I received this book for free from Berkley Prime Crime in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Ming Tea Murder: Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs
Series: A Tea Shop Mystery #16
Published by Berkley on March 1st 2016 (paperback edition)
Number of Pages: 336
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Source: Berkley Prime Crime
Purchase: At Amazon
Normally Theodosia wouldn’t attend a black tie affair for all the tea in China. But she can hardly say no to her hunky, handsome boyfriend, Max, who directs public relations for the Gibbes Museum in Charleston. Max has organized an amazing gala opening for an exhibit of a genuine eighteenth century Chinese teahouse, and the crème de la crème of Charleston society is invited.
In the exotic garden staged in the museum’s rotunda, a Chinese dragon dances to the beat of drums as it weaves through the crowd. The guests are serenaded by a Chinese violin as they sample an assortment of tempting bites. And to give them a memento of the occasion, there’s even a photo booth. But Theodosia makes a grim discovery behind the booth’s curtains: the body of museum donor Edgar Webster.
While Theodosia prefers tea service over the service of justice, this case is difficult to ignore—especially after Max becomes a suspect. Now she must examine the life of the fallen philanthropist and find out who really wanted him to pay up…
I love when I can’t figure out who the murderer is in mystery novels. There were a number of suspects, and I didn’t have a specific person in mind until maybe half-way through the book. And I thought it was that person right up until the big reveal happened. My guess was totally wrong, and I never would have suspected that person. Though looking back, I can see the clues that led to that person being behind it all.
I didn’t really like Aunt Acid much until the end of the book, and while Dolly seemed like she would be a sweet character when she was first introduced, I didn’t like her much at all after that. Drayton was fun and I loved getting to know him and Haley a little better in this book.
I still don’t have much of an opinion about Max. He was in this book a lot, but he doesn’t really seem to have much of a personality? Or at least, not one that stands out as much as Theo, Drayton and Haley. Tidwell isn’t as fleshed-out as I would like either, but I do enjoy his interactions with Theo. So he was still a stronger character than Max in my opinion.
I liked how there was always something going on in the book. It was never too busy or too fast, some of the things going on were themed teas Theo threw at her tea shop. Or events that she was roped into. But all of them helped give the town and characters a realistic feel. If you like mysteries that suck you in from the first pages, with towns that are realistic and with humor as well as suspense, you need to try this series.
Recipes Included: Sausage and Gnocchi Soup, Prosciutto and Fig Tea Sandwiches, Green Tea Donuts, Cream Cheese and Strawberry Tea Sandwiches, Church Street Peanut Butter Cookies, Blueberry Sour Cream Muffins, Chicken and Green Goddess Tea Sandwiches, Haley’s Honey Scones, English Tea Bread, Chutney Crescents, Cherry Banana Bread.