3 out of 5 stars
Normally Theodosia wouldn’t attend a black tie affair for all the tea in China. But she can hardly say no to her hunky, handsome boyfriend, Max, who directs public relations for the Gibbes Museum in Charleston. Max has organized an amazing gala opening for an exhibit of a genuine eighteenth century Chinese teahouse, and the crème de la crème of Charleston society is invited.
In the exotic garden staged in the museum’s rotunda, a Chinese dragon dances to the beat of drums as it weaves through the crowd. The guests are serenaded by a Chinese violin as they sample an assortment of tempting bites. And to give them a memento of the occasion, there’s even a photo booth. But Theodosia makes a grim discovery behind the booth’s curtains: the body of museum donor Edgar Webster.
While Theodosia prefers tea service over the service of justice, this case is difficult to ignore—especially after Max becomes a suspect. Now she must examine the life of the fallen philanthropist and find out who really wanted him to pay up…
Ming Tea Murder by Laura Childs is the 16th book in the Tea Shop Mystery series. This series is one of the first cozy mystery series I read and it introduced me to the world that is cozy mysteries. I discovered this series about 10 years ago while I was working as a bookshelver in my public library. I kept shelving these mysteries so I knew they were popular and I finally picked one up and read it. I haven’t missed one since.
This is one of my least favorite books in the series. I felt like the beginning of the book was very stilted and it almost made me say “Did someone else write this beginning?” However, it did get better as it went on.
Of course, all my favorite characters were back, Theodosia, Haley, Drayton and I was thrilled to be reunited with them. For the first time in this series, I did figure out the murderer very early on; usually Ms. Childs has me guessing until the very end.
The book beyond the first few chapters was well-written. While, I wouldn’t call this the best installment in the series by far, it was decent. I’m still looking forward to more in the series.