A Dark and Stormy Tea

Berkley. (A Tea Shop Mystery, Bk. 24). Aug. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9780593200896. $27. M
Childs’s 24th “Tea Shop” mystery (following Twisted Christmas Tea) doesn’t disappoint. Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop, observes a startling scene when she takes a shortcut home one foggy night. She thinks she has witnessed a murder and the deceased is the daughter of her friend Lois, who runs the local antiquarian bookstore. Could Lois’s daughter be the latest victim of a killer being dubbed Fogheel Jack? When her friend asks Theo to find her daughter’s killer, she can’t say no. There are many men who fit the profile: her new neighbor who writes true crime novels; the victim’s boyfriend; a nosy tabloid journalist; and a real estate developer and his private security guard. With the help of her tea sommelier, Drayton, and her boyfriend, Detective Pete Reilly, she begins to eliminate suspects one at a time, sometimes by less than legal means. The police receive a tip that appears to solve the case, but can Theodosia and her friends finally let down their guard?
VERDICT Recommended for fans of the series and lovers of culinary cozy mysteries. Recipes and “Tea Time Tips” are included.
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