Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Steeped in Evil

Steeped in Evil (Tea Shop Mystery - Book 15) by Laura Childs

Publication Date: 03/04/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 320
ISBN-10: 0425252957
ISBN-13: 978-0425252956

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Laura Childs on the WEB: websitefacebook, goodreads

Books in the series: Click on the links for my reviews of previous books in the series.

1. Death by Dargeeling
2. Gunpowder Green
3. Shades of Earl Grey
4. English Breakfast Murder
5. The Jasmine Moon Murder
6. Chamomile Mourning
7. Blood Orange Brewing
8. Dragonwell Dead
9. The Silver Needle Murder
10. Oolong Dead
11. The Teaberry Strangler
12. Scones & Bones
13. Agony of the Leaves
14. Sweet Tea Revenge
15. Steeped in Evil

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from, Steeped in Evil, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


In the newest mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Sweet Tea Revenge, Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is about to learn the true meaning of terroir…

Theodosia Browning has never considered herself a wine connoisseur—tea has always been her forte. But that doesn’t mean she’s going to pass up an invitation to a fancy wine-tasting party at the upscale Knighthall Winery, just outside of Charleston, South Carolina.

But a sweet evening takes on a bitter aftertaste when a dead body is discovered in one of the wine barrels. The son of proprietor Jordan Knight has been murdered.

Dissatisfied with the police investigation, Knight turns to Theo for help. She’s heard through the grapevine that there are both family and business problems at Knighthall. They say in vino veritas, but everyone at the winery seems to be lying through their teeth. Sorting through the guest list as well as family and staff, Theo has her pick of suspects. It may look like the killer has her over a barrel, but cracking tough cases is vintage Theodosia Browning.


Author Laura Childs continues her long running Tea Shop Mystery series, with her latest book Steeped in Evil. This book shifts it's focus from the tea shop theme to include a mystery involving wine. Readers who love the Charleston, South Carolina setting will once again find new things to love about this amazing city. Childs has a way of incorporating different outside aspects into her mysteries that broaden the appeal of her writing. The Downtown Abbey tea party is a great example of that. Readers who are also fans of the show will love the nod to one of their favorites.

What I liked:

This series is my favorite as far as cozies go and Laura Childs in my opinion just keeps getting better. When you find a combination of themes and characters that work, why change it? This is a great long lived series that keeps uncovering new and interesting things about not only the characters but about the setting, the kinds of murders that can and do occur and everything else involved in making this series great. This author knows what readers want to read and she keeps delivering book after book.

In this book, the focus shifts a little bit from tea to wine. Tea is still a big part of the story, but readers get a lot of interesting information about wine as well. Myself, I never know what wine should go with what main dish and always feel like I'm pairing the wrong things together, so I enjoyed this tutorial into wine making and thought it was an interesting addition to this series. It also made for a great theme. A wine related murder just has an edge to it. I thought Childs approached this mystery well and pulled readers in quickly with the variation on her normal theme.

Charleston is still a big part of this series the setting always takes on a life of it's own. This is a remarkable city that is steeped not only in evil for this series, but in history and romanticism. I think Childs always brings out interesting facts about the history and culture of the city that might remain hidden to most readers. I love the fact that Charleston is such a huge part of what makes this series so impressive.

I have to mention the Downton Tea party that Theo and the gang host. What a great idea. The popularity of that show is phenomenal and Childs really uses it to market her own work. I think it was a great idea and now I want to have a Downton Tea of my own. I always love all of the tea related facts and things that go on in this series, but this was really a highlight.

The mystery itself was engaging and full of surprises. The winery owners son ends up floating face first in a wine barrel and it's up to Theodosia to figure out who wanted him dead. Theo always brings something interesting to each investigation. In this one, readers find out that the winery was in some financial trouble that may have been grounds for murder. I liked the way Childs kept me guessing right up to the end with this one. Just when I thought I had, I was foiled agaaaaain!

Steeped in Evil is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

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

About the Author:

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries (Sweet Tea Revenge, Agony of the Leaves, Scones & Bones), the Scrapbooking Mysteries (Gilt Trip, Postcards from the Dead), and the Cackleberry Club Mysteries (Stake & Eggs, Eggs Benedict Arnold, Eggs in Purgatory). She is a consummate tea drinker, scrapbooker, and dog lover, and travels frequently to China and Japan with Dr. Bob, her professor husband. In her past life she was a Clio Award–winning advertising writer and CEO of her own marketing firm.

Giveaway Details:

The author is sponsoring a giveaway for two copies of her book, Steeped in Evil.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, April 2nd.

1. Please leave a comment about your favorite wine or drink.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


holdenj said...

Well, I started drinking Jasmine Green Tea because of this series! It's one of my go-to teas in the winter! Can't wait to catch up with some of my favorite characters! Thanks!

traveler said...

I enjoy herbal tea, lemon, orange spice and chai. Only hot tea all year and it is soothing. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Linda Kish said...

Wine is out as I am allergic to alcohol. Regular teas are out too. I do like herbal teas and chai tea. My latest is a vanilla chai tea. Very tasty.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

cyn209 said...

I don't drink alcoholic beverages anymore, but when I did, my favorites were the 'tooty-fruity' variety, like tequila sunrise, margaritas, etc...........

Charlotte said...

I do not drink alcoholic beverages. Give me a good cup of coffee.

Karen B said...

At my "advanced age" I rarely drink anything alcoholic but an icy cold beer on a hot humid day sure tastes good!

Susie R said...

I love a good Iced Tea!

Barbara T. said...

Merlot, Chardonnay are my beverages of choice. Tea, not so much, but reading about it is fine.

Carl Scott said...

My tastes are kind of simple these days. I'm hooked on a Mexican mineral water called Topo Chico. Thanks

Sue Farrell said...

Lately I've been drinking a lot of sweet red wines---I think they go well with Italian foods.

Carol N Wong said...

I love coconut mango white tea!


Nancy Luebke said...

Sometimes I cheat a little bit and have some rootbeer. Mostly just plain iced water.

Mary V. said...

I really enjoy Chai Tea Latte, especially on a cold day. I only wish I could make it as good at home as it is when I get it out at Starbucks!

Natasha said...

I love vanilla iced coffee.
Thanks for the chance to win!

bn100 said...

hot cocoa

lag123 said...

Merlot is my adult beverage of choice.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Anita Yancey said...

I don't drink wine. My favorite drink is diet coke.


Anonymous said...

I do not drink any alcoholic drinks. My favorites are Tetley Tea and a big glass of Coke. I've tried and liked green teas but not sure which brand is best for you. I would really love to win this book.I've heard of this author, but never read one of her books.Thanks for the give-away. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

Carol M said...

My favorite drink is just regular coffee. I don't care for the flavored ones.

Michelle F. said...

I don't drink alcohol. I like Diet Cherry Coke or Cherry Coke Zero. I sometimes drink coffee or tea. At Starbucks I'd get a Café Mocha and at home I put flavored creamer in my coffee. I like black or oolong tea. Cinnamon tea is one of my favorites. For juice I like Minute Maid's grape punch.