It sounds a bit silly to call a murder mystery book `charming' but that's just what this novel is. Set in the utterly beautiful Charleston, South Carolina, which is just steeped in Southern hospitality, this book encompasses tea, historical landmarks, mystery and of course murder (!); yet somehow the murder doesn't quite take the edge off just how gloriously pretty the setting is- no mean feat!
Theodosia Browning (Theo) owns the Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston's historical district. At an event she is serving tea and her delicious sounding scones, when a local property developer is found keeled over clutching an empty tea cup- only this was no accident... After one of Theo's friends is later suspected of the man's murder, Theo decides to do a little bit of investigating of her own, but can this first-time amateur sleuth solve the crime?
In this very first Tea Shop Mystery we are introduced to a fantastic cast of characters. Some of the introductions and back story felt a little bit long winded, granted, but I appreciate that the author wanted to set the scene and explain who was who and this was done very well. I'm assuming that there will be less of this in future books once characters and their relationships become more established.
This is actually my first time reading a Laura Child's cosy mystery and I'm glad I started with these- even the cover oozes prettiness and elegance! I'm actually a coffee drinker myself and the only tea I can tolerate is fruit tea or iced tea, but even I have to admit that the fictional `Indigo Tea Shop' sounds just divine- I now have a real hankering to go to Charleston and see if folks are just like they are in this lovely little book. Dare I say it; I might even attempt a cup of `proper' tea at some point soon myself!
Recommended. I can't wait to read the rest.