Ming Tea Murder (Tea Shop Mysteries)
by Laura Childs
Cover Artist: Stephanie Henderson
Review by Gayle Surrette
Berkley Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780425281642
Date: 05 May 2015 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Theodosia doesn't usual like to spend her evenings at big social events, but she's made an exception to attend the gala at the Gibbes Museum with her boyfriend, Max, who has been in charge of publicity. The museum has recently purchased and imported an ancient tea house for their Asian Art area. The gala is for the donors who helped to make the purchase possible. Everything was going wonderfully -- until Theodosia found the body of one of the museum's biggest donors.
This is not Theodosia's first time finding a body, but each time it's a real shock. In fact, she's the one that insisted that Det. Burt Tidwell be called in. She's more than willing to let the professionals handle the case. However, Theodosia can't seem to let sleeping dogs lie. She begins to ask questions especially when Max gets fired simply because he arranged the gala and the museum board feels that makes it all his fault.
Since she can't stop trying to figure out what's bothering her about the murder, and so she's asking questions to get things clear in her mind -- she's also upsetting the killer. Other people who were at the gala are attacked. As Theodosia sees it, there are a lot of people who had the motive, opportunity, and the skills to kill, but which of them actually did it.
Once again, Childs has given readers a clever mystery that keeps the reader turning the pages until the final resolution. As with most series books, readers will be able to visit with the characters that they have come to care about during these adventures. However, don't be afraid to join in at any point as there's enough information to fill you in on the necessary backstory. The only problem I had with this particular story is that I found Max to be whiny and annoying -- acting more like a child than a grown man. Toward the end of the story, he improved but, I kept thinking Theodosia should just dump him.
As usual, there are some great ideas for having tea parties and some great sounding recipes that I look forward to trying out.