Gunpowder Green by Laura Childs

 

Cozy Mystery

Gunpowder green Gunpowder GreenLaura Childs; Berkley Prime Crime 2002WorldCat

Oliver Dixon and his young, second wife, Doe, are at the finish line of the Isle of Palms Yacht Race. This year Oliver has the honor of firing the finish gun at Charleston’s annual event. He raises the collector’s pistol and fires. The gun explodes in his face, killing Oliver in front of two hundred onlookers.

One of the people at the gala is Theodosia Browning. She and her tea shop employees were serving the food and drink for the Isle of Palms Yacht Race attendees. Theodosia is the first person to approach Oliver. She knows he is dead. The paramedics try to resuscitate him, but it is too late. The “accident” was fatal.

Theodosia doesn’t believe the gun exploded accidentally. She is certain someone arranged the incident. She returns to work in her tea shop with Drayton and Haley, her trusted friends and employees. But she can’t let it go. Between the tea shop’s tourist trade, its Mystery Tea, and Charleston’s society, Theodosia investigates Oliver’s death. She keeps Burt Tidwell, the homicide detective in charge of the case, informed of her suspicions. He tries to have her stop her personal investigation. It’s no use. She continues searching, both for herself and for an old friend. If Theodosia isn’t careful, she may find herself as the next “accident” victim.

Gunpowder Green is the first Tea Shop Mystery I’ve read. It’s a comfortable cozy mystery with an interesting plot and twist at the end. Childs gives the reader clear pictures of Charleston and the surrounding countryside. The upper society characters are people we’ve all met in some form.

Another attraction of Gunpowder Green is the lessons about tea throughout the book. If you weren’t a tea drinker before reading this book, you will be tempted to try some of these infusions. The tea shop and the teas are a major character in Gunpowder Green. At the end Childs also adds a number of recipes for dishes served in the book, including a liver brownie cake for dogs.

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