Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Publisher: Berkley
Date published: March 6, 2012
ISBN 9780425245538
Cozy Mystery
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained by Publisher

With a new man in her life, Theodosia Browning has no problem running into and wishing her former beau, Parke Scully, well. Invited to serve tea and scones at the opening of Charleston’s aquarium she is prepared to see Parker. However, she wasn’t quite ready to see him in the manner she did—floating in one of the tanks, dead. While at first his death is deemed an accident, Theodosia notices something very odd about the body. Despite admonishments from Police Detective Tidwell to stay out of the investigation, Theodosia cannot help herself and before long is on the trail of the killer. Or rather the killer is on Theodosia’s trail. With a number of likely suspects, she isn’t quite sure which way to turn. Amidst several charitable events while one suspect seems likely, another thread unravels leaving her wondering just who the culprit might be. When her beloved aunt’s life is threatened Theodosia finds herself rethinking just who done it. Will she solve the crime before she becomes the killer’s next victim?

AGONY OF THE LEAVES is the latest in Laura Childs' Tea Shop Mysteries and is the epitome of why cozy mysteries are so much fun to read. While a new author for me, I enjoy cozies because they have interesting characters, novel approaches to solving crimes and most have some wonderful recipes or craft how-to’s at the end. Ms. Child’s is no different. I’m an occasional tea drinker but I do enjoy taking in a high tea during the holidays. Unfortunately there are fewer and fewer tea houses in my area to venture to. Ms. Childs' provides quite a comprehensive listing of tea resources along with some fantastic information on taking tea not only in her appendix, but through her character Drayton. Drayton is such a great character—part proper English butler, part super history teacher, all around great friend. I wouldn’t mind having Theodosia as a friend either. Despite a few odd names Ms. Childs' characters are interesting, fun and realistic. The events, especially the charitable ones, are plausible and actually the idea of a virtual scavenger hunt is pretty darn appealing.

I haven’t read Ms. Childs' before but I plan to pull not only her entire Tea Shop back list but also her scrapbooking and Cackleberry club series as well. If you haven’t tried a cozy mystery before, the tea shop mysteries are a great place to start. If you are already a fan of this genre, add this to the top of your TBR list.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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