Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Shades of Earl Grey

Shades of Earl Grey
Author: Laura Childs
Berkley, 2003
234 pages

This breezy read is the third in the Tea Shop Mystery series, which is set in the historic district of Charleston, South Carolina. Amateur sleuth Theodosia Browning (owner of the Indigo Tea Shop)  and her sidekicks Drayton (tea master and Renaissance man) and Haley (pastry chef extraordinaire) are preparing to launch a tea-based bath products line. Business at the tea shop is booming, especially now that Indigo has added a lunch service. Life seems to be going along rather swimmingly in the old town . . . until a bridegroom turns up dead, and a valuable piece of heirloom jewelry turns up missing.

When a couple of other valuables in the neighborhood mysteriously disappear, Theo begins to wonder: has a cat burglar come to town? She can list several people who just might be suspects. Take the creepy lawyer who keeps showing up in all the right places. And the special events bartender who was at all of the events, and loves to sell vintage "finds" on an internet auction site. Regardless of whodunnit, with the death of the groom, theft is not the only crime.

I like this light-hearted series, despite a few editing glitches (it was Wallis, not Wallace, who was Duchess of Windsor. And it was Pachelbel's Canon, not Cannon.) I kind of wonder how Theo's business would be doing in the current economy. Things are just a little too perfect; the banter between characters is at times just a little annoying. But it works, and I want to read more books in this series.

I can't wait to try the Chicken Perloo recipe. :-)

Previous books in this series that I've reviewed:
Book 1 - Death by Darjeeling
Book 2 - Gunpowder Green