I finally got around to reading the newest tea shop mystery from Laura Childs this week, and since it takes place in the fall, I'm actually rather pleased I waited until fall to read it. "Ming Tea Murder" kicks off with our favorite tea shop owner, Theodosia Browning, at a swanky soiree being held at the Gibbes Museum in Charleston, where her boyfriend Max works in public relations. The occasion is the opening exhibit of an 18th century Chinese tea house purchased by the museum, and Charleston society is out in full force. Alas, one of the museum's board members meets his unfortunate demise at the event, and Max himself ends up on the list of suspects. This murder is extremely personal to Theo since someone she loves is implicated, and she seems more intent than ever on ferreting out the killer.
From a tea standpoint, I quite enjoyed the fact that several new tea events were staged at the Indigo Tea Shop. There was a fun new Titanic Tea, a Tower of London Tea on Halloween, and in what I believe was a first for the tea room, it actually closed one weekday morning to host a post-funeral tea.
This book also introduced a couple of new characters I'd love to see return, including Delaine Dish's Aunt Astra and a fun transplanted Texan named Harlan Duke. As I was reading this book, the 16th in the series, it occurred to me that I have probably read more books by Laura Childs than by any other author. I very much enjoyed "Ming Tea Murder," and I firmly believe these tea shop mysteries are must-reads for any true tea lover!