Good day, book people. I’m always excited to welcome guests to The Book Diva’s Reads, especially when it’s an author that has graciously taken time away from their busy writing or touring schedule. When it’s the author of a series that I read and admire, I go total fangirl, so reader beware. I’m a huge fan of the Laura Childs Tea Shop Mystery series, probably because it’s tea (I used to own a tea business) and I began reading it when I lived in Georgia (it’s a Southern thang). To say that I’m pleased to welcome Ms. Childs here today is a massive understatement, but close enough. I’m incredibly pleased and honored to welcome and introduce you to Ms. Laura Childs, author of the Tea Shop Mystery Series, including the latest addition Lavender Blue Murder, as today’s guest. Ms. Childs will be sharing with us some of the joys of writing an amateur sleuth and more. Without further adieu, ladies and gents, I give you Laura Childs.
Laura Childs, New York Times bestselling author of Lavender Blue Murder, writes about the Free-Wheeling Amateur Sleuth
If you’re a fan of cozy mysteries, then you know that most main characters tend to be curious, heroic, and highly intelligent amateur sleuths. They’re not afraid to ask questions, go undercover, figure out clues, and occasionally tiptoe into situations where they probably shouldn’t.
What I love most about Theodosia Browning, my main character and tea shop owner in Lavender Blue Murder, is that she’s not bound by the normal constraints that law enforcement is. She doesn’t have to Mirandize suspects, obtain search warrants from judges, follow procedure, call in a Crime Scene team, or deal with bureaucrats and police politics.
Along with her dog, Earl Grey, Theodosia is a dynamic character who gets involved in very personal ways. When solving a murder, she has the smarts to make logical deductions and sniff out clues (often to the consternation of the police), as well as run her own shadow investigation to help winnow out who’s merely a suspect and who’s the real killer.
It’s this free-wheeling manner that allows my tea shop owner’s fun personality to shine through. Yes, she’s solving crimes, but she’s also an entrepreneur who runs the Indigo Tea Shop in the heart of Charleston, SC. She’s socially active, has a boyfriend, is surrounded by a cast of characters that are often larger than life, and has a real sense of fair play and justice.
Here’s a synopsis of Lavender Blue Murder to show you how Theodosia gets embroiled in a nasty murder:
On a Sunday afternoon in autumn, tea maven Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier Drayton Conneley are guests at Reginald Doyle’s Creekmore Plantation. Because Doyle and his wife Meredith are rabid anglophiles, they’re treating their dozen or so guests to a bird hunt styled in the precise manner of an English shooting party.
But as gunshots explode like Black Cat firecrackers, another shot sounds too close for comfort. It’s a sharp pop, like the distinctive sound of a handgun. Worried now, Theodosia wanders into the neighbor’s lavender field where she discovers Reginald Doyle bleeding to death. Help is summoned, first responders arrive, but it’s too late for Reginald.
Doyle’s wife Meredith is beside herself with grief and begs Theodosia and Drayton to stay the night. But Theodosia awakens at 2:00A.M. to find smoke in her room and the plantation house on fire. As the fire department screams in and the investigating sheriff returns, Theodosia wonders who wanted Reginald dead and out of the way, and maybe even torched the house to destroy evidence? Could it be the surly caretaker Jack Grimes, Reginald’s business partner Guy Thorne, neighboring land owner Carl Clewis, the so-called “lavender lady” Susan Monday, or even Reginald’s son Alex or even his wife Meredith?
So you see, an amateur sleuth is a curious breed, succumbing to the pleas of others, often putting her own interests aside and herself in danger. Sound like fun? It kind of is!
Thanks to the Book Diva’s Reads for inviting me here today, and many thanks to all you wonderful readers.
Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery)
by Laura Childs
About Lavender Blue Murder
Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery)
21th in Series
Publisher: Berkley (March 3, 2020)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Digital ASIN: B07SSQ1X4R
Tea-Maven Theodosia Browning brews up trouble in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.
INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!
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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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