Pekoe Most Poison, by Laura Childs
Have you ever attended a “rat tea”? Well, you’re invited, in the recently released 18th book in Laura Childs’ cozy tea shop mystery series. If you’re already a fan, you’ll be delighted with this return to Charleston and the world of the Indigo tea shop, which blends beautifully with mystery. If this is your first trip to this series, you can comfortably jump right in with Pekoe Most Poison.
You’ll learn, along with our protagonist Theo, that rat teas are parties dating back to twentieth century Charleston where the cream of society would sponsor teas to promote city rodent control and better public health. You’ll also have a seat at the table for murder. Now it’s up to you and Theo to follow the clues and puzzle out which of the suspects has committed this crime.
As a reader I was devouring the clues eagerly, between enjoyable tidbits of history and color around Charleston. It’s the core characters that surrounded me like old friends. The tea shop trio personalities are so interesting they resonate, and their interactions are laced with humor and fun. And the suspects are abundant and varied. You’ll be challenged working through potential motives and opportunity, but follow the clues to the thrilling ending, let your theories brew a little, and you just may solve this mystery along with Theo and her friends.
For this thriller, the author tossed aside the pseudonym of Laura Childs, and she began a new Afton Tangler thriller series. This first book in the series introduces her protagonist who is a family liaison officer with the Minneapolis Police Department. Afton works closely and empathetically with families that are crime victims, and is also very tough in her developing investigative skills.
The mystery in this book is abduction. In a thriller, different than a cozy, the mystery for the reader isn’t who did it. Now the mystery is if the hero can catch the villain, and the clock is ticking from the moment this baby’s abducted. In the meantime, you learn family secrets revealed. And the movements and motives of the abductors are fascinating.
This book is an incredible, raw ride that you’ll be excited to read. Be sure you have time to finish the last 50 pages in one sitting, because you won’t be able to put it down. The next in the Afton Tangler series, Shadow Girl will be available Aug. 1.
To hear more from the author of both series, and over 40 mysteries, listen to our episode Kendall & Cooper Talk Mysteries with Laura Childs/Gerry Schmitt:
In honor of this — our sweet 16 podcast episode and in tribute to our tea shop series author — the Treasures and Teas Shop in Edmonds created custom, first taste mystery tea blends. These are wonderful for sipping while listening to Kendall & Cooper, or while reading your favorite mysteries.
Phyllis Carlton, tea sommelier at Treasures and Teas, blended the Queen’s Mystery #2. Like a good mystery, this blend beckons to you to chase it. The second blend for our sweet 16 is the Evening Shadow, which is particularly soothing while enthralled in thrillers, and well suited to those cozy mysteries. We were invited to a tea tasting by Phyllis and were delighted. We left after enthusiastically purchasing each. And we were excited to send samples to Laura Childs for her to enjoy for our episode.
Next time you’re downtown Edmonds, stop by Treasures and Teas shop and ask Phyllis or Carla for these mystery blends.
— 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.