From the publisher of Haunted Hibiscus
It is the week before Halloween and Theodosia Browning, proprietor of the Indigo Tea Shop, and her tea sommelier, Drayton, are ghosting through the dusk of a cool Charleston evening on their way to the old Bouchard Mansion. Known as the Gray Ghost, this dilapidated place was recently bequeathed to the Heritage Society, and tonight heralds the grand opening of their literary and historical themed haunted house.
Though Timothy Neville, the patriarch of the Heritage Society, is not thrilled with the fund-raising idea, it is the perfect venue for his grandniece, Willow French, to sign copies of her new book, Carolina Crimes & Creepers.
But amid a parade of characters dressed as Edgar Allan Poe, Lady Macbeth, and the Headless Horseman, Willow’s body is suddenly tossed from the third-floor tower room and left to dangle at the end of a rope. Police come screaming in and Theodosia’s boyfriend, Detective Pete Riley, is sent to Willow’s apartment to investigate. But minutes later, he is shot and wounded by a shadowy intruder.
Timothy begs Theodosia to investigate, and shaken by Riley’s assault, she readily agrees. Now, she questions members of the Heritage Society and a man who claims the mansion is rightfully his, as well as Willow’s book publisher and her fiancé, all while hosting a Sherlock Holmes tea and catering several others.
But the Gray Ghost holds many secrets, as do several other key suspects, while this murder mystery plays out on the eve of Halloween.
Halloween is front and center in the latest Tea Shop Mystery. The holiday adds an opportunity to enjoy the fun of costumes and Halloween-themed events. All the gang is back in Haunted Hibiscus and Theodosia is, as usual, quite driven to solve the murder. Sadly, I felt she was a little too driven and gave off an attitude of entitlement—how dare anyone not answer her question? With that said, fans of the series will revel in Theodosia’s enthusiastic investigation as she and Drayton visit suspect after suspect, making sure to stir the pot with each visit.
Once again, the menu at the tea shop plays a strong role. There are lots of delicacies served along with exotic varieties of teas. For foodie fans, this is, of course, a major attraction of the series. With a complex plot and the Charleston setting, it’s another winner in the series.
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FTC Full Disclosure: A review copy of this book was provided by its publisher.