

"Theodosia is rather skilled at crime solving… You could say she's Charleston's very own Nancy Drew."

Lavender Blue Murder is the 21st installment, yes you read that right, in the Tea Shop Mystery Series by Laura Childs. It's my first read in this cozy mystery series, which means it can easily be read as a standalone.

Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop, attends an English-themed hunting event organized by Reginald Doyle, who wounds up dead. And even though the police are investigating, Reginald's wife Meredith asks Theodosia to do her own investigation for this murder.

However, a fire and later a missing family member keep Theodosia and her tea sommelier and friend Drayton busy with both the needy Meredith and the list of suspects. Lots of people and lots of secrets and Theodosia has to trudge through them all.

"Actually. You're all suspects at this point."
Alex gasped. "You can't mean that!"

Lavender Blue Murder is narrated in the third person though the main perspective is that of the lead character Theodosia Browning, a fun and nosy sleuth.

One of the things I disliked a bit about Lavender Blue Murder was the repetition. Like when someone says something and you repeat it again as if you're not smart. Once was fine but I noticed this was done a few times during the course of the novel.

Also, the introduction of Burt Tidwell, the police chief, who is also the boss of Theodosia's boyfriend Pete Riley, came suddenly. I actually checked to see if he was mentioned before and if I had forgotten him (I read on Kindle) but he wasn't. So when his sudden entry was made I was surprised and confused. He literally barged into the story and the scene.

I liked how Theodosia is able to multitask the sleuthing, the Indigo Tea Shop, the demanding – and quite annoying – Meredith as well as find time to be with her friends.

I loved Drayton, the 60+ sommelier, who gets entangled in Theodosia's snooping and is her partner in solving the mysteries. He's formal and adorable. You can't help but love him.

"Just think," Drayton said. "All your suspects are gathered together in one place."
Theodosia nodded. "It's slightly reminiscent of a localed-room murder mystery, yes?"
Drayton gave a faint smile. "Agatha Christie."

Lavender Blue Murder is full of humor and some laugh-out-loud moments. Theodosia can be really funny sometimes, especially when she's pushing her luck.

"So this isn't a romantic dinner, after all? It's more a romantic warning?"

As with most mystery books, especially those that extend to over 10 books, there wasn't much character development. I felt that Theodosia was a well-developed character. There isn't any character growth but it's not something that affects the story.

Overall, I enjoyed my first read in Laura Child's Tea Shop Mystery Series. I'd definitely love to read more books in this series.

Overall rating: 4 stars

Don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY

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Here's my exclusive interview with Laura Childs about the Tea Shop Mystery series.

About the Author

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.

Connect with Laura Childs via her Website and Facebook page.

Purchase Lavender Blue Murder via Amazon   B&N  Kobo   Google Play  IndieBound

Keep up with rest of the blog tour including more book reviews, spotlights, interviews and character interviews here.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your review on "Lavender Blue Murder" by Laura Childs and for being part of the book tour.

    Love the cover and can't wait for the opportunity to read this book on my TBR list.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net