Tea is a fairly straightforward subject, one that’s devoid, for the most part, of any sort of mystery and intrigue. Right? Well, not so fast. If you’d like to see how the topic of tea can form the basis for a tale of mystery – or for a whole bunch of them, for that matter – check out the popular Tea Shop Mystery series by Laura Childs.
If you haven’t been following the mystery fiction genre lately then you may not be aware that it has branched off into a wide range of series and books on a great variety of specialty topics, from baseball and golf to cooking and bookselling and much more. In addition to her novels about tea, Childs has also written several mystery books in a series that’s focused on scrapbooking.
The books in the Tea Shop Mystery series fall into the category of cozy mysteries, a branch of the genre that more or less merits a PG-13 rating and one in which – aside from a necessary murder or two – the rough stuff is kept to a relative minimum.
The books follow the adventures of tea shop owner, Theodosia Browning, an amateur detective with a knack for getting her nose stuck into various unsavory crimes. As Browning is the owner of Charleston’s Indigo Tea Shop, it’s no surprise that tea forms an integral part of the background to the books.
The series kicked off with Death By Darjeeling and the novels that followed were also named after a type of tea. Titles have included Gunpowder Green, Shades of Earl Grey, and The English Breakfast Murder. The Teaberry Strangler, the eleventh book in the series, appeared in early 2010 and more volumes are sure to follow.