This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Laura Childs will be awarding a “Tea Party in a Box,” - a special kit with a tea assortment, English shortbread, chocolates, Laura Childs’ books, and a few more goodies to a randomly drawn winner (USA ONLY) via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
It’s the week before Christmas as tea maven Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier, Drayton, cater a fancy Victorian Christmas party for Miss Drucilla Heyward, one of Charleston’s wealthy doyennes. But smack dab in the middle of the Fa-la-la’s, Miss Drucilla is murdered, her gold rings stolen off her fingers, and a genuine Renoir snatched off the wall.
The police come screaming in while Theodosia peers speculatively at the guests and wonders – whodunit? Urged on by Miss Drucilla’s personal assistant, Theodosia runs a shadow investigation on suspects that include wealthy neighbors, a handyman named Smokey, an unscrupulous art dealer, and the executive directors of two local charities who were in line for donations.
As Theodosia continually finds herself in hot water, she also hosts numerous holiday tea parties, stumbles upon a second dead body, and shelters a cadre of homeless dogs who come to her rescue in the surprise ending. This Tea Shop Mystery is written with pacing, plot twists, and action reminiscent of a thriller and is liberally sprinkled with the magic of Christmas.
Read an Excerpt:
Theodosia peered through the window and saw Delaine standing on her front stoop.
“It’s awfully late, isn’t it?” Theodosia said as she unlocked the door and pulled it open. Then she stared in amazement.
“I brought your foster dogs,” Delaine said
Theodosia frowned. “When I agreed to be a temporary foster home, you said it would be one dog. Singular. I see more than one dog. In fact . . .” Theodosia did a hasty head count. “I see . . . six dogs?”
“Some of the people who agreed to foster the dogs over Christmas weaseled out on me. So I need a teensy bit of help.”
Theodosia sighed as Delaine’s herd of canines trooped into her home. “This is how it starts, isn’t it?” she said. “This is how animal lovers become the animal hoarders you see on TV. Crazy ladies with three dozen dogs, three hundred parakeets, and a herd of baby goats in the back yard.”
“You paint an overly dramatic picture,” Delaine said. “Besides, you only have to mind these sweet creatures for two, maybe three days at the most. Now this adorable dachshund is Pumpkin, the poodle is Marty, and the Doberman is Sabrina. Those two don’t actually have names and this big boy is Gruenwald.”
“He’s as big as a horse!” Theodosia cried.
“But oh so sweet.”
So of course Theodosia took them in. It was Christmas after all. And they were in desperate need of a home.
About the Author: Laura Childs is the author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. All have been on the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestseller lists. Recently, Book Riot named her mysteries to their list of “25 of the All Time Best Cozy Mystery Series.” In her previous life Laura was CEO of her own marketing firm, authored several screenplays, and produced a reality TV show. She is married to Dr. Bob, a professor of Chinese art history, and has a Chinese Shar-Pei named Lotus.
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