Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Review: Steeped in Evil by Laura Childs

Title: Steeped in Evil   
Author: Laura Childs    
Series: A Tea Shop Mystery #15    
Published: March 2014, Berkley Hardcover  
Format: ARC Paperback   
Source: Author  

In the newest mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Sweet Tea Revenge, Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is about to learn the true meaning of terroir…...

Theodosia Browning has never considered herself a wine connoisseur—tea has always been her forte. But that doesn’t mean she’s going to pass up an invitation to a fancy wine-tasting party at the upscale Knighthall Winery, just outside of Charleston, South Carolina.

But a sweet evening takes on a bitter aftertaste when a dead body is discovered in one of the wine barrels. The son of proprietor Jordan Knight has been murdered.

Dissatisfied with the police investigation, Knight turns to Theo for help. She’s heard through the grapevine that there are both family and business problems at Knighthall. They say in vino veritas, but everyone at the winery seems to be lying through their teeth. Sorting through the guest list as well as family and staff, Theo has her pick of suspects. It may look like the killer has her over a barrel, but cracking tough cases is vintage Theodosia Browning.

My thoughts: It's no secret that I absolutely love Laura Childs' Tea Shop Mystery cozy series, so I was quite ecstatic when an advanced copy of the latest, Steeped in Evil, the 15th in the series, showed up in my mailbox! This is the series that got me hooked on cozy mysteries and also that has developed my love affair with all things tea-related, including trying to visit local tea shops/tea rooms when I go on vacations now!

In this latest installment, there's a blend of wine and tea. While we still get lots of information about tea and even get treated to a Downton Abbey-themed tea at the Indigo Tea Shop, the murder-du-jour of this book takes place at a winery, so there are plenty of interesting facts thrown in about wine and wine making. It turns out that the deceased is the winery owners' son and a close friend of Drayton's, so they approach Theo to look into things. And Theo being Theo just can't resist...and brings Drayton along while investigating.

What I love about this series, besides the fun, eclectic bunch of characters, is that the cozy setting is paired with an adrenaline-packed storyline as Theo works to solve the murder. There are plenty of twists and turns, the book moves at a steady pace and sometimes I can guess who-done-it and other times I am completely stumped! (I was stumped this time around!!!)

I'm happy to say that this is not the last of this series - there's a little blurb about the next Tea Shop Mystery in the back of the book, along with information about the next titles in her other series as well. I also hear Laura Childs has a brand new series coming out soon - that makes 4 cozy series!!! She certainly is a prolific writer and one that I just adore!

Books in this series:
  1. Death by Darjeeling                          10. OolongDead 
  2. Gunpowder Green                             11. The Teaberry Strangler
  3. Shades of Earl Grey                          12.  Scones & Bones
  4. English Breakfast Murder              13.  Agony of the Leaves
  5. The Jasmine Moon Murder           14.  Sweet Tea Revenge
  6. Chamomile Mourning                     15.  Steeped in Evil
  7. Blood Orange Brewing                   16.  Ming Tea Murder - due out 2015                  
  8. Dragonwell Dead
  9. The Silver Needle Murder

1 comment

  1. Is there a back story to any of her books? Do you have to read the first one before you can read any others?


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