Murder in the Tea Leaves (A Tea Shop Mystery)
by Laura Childs

Published: 2024-03-05T00:0
Hardcover : 304 pages
0 members reading this now
0 club reading this now
0 members have read this book
It’s Lights, Action, Murder as tea maven Theodosia Browning scrambles for clues in this latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series.

When Theodosia Browning reads the tea leaves on the set of the movie, Dark Fortunes, things go from spooky to worse. Lights are dimmed, ...

No other editions available.
Add to Club Selections
Add to Possible Club Selections
Add to My Personal Queue
Jump to


It’s Lights, Action, Murder as tea maven Theodosia Browning scrambles for clues in this latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series.

When Theodosia Browning reads the tea leaves on the set of the movie, Dark Fortunes, things go from spooky to worse. Lights are dimmed, the camera rolls, and red hot sparks fly as the film’s director is murdered in a tricky electrical accident.

Or was it an accident? Though the cast and crew are stunned beyond belief, nobody admits to seeing a thing. And when Theodosia’s friend, Delaine, becomes the prime suspect, Theodosia begins her own shadow investigation. But who among this Hollywood cast and crew had murder on their mind? The screenwriter is a self-centered pot head, the leading actress is trying to wiggle out of her contract, the brand new director seems indifferent, and nobody trusts the slippery-when-dry Hollywood agent.

Between hosting a Breakfast at Tiffany’s Tea, a Poetry Tea, and trying to launch her own chocolate line, Theodosia doggedly hunts down clues and explores the seemingly haunted Brittlebank Manor where the murder took place. And just when she’s ready to pounce, a Charleston Film Board member is also murdered, throwing everything into total disarray. But this clever killer will go to any lengths to hide his misdeeds as Theodosia soon finds out when she and her tea sommelier, Drayton, get caught up in a dangerous stakeout.


Editorial Review

No Editorial Review Currently Available


Josh Morro, the film’s director, pointed a finger at the fortune teller. “Fortune teller lady. I want you to pour the tea, then peer into Andrea’s cup and actually read the tea leaves. Tell her, um, that her life is in terrible danger.”

“That’s not in the script,” the script writer called out.

“Well, it should be,” Morro said. He stared earnestly at the fortune teller. “You got that?”

“No problem,” said the fortune teller.

“Lights down, everyone quiet . . . and roll film,” Morro instructed. He stood there, tense, arms crossed, watching his actors.

The fortune teller lifted the teapot and tilted it at a forty-five-degree angle. At which point the lid promptly fell off and clattered noisily to the floor while the teabag tumbled out and landed in the teacup with a wet plop.

“No, no!” Morro shouted. “That’s not going to work, you’re doing it all wrong. Everybody, take five while we figure this out.” He sighed deeply and gazed in the direction of Theodosia’s craft services table as if there were an answer to be found there.

Turns out there was.

“Loose leaf tea,” Theodosia said. “You need to brew loose tea leaves in order to achieve the effect you want.”

“Huh?” The director peered at Theodosia as if really seeing her for the first time. “You know something about tea?”

“She should,” Drayton said, suddenly speaking up. “She owns a tea shop.”

“Come over here, will you?” Morro said, waggling his fingers.

Theodosia slipped around the table and walked toward the director, aware that more than a few eyes were following her. She stepped over a tangle of wires and black cables that connected lights, cameras, and sound equipment to the main power source.

“So you’re a tea expert?” Morro asked.

Theodosia lifted a shoulder. “Of sorts.”

“Because you own a tea shop.”

“The Indigo Tea Shop over on Church Street.”

The director seemed to relax. “Truth be told, I’ve been known to imbibe a cup or two of tea myself. You might say Earl Grey was my gateway drug.”

“Because of the bergamot,” Theodosia said.

Josh Morro reached out, gently grabbed Theodosia’s arm, and pulled her toward him. “Right.”

“Hard to resist that rich flavor.”

Morro’s face lit up as if he’d been suddenly struck by a wonderful idea. “Since you seem to know what you’re doing, we’ll have you pour the tea and read the tea leaves!”

“What!” screeched the fortune teller, who suddenly saw her big scene going up in smoke.

“Oh no,” Theodosia said, breaking away from him and holding up her hands. “I’m no expert when it comes to tasseography.”

“You’re referring to . . .”

“Reading tea leaves.”

Morro gazed at her and smiled. “Oh yes, I think you’re perfect. I definitely want you to read the tea leaves and be in the scene.” view abbreviated excerpt only...

Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions from the author:

What was most exciting about the opening of Murder in the Tea Leaves? Did the murder mystery get off to a quick start? Did the description of the director’s murder 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 the haunted Brittlebank Manor, the Indigo Tea Shop, and the 350 year-old city of Charleston? How about Theodosia’s tea shop cohorts Drayton and Haley?

Did you feel there were enough suspects to investigate? Did you think there were 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 the various event teas with their menus and décor? How about the different varieties of tea that were mentioned, such as Darjeeling, Jasmine, and Dragonwell? How about the Double Chocolate Scones, Lemon Chicken, Strawberry Tea Sandwiches, Peach Puffs, and Pineapple Crisp? 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? If not, why not?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
There are no user reviews at this time.
Rate this book
Remember me

Now serving over 80,000 book clubs & ready to welcome yours. Join us and get the Top Book Club Picks of 2022 (so far).



Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...