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  • A jolly good time!

    Twisted Tea Christmas by Laura Childs has Theodosia Browning and Drayton Conneley catering a swanky event for society mavin Miss Drucilla Heyward. Unfortunately, they end up witnessing the demise of society Grand Dame. Theodosia cannot get the image of the dead woman out of her mind and begins to do a little snooping around. It seems that someone is not happy with her prowling. Theodosia will need to keep her wits about her if she is going to survive to celebrate Christmas with her friends. Twisted Tea Christmas is the first holiday themed A Tea Shop Mystery. Laura Childs brought the Christmas atmosphere in this story. I loved the themed tea events that included a nutcracker tea and a Victorian illumination tea. A Tea Shop Mysteries are what got me hooked on cozy mysteries. I always love visiting Charleston, South Carolina to check in on Theodosia, Drayton, and Haley. Theodosia is a strong, smart female character. She owns the charming Indigo Tea Shop where Drayton serves tasty teas and Haley whips up delectable delights. I thought Twisted Tea Christmas was well-written with developed, relatable characters. The author captured the setting of Charleston. I enjoyed the local flavor. The mystery was well-plotted. There are multiple suspects in this whodunit. I enjoyed following the clues to solve the mystery. There are twists and turns that keep the mystery entertaining. I loved the reveal which had me laughing. I was sorry for Twisted Tea Christmas to end. Twisted Tea Christmas can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series, but I do recommend reading all of the books in this charming Southern cozy mystery series. There are yummy recipes at the end along with tea time tips from the author. Twisted Tea Christmas provides a jolly good time with tasty teas, a dead Grand Dame, a pilfered painting, a surplus of pooches, and a resolute tea shop sleuth.

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  • First Class!

    Theodosia has her own teashop, Indigo Tea Shop, that she runs with Drayton Conneley, a tea sommelier and her other employees. She is providing the catering for several parties around Christmastime including the Victorian one being held by Drucilla Heyward in a posh mansion in Charleston. Drucilla's party is well-attended and an excited Drucilla is planning to make an announcement but doesn't get the chance as her body is found on the marble tile floor in the central hallway with an orange syringe in her neck. This is the 23rd book in Laura Childs's Tea Shop Mystery series and it was a real cracker. I adore the determined Theodosia and catching up with Drayton is always a pleasure as well. I would love to be visiting Theodosia in her teashop in Charleston. Her variety of recipes sounded scrumptious and I'm particularly keen to try the Traditional Shrimp Balls, Drayton's Pork Chops with Apples and Haley's Fried Coffee Cake. Of course, the extensive menu of teas must be mentioned. Unravelling the mystery in the pockets of Theodosia was lots of fun and I welcomed the comfortable pace. I did my level best to solve the subtle clues, wade through the red herrings and concentrate on the murderer but repeatedly found myself sidetracked by other events, happenings, and comedic moments. Laura Childs has used a few chucklesome sides to full effect such as the mix of ruffian dogs Theodosia has charge of, and Drayton's point-blank refusal to wear a frilly apron. Lots of action keeps up the suspense levels as the story winds its way to a fulfilling, dramatic conclusion. Twisted Tea Christmas is a highly recommended five star read that will be of interest to many cozy readers, and I’m game to see what shenanigans Theodosia and Drayton get into next in book 24, A Dark and Stormy Tea. If you haven’t tried this series out yet, then you’re definitely missing out! Thanks to Berkley, Great Escapes Book Tours and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

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