Theodosia Browning investigates a Charleston steeped in tradition and treachery in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.
While viewing the harbor’s Gaslights and Galleons Parade from the widow’s walk of Timothy Neville’s Charleston mansion, local banker Carson Lanier seemingly tumbles over a narrow railing, then plunges three stories to his death. But a tragic accident becomes something much more sinister when it’s discovered that the victim was first shot with a bolt from a crossbow.
At the request of the mansion owner, Theodosia investigates the tragedy and is soon neck deep in suspects. An almost ex-wife, a coworker, a real estate partner–all had motives for killing the luckless banker, but one resorted to murder to settle accounts.
INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!
Character Interview: Theodosia Browning
Theodosia, thanks for stopping by Island Confidential. Can you tell our readers something about yourself?
Besides being the proprietor of the Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston, SC, I’m sort of a true crime groupie. Murders, smash and grab robberies, they all fascinate me to no end. Which is probably why I enjoy doing a little amateur sleuthing. Picture this if you will – a two-hundred-year-old city with ancient alleys, haunted cemeteries, and fog continually creeping in from the pounding Atlantic. Now throw in historic mansions and quirky, wealthy residents with umpteen skeletons hidden in the attic. Now, wouldn’t you be fascinated too?
Of course–that sounds terrifying and intriguing. But you don’t do all of this sleuthing alone, do you? Do you have anyone else you can trust?
Drayton Conneley, my resident tea master, is the one who’s always got my back. Yes, he’s very proper, slightly fussy, and is a complete technophobe, but he still “gets” me. You know?
That sounds wonderful. Of course not everyone is as pleasant or helpful, I’d imagine. Is there anyone you don’t get along with quite so well?
When it comes to conflict, Detective Burt Tidwell of the Charleston PD takes the cake. First off, he’s this big burly bear of a guy who always assumes he knows best. Which he doesn’t. I mean, why should he get to doggone agitated when all I’m trying to do is figure out suspects and offer a little help? Really, I can’t figure it out.
Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?
Laura Childs was the one who breathed life into me, so I really shouldn’t complain. But, dear Lord, the perfectly horrible situations she puts me in are enough to curl your hair! Think floating dead bodies, fires, angry alligators, haunted cemeteries, stabbings, shootings, boat chases, and even a food truck chase. I say take it down a notch, Laura!
What’s next for you?
That crazy author of mine is working on the 20th Tea Shop Mystery. And it looks as if she’s going to send a killer drone smack dab into the middle of a hot air balloon rally. Yes, balloons will crash and people will be killed. So that book’s probably going to be titled something like Shattered Teacups or Broken BoneChina. It’s still up in the air right now (pun intended) but it does sound exciting!
About the Author
Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fund raising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.
Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:
The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.
The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!
The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.