Chamomile Mourning by Laura Childs
This author serves up a savory blend of herbal teas, pastries, and murder. This novel is just one in a series of “cozy” mysteries that revolve around Theodosia Browning who owns Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston, South Carolina. I’m such a fan of the series, I’ve read them all. I’ve read some of them more than once. Chamomile Mourning is early in the series, and one of my favorites.
Laura Childs gives delightful Charleston the feeling of a small town, and the characters surrounding Theodosia are so intriguing. This book begins at a catered tea party at the Heritage Society’s annual Poetry event. But murder becomes a dramatic verse of its own. The victim is one of the Heritage Society’s own, prominent members. When clues lead the local police to accuse one of Theodosia’s friends, she is motivated to prove them wrong. But maybe Theodosia is wrong?
The clues will lead the reader toward several potential murderers and motives. You’ll enjoy the chase, and during more relaxed moments you’ll also enjoy the detailed descriptions of Charleston. The author really engages you in the challenges and appeal of running a small business too. Several of Theodosia’s friends are small business people in the city, and she is so proud of her tea shop. You’ll get an enjoyable glimpse into the varieties, history and social niceties of teas. Haley and Drayton, who both work at the tea shop, are each artists at work. Haley is the baker and Drayton is the tea mixologist. They help Theodosia in many ways. And there is an extra treat in the book! You’re treated to recipes that are supposedly from Haley for pastries and from Drayton for teas. Do yourself a favor and try these. The ones I’ve tried have been delicious.
Laura Childs was a writer/producer at several national ad agencies before forming her own company, Mission Critical Marketing. She wrote four screenplays, got one read by Paramount, but never actually sold one. She then thought to try writing mysteries. How fortunate for fans like me! She really enjoyed the writing, and was so happy when she sold her first couple of books. A prolific writer, she now has two other entertaining series in addition to the tea shop mysteries. They are the Scrapbook Mysteries and Cackleberry Club Mysteries, and she’s not done yet.
Put your feet up with a cup of tea, or a glass of ice tea now that its summer, and enjoy an entertaining flight of murderous fancy, mull over your clues, and then chase down your suspect.
Thereby hangs a tale . . . .
– By Wendy Kendall
Wendy Kendall is a writer, project manager and volunteer at the Edmonds Library. She’s enjoyed living in Edmonds for over 20 years. Follow her via her blog here or on Twitter @wendywrites1.