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Honey Drop Dead (A Tea Shop Mystery)
by Laura Childs

Published: 2023-08-08T00:0
Hardcover : 320 pages
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The murder of a political bigwig at a Honey Bee Tea sends Theodosia Browning buzzing for answers in this latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series.

Theodosia’s Honey Bee Tea was an elegant affair set in Charleston’s new Petigru Park amid newly planted native ...

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Introduction

The murder of a political bigwig at a Honey Bee Tea sends Theodosia Browning buzzing for answers in this latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series.

Theodosia’s Honey Bee Tea was an elegant affair set in Charleston’s new Petigru Park amid newly planted native grasses and a community beekeeping project. But when a phony beekeeper shows up and sprays toxic smoke at the guests, the party erupts in chaos. Worse yet, a shot rings out and Osgood Claxton III, candidate for state legislature, falls to the ground—dead.

Holly Burns, the gallery owner who asked Theodosia to cater the tea, is understandably heartbroken. A man is dead, her guests are angry and injured, and the paintings that were on display are left in tatters. When the police don’t seem to have a clue, when old-line politicos don’t want questions asked, Holly begs Theodosia to run a shadow investigation and help restore her gallery’s good name.

Between hosting a Wind in the Willows Tea and a Glam Girl Tea, Theodosia questions everyone that had a bone to pick with Claxton. This includes Booker, an angry outsider artist; Lamar Lucket, Claxton’s political opponent; and Mignon Merriweather, the dead man’s soon-to-be ex-wife. But the investigation becomes a political hot potato following a second murder, the revelation of a messy affair, a chase through a swamp, and a vandalized shop.

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!

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Excerpt

Theodosia plunked her purse down on Drayton’s kitchen counter and said, “Where’s this gun?”
“I keep it under the sink.” Drayton bent down, opened a cupboard door, and fumbled around inside looking for it.
“That’s a good place for a gun. Easy to get at in case of an emergency.”
“Don’t make fun,” Drayton said as he finally pulled out the pistol and set it on the counter along with a box of shells. He took a step back and added, “I really don’t want to touch it.” ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

From the author:

What was most exciting about the opening of Honey Drop Dead? Did the murder mystery get off to a fast start? Did the description of Theodosia’s chase after the phony beekeeper prickle the hairs on the back of your neck?

Does the author create enough of a “sense of place” that you were able to picture Petigru Park, the Imago Gallery, the Indigo Tea Shop, and the city of Charleston? How about Theodosia’s tea shop cohorts Drayton and Haley?

Did you feel there were enough suspects to investigate? Were there enough twists and turns in the plot?

What did you think of the second murder? Did you see it coming?

Did you enjoy reading about all the various event teas with their menus and décor? How about the different varieties of tea that were mentioned, such as Darjeeling, Jasmine, and Hibiscus? How about the English Tea Biscuits, Honey Chicken, Poached Pears, Honey Scones, and Scotch Eggs? Since the author includes these recipes, would you try making them?

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

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

Do you think Theodosia is able to balance her busy tea shop life with her personal life as well as find time to be an amateur detective? Do you think most working women are able to achieve a good sense of balance in their lives? In not, why not?

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