What started out as a beautiful park side Honey Bee Tea quickly turned into a Honey Drop Dead disaster.
A politician named Osgood is killed by someone dressed as a beekeeper. The murder, and the resulting panic of the guests, leaves the hostess, an art gallery owner, teetering into bankruptcy. Can her caterer, and good friend, Theodosia clear the gallery’s good name by finding the killer? Tea shop owner, and budding amateur detective, Theo is raring to try!
Theo has the unusual problem of having too many suspects for Oswald’s murderer. It seems everyone had a reason to hate him from his soon-to-be ex-wife, his jilted mistress, and his political opponent, to the artist who lost a substantial grant thanks to Osgood. Luckily (or unfortunately for them), someone is killing the suspects almost as soon as Theo discovers them. Will the killer be unmasked? Will Holly’s gallery be saved?
The mystery was equally stuffed with both clues and red herrings. By the end, I had suspected nearly everyone but Theo’s dog, Earl Gray. The conclusion was surprising but in hindsight, the clues were all there. I just missed them.
The Charleston setting seemed almost like a character in its own right. Be warned though that you will be searching for a local British tea shop as I did after reading about the fabulous teas that Theo puts on. Sign me up for both the Wind in the Willows and the Glam tea. Luckily, there are food and tea recipes provided at the back of the book.
Honey Drop Dead is an excellent and challenging cozy mystery. It is filled with genuine and original characters that are pleasant to drop in on for a few hours. 5 stars!
Thanks to Berkley, NetGalley and Great Escapes Book Tours for a digital review copy of the book.
About Honey Drop Dead
Honey Drop Dead (A Tea Shop Mystery)
25th in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Berkley (August 8, 2023)
Hardcover : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 0593200950
ISBN-13 : 978-0593200957
Digital ASIN : B0BLTT3TCN
The murder of a political bigwig at a Honey Bee Tea sends Theodosia Browning buzzing for answers in this latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series.
Theodosia’s Honey Bee Tea was an elegant affair set in Charleston’s new Petigru Park amid newly planted native grasses and a community beekeeping project. But when a phony beekeeper shows up and sprays toxic smoke at the guests, the party erupts in chaos. Worse yet, a shot rings out and Osgood Claxton III, candidate for state legislature, falls to the ground—dead.
Holly Burns, the gallery owner who asked Theodosia to cater the tea, is understandably heartbroken. A man is dead, her guests are angry and injured, and the paintings that were on display are left in tatters. When the police don’t seem to have a clue, when old-line politicos don’t want questions asked, Holly begs Theodosia to run a shadow investigation and help restore her gallery’s good name.
Between hosting a Wind in the Willows Tea and a Glam Girl Tea, Theodosia questions everyone that had a bone to pick with Claxton. This includes Booker, an angry outsider artist; Lamar Lucket, Claxton’s political opponent; and Mignon Merriweather, the dead man’s soon-to-be ex-wife. But the investigation becomes a political hot potato following a second murder, the revelation of a messy affair, a chase through a swamp, and a vandalized shop.
INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!
About Laura Childs
Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.
Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:
The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.
The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!
The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.
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