Honey Drop Dead

Berkley. (Tea Shop, Bk. 26). Aug. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780593200957. $28. M
Theodosia Browning returns to sleuthing in the 26th installment of Childs’s “Tea Shop” series (following Lemon Curd Killer). While hosting her Honey Bee Tea near a community beekeeping project, a fake beekeeper crashes the event, releases poison gas, and shoots Claxton Osgood III, a local politician. Holly, who was showing artwork from the reopening of her Imago Art Gallery at the tea, begs for Theodosia’s help in solving the murder after many of the paintings from her gallery are damaged in the chaos caused by the crime. Claxton’s shady business dealings lead to a long list of suspects, but with the help of her friends and the perhaps too convenient appearance of a chicken, Theodosia might find the killer just in time.
VERDICT The many descriptions of tea and tea foods make this book a tasty treat, although some readers may be disappointed by the way the ending wraps up. Fans of the series will be pleased to see many of their favorite characters return, but they may find the crimes to be more violent than in previous books.
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