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The Silver Needle Murder: A Tea Shop Mystery    by Laura Childs order for
Silver Needle Murder
by Laura Childs
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

The Silver Needle Murder is the ninth Tea Shop Mystery by Laura Childs. It is just as good as the first or the fifth was and as I am sure the next one will be. Childs has a decided knack for drawing the reader into her fictional world centered on a successful tea shop in historic Charleston, South Carolina.

Theodosia Browning, owner and all-round dogsbody, is always ready to do whatever is necessary to make her customers feel at home. Her job description, however, does not include chasing murderers, although this is what she invariably ends up doing, much to Police Chief Tidwell's consternation.

The Charleston Film Festival is about to begin and the tea shop has signed on for a variety of catering jobs, which means a whirlwind of buying, preparing, presenting and clean-up. The shop is up for the job and Theo is up for finding a fiend who has murdered one of the film directors. As Theo found the body, she is almost duty-bound, in her opinion, to track down the culprit. As she sets about her self-appointed task, more bodies appear.

Theo is to be a judge at the festival and this involves some dressing up on her part. The clothes described are fun to imagine even though they don't fare too well. The teatime goodies sound wonderful, although they may need the atmosphere of the tea shop to taste as good as they sound (recipes can be found at the back of the book.) A veritable encyclopedia of teas is presented for your edification. And the denouement will surprise even the most devoted of cozy fans. The Silver Needle Murder is well brewed read.

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