Meow! Today I'm reviewing Laura Child's latest entry in the Tea Shop Mysteries, HAUNTED HIBISCUS!
a tea shop mystery
March 2, 2021
Tea maven Theodosia Browning brews up trouble in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.
It is the week before Halloween and Theodosia Browning, proprietor of the Indigo Tea Shop, and her tea sommelier, Drayton, are ghosting through the dusk of a cool Charleston evening on their way to the old Bouchard Mansion. Known as the Gray Ghost, this dilapidated place was recently bequeathed to the Heritage Society, and tonight heralds the grand opening of their literary and historical themed haunted house.
Though Timothy Neville, the patriarch of the Heritage Society, is not thrilled with the fund-raising idea, it is the perfect venue for his grandniece, Willow French, to sign copies of her new book, Carolina Crimes & Creepers.
But amid a parade of characters dressed as Edgar Allan Poe, Lady Macbeth, and the Headless Horseman, Willow's body is suddenly tossed from the third-floor tower room and left to dangle at the end of a rope. Police come screaming in and Theodosia's boyfriend, Detective Pete Riley, is sent to Willow's apartment to investigate. But minutes later, he is shot and wounded by a shadowy intruder.
Timothy begs Theodosia to investigate, and shaken by Riley's assault, she readily agrees. Now, she questions members of the Heritage Society and a man who claims the mansion is rightfully his, as well as Willow's book publisher and her fiancé, all while hosting a Sherlock Holmes tea and catering several others.
But the Gray Ghost holds many secrets, as do several other key suspects, while this murder mystery plays out on the eve of Halloween.
Who can resist a Halloween murder mystery? Once again, a very pleasing entry in a spectacular series. Theo wades through her list of suspects with her usual aplomb, with Drayton as her trusty sidekick. There are plenty of twists and turns to satisfy even the pickiest reader, and as usual an ending you dont see coming. We would like to add that Theo has vastly improved in the wardrobe destruction department as well. A Five Paw tale (tail?).
ROCCO’S Fast Five for Haunted Hibiscus
by Laura Childs, New York Times bestselling author
What’s your favorite part of the day?
Late afternoon when the sun starts to slant in my office window. That’s when I get
my second wind and the ideas flow more easily. Maybe because it feels like the
pressure’s off, maybe because it suits my circadian rhythm.
What do you like to do to celebrate when you finish writing a book?
I kind of hate to admit this, but I don’t celebrate. Crazy at it sounds, if I finish a
book in the morning, I start a new one that afternoon. Compulsive, huh?
What food do you wish was calorie free?
Chocolate is my dark master. I’m addicted to chocolate covered peanuts, boxes of
Godiva, chocolate walnut fudge . . . well, you get the idea.
What was your favorite book as a child?
I adored the Sign of the Twisted Candles. It was a Nancy Drew Mystery that had
everything I love – spooky old inn, quirky characters, tantalizing crime, and three
BFFs out to solve a mystery.
What’s something that’s always in your refrigerator?
Diet Coke. I can’t get moving in the morning without a can of Diet Coke. And
though nutritionists would call me crazy, I feel it’s genuinely good for you. If
you’re hot, it cools you down. If you’re feeling crumby it settles your stomach.
And when you’re tired that little jolt of caffeine picks you right up!
Thank you, Laura!
Laura Childs will give away a signed copy of Haunted HIbiscus to one lucky commenter! to enter, leave your name and email address in our comments section below. US entries only, please. Winner will be chosen using random.org. Contest ends midnight, March 28.