Friday, April 27, 2018

Tea Lovers' Book Club: "Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes" by Karen Rose Smith

Summary: In this new Daisy's Tea Garden Mystery series from Karen Rose Smith, young widow and mother of two Daisy Swanson runs a tea garden along with her aunt, Iris Albright, in the town of Willow Creek, Pennsylvania. Iris has been seeing a local businessman named Harvey who is close to finalizing his divorce from his gold digger of a wife, but before the divorce is finalized, Harvey is found dead in Daisy and Iris's herb garden. Plenty of folks seem to have had a possible motive for killing Harvey, including some business associates and his almost ex-wife.

My thoughts:  I enjoyed the scenes in the tea room as well as the interactions with the Amish locals. Plus, it's always fun to put myself in the position of "tea room owner," especially since I enjoy reading about female entrepreneurs. I appreciated knowing that one of Daisy's daughters was adopted and the storyline surrounding that.

The judgment: I found it interesting that both Daisy and Aunt Iris had to deal with grief, and I pondered the fact that cozy mysteries don't normally make me sad, as this one did. Daisy is still mourning her late husband, Ryan, although she's clearly thinking about moving on with her life. For Iris, the grief is much fresher, and at times, I felt sympathy for both women.

For discussion: The "Lemon Tea Cakes" of the title are mentioned quite a few times  in this book, and I had a hard time figuring out exactly what they were based on the picture on the cover. That looks like a miniature pound cake of some type. In my neck of the woods, however, a "tea cake" is an old-fashioned, very light and cake-like cookie. When I got to the recipes at the end of the book, I found that the cookie version of "tea cake" is what this author had in mind too. Were you picturing a cake or a cookie as you read?

Next Month's Book: I'm ready for some nonfiction again, and a book that I'm intrigued by is "The Way of Tea and Justice: Rescuing the World's Favorite Beverage From its Violent History" by Becca Stevens.


  1. I enjoyed this book and will probably order the next in the series when it comes out. Yes, I pictured the cookie form of "tea cakes" since that's what I'm used to, although I've never had lemon ones. (I'd like to try one!)

  2. Where did the month go? I got the book and never cracked it. I expected a teacake to be like a mini muffin, not a cookie. I have had almond but never lemon. A great discussion at my next tea party. I better get reading!

  3. Unfortunately, my library system never got this book, so I didn't read it. Since I have WAY too many books (my apartment looks like a messy bookstore), I try not to buy any books that I wouldn't want to keep. "Tea cake" is a vague description for me, so it could be anything from a cookie to a little pound cake. "Mexican tea cakes" to me are small delicious cookies covered with powered sugar, as are "Russian tea cakes" but I had no preconceived picture of a "lemon tea cake."
    --from Vernona in DC


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