Agony of the Leaves: Tea Shop Mystery #13

Laura Childs. Berkley Prime Crime, $25.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-425-24553-8
Childs’s lively 13th Tea Shop mystery (after 2011’s Scones & Bones) finds Theodosia Browning with a lot on her plate, what with her bustling Charleston, S.C., tea shop, a line of proprietary blends, and a hot new romance—and that’s even before she discovers the body of ex-boyfriend Parker Scully floating in an aquarium tank. Initially, the young restaurateur’s death appears to be a gruesome accident, but sharp-eyed Theodosia spots what look like defensive wounds on his hands. Theodosia soon finds a number of possible suspects, including some dubious characters with whom Scully had discussed business projects, and even more people inexplicably eager to shut down her investigation. Not to worry: detection frequently gets put on the back burner when Theodosia has to focus on one of her catering jobs. While series fans will no doubt relish every foodie tidbit, others may find that the many red herrings leave a bad taste. Agent: Sam Pinkus, Veritas Media. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/16/2012
Release date: 03/06/2012
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