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A Tea Shop Mystery is a series of cozy mystery novels written by Laura Childs. The books follow the exploits of a tea enthusiast who also solves crimes in her small town.
Order of Tea Shop Mysteries Series
|1||Death by Darjeeling||2001||Description / Buy|
|2||Gunpowder Green||2002||Description / Buy|
|3||Shades of Earl Grey||2003||Description / Buy|
|4||The English Breakfast Murder||2003||Description / Buy|
|5||The Jasmine Moon Murder||2004||Description / Buy|
|6||Chamomile Mourning||2005||Description / Buy|
|7||Blood Orange Brewing||2006||Description / Buy|
|8||Dragonwell Dead||2007||Description / Buy|
|9||The Silver Needle Murder||2008||Description / Buy|
|10||Oolong Dead||2009||Description / Buy|
|11||The Teaberry Strangler||2010||Description / Buy|
|12||Scones & Bones||2011||Description / Buy|
|13||Agony of the Leaves||2012||Description / Buy|
|14||Sweet Tea Revenge||2013||Description / Buy|
|15||Steeped in Evil||2014||Description / Buy|
|16||Ming Tea Murder||2015||Description / Buy|
|17||Devonshire Scream||2016||Description / Buy|
|18||Pekoe Most Poison||2017||Description / Buy|
|19||Plum Tea Crazy||2018||Description / Buy|
|20||Broken Bone China||2019||Description / Buy|
|21||Lavender Blue Murder||2020||Description / Buy|
|22||Haunted Hibiscus||2021||Description / Buy|
The Tea Shop Mystery series of books is written by Laura Childs. The name Laura Childs is actually a pen name for Gerry Schmitt. Schmitt was born in rural Minnesota and attended the University of Wisconsin for college. Upon graduation, she worked in advertising for 30 years, but that was only the beginning for her. She also has produced two reality television shows and has written multiple books.
The Tea Shop Mystery Series, Scrapbooking Mystery Series, and Cackleberry Club Mystery Series were all written under the Pen name Laura Childs. While she has also written the Afton Tangler Thriller Series under her own name.
She is a big-time tea drinker and will frequently travel to China and Japan with her husband, a professor. Her life long love of tea really helps to inform her writing in this series.
When readers meet Theodosia Browning in Death by Darjeeling, the first novel in the Tea Shop Mystery series, she has made quite a name for herself. Theo runs the Indigo Tea Shop.
Her teas are some of the best South Carolina has ever seen. She knows how to mix and blend spices to produce some truly breathtaking beverages. Many a Charleston resident spends his or her week looking forward to Theo’s latest tea inventions.
Theo never thought her life would amount to much outside the tea making arena. But then she was hired to cater a garden party and everything went wrong. Theo’s catering services were hardly the problem, though.
Her snacks were the talk of the party. Everyone loved her scones and most guests couldn’t get enough of the cups of tea she served them. Things went wrong when an esteemed guest ended up dead.
The fellow died with one of Theo’s empty teacups in his hand. And when the proprietor of the Indigo Tea Shop realized that everyone was looking at her as a suspect and that her hard-won reputation was about to go down the drain, she decided that she would solve the murder on her own.
Death by Darjeeling marks Theodosia Browning’s first foray into the amateur sleuthing business. And she does such an amazing job that, when murder comes calling again, Theo cannot help but put her mind to the task of solving it.
She is assisted in her efforts by employees Drayton and Haley. Each new installment in the Tea Shop Mystery series pits Theo against a new mystery. The heroine is pretty controlled and cautious when she first starts out, unwilling to expose her person to unnecessarily risk.
Over time, she grows bold, so much so that she begins to make the sorts of irrational decisions that readers find annoying; decisions that frequently put her in harm’s way.
The Tea Shop Mystery books place a lot of emphasis on tea. Laura Childs spends a lot of time plowing readers with detailed information about the tea making process and the different types of tea.
She also spends a significant amount of time building the relationships between her characters. The mysteries at the center of the novels are simple. Laura designs them to intrigue her readers without overly taxing them.
Best Tea Shop Mystery Books
The Tea Shop Mystery books are fairly standard cozy mysteries; they don’t do much to break the tropes of the genre, with some of the best titles in the series including:
Death by Darjeeling: This is the first book in the series and introduces us to Charleston’s Indigo Tea Shop. The tea shop is considered an oasis of calm and she has a great reputation around town. That reputation is soon dashed when the shop owner Theodosia Browning leads a tour of historic homes around town and one of the patrons turns up dead.
With her reputation on the line, Theodosia and her friends set out to unravel the mystery of the death and the deadly Darjeeling that may have caused it. The dead patron was Hughes Barron, a scurrilous real estate developer, who had his fair share of enemies around town.
The Jasmine Moon Murder: No one caters events quite like Theodosia Browning, which is why she was tasked with servicing a Charleston Ghost Crawl Benefit. The event was to take place in Jasmine Cemetery.
And Theo was fine with that. She had catered far stranger gatherings. When the day comes, Theo does what she is best known for. She serves her guests tea and treats. But then a man stumbles into the gathering and collapses, dead.
The man is Theo’s uncle’s boyfriend and he wants her to look into the murder. Neither of them realizes the dangers the investigation will invite into their lives.
Dragonwell Dead: Springtime in Charleston brings with it a lot of colors. It is around this time that the wealthy members of Theo’s community open their gardens to the public, putting on a memorable flower show, not to mention a few plant auctions.
All of Charleston’s most impressive plant species might be in full and glorious bloom, but Theo doesn’t know enough about flora to enjoy the show that has begun to unfold. But she knows a lot about murder.
So when her friend seemingly suffers a heart attack and his widow makes her suspicions of murder known, Theo does not hesitate to put her mind to the case.
Other Book Series You May Like
Be sure to check out the “Irish Village Mystery” Series by Carlene O’Connor. Siobhan O’Sullivan and her five siblings ran Naomi’s Bistro in Kilbane, Ireland. The group lost their parents in a car crash. When Siobhan isn’t too busy keeping her family’s establishment above water, the feisty redhead can be found solving crimes.
Another great read is the “Bibliophile Mystery” Series by Kate Carlisle. Brooklyn Wainwright is a rare book expert operating out of San Francisco. When she isn’t finding rare texts and restoring damaged volumes, Brooklyn can be found solving crimes related to rare literature.
What Is The Next Book in The Tea Shop Mysteries Series?
There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Tea Shop Mysteries Series. The newest book is Haunted Hibiscus and was released on March, 2nd 2021.