Plum Tea Crazy: A new Tea Shop Mystery by NYT Bestselling Author Laura Childs

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Win a print copy of Plum Tea Crazy (U.S. Only)


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!

 


Interview with Laura Childs, New York Times bestselling author of Plum Tea Crazy.

Laura, thanks for stopping by Island Confidential. Can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist?

Theodosia Browning is the sassy, outgoing proprietor of the Indigo Tea Shop. Formerly a marketing exec, Theodosia is quick-witted and droll, and has a knack for getting embroiled in police investigations.

How alike are you and Theodosia? 

I’m a former marketing exec myself, but I’ve never gotten involved in a criminal investigation. However, if I met Theodosia in real life I’d probably be analyzing clues right alongside her and trying to figure out a list of suspects.

Do your characters change and evolve throughout consecutive books in the series?

They’re the same characters personality-wise. However, they have grown and evolved a bit over the course of nineteen books. For example, Theodosia and her dog Earl Grey used to live in the apartment above the Indigo Tea Shop. Now they reside in a cute little Hansel and Gretel cottage in Charleston’s historic district.

Have you ever thought of killing someone that you know in real life – on the pages of a murder mystery, I mean?

I haven’t killed anyone from my past in any of my books, but I do get my petty revenge from time to time. I assign their names to killers or characters that I particularly detest!

How realistic is your setting? Do you take liberties or are you true to life?

My Charleston, SC setting is faithful right down to the antique cobblestones. The places I write about – Church Street, Gateway Walk, Duelers Alley, White Point Gardens – are all real places. My job as an author is to capture their charm and allure with words. I want you to picture the Spanish moss swaying in the trees, smell the salty Atlantic air rushing in, and have the feeling of being followed down a narrow, walled-in lane.

When the movie or TV series is made, who plays the major roles?

I think Debra Messing would make a terrific Theodosia

and Michael Caine would be a delightful Drayton.

What’s the worst and best advice you’ve ever heard or received as an author?

Worst advice – English teachers (pretty much all of them) who tried to hammer in that old maxim of “writing what you know about.” If authors did that we’d never have fantastic novels about outer space, time travel, and dinosaurs. Writing is all about creating imagery – a direct product of stretching your imagination!

Best advice – This was an object lesson of sorts. Mystery great Mary Higgins Clark took me under her wing at a Mystery Writers of America symposium and graciously introduced me to several editors and agents. When it came time for lunch – when Mary had a plethora of invitations – she whispered to me that she had to go home and write, that she had a tricky deadline. That’s when I realized that producing pages and meeting deadlines took precedence over panel discussions, lunch, and everything else. I realized that writing was serious business.

BONUS: Stay tuned for a character interview with Theodosia Browning herself!


About the Author

laura-childs-from-facebook

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.

Visit Laura’s webpage or find her on Facebook.

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New Tea Shop Mystery: Pekoe Most Poison by Laura Childs

>>>Enter to Win a Print Copy of Pekoe Most Poison<<<

In the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs, Theodosia Browning attends a “Rat Tea,” where the mice will play…at murder.

When Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is invited by Doreen Briggs, one of Charleston’s most prominent hostesses, to a “Rat Tea,” she is understandably intrigued. As servers dressed in rodent costumes and wearing white gloves offer elegant finger sandwiches and fine teas, Theo learns these parties date back to early twentieth-century Charleston, where the cream of society would sponsor so-called rat teas to promote city rodent control and better public health.

But this party goes from odd to chaotic when a fire starts at one of the tables and Doreen’s entrepreneur husband suddenly goes into convulsions and drops dead. Has his favorite orange pekoe tea been poisoned? Theo smells a rat.

The distraught Doreen soon engages Theo to pursue a discreet inquiry into who might have murdered her husband. As Theo and her tea sommelier review the guest list for suspects, they soon find themselves drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse…

INCLUDES RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS


About the Author

laura-childs-from-facebook

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.

Visit Laura’s webpage or find her on Facebook.


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New Cozy and #Interview: Egg Drop Dead by Laura Childs

In Laura Childs’s New York Times bestselling mystery series, Suzanne, Petra, and Toni—co-owners of the Cackleberry Club café—are back to track down another bad egg…

egg-drop-dead
When Suzanne Dietz, proprietor of the Cackleberry Club Café, stops by Mike Mullen’s dairy farm to pick up wheels of cheese, she’s greeted by the urgent, upturned faces of cows that haven’t been milked – as well as Mike’s mangled body! Stunned by her grisly discovery, Suzanne vows to find out who killed this mild-mannered farmer. Was it the shunned neighbor boy, a strange man transporting horses to Canada, or Mike’s unhappy wife? Juggling multiple suspects, a busy restaurant, tea parties, and a raucous Halloween celebration, Suzanne maintains her good humor and keeps her romance with the town doctor sizzling. In the tradition of all her previous New York Times bestselling cozies, Laura Childs doesn’t let her readers down when it comes to heart-warming humor, a breathless pace, and homespun recipes!

 


Q: Laura, thanks for stopping by Island Confidential. Can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist, Suzanne? 

A: Suzanne Dietz, is the owner of the Cackleberry Club Café along with her partners Toni and Petra. Suzanne is sweet, tough, and imbued with a can-do spirit. She also has a great sense of justice. When some poor character gets murdered, she’s almost driven to bring the killer to justice. Of course, that puts Suzanne in a lot of hot water and can make her quite unpopular with local law enforcement. Suzanne is also a dog lover, horse owner, and excellent cook who tries to source all her fresh ingredients locally. (She also shares her recipes with readers!)

Q: How much of you is in the Suzanne? What do you think would happen if you met her in real life?

A: Suzanne is curious, unafraid to push the envelope, and very much an entrepreneur, so I’d say there’s some of me in her. I started an ad agency (against the advice of a bunch of seasoned ad guys) at the age of thirty and ran it successfully for twenty years. If I met Suzanne in real life, I’d probably buy her a drink and talk about what the next chapter of our lives holds.

Q: Do your characters change and evolve throughout consecutive books in the series?

A: They change and evolve somewhat, but their basic personalities always shine through. Suzanne’s two partners, Toni and Petra, are probably a little more outrageous now than when I started. Toni is the resident hottie-pattotie with skin-tight cowboy shirts, hot pink extensions, and a bawdy sense of humor. Petra is probably a little less religious now that when we started out. I guess I’m a bad influence on them.

Q: Have you ever thought of killing someone that you know in real life – only on the pages of a murder mystery?

When I owned my marketing firm, there were always certain clients who were cranky and demanding or tried to cheat us. Now I take my petty revenge on them by putting them in my mysteries (Cackleberry Club, Tea Shop, and Scrapbook Mysteries). I either kill them off in a gruesome manner or name a slimy character after them. It’s great fun!

Q: How realistic is your setting? Do you take liberties, or are you true to life?

A: I grew up in a small, Midwestern town, so I think my setting for the Cackleberry Club Mysteries is spot on. The mysteries take place in the fictional town of Kindred, which is rural, charming, and filled with quirky characters who have surprisingly dark secrets. Really, just like the place I grew up!

Q: What’s the worst and best advice you’ve heard or received as an author?

A: No advice, but a very telling story:  Once when I was at the Mystery Writers of American symposium in New York, I was talking with Mary Higgins Clark. She had helped me get started and had set me up with her agent. It was almost noon and I wanted to take her to lunch. But when I brought it up, she got this funny, almost frightened look on her face and said, “Oh, I wish. But I have to go home and write. My publisher wants another 50,000 words in six weeks.” That’s when I knew this whole writing thing was deadly serious – that panels and symposiums and signings are all grand, but until you park yourself in that chair and start cranking out words, you’re not really a professional author at all.

 


About the Author

laura-childs-from-facebook

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.

Visit Laura’s webpage or find her on Facebook.


KEEP UP WITH PROMOTIONS, EVENTS, AND NEW RELEASES:

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