Last week, I got all caught up on the books I was reviewing, editing, and writing, and I had time to actually read a novel that I wasn't being paid to tinker with. So what did I choose but the 2014 release "Steeped in Evil" by Laura Childs! I've clearly been too busy over the past year, because this was the first tea shop mystery I did not read within days of its release. In fact, it wasn't until I saw a new tea shop mystery was coming out this month ("Ming Tea Murder," anyone read it yet?) that I realized I was one book behind.
"Steeped in Evil" brings wine into the mix by having the murder occur at a wine tasting that Theodosia and Drayton attend. I thought it was an interesting twist to have a different beverage featured so prominently in the book, although tea still has, rightfully, a starring role. At first I thought the detective we love to hate, Burt Tidwell, was going to be MIA from this particular adventure, but he indeed has a place in the story. I was surprised to realize how much I was missing him before he appeared. The suspense builds and the identity of the killer remains unknown until the night of the Art Crawl Ball, and there's definitely more of an action-packed conclusion than ever before!
I enjoyed reading about Theodosia's new boyfriend, Max, and I can't help wondering if a tea shop wedding will take place one day. I'm sure rooting for one—and I can just imagine Delaine helping Theodosia find the absolute perfect gown. And now, I'm all caught up and ready for that next tea shop mystery!