Monday, January 3, 2011

Scones & Bones-Laura Childs

Scones & Bones
Laura Childs
Berkley, Mar 1 2011, $25.95
ISBN: 9780425238967

Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning left a high powered job to become a storekeeper in Charleston, South Carolina and has never looked back with regret. Her two employees Drayton Conneley the master tea blender and Helen Parker the fabulous chef and baker are loyal as the trio is close to one another with all three making business decisions.

Drayton persuades Theo to accompany him to the Heritage Society's "Pirates and Plunder" gala where all sorts of valuable pirate memorabilia and art are on display including a skull turned into a cup with a lucrative diamond implanted into it: allegedly the skull is that of Blackbeard. A scream interrupts the party so Theo heads to the source of the hysterical cry. She finds Heritage House intern Rob Commers dead, office manager Camilla Hodges who worked many riles in this the event is injured and the skull gone. The Director Timothy Neville fears the reaction of the board including firing him as a scapegoat. He asks Theo, known for solving homicide mysteries, to investigate. She agrees and drags a reluctant Drayton into her inquiry in which clues lead to unusual places.

Scones & Bones is a delightful amateur sleuth that draws the reader into the mystery as Laura Childs showcases her talent by bringing to her fans characters that seem real in odd scenarios. Even with Neville fearing unemployment and stressed by the murder and theft, his turning to Theo instead of hiring a professional detective comes across as genuine. As always in this warm and charming long running series (see Oolong Tea and The Teaberry Strangler), Charleston comes alive with a fresh look back at the role of pirates in the history of the city and state. Tea time with Theo is terrific.

Harriet Klausner

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