Haunted Hibiscus (A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs
I am delighted to join the blog tour for Haunted Hibiscus by Laura Childs today! My thanks to Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours for the chance to join and the review copy!
About Haunted Hibiscus
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.
INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!
Haunted Hibiscus (A Tea Shop Mystery)
22nd in Series
Publisher: Berkley (March 2, 2021)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Kindle ASIN: B089S6MFBH
Haunted Hibiscus is the 22nd book in the Tea Shop Mystery series by Laura Childs. I have copies of the first four books in this series patiently waiting to be read, as well as book 21, Lavender Blue Murder.
I enjoyed reading Haunted Hibiscus immensely! In this instalment, a crumbling Bouchard mansion owned by the Historical Society has been turned into a haunted house for the Historical Society Halloween fundraiser in Charleston, South Carolina. Theodosia Browning, the proprietor of the Indigo Tea Shop, is on her way to the mansion, referred to as ‘Gray Ghost’. Theo and her tea sommelier, Drayton are attending the Halloween party that includes a book-signing for a new true crime and low-country legend author. But the night turns sour when a woman is murdered, found hanging from a third-floor window.
This novel was an extremely intriguing tale and I was delighted to be visiting Theodosia in her teashop in Charleston! Her variety of recipes sounded scrumptious, a few of which had a Halloween theme and I’m particularly keen to try the Charleston Apple Pudding and Haley’s Pumpkin Soup. Of course, the extensive menu of teas must be mentioned.
Laura Childs’ magnificent descriptions of the dark night, the haunted house and the fundraiser were second-to-none, as were those of the characters in their historical or ghostly apparel. Unravelling the mystery in the pockets of Theodosia was lots of fun and I welcomed the comfortable pace. I did my level best to solve the subtle clues, wade through the red herrings and concentrate on the murderer but repeatedly found myself sidetracked by other events, happenings, comedic moments and occurrences. Laura Childs has also used a few comedic sides to full effect such as electric tea brewers that are Bluetooth enabled, Drayton’s witch’s broom Puerh and different types of beige. Lots of action keeps up the suspense as the story winds its way to a fulfilling conclusion.
Haunted Hibiscus is a highly recommended five star read that will be of interest to many cozy readers, and I’m game to see what shenanigans Theodosia and Drayton get into next in book 23, Twisted Tea Christmas. If you haven’t tried this series out yet, then you’re definitely missing out!
Thanks to Berkley, Great Escapes Book Tours and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.
Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars
About Laura Childs
Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.
Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:
The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.
The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!
The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.
Website – http://www.laurachilds.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/laura.childs.31
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Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!
March 1 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
March 1 – The Editing Pen – REVIEW
March 1 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
March 2 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
March 2 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT
March 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
March 3 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
March 3 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 3 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
March 4 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 4 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
March 5 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 5 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
March 5 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
March 6 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
March 6 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 7 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
March 7 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
March 8 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
March 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 8 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
March 9 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
March 9 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 10 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
March 10 – Reading Authors Network – SPOTLIGHT
March 11 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
March 11 – ebook addicts – SPOTLIGHT
March 11 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
March 12 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 12 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
March 12 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
March 13 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
March 13 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 14 – The Book Diva’s Reads – GUEST POST
March 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
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