Monday, March 15, 2021

ROCCO reviews Haunted Hibiscus (and Laura Childs does a FAST FIVE)

 Meow! Today I'm reviewing Laura Child's latest entry in the Tea Shop Mysteries, HAUNTED HIBISCUS!

Haunted Hibiscus

a tea shop mystery

Laura Childs

Berkley hardcover

March 2, 2021

Five Stars


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.

ROCCO's review:

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 Contest ends midnight, March 28.


  1. Looking forward to reading "the Haunted Hibiscus and Twisted Tea Christmas that will be out this October. Love your tea room books and recipes. Thanks

  2. I love holiday stories. This sounds great. Thanks for the change to win a copy.
    Sally Schmidt

  3. Please pass the tea tray. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Haunted Hibiscus. Carl Scott - crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

  4. I love this series, thanks for the entry! Tari barbie17 (at) gmail (dot) com

  5. I vote for making chocolate calorie free. Thanks for the giveaway!
    turtle6422 at gmail dot com

  6. I absolutely love this series! I also like the Halloween setting. Looking forward to reading "Haunted Hibiscus".

  7. such an amazing blog. if you want to read more blogs like this, you can check out the link furry beings

  8. I love the cover it is so eye catching and also love this series. I wish you much luck on your tour and would love to read and review on a few sites. peggy clayton ptclayton2 @

  9. This is one of my favorite authors/series! Thanks so much for the chance to win this!! Linda Herold lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com

  10. A Halloween Murder Mystery?! Sounds spooky! Thanks for a chance to win! Erica Herold -