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Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery)
by Childs Laura

Published: 2020-03-03T00:0
Hardcover : 336 pages
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Tea-Maven Theodosia Browning brews up trouble in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs. Tea maven Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier Drayton Conneley are guests at a bird hunt styled in the precise manner of an English shooting party. Which means ...
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Introduction

Tea-Maven Theodosia Browning brews up trouble in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs. Tea maven Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier Drayton Conneley are guests at a bird hunt styled in the precise manner of an English shooting party. Which means elevenses (sloe gin fizzes), gun loaders, the drawing of pegs, fine looking bird dogs, and shooting costumes of tweed, herringbone, and suede. But as gunshots explode like a riff of Black Cat firecrackers, another shot sounds too close for comfort to Theodosia and Drayton. Intrigued but worried, Theodosia wanders into the neighbor's lavender field where she discovers their host, Reginald Doyle, bleeding to death. His wife, Meredith, is beside herself with grief and begs Theodosia and Drayton to stay the night. But Theodosia awakens at 2:00A.M. to find smoke in her room and the house on fire. As the fire department screams in and the investigating sheriff returns, Meredith again pleads with Theodosia for help. As Theodosia investigates, fingers are pointed, secrets are uncovered, Reginald's daughter-in-law goes missing presumed drowned, and Meredith is determined to find answers via a séance. All the while Theodosia worries if she's made a mistake in inviting a prime suspect to her upscale Lavender Lady Tea. INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!

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Excerpt

Chapter One of Lavender Blue Murder

Summer no longer held sway in the low country of South Carolina. Golds and russets had replaced vivid greens while a cerulean blue sky offered the promise of cooler weather.
Then, suddenly . . . BANG! BANG! And another BANG! BANG! A series of gunshots exploded like a riff of Black Cat firecrackers, the retorts echoing off sweeping vistas of yarrow and pine forests.
“Got one!” a woman’s voice called out, triumphant.
“You seriously got one?” a male voice responded, surprise mixed with admiration.
Theodosia Browning lowered her shotgun and nodded. This wasn’t her first shooting party. She’d hunted gamebirds before, especially quail and grouse. Growing up at nearby Cane Ridge Plantation, she’d also once shot a wild turkey, along with a few varmints that had overstepped their bounds and tried to make a tasty meal out of her Aunt Libby’s exotic French Crevecoeur chickens. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

What was most exciting about the opening of Lavender Blue Murder? Did the murder mystery get off to a rip-roaring start? Did the description of murder prickle the hairs on the back of your neck?

Does the author create enough of a “sense of place” that you could picture Creekmore Plantation, Reginald’s shooting, and then the disastrous plantation fire? How about later on at the Indigo Tea Shop with Haley and Drayton?

Did you feel there were enough twists and turns in the mystery? What were your favorites?

Do you think the city of Charleston serves as a sort of character in the story?
Did you like the descriptions of the harbor, the narrow lanes, and the stately homes?

Did you enjoy the fact that the author combined mystery with humor?

Do you think Theodosia is able to balance her career with her personal life as well as being an amateur detective? Do you think most working women are able to achieve a good sense of balance? In not, why not?

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