The Teaberry Strangler: A Tea Shop Mystery

Laura Childs, Author . Berkley Prime Crime $24.95 (303p) ISBN 978-0-425-23245-3

Set in Charleston, S.C., Childs's tepid 11th tea-themed puzzler (after 2009's Oolong Dead ) offers an elegant heroine in her 30s who some readers may feel too often acts like an old lady. One rainy March evening, while walking along a cobblestone alley, Theodosia Browning, the proprietor of the Indigo Tea Shop, spots Daria Shand, her good friend and owner of a neighboring shop, in a “nasty struggle” with an unknown assailant. The attacker flees at Theodosia's approach, leaving Daria dead in the alley. A minty fragrance Theodosia detects at the crime scene may provide a useful clue in her informal murder investigation. Childs supplies plenty of touristy asides as well as savory details about teas and gourmet goodies, if at the expense of the action. The continuing animosity between police detective Burt Tidwell and Theodosia adds some tension, but the mystery never quite catches fire as it simmers to a close. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/18/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
Hardcover - 445 pages - 978-1-4104-2500-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 318 pages
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