Saturday, March 5, 2011

Review: Scones & Bones

Scones & Bones (Tea Shop Mystery - Book 12) by Laura Childs

Publication Date: March 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Cozy Mystery
ISBN-13: 9780425238967

(Received for review from the author)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Laura Childs on the WEB: Website

Excerpt from Scones & Bones

Synopsis (Book Blurb):

A search for a missing treasure stirs up the waters of the Charleston social set in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Teaberry Strangler.

Indigo Tea Shop owner, Theodosia Browning is lured into attending the Heritage Society's Pirates and Plunder party by her master tea blender. Amid the gold earrings and doubloons, an antique skull ring set with a huge diamond steals the show - and gets plundered by someone who murders a history intern in the process.

Even with that on her plate, Theodosia still has to attend the Charleston Food and Wine Festival, where she's hosting a tea and cheese tasting - the latest culinary trend. But as her thoughts keep drifting to the victim, Theodosia knows she'll have to whet her investigative skills to find the killer among a raft of suspects...


Laura Childs once again thrills readers with her latest addition to the Tea Shop Mystery series, Scones & Bones. This is the twelfth book in long running cozy series that offers the reader more than just a great whodunit. Childs brings Charleston, South Carolina to life, with interesting facts and bits of nostalgia, as well as, local folklore and tales. Readers will fall in love with Theodosia and the Indigo Tea Shop as she once again finds herself in the middle of a murder.

Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston, South Carolina is always getting herself into one mystery or another. This time she and her master tea blender, Drayton are attending the Heritage Societies, Pirates and Plunder party, where lots of artifacts and pirate lore are on display including a cup made from a diamond encrusted skull reportedly belonging to Blackbeard himself. When history intern, Rob Commers is murdered and the cup stolen, it's up to Theodosia to figure out who did it before the Heritage Society fires it's long time director, Timothy Neville. When Max Scofield, a local museum PR man arrives on the scene, Theo may have more on her mind than the mystery at hand. Will she have to choose between Max and her boyfriend Parker Scully? Who would be willing to kill for the skull cup?

As many of you know I am a huge Laura Childs fan. I love all three cozy mystery series' that Laura writes: The Tea Shop mysteries, The Cackleberry Club mysteries and The Scrapbooking mystery series. Each of the three focuses on a different theme and appeals to a different type of cozy reader.

The Tea Shop mysteries are definitely among my favorites for a lot of reasons. Scones & Bones as well as the other eleven books in the series are set in Charleston, South Carolina, a beautiful town with lots of history and atmosphere. I believe one of Childs strengths is her descriptions of the scene and the place. She gives readers a real sense of what Charleston is like. The charm of the city, it's historical significance and how that relates to it's citizens. She makes it come alive for readers with historical details, descriptions of the buildings the festivals and things that make Charleston what it is. I love that about her writing, I think it lends an air of authenticity and sophistication to her novels.

Theodosia is such a great character. She gave up a high powered job to become a shopkeeper in a picturesque community by the sea. How many of us wish we had the guts to give up our jobs to follow a dream? Her attitude is sassy yet, sophisticated. Theo comes across at well educated and very analytical about things, which lends itself to finding those little details that others seem to overlook. Her investigative style is interesting. She leans a lot on her own intuition and tries to work inside the line with the authorities instead of under the radar or in opposition to them. She just gives Burt Tidwell a nudge in the right direction now and then.

The supporting cast in this series is a lot fun. Drayton the master tea blender is very engaging. Readers will love his bow ties and his hobby of working with the Heritage Society. Drayton adds color the scene with his observations of the human condition as well as his upscale Charleston attitudes. I like him as a character a lot. Hayley, baker extraordinaire gives a bit of a younger and more fresh appeal to the series. She puts her own spin on the food at the Indigo Tea Shop as well as on whatever mystery Theodosia has gotten herself into. There are many other characters for readers to fall in love with as well including Earl Grey, Theo's dog and local shopkeepers who pop in from time to time.

Sconces & Bones is full of great tidbits of Charleston's history as well as pirate lore. This book focuses on the legends of Blackbeard and the pirates who were supposed to have sailed these shores long ago. The whole pirate backstory is very interesting and added a real sense of adventure to this book. The flow of the book is smooth and the pace is just right as the clues start to lead the reader along the path to finding the killer. Childs adds just enough in each chapter to keep the reader glued to the next page. I loved this one and can't wait for the next. I recommend this book to those who love a great mystery, especially cozy fans.

Scones & Bones is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Laura Childs is also the author of the Scrapbooking mystery series and the Cackleberry Club mystery series. In her past life she was a Clio award-winning advertising writer and CEO of her own marketing firm.