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The Teaberry Strangler: A Tea Shop Mystery    by Laura Childs order for
Teaberry Strangler
by Laura Childs
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2010 (2010)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Laura Childs, New York Times bestselling author of Oolong Dead, is back with a new title in her Tea Shop Mystery series. It's fun and delightful, including a myriad of scrumptious recipes for the food served in this newest addition to cleverly written cozies that both intrigue and mystify.

After a Dickensian evening to promote the shops adjoining Theodosia Browning's tea shop, she is witness to a murder. It was planned to be a wonderful evening with old time costumes to make potential customers feel they were back in Charleston in days gone by. Theodosia sees the murder but is helpless to save her friend, map shop owner Daria.

The map shop had been sought by various people eager to buy. But was it enough to kill for? The plot takes off and keeps the reader in suspense. But while the mystery escalates, the doings around the tea shop continue. Business as usual. And what a business Theodosia runs with lifelike characters who almost jump off the pages.

Theodosia is known in Charleston as one who can solve mysteries, although Charleston's Detective Tidwell would dispute that theory. He is, though, not averse to keeping her in the loop.

I'd like to visit this tea shop and partake of some of the delicacies on the menu. And, best of all, meet Theodosia. I might even test some of the teas mentioned - though I don't usually care for hot drinks - just to see some of the teapots and cups and saucers used in the shop. The Teaberry Strangler is a book to take your mind off any troubles you might have. Indulge.

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