Note: Whether you’re a long-time reader of the Indigo Tea Shop mysteries by Laura Childs or a newcomer to the series, Pekoe Most Poison is an excellent read. I’ll post my review tomorrow, along with a chance to win one of two print copies.
Pekoe Most Poison
By Laura Childs
Indigo Tea Shop #18
In the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs, Theodosia Browning attends a “Rat Tea,” where the mice will play…at murder.
When Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is invited by Doreen Briggs, one of Charleston’s most prominent hostesses, to a “Rat Tea,” she is understandably intrigued. As servers dressed in rodent costumes and wearing white gloves offer elegant finger sandwiches and fine teas, Theo learns these parties date back to early twentieth-century Charleston, where the cream of society would sponsor so-called rat teas to promote city rodent control and better public health.
But this party goes from odd to chaotic when a fire starts at one of the tables and Doreen’s entrepreneur husband suddenly goes into convulsions and drops dead. Has his favorite orange pekoe tea been poisoned? Theo smells a rat.
The distraught Doreen soon engages Theo to pursue a discreet inquiry into who might have murdered her husband. As Theo and her tea sommelier review the guest list for suspects, they soon find themselves drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse…
INCLUDES RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS
Guest Post by Laura Childs
Hi, it is wonderful to be here at A Blue Million Books today to talk about Pekoe Most Poison, the eighteenth book in the Tea Shop Mystery series. It is always great fun for me (and I hope for you) to visit the Indigo Tea Shop and see what’s going on in the lives of Theodosia, Drayton, Haley, their friends and, perhaps, some not so friendly folks.
On a gorgeous Charleston day, Theodosia and Drayton are invited to a social event billed as a “rat tea” a throwback to the days when society matrons held elaborate teas to heighten the awareness of the overwhelming need to read the city of pesky vermin. Still, Theodosia is more than a little startled when she and Drayton arrive at the home of socially prominent Doreen “Dolly” Briggs and the door is opened by someone dressed quite formally in blue velvet waistcoat and shiny black boots and wearing a white velvet rat head. It takes a moment or so to get used to the fact that all the servers are wearing rat heads above their fancy dress outfits.
Still the company is grand and the conversation flows merrily until Dolly’s husband, Beau, collapses to the floor and, after a bit of lurching and gulping, dies right before everyone’s eyes.
Theodosia has developed quite a reputation as an amateur sleuth and Drayton is more than Theodosia’s sommelier. They are close and true friends of long standing, so when Dolly Briggs wants Theodosia to investigate Beau’s murder, she knows just how to make that happen. Dolly offers a generous donation to Drayton’s beloved Heritage Society with the proviso that he coax Theodosia into trying to solve Beau’s murder.
Reluctantly, Theodosia agrees but no one is sure how the new detective on the case, Pete Riley, a handsome man with remarkable blue eyes, is going to react to Theodosia’s snooping.
I’m happy to say that the plot moves at a thriller pace making Pekoe Most Poison a suspenseful guilty pleasure.
Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fund raising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.
Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:
The Tea Shop Mysteries
The Scrapbooking Mysteries
The Cackleberry Club Mysteries
Website │ Facebook