Scones & Bones by Laura Childs
Scones & Bones is the 12th book in the Tea Shop Mysteries starring Theodosia Browning, written by Laura Childs. Childs is also the author of two other mystery series – one focused on scrapbooking, and another called “The Cackleberry Club,” the latter of which I haven’t read yet. However, I’d say it would be a challenge to pick a favorite between the Tea Shop mysteries and the Scrapbooking ones. Childs is a master at giving each of her series a unique feel based off of its location and well-developed characters.
The Tea Shop mysteries are centered around The Indigo Teahouse, run by Theodosia, in the historic district of Charleston, South Carolina. “Theo” is aided by Drayton Connelly, an older southern gentleman and master tea blender, and Haley a young baking entrepreneur. Together, not only do they serve the best tea and scones around, but they’ve also been known to solve a crime…or twelve – with the help of Detective Tidwell of the Charleston P.D, of course.
In this latest installment, we find Theodosia and her friends embroiled in a pretty strange mystery, even for them! As is often the case, the group finds themselves rubbing elbows with the high society of Charleston during the Heritage Society’s “Pirates and Plunder” show. What no one knows is that somewhere in the midst of their gala, is a treasure hunter who’s willing to kill for a chance to steal one of the items on display – an antique skull cup inset with a large diamond. Will they catch the culprit and help Tidwell close the case? Or will the curse of the cup haunt them too? I guess you’ll just have to read the book yourself to find out!
I think this may be one of my favorite series because it perfectly blends the feel of a cozy mystery with the suspense of a more “realistic” novel. Childs also does a great job of creating a whole town. New characters do pop up in each novel, but their introductions are organic, and old friends are always around to lend a hand. I guess you could say the book has a very rich background life. Oh, and I forgot to mention – each one comes with recipes from the story and new tea time tips!
Obviously, I’m always going to recommend that you start at the beginning of a series, (the first book is called Death by Darjeeling), but I think this book in particular does a pretty good job of standing on its own if you’re the kind of person that can handle reading things out of order.
Have you read any of the Tea Shop mysteries? What about one of the other Laura Childs series? What are your thoughts on them?