Friday, February 19, 2010
"The Teaberry Strangler" by Laura Childs
Do you know what "galley" or "proof" copies of books are? I'm not sure if the term is known outside the publishing business, but these are the advance reading copies of books authors and publicists sometimes send to members of the media to help get the word out about their new releases. I've gotten plenty of these over the years, but for the first time I have received one for an upcoming tea shop mystery by Laura Childs, "The Teaberry Strangler." I was particularly happy to get this one since I am always quite eager to find out what's been going on with our beloved Theodosia Browning and friends at the Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston!
As you may remember from the last book, "Oolong Dead," Theo had just decided to purchase her own home, so now she's preparing for the big move. I've enjoyed watching Theo's decorating taste and style change over the years, so I like the idea that we now see her in a new phase of her life. The murder, in fact, is always rather incidental to me in these books. Yes, it drives the plot, but it's the everyday happenings at the tea shop I most enjoy. (The murder, by the way, happens by page three in this novel, and I must confess I thought I'd spotted the killer very early on only to get to the end and realize I was dead wrong. Cool!)
There's lots going on in the business and civic community this time, including an important literary evening at the Heritage Society, the opening of a new perfume shop, and a huge fashion show at Cotton Duck. We also learn that Theo reads Tea: A Magazine just like many of us do, which was fun to see, and naturally I'm looking to order some Teaberry Tea after reading about it in this book.
Childs has included a helpful list of tea resources, and it's fun to see the magazines, vendors, websites and blogs she recommends. (I was proud to see our friend Bernideen included!) And of course there are the usual great recipes, which I keep hoping will be compiled into "The Indigo Tea Shop Cookbook" one day. Meanwhile, "The Teaberry Strangler" will be released March 2, and below is a photocopy of what the "real" cover will look like. And yes, I'll be buying a copy just like everyone else to add to my collection!