Plum Tea Crazy by Laura Childs

Plum Tea Crazy

Laura Childs

"Tea lovers, mystery lovers, [this] is for you. Just the right blend of cozy fun and clever plotting."--Susan Wittig Albert, New York Times bestselling author

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Theodosia Browning investigates a Charleston steeped in tradition and treachery in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

While viewing the harbor's Gaslights and Galleons Parade from the widow's walk of Timothy Neville's Charleston mansion, local banker Carson Lanier seemingly tumbles over a narrow railing, then plunges three stories to his death. But a tragic accident becomes something much more sinister when it's discovered that the victim was first shot with a bolt from a crossbow.

At the request of the mansion owner, Theodosia investigates the tragedy and is soon neck deep in suspects. An almost ex-wife, a coworker, a real estate partner--all had motives for killing the luckless banker, but one resorted to murder to settle accounts.


Advance Galley Reviews

I love cozy mysteries, but had a hard time getting into this one. I had a hard time with the characters and story.

Though this is indeed the first experience that I have had of Miss Theodosia's tea-laced brand of sleuthing. I must say that hers is a world that this reviewer had no trouble making herself at home in, almost immediately. The reasons: The rather unorthodox method in which a very unfortunate Mr. Lanier meets his maker. This is a death that must be read to be appreciated. More on the subject shall not be said however. For fear of spoilers. Theodosia Can you say smart, efficient, snarky, and endowed with just enough curiosity to make it way too much for her own good. The Supporting Cast There are no small parts or small players in this cozy whodunit. As a result there is also never a shortage of either high jinx or plausible suspects. Putting a much needed whisper of common sense into the mix, and managing to hold down the fort at the tea shop. Theodosia's business partner and tea sommelier extraordinaire, Drayton, merits a singular mention. As he was most responsible for the introduction of a great many of the tea recipes that are a hallmark of this series. Of course my review of the supporting cast wouldn't be complete without a few honorable mentions. Jamie-the young relative that Drayton is forced to take under his wing and "teach what he knows about tea". His un-Draytonness provides just the right amount of freshness. Not to mention seeing the way that his presence serves to ruffle Drayton's impeccably groomed feathers is a sight well worth the proverbial price of admission. Det. Riley- aka "The White Knight. Theodosia's get things done "right hand boo thang " on the local police force. Who is also there to make sure that his oh so curious kitty maintains as many of her nine lives as is humanly possible. The Writing The writing is very reader friendly. Possessing just the right amount of charm, snark, and wit. This is a book that one wants to read. Moderate pacing and a very readable mid-range length of 318 pages, makes this read the perfect 'one sitting wonder'. The Ending This is truly an ending that you won't see coming. Which is for this reviewer, the golden standard for all mysteries. Cozy especially. Given the fact that the smaller scope of the story usually leads to the reader knowing who the guilty party is long before the sleuths. In short... This may be book 19 in the Tea Shop Mystery series. But it is a book that both mystery and tea lovers will want to savor long after its story has ended. *Reviewer's Note Plum Tea Crazy may be read is part of its respective series, or as a stand alone. **I was granted a review copy of this book as part of the First To Read Program (Penguin) In exchange for the honest review provided. Rating 5/5

Up to Chapter 30 I was not really sure who did it; which is good right, but then eventually everything fell into place. Don’t mess with Theo’s Aunt Libby or there will be sparks flying! Timothy Neville has a small get together that ended in tragedy. He solicits Theo and Drayton to find out who the murdered is and why. Their day job is running the “Indigo Tea Shop”, so they already have a lot on their plates. This is the 19th. book in this series and for me, I believe the best one. Please give it a try!!!!

This is the first books I ever read by Laura Childs. It was cute, it was enjoyable. Not a reading to take seriously as its characters are flat, stereotypical but lovable. The mystery itself wasn't what caught my eye but the useful information about teas and all the passion surrounding that -my personal favorite- beverage. A nice book as palate cleanser. To regain strength between readings.

This book was a cute easy read. I found the characters to be charming but rather flat. The dialog needs some help. For example, 'domicile' was used too often and a more appropriate word would be 'residence' if the author wanted a technical term. The murderer was fairly easy to figure out. I did enjoy the information about unique teas.

While viewing the harbor's Gaslights and Galleons Parade from the widow's walk of Timothy Neville's Charleston mansion, local banker Carson Lanier seemingly tumbles over a narrow railing, then plunges three stories to his death. But a tragic accident becomes something much more sinister when it's discovered that the victim was first shot with a bolt from a crossbow. At the request of the mansion owner, Theodosia investigates the tragedy and is soon neck deep in suspects. An almost ex-wife, a coworker, a real estate partner--all had motives for killing the luckless banker, but one resorted to murder to settle accounts. This novel starts out with a bang. From the opening page to the end of the first chapter my heart read as Theodora and Drayton rush to where Lanier has fallen. As the investigation unfolds things calm down a little, as the Indigo Tea Shop workers prepare for a Japanese themed tea and work to solve Lanier's murder. Still, exciting events add a punch and keep the reader intrigued. I did figure out whodunit about three fourths of the way through the book, but I still enjoyed watching events unfold. The Tea Shop mystery books are written very formally, at least to me, as longtime characters are often referred to with both names and their title repeatedly. Sometimes it seems a bit over the top, and I felt I would know them a little better if the writing were a bit more relaxed. This is the nineteenth book in the Tea Shop series, and I admit that I haven't read them all, but those that I have read I have enjoyed. I plan on going back and reading the others that I have missed. I received an ARC of this book through Penguin's First to Read program.

"Plum Tea Crazy" is the newest in the Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs. Theodosia and Dayton own and operate a tea shop in Charleston and in their spare time they solve mysteries. When Theodosia and Dayton go to a friends party, one of the guests is shot by an arrow, falling off a balcony and landing on a fence spike. There are suspects aplenty. BTW, I have not read any previous books in the series and found it easy to follow. The book reads much like a 'what if Nancy Drew opened a tea shop' way. Riley, Theo's boyfriend and a detective, for some reason allows her to have confidential information and to go to witnesses to try and solve crimes. Which I would think would get him fired and her to be tampering with a witness, but I guess in fiction when it comes to sleuthing you have to be flexible. Theo goes from suspect to suspect rounding up clues to solve the murder. Though the book doesn't always make much sense and I figured out the murderer quickly; it is well written and enjoyable to read. It is a nice book to read when you have enough stress in your life and just want to enjoy reading. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from First to Read. I posted this review to my blog, In a minute, and to amazon.

Intrigue! Mystery! Tea! This was a quick, fun read for me. I haven't read any of the previous mysteries but didn't feel like I was missing too much backstory. I loved the characters, the more eccentric the better. I would recommend to anyone who loves some good twists and turns!

This was my first time reading a book in this series. I found it fun and quirky and loved all the tea references and the food pairings ( but I love tea so that endeared me to the book). There were some unbelievable things that took place in the mystery as to how characters acted and got responses. Like Theodosia's constant involvement in the mystery in a very unorthodox way but that is what made it a fun read. She did things that you normally would not be able to do but that is the great thing about books. Loved Theodosia, Drayton, Haley and the Indigo Tea Shop in Plum Tea Crazy..The recipes were a nice surprise too! Can't wait to try them out. Do wish she would have given up Drayton's specialty tea blend recipes too.

Theodosia Browning is the owner of the Indigo Tea Shop with a penchant for sniffing out murderers. So when Theo and her friend and tea sommelier Drayton Conneley are watching the Gaslights and Galleons Parade from the widow's walk of Timothy Neville's stately home, and a man's body falls from the walk down to the gardens below, Theodosia is one of the first down the stairs to see if he's okay. Neville, one of Charleston's leading statesmen and director of the Heritage Society, has invited many of the town's leaders to his celebration, which clearly did not end well.  Down in the garden, Theodosia finds the man impaled on the wrought-iron fence and finds out several things. First, his identity: Carson Lanier, a well known banker in town. And second, that he didn't accidentally fall off the roof. He'd been shot by a small metal arrow.  The following days bring many opportunities for Theodosia and Drayton to investigate further. Despite being warned off by Detective Burt Tidwell, Theo can't help it when the man Timothy mentioned was opposing a local Rare Weapons Show comes into her tea shop and starts ranting. Or of she goes to a sample sale to try to find a skirt for an upcoming charity event and runs into the victim's almost ex-wife who then spills the beans about his mistress. It's not Theodosia's fault that suspects just keep crossing her path and telling her potentially incriminating information, right?  Plum Tea Crazy is the 19th book in Laura Childs' Tea Shop Mysteries, and it's a truly beautifully composed cozy with tea and scones and murders. And as a bonus, there are recipes, tea tips, and ideas for anyone wanting to visit Charleston.  I'll be honest here. I've seen the Laura Childs' tea mysteries on store bookshelves for years, and I never tried one. I was a little intimidated by the frilly font of the title and the doilies on the cover. I am not a doily person. I am a sweatshirt and sneakers girl (although I do love a good cuppa). It took book 19 in the series to break me down and get me to try it.  Wow, was I wrong. There is nothing intimidating about this book. It's a fantastic, flowing story that reads beautifully. It's well plotted and incredibly accessible, the characters are smart and charming, and it's set in the lovely Charleston, one of the most interesting places in America to read about. I am very sorry that it has taken me this long to give these Tea Shop Mysteries a shot, a mistake I will be remedying as soon as possible. I have 18 more Tea Shop books to read! So put the kettle on, grab your scones, and sit down to a roller coaster of a ride with Laura Childs and everyone in the Indigo Tea Shop! No doilies necessary.   Galleys for Plum Tea Crazy were provided by Berkley through Penguins First to Read program, with many thanks.

This is one book in a series. The main characters run a tea shop. The book was okay but it didn’t keep me riveted. I knew who the villain was from almost the beginning. I hate tea so all the tea information didn’t interest me. It was a book that I liked but didn’t love it.

I attempted to read this book, but could just not get past the first chapter. I found what I read to be cliched and nothing new.

I've read several books in this series and so it hit all of my expectations-light, fun and frothy. I do appreciate that Childs has slightly toned Theodosia's entitlement when it comes to having the information on the murder case shared with her. That worked my nerves in several of the previous books and it was not as irritating in this one. The killer was predictable, but I enjoyed the book nonetheless. The cast of characters, excluding Delaine, are always delightful and the town is lovely. As mentioned, I'm familiar with the series so even though I am several books behind, I was able to jump right into the story. I don't necessarily think one has to read the previous books as Childs does a good job of summarizing the characters, but you would have more background if you read one or two of the earlier books. If you are a fan of this series, tea or cozy mysteries then this is a good read for you.

This just wasn’t my “cup of tea”. The plot was Slow moving for me. The characters were under developed. Someone who really was a tea lover may prefer this read and the references.

This book may spell the end of my experiment with thematic cozies. I just couldn't get into the main characters, and I had no interest in the mind-numbing details of tea making. I'll be moving on to other genres.

This was my first introduction to this series. This is book #19. Not sure it was the best place to start. I normally like to read a series from the very beginning but was just not possible. I will be going back and starting this series after this book. This follows Theo and Drayton as they try and solve a murder of a local banker who fell to his death right before their eyes at the mansion of a friend. There was no lack of potential suspects and I like that Theo is relentless in her search for the truth and that her "love" interest was ok with her investigating. As I said this read will make me add this to be my list of reads and I will work to catch up on this series. Recommend.

The 19th book in this series and I still enjoy the tea, recipes and mystery! This one has the usual setup with a lot of luncheons, parties, galas, and other assorted events that the story and murderous activities centers around. This time, a local banker is shot dead (with a quarrel of all things) during the Charleston Harbor’s Gaslights and galleons Parade while he was watching from Timothy Neville’s mansion’s widows walk and tumbles to his death. Of course, Theodosia is on hand to witness and is asked by Timothy, to investigate. Theodosia turns up a number of suspects ranging from the banker’s estranged wife, a supposed love interest at the bank, and a unsettled anti-gun activist. Love the details of all the tea party and goodies that the tea shop creates. And the murder mystery isn’t too bad either! Always a lot of fun to read and this one has Laura at the peak of her writing. Thank you First to Read and Berkley Books for this ARC.

I got a free copy of this through Penguin's First To Read program in exchange for an honest review. New characters, so many events, and hijinks galore! There is a lot to love in this new mystery that Theodosia faces. The many events that go on for the upper crust of Charleston society are on display this one, a Rare Weapons show for the Heritage Society, a Plum Tea for a garden club, a Tea Trolley for another group, a cat show, and a Chinese fashion show for Delaine. I loved reading about all of those. I liked Haley's cousin, Jaime. There were sweetgrass baskets, T-Bath products, some danger, and so much tea! All the things I like about A Tea Shop Mystery were there, but I would have preferred a little more explanation from the murderer. I knew who it was early on, but really had no clue why. I had a clue why by the end, but I didn't feel like I had the whole story. Still it was a fun read because Theodosia and the Indigo Tea Shop were involved.

A lovely cozy mystery series, and we are far enough into the series that it can be assumed most people are familiar with the characters. That way not as much of the book needs to be spent on the major characters and the various villains of the piece can have more time in the spotlight. The action takes place in about a week, short by most mystery standards, but it is a week filled with parades, special teas, fashion shows and boardroom skullduggery. There are plenty of quirky characters given walk-on roles as distractions for the amateur sleuth, in this case tea shop owner Theodosia Browning. All week she studies and examines her suspects, not realizing how far off the mark she is until her aunt comes to tea and spills a chance happenstance that shines a new and different light on the events. I got a real kick out of reading this entry into the series. And the book had one of my favorite treats, recipes. Now I have to get a real copy, because the one I read for this review was from Netgalley. Those books disappear after you read them.

I have read all of the Tea Shop Mysteries. I have enjoyed them all very much. In this latest book "Plum Tea Crazy", not quite as much. I had a little bit of trouble with some of the suspects and their motives. The motives were weak for a murder. It is also a repeat from previous books for Theodosia to be Timothy Neville's personal problem solver. This series is feeling more and more "upper crust" with few regular type folks.

Unfortunately, I could not get my copy to download to my app. I did the exact same thing as the last time, but didn't work.

This was my first time reading a book in the "cozy" mystery, and I think this might be one of my new favorite genres. I've always been a fan of mysteries, and what caught my attention with this book was that it was set in Charleston and the protagonist was a female tea shop owner who just happens to dabble in solving crimes. This book is a good read if you're looking for a lighthearted whodunit with humorous dialogue and likable characters - it's not a book that will keep you up at night though because you're eager to find out who the culprit is. This book is part of a series, but I didn't feel like I needed to read the other books in order to get up to speed on the different characters backstories. It's a solid stand-alone book that's perfect for a rainy day and or when you're taking public transportation to get you somewhere.

I feel like I missed something coming into a series so late to the game. But Plum Tea Crazy was still an easy read. There were some interesting recipes throughout the book and I did enjoy that aspect, however, the actual meat of the story was slightly lacking. All in all, it was a comforting read that didn't push me out of my comfort zone, which sometimes can be the right cup of tea. (Pun 100% intended.)

What a fun read! Even though it was 19th in the series, Plum Tea Crazy was easy to follow with its rich story and wonderful characters. Set in a delightful tea shop in Charleston, this tale follow Theodosia "Theo" Browning as she searches to uncover the truth behind a mysterious death. With help from her longtime friend Drayton and love interested Pete, Theo finds herself in all kinds of mischief. With several twists and a clever ending, this reader was satisfied and ready to brew some plum blossom tea. The end of the book also contains poems and recipes mentioned throughout.

It’s always exciting for me when a new book in my favorite cozy mystery series, the Laura Childs tea shop series, is released, and this newest installment, the 19th in the series, did not disappoint. All of the usual Indigo Tea Shop characters I’ve come to love are present in this one, as usual but, once again, Childs brings something unique to each new book. In this case, a unique murder weapon, for instance. When I read a Laura Childs mystery, I always feel like I’m catching up with old friends, along with the plot twists and turns, and, once again, that was true in this book. I can hardly wait til the next installment. Very highly recommended!!

Plum Tea Crazy Laura Childs This was the first book in this series I have read and based on it, I have no great desire to read another. I found it well written and things moved quickly, but I found the plot line a bit hard to believe and things weren't all tied up at the end. I found the story a bit pretentious and superficial. The recipes at the end were nice. I received this from Penguin's First to Read Program in exchange for an honest review.

This is the first Laura Childs book that I have read. I think the tie in with recipes featured within the story and tips/resources on tea etiquette is a wonderful touch. The story was a light and easy read but I found myself wanting more.

This is the first book in this series I have read. I read it to the end, which I don't always do, so that says something. It had a nice pace and the writing was well done. Liked the recipes in the back. The characters were a little shallow and I had a hard time believing a few things. One of their main suspects just decides to drop in and give Theo information out of the blue - just to Theo, not the cops - that wasn't explained or justified in my mind. Never tied up loose ends (think hit and run and assault on "surprise" suspect) which bugs me. Even how/why the first murder occurred and the unusual way that it did was not explained. Also doubt aa actual police boyfriend would be so understanding with her antics. I'd give it a 3 out of 5 stars.

This is the first Laura Childs book I have read. I loved it. The interactions with Theo and Drayton were great. I would have liked to see a little more for Det. Riley though. I will definitely be on the look out for more of the Tea Shop stories.

This book was great!! I love the Tea Shop Mysteries!! I can't wait for next one!!!

I truly enjoyed this visit with Theodosia, Drayton, and acquaintances. As usual, the story was delightful, the recipes delicious, and the plot devious. Always a pleasurable way to spend with a wonderful story teller.

This is the first I have read of this series I think. The characters seem a little stuffy for the south. Theodosia is likeable and the tea shop is a nice backdrop, however, I found it disconcerting she would question the capability of the local police when she was dating one! It is set in Charleston, SC and for a few chapters I was wondering if it were modern times or early 1900 something. It finally was made clear thru devices used. It is not a great mystery and characters seem a little shallow, but maybe because I have not read the previous books in the series. The characters seemed almost a little cartoonish at times. All in all, it was just OK. I am sure some like the series since this is the 19th? Not for me though. I was delighted to find recipes included in the back of the book. Nice touch. And there were some references for tea websties among others, so that was nice, too. If you love tea, recipes and the upper crust society types, then this might be for you.

It's been years since I read one of the Tea Shop Mysteries, but reading the latest installment reminded me of why I used to regularly check the mystery section for a new installment. This is a light easy read, with the usual mishaps, coincidences, and red herrings expected in this type of book. Anyone who has read enough of these types of books will know who the murderer is before clues are even put out there, but it then creates the challenge of finding the clues that prove we know who did it, even if Theodosia doesn't. Because I haven't read one of these books in years, I was concerned I wouldn't know who the characters or be able to relate to them. Childs does a good job of introducing each character and explaining who they are and their relationship to Theo without it being tedious for someone who reads them faithfully. There were a lot of characters to keep track of, but it wasn't difficult to do. I think the recipes at the end are great too.

I do so enjoy Laura Childs' Tea Shop Mystery Series, and Plum Crazy Tea is a brilliant new addition! I discovered these mysteries through First to Read, as Death by Darjeeling is the first book I selected to read. PTC welcomes back all of bmp ou

was very glad to receive this book through Penguin's First to Read program. This is the first book I've read in this series. Although it is #18 in the series, it was not a problem to not have read the previous books. At first I thought the book was set in Victorian times, but quickly realized that it was set in modern times. The book, set in Charleston, SC, starts with Theodosia and Drayton attending a party when a man plunges to his death at the party. Theodosia wants to figure out what happened to him because she is so curious. I loved the descriptions of all the teas and scones, breads, and other accompaniments to tea. I got a little confused keeping all the characters and potential murder suspects straight, but I enjoyed the twists and turns of the book. I now have a new author to read and enjoy the rest of her books!

This story starts out with Theodosia and Drayton taking some time off from the Indigo Tea Shop to attend festivities at Timothy Neville's, when a man falls to his death (accident or murder?). It seems that the dead man, Carson Lanier, banker, was a member of the Heritage Society that Neville belongs to. Neville then asks Theodosia to see if any of his guests might have anything to do with Laniers death. Theo is always willing to help a friend and gets to work. A quick read with lots of suspects that come along as the story progresses. Her circle of friends, including love interest, Det. Pete Riley, help. Red herrings point in different directions but in the end the culprit and reasons for the murder are unmasked. A nice cozy mystery, to enjoy with a hot cup of tea. Thank you First-to-Read for this free e-copy of "Plum Tea Crazy".

I cozied up with Plum Tea Crazy unsure exactly what to expect. Laura Childs is not an author I have read before, so the Tea Shop mysteries are new to me. What a treat! I immediately felt right at home and comfortable with the tea shop and the characters who gather there. The mystery of who was the murderer took awhile to be revealed with more than one twist in the plot before the final revelation. This was a book I enjoyed. It was a needed break from the worries and cares of the real world. Bonuses include info about Charlestown which seems like a delightful place to visit and recipes! While I read the book I was drooling over the delicious sounding treats that were served at the tea shop for various functions. I was so pleased to find recipes for these treats included at the end of the book. I will add Laura Childs to my list of 'to read' authors for a pleasant time away from the everyday worries of the world.

I received this book free through the First to Read program. An evening watching the Tall Ships from Timothy Neville's house turns into a murder. As always with the Tea Shop Mysteries there is murder, mayhem, great food and humor though the book. I have enjoyed every installment of this series. Laura Childs writing style takes you right to Charleston and not only keeps you guessing but laughing as Theodosia and Drayton get into more than they bargained for every time. Plum Tea Crazy does not disappoint and is yet another great installment to one of my favorite series.

This book was just wonderful! From antiques, tea and guns, "Plum Tea Crazy" has all the interests every true southern girl loves. Though it was the 19th book in the Tea Shop Mystery series, you could jump right in without having to read the first 18 books to know what was going on. Perfect fun read for anyone looking for a little mystery in their lives!

I was very surprised to find that this is the 19th book in a series. Honestly, to me, it reads like a first effort by a new writer. The characters are likeable enough, although Theodosia seems somewhat scattered in that she jumps from suspect to suspect based solely on first meetings. Because so many characters are included they seem somewhat one dimensional; perhaps if you read the series they are previously more fully developed. I had less trouble determining the "whodunit" than did Theodosia because I wasn't distracted by the seeming red herrings. I would rate the book 2 1/2 out of 5 but give it a 3 because of the recipes included at the back. I received a pre-publication copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

A great cozy mystery for those that love the genre. There is a fun cast of likeable characters, and the story moves along at a nice pace. I really enjoyed reading this, and am greatly looking forward to another installment!

Sadly, I received this book,but I don’t have the correct device to read it on or the app to send it to successfully. I guess I’ll no longer be able to read & review anymore books from this site :(

Another great installment in Laura Childs’ Tea Shop Mystery series. Another great story and it’s always great to spend time ties Theodosia, Drayton, Haley and Delaine. Another local has been killed in front of Theo and Drayton, so of course she can’t leave the investigation to Tidwell. Lots of twists and turns with a bit of suspense. The killer isn’t very obvious, and Childs keeps the reader guessing! Overall a great mystery!

Loved the story. Engaging mystery. Great characters. I love tea and tea shops. This book was very entertaining and the recipes are a bonus

I really enjoy this series. It never fails to surprise and there is always something new to learn. Characters are likeable and easy to track through the storyline. Recipes and tea tips at the end of book are easy to follow and inspiring to try. Looking forward to the next adventure.

This is a good, fluffy book for a quick pass-time read. This is my first in the series, though it is No. 19. There is probably some backstories I don't know, but that didn't prevent me from reading it. I didn't realize it was modern times, because the characters seem straight out of Victorian times, but maybe that is how the South is? Also there were quite a few stereotypes that were played out or mentioned that seemed completely wrong at times (millenials, amiright?) So that point threw me off sometimes, shaking my head in shame. Like I said, it is a good, light read without much depth and could use some better writing.

I requested an advanced reading copy from Penguin's First to Read program because I have read the other volumes in this series. I had high hopes that Theodosia would become more developed as a character. Instead, I found that the author used a formula that has been present in the last few books in the series. There is a murder at a society event early in the book and then Theodosia locks in on a suspect. She's surprised when there are personal attacks on her but she continues to investigate and thumb her nose at the police. I found it hard to believe that Detective Riley would continue to be in a relationship with her. It was easy to guess the killer based upon what had happened in earlier books. In the beginning of this series, the tea shop was a charming background to the murder mystery, but now it seems that Theodosia's business is an afterthought. I'm not sure if I'll continue to read this series. Ratings: 2 out of 5 stars

Plum Tea Crazy is the nineteenth in Laura Childs' Tea Shop Mystery series, and continues the story of the Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston SC, its owner and sleuth, Theodosia Browning, her right hand man and tea sommellier, Drayton, and the chef, Hayley. A local businessman has suspiciously fallen to his death and Theo is drawn into investigating while his body is still warm. There's an abundance of suspects: the estranged wife, the new girlfriend, the disgruntled business partner. Theo crosses paths with all of them at various events and setting around Charleston and ruffles feathers along the way to draw out the murderer. Laura Childs' attention to settings and characters makes this series a treat to read; I look forward to each new installment and highly recommend the books.

I enjoyed this novel by Laura Childs. The characters and plot line were well developed. Even though I was able to guess the whodunnit sooner than the protagonist, I still enjoyed watching everything unfold and joining Theodosia and Drayton on their adventure. I would definitely read another book from Laura Childs. I also appreciated the recipes at the end of the book. Overall, I'd give this book a 4 out of 5.

This book was pretty enjoyable. I had no idea going in that this is the 19th in the series, but it was very easy to read as a standalone. I've been reading more and more mysteries through First to Read and I've found that I really do like the genre. The characters in this book do come off as a tiny bit pretentious, and you'll have to suspend disbelief that the detectives didn't put the pieces of the mystery together before Theo. While there were a few other elements of this story that I didn't love, overall it was a good read that kept me interested throughout. The solution to the mystery was actually pretty surprising, and the setting was quaint and well-written. I would definitely read more cozy mysteries by this author.

Theodosia is up to her elbows in more than hot tea water again! This time a man is killed during a fireworks and cannon display. Unlike most cozies, Ms. Childs gives an incredibly detailed portrayal of the murder victim and scene. It may be too much for the more gentler readers. I enjoyed the book until the very ending. Theodosia makes a great leap between her clues and determining who the killer was. I wish the clue had popped up sooner and Ms. Childs had given her time to do some sleuthing before pouncing on the answer. It almost felt like the identity of the killer was changed at the last minute and there wasn't time to go back and rewrite the lead-up.

I have only read a few books in the series, but I am glad I read this one. The first thing that drew me to this book was the lovely cover. This book starts off with a bang when Theodosia (Theo) and her good friend and tea sommelier, Drayton Conneley, are viewing the the city’s Gaslights and Galleons Parade event.When one of the guests appears to have been shot and falls from the widow's walk during the event,Theo jumps in right away. She ends up chasing a person who she thinks is responsible through the B & B next door. When it’s reinforced that it was a murder and not a horrible accident, Theo's friend asks her to poke around and see if she can come up with some suspects. Theo’s supportive friends are there to help her out from Drayton to Haley, the talented shop’s chef, and Haley’s young nephew, Jamie. The supporting characters are well thought out and add fun to the storyline. Theo’s relationship with Detective Pete Riley helped her to gather some facts and I find it refreshing that he doesn’t demand that she stop snooping. There were some laugh out loud moments in the book that I enjoyed as well. I thought I figured out who the murderer was and I was right, but the reveal was well done and tied up all the loose ends. A fun, entertaining story.

I chose this book, though not a genre (cozy mystery) I would normally read, from recent offerings by Penguin’s First to Read as an ARC. It provided what I was expecting, an easy, entertaining mystery. It was an enjoyable read, despite my being bothered by several repetitions and some tea shop business practices that didn’t seem to me to be realistic. I was able to figure out “who done it,” though I wasn’t completely sure until the end. A bonus: tea shop recipes from the story, some of which I plan to try.

I always enjoy Laura Childs’ books, and Plum Tea Crazy is no exception. Her books offer a richly detailed mystery beyond the typical cozy read. This book includes the familiar characters of Theodosia and Drayton of the Indigo Tea Shop, Detective Tidwell and beau Det. Pete Riley, and her fellow shop owners. We are also introduced to new characters as we explore the murder by bow and arrow of a local man surrounded by controversy. One of the things that I appreciate in Childs’ books is the lush descriptions of the setting from lovely Charleston to the specific room entered. Even the clothes that people wear are richly described, down to the brand of designer shoe. I enjoy being able to picture the particular room in the scene and its beautiful decor, as well as practically smell the enticing scent of the tea. For me, the details are as important as the unfolding mystery. This book includes several themes of local events, such as an antique arms show, Plum Blossom festival, “Hair Ball” cat fundraiser and even a hair-pulling cat fight. I was also tickled to note the mention of the Civil War hero for which our town is named, Frances “Swamp Fox” Marion. Plum Tea Crazy provided me with a delightful escape from the daily grind, and I look forward to her next book in this tea shop series.

I've gotten into these cozy mysteries lately and thought I would try a different author. This one was okay but not great. I found Theodosia and Drayton both annoying and pretentious. A lot of this atmosphere was southern high society with a Heritage Society, antique gun show, fashion show, cat show, etc. and I think it just wasn't the setting for me. I did like Childs' writing though and she structured the mystery well. The excerpt from a mystery in the Scrapbooking Mystery series called Glitter Bomb actually intrigued me more.

This is first book I have read in this series. Great characters. Easy to pick up even though I hadn't read the other books. I will read another.

What could be better than a mystery cozy set in a tea shop? I enjoyed reading this book. The main character, Theodosia, and her friend and coworker, Drayton Conneley, witness a murder while at a social event and then work together to investigate. Their relationship is well written, warm, and humorous. The fact that it is set in Charleston only adds to the ambiance of the story. The tea shop setting allows for quite a bit of information about the different kinds of teas to be imparted, and the book even has some tea time recipes at the back, along with "Tea Time Tips" and links for tea resources. After reading this, I found out that it is the nineteenth (!) in a series. I will certainly be looking for the others to read and catch up on the antics of Theo and Drayton. Thank you to Penguin books and the First to Read program for the opportunity to read and review this book in return for an honest review.

PLUM TEA CRAZY, the nineteenth book in the Tea Shop Mystery series by Laura Childs, captured my interest from the first page and kept me engaged until the last. This series has evolved, and the characters and their relationships have matured adding a new depth to the storyline. Theodosia and Drayton have the unfortunate tendency to be on hand when an untimely death occurs. True to form, while enjoying the festivities of the Gaslights and Galleons Parade, they witness the death (or was it murder?) of Carson Lanier, a local banker. As the book progresses, we are offered a peek into high society fashion shows, a Japanese art gallery and a black-tie event. As a reader, I was charmed with the sights of the city, Theodosia’s elegant tea shop, and the delectable tastings of tea and treats. Most important, I was entertained until the final page. An enjoyable read and a series that I will return to! I was provided an advance copy by First-to-Read in return for an honest review. Link to Amazon review Link to Amazon review

This is the first in this series that I have read. I usually like to start reading a series with the first book, but I didn't feel lost of confused by starting this series so far into the set. I enjoyed the writing and the characters. This author and series are going on my to read list.

I really enjoy this series and the latest installment did not disappoint! Laura Childs creates memorable characters and intriguing mysteries. I'm eager to read the next one!

I haven't read any of the books in this series before so I hate to start with #19, but I didn't feel too lost in the story. It was full of yummy sounding teas and food (some recipes included in the back as well as resources to find tea and learn more about tea). I was suspicious of the actual murderer earlier in the story so it wasn't a really difficult whodunit, but I still enjoyed the book.

I'm a fan of cozy mysteries so I was looking forward to reading one with the added twist of being partly in a tea shop in the deep South. The problem was that it just did not pan out as a complete story. The mystery is good and really deeply complicated, but our fearless heroine does no detecting and mostly just stumbles from one wrong assumption to another. It at times reminded me of watching a mystery/thriller with someone not familiar with the genre, the type of person that latches onto every suspect and immediately finds a hundred reasons for them to be the culprit. It definitely moves the story long and sets up some interesting scenes, but it doesn't work as a whole. It might be that coming into it on book 19 meant that I was missing the history or insight into the people whose story I was reading, but I found it lacking in character development. The reader is expected to know every character and people just pop in and out of the story as caricatures of people one would usually find in the type of story being told. It works in theory, but falls flat in practice. What I did enjoy is how Childs paints each scene perfectly into the reader's mind. She writes each scene (and it's accompanying tea) with the gusto of someone in love with the setting. It makes the world come alive; it's just bad that the characters didn't follow the same road. Now, I will fully take responsibility for coming into this on a very advanced volume so it might be that someone familiar with the characters and world will love it and devour it from cover to cover, but I just wasn't crazy about it.

Even though this is the latest book in a long series, Plum Tea Crazy is a book that is easy to jump into although I haven't read any of the prior books. The characters and scenery are well-developed. When it comes to the mystery there are enough twists and turns to keep us readers entertained. I loved the characters and I would definitely go back and read the rest of the series in my spare time. The added recipes are a treat!

This is my first "Cozy Tea" book. The southern charm makes this book a fun and quick read. The characters were quirky and well developed. I l enjoyed learning about the teas. The author made me feel like I was at the locations. The number of suspects for the murder were many and varied greatly. I couldn't put the book down.

Plum Tea Crazy by Laura Childs is the nineteenth story in A Tea Shop Mystery series. Theodosia “Theo” Browning owns the Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston, South Carlson. Theo is aided by her tea sommelier, Drayton Conneley and chef, Haley Parker. Drayton and Theo are enjoying the Gaslights and Galleons Parade from the widow’s walk of Timothy Neville’s Archdale Street mansion. When the cannon volleys begin a scream rings out, and Carson Lanier slides down the roof to his death atop a fleur-de-lis fence finial. Upon inspection of Carson’s body, it is discovered he was shot by a quarrel (type of arrow used in a crossbow) which caused him to tumble over the railing of the widow’s walk. Timothy requests that Theo use her skills to investigate Carson’s murder. It turns out that there are several viable suspects that include a protestor of the upcoming antique firearms display at the Heritage Society, Carson’s estranged wife, a co-worker, and the manager of a local bed-and-breakfast. Who shot Carson and why? Theo works in her sleuthing in between working at the tea shop, handling catering gigs, taking care of Earl Grey, and specialty tea events they have scheduled at the Indigo Tea Shop. The killer, though, does not appreciate Theo’s snooping and attempts to dissuade her (the person evidently does not know Theo). Will Theo be able to expose the guilty party before she ends up the next victim? Plum Tea Crazy may be the 19th book in the series, but it can be read alone. I do, though, highly recommend reading each book in this charming cozy mystery series. A Tea Shop Mystery series is one of the first cozy mystery series I discovered. I found the books in my local bookstore (before e-books) and quickly devoured Death by Darjeeling. I then returned to the store and purchased the other books in the series that were out at the time. I look forward to a new book in this series each year. Plum Tea Crazy is well-written, has a steady pace and engaging. I love when I am drawn into the books world as I was with Plum Tea Crazy. The book contains delightful characters that are well established, and they continue to grow as the series progresses. Theo is an intelligent woman who is warm, thoughtful and has a big heart. I like the interactions between Theo, Haley, Drayton and Earl Grey is just adorable. The only character that I dislike is Delaine Dish. She is overbearing, pushy, annoying and seemed a little off balance (she grates on my nerves) in this book. Delaine is one of those people that can only be taken in small doses. The setting of Savannah, South Carolina sounds just lovely. Laura Childs provides beautiful descriptions of the area, homes, the featured stores and the Indigo Tea Shop. The mystery is complex, and it will perplex readers. There is a clue to the killer’s identity, but you will need a keen eye to spot it. The book contains delectable food and tea descriptions. I especially enjoyed the cozy moments in Plum Tea Crazy. I did feel that Plum Tea Crazy needed an epilogue to tie up all the loose threads (details seemed to be lacking). There are recipes and tea tips at the end of the book as well as a preview of Glitter Bomb. Plum Tea Crazy is an engaging, light hearted cozy mystery that will delight fans of Laura Childs.

This was an entertaining cozy mystery about quirky characters with Southern charm and tradition. Theodosia, tea shop owner and her co-workers get involved in a murder mystery in Charleston, where their antics were equally exciting and fun. The recipes and the teas were an added bonus. Some romance sprinkled throughout, but a great cozy even if it's not your cup of tea!

It was a good story full of vivid detail and quirky characters. I'll be reading more Laura Childs in the future.

I have read many of the Tea Shop Mysteries over the years. This entry is like a visit with old friends. I always enjoy learning about the different types of tea. A bonus is that Ms. Childs creates a very strong sense of place. I feel as if I have been on a visit to Charleston without leaving my home. The mystery itself was intriguing. The world of antique weapons was a new one to me. I do wish Theo wasn't quite so impetuous and would call in the police more often. She definitely puts herself in unnecessary danger often. (But that is common in a cozy and more a criticism of the cozy mystery genre as a whole than this book in particular.) All in all I enjoyed the book immensely and appreciate the opportunity to review it.

Despite following directions, I cannot download book. It says “Error getting license...” I am logged into website.

I am unable to access the book - only the excerpt is available.

I cannot access the book. I can only access the excerpt.

Laura Childs does it again! Grasps you within the first few paragraphs. My heart pounded along with Theodosias. I saw the scene as if I were standing beside her. Keeps you guessing and trying to figure it out before Theodosia. But of course Childs doesn't make it easy for you. Absolutely terrific!


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