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{Read pdf} Death by Darjeeling (A Tea Shop Mystery, #1) Author Laura Childs –

I thought that the length of the book, short as it was, carried the illusion of evenbrevity due to the 50 chapters that bisect the prose.Theodosia, our main character, is a tea connoisseur, and that is her trade The name, obviously of Greek origin, means God s gift Theodosia had friends and strangers, one of whom was her enemy, and the murderer That s a given.The death of the unfortunate person occurs around 30 % into the book The verdict that it was quickened by poison occurs at 60% The pacing must have encountered a panel of advisers with the author, because it s perfect and I loved reading most parts of it. Oh dear, where do I start This was a selection for our Goodreads cozy mysteries book club our July author was Laura Childs I wanted to like it I love tea love the idea of the owner of a teashop as the protagonist for a mystery series.Childs has an issue with writing in complete sentences Also, she has an odd way of changing well known phrases into you almost got it right word groups For example, instead of saying dribs drabs, she uses drips drops Instead of slapdash she says slap dab I got to the point where I was convinced she just needed a decent editor She wrote, Rounded cobblestones poked at the soft leather soles of her Todd loafers She meant Tod s loafers She uses noodled instead of doodled Referring to the classic Parker Brothers board game Clue, a character says, Mr Mustard in the library, so to speak No, it s Colonel Mustard Little things like this are so easy to research for the author should be double checked or corrected by the editor.One loose end that wasn t properly tied up was the character who had a romantic interest in Theodosia He just rather faded away, instead of there being a substantive exchange between the characters to provide closure for the reader.Some things I enjoyed were the descriptions of exotic kinds of tea, the charming city of Charleston, South Carolina where the story takes place I like the idea of an ensemble of characters who work in the tea shop share a sense of ownership camaraderie.This is the first book in the Theodosia Browning Tea Shop Mystery series I also bought the first in the Scrapbooking Mystery series, Keepsake Crimes which I haven t read Both books are going to Goodwill. Yes, finally started this interesting series What is not to love Tea, mystery, and South Carolina Some people won t like all the tea facts, but I gulped them down I studied the art of tea for one of my cultural classes in collage and drink tea everyday There were a few bumps, but I mthan happy with this book that satisfies my arduous double decker challenge I ll be continuing with the series, though I ll seek them out at the library. I spotted the Tea Shop Mystery series piled on a table at a friend s house and borrowed them, as I was in the mood for a cozy mystery, and the trio of paperbacks also promised Scrumptious recipes Mysteries and recipes What could be better I have now read Gunpowder Green, Shades of Earl Grey, and The English Breakfast Murder but not the first of the series, Death by Darjeeling The titles are unavoidable, of course, but they also could definitely be better books Worse, the recipes tend to be too frou frou for my taste though I might try out the Sweet Potato Muffins.The books are very firmly set in the historic district of Charleston, South Carolina Having read them, I now know a great deal about the historic district of Charleston It seems charming, but if any of the people living there are black, none of the characters is tactless enough to mention the fact.I have also learned a lot about tea and service dogs, and I d actually love to visit Theodosia Browning s tea shop, at least as long as Delaine Dish, the annoying clothing shop owner, stayed away.But I ve also learned several things about how not to write a book For example, sentences depicting the main character s thought processes should not be repeatedly concluded Theodosia decided It makes very little sense and gets annoying In addition, if you re using the close third person point of view, and the point of view shifts away from the main character, there should be a discernible reason for it Also, the reader feels cheated if the point of view shifts into a suspect s head and the suspect s thoughts deliberately mislead the reader especially when the amateur sleuth s investigations proceed to have exactly the same effect.Overall, though, these are perfectly workmanlike examples of their type that type being what I might call the Topical Mystery The reader is assumed to want to be fed pardon the pun tidbits of knowledge about a consistent subject here, it s tea, and also Charleston as well as whatever s needful for the plot antiques and related subjects come in a lot in this series This is the model that Dick Francis used to extraordinary effect Childs efforts tend to be clunkierforced, somehow It probably doesn t help, from my point of view, that I m not interested in Theodosia s thoughts about fashion or decorating her shop and apartment, or even her relationship with her lawyer boyfriend In fact, nearly everything Theodosia encounters seems to be an excuse for a mini lecture, and that s just taking the technique too far.On the other hand, I did become quite fond of Theodosia, and her employee friends Drayton who has got to be gay but is so tastefully never caught on screen with a man and Haley perpetual student and baking wizard Overall, in fact, the characters are the best features of the books The mysteries are perfectly adequate and even credibly constructed The biggest treat, though, is Burt Tidwell, Charleston police detective and the epitome of not a people person His peculiar relationship with the amateur Theo you couldn t call it friendship but it s definitely not hostility either is the most interesting part of the book something that is actually not smooth and civil and all surface value.All in all, I d say Good beach reads, especially for people who haven t developed my rudimentary editor s eye. Theodosia Browning and her staff at the Indigo Tea Shop are catering a garden party during Charleston s historic homes Lamplighter Tour As the guests depart and they are cleaning up, one young helper discovers a guest has died But what looks like a heart attack turns out to be murder, and the tea he was drinking puts the focus on Theo s business This is a good cozy mystery I like how Childs took time to build the relationships among the tea shop s employees, and other characters the detective, attorney, and other nearby shop owners Theo s efforts to ferret out the truth seems reasonable and, except for one snooping episode, she doesn t appear to take chances with overtly risky behavior There are plenty of suspects, and a couple of red herrings to keep the reader guessing, although I did spot the culprit fairly quickly Still, it was fun to watch Theo and the police arrive at the appropriate conclusion I ll keep reading this series. Sometimes being a writer is burdensome to being a reader..On the plus side, Ms Childs infused no pun intended Death by Darjeeling with a distinctive sense of place I d love to have a cuppa in that tea shop Especially if the fun character Drayton Connelley is there to pour and have a chat about the properties of tea.On the critique side. Death could have benefitted from a few read throughs by a good writing group If you re an avid reader who delights in a well wrought mystery, this one might drive you a bit nuts But if you just read for enjoyment and don t invest too much emotional capital in nitpicky craft, Drayton and the lovely locations will suit you to a tea And on the critics side I ve seen several reviews criticizing this book for its extensive passages about tea, tea history, and methods of serving tea Um..excuse me It s a TEA SHOP mystery If you re going to be bored by tea, you re in the wrong place In conclusion Now I really need a cuppa Earl Grey. Death by Darjeeling started out pretty well, but turned lame around midway just when I was thinking that it didn t follow any of the clich s that cozies with middle aged protagonists employed too Heh I will never read a cozy that I like unconditionally Flavia de Luce excepted.The middle aged heroine of this novel is Theodosia Browning, who runs the Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston, SC This was an immediate win for me I like tea, and I visited Charleston some years ago and immediately fell in love with it The description of Charleston is one of the better parts of the book, even after it turned lame I digress Returning to the novel, there is a dead body of a particularly ruthless real estate guy, who makes ugly condos and ruins the ambience of the town He s eyeing Theo s building, and he is drinking her tea when he falls down dead She isn t much of a suspect, but a nervous young lady helping her out that day is And Theo will do anything to protect her even nosing around to solve the murder.The clich s I was happy this book didn t follow, even after it turned lame.1 The lady knows how to use a computer Oh, thank heavens I don t think I could read another book about how our charming lady of the 21st century sees a desktop and goes What is that funny looking box That charm gets old real quick Theo is aware of and uses internet to search all the good stuff about her prime suspect and nobody has to show her how to turn on her computer or printer or whatever 2 Theo doesn t go around accusing people of being the murderer She also doesn t eliminate suspects by asking them upfront if they did it and believing them if they said no Seriously, this happens inbooks than I care to remember Theo does some old fashioned snooping, and staying mostly out of her suspects notice But, there is also 2 in the next section.3 She shares information with her clique and they work this thing together Too many dumb heroines don t do that, and they don t do that over and over again, even after they ve been brought to death s door She also needlessly doesn t expose anyone to danger She receives a threat to her dog, and removes it immediately from her house to her aunt s where the dog will be safe.The clich s that it did follow, lamely.1 The unending information dump about the small business Theo runs I like tea But, I don t want to know about how to steep every single blend that her store owns Even before someone can say T, Theo is already running on about the history, the price and the nutritional information on the package of the tea This gets super bugging Get to mystery, lady.2 Theo jumps to conclusions based on Clues This is THE unavoidable clich Hey, he knows about poisonous tree frogs, so he must be the killer This guy s eyes go all googly when the dead guy is mentioned, so he must be it That fellow s has an anger management issue, he must be the one Well, at least she keeps it in and doesn t do Confrontation.3 The ending I had an idea that the killer might be the killer, but this was basic guesswork As in every other cozy, the ending has exactly zero things to do with the actual book We re given a basic set of clues, and a set of characters with motives to commit murder There are also a few mostly just one, except for the heroine characters with no motive established within the book This is the killer Honestly, the whole I don t want anyone to guess who the killer is, so I won t place them even remotely in the shadow of suspicion doesn t work not here, not in other cozies It just makes your book lame.4 The absurdly amazing love interest and the other guy Just when I was thinking Theo is a self sufficient gal who doesn t need male validation, enter love interest from stage left He is handsome, he knows his stuff, likes tea which is a requirement obviously , even cooks adorably And all of a sudden Theo is basking under the attention of a rival guy who is also handsome and knows his stuff and so on In this book at least, we re left under the impression that he s a creepazoid.5 Someone suspects Theo even though he has no sane reason to do so Self explanatory In fact, he s established as a really great crime solver, but in this case gets exposed as a complete chump.Even the writing in the book felt weird It s like Childs lost the plot around midway and dumped a whole lot of information and plot threads all dangling around like so many things that dangle There are weird perspective changes in the middle of scenes One minute you are following Theo walking around the block and the next you are following the guy who s following Theo for like two lines and then the guy is never heard of again This is cyclic, confusing, and all around bad writing I ve actually no idea why this is a two star read, when it s closer to a one star I have even less of an idea as to why I ve written a novel length review for a book that actually doesn t deserve even a line Oh well It s been that kind of a day. I was so hoping to fall in love with this series, as it seemingly contained all the elements of things I enjoy Whilst there is nothing wrong or bad about this book there is nothing endearing about it either its dull and sadly boring Characters are underdevelped, plots are thin and chapters are strangely formated It may not help that at the same time I am reading a Kate Morton book These two authors are poles apart whilst Morton is a blockbuster big screen release, Childs is a lazy Sunday afternoon episode of Murder She Wrote. Meet Theodosia Browning, Owner Of Charleston S Beloved Indigo Tea Shop Patrons Love Her Blend Of Delicious Tea Tastings And Southern Hospitality And Theo Enjoys The Full Bodied Flavor Of A Town Steeped In History And Mystery It S Tea For Two Hundred Or So At The Annual Historic Homes Garden Party And Theodosia, As Event Caterer, Is Busy Serving Steaming Teas And Blackberry Scones While Guests Sing Her Praises But The Sweet Smell Of Success Turns To Suspense When An Esteemed Guest Is Found Dead His Hand Clutching An Empty Teacup All Eyes Are On Theo Who Is Now Trying Desperately To Save Her Reputation And Track Down The Real Killer If Only She Can Make Sense Of It All Before Someone Else Takes Their Last Sip I am currently reading the fifth in this series Great bedtime reading Light with a modicum of murder, very well done Gives the flavor of Charleston as a very historic city With the tea shop as a base Theodosia gets into a lot of fixes and barely gets the killers.