Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Tea & a Mystery to chase away the last shred of winter.

As winter lingers, a nice hot cup of tea makes for a fragrant, warming treat.  Keemun black tea, known as the “Burgundy” of teas, is full-bodied, slightly sweet, and goes beautifully with scones and date bread.  Lapsang Souchong another Chinese tea with a slightly smoky flavor, pairs elegantly with apples and aged cheese.
Dimbulla from Ceylon has a bright flavor and red-amber color.  Add a little milk to this one and enjoy with bars or cookies.  There are scores of other delightful Ceylon teas, too, many flavored with orange peel, cinnamon, cloves, mangoes, and cherries.
Russian Caravan teas, a Chinese blend that often includes Keemun, is available in a number of different brands.  This is the rich, hearty brew that was so loved by the Czars!  There are also gingerbread and pumpkin spice teas on the market.  And, of course, that perennial favorite, spiced chai.

Be sure to visit your favorite tea shop, gift shop, or grocery where you’re in the mood to discover some great new teas.  And if grandma didn’t bequeath you her antique teapot and tea cups, check out your local antique store!

Now . . . if murder happens to be your cup of tea.  Let me also tell you about my new Tea Shop Mystery, Agony of the Leaves.

The opening of Charleston’s Neptune Aquarium is a major event, and Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston, SC, has been hired to cater tea, scones, and finger foods for a private party of big buck donors.  But when Theodosia slips away to view the Ocean Wall exhibit, she discovers a horrible sight - the body of a man, tangled in a net, drowned in this state-of-the-art tank!

To make matters worse, the victim turns out to be Theodosia’s former boyfriend Parker Scully.  The EMTs on the scene say the poor man fell in and drowned, but Theodosia spots defensive wounds on his hands and realizes someone must have wanted him dead.  Even though the police aren’t keen on her theory, Theodosia chases down a raft of suspects that include a shady lawyer, an extravagant lady restaurateur, and an aquarium board member.

Because I write cozies with a thriller pace, this savvy amateur sleuth’s investigation leads her from high tea into high drama with a pulse-pounding cemetery shocker at the end!  So cozy up for a fun read and enjoy my tea time tips and recipes as well.  Really, once you read about Charleston Pecan Brownie Bars, Honey Bee Scones, and Sweet Potato Butter you’re going to want to make them for yourself!

Laura Childs is the author of  14 Tea Shop Mysteries, 10 Scrapbook Mysteries, and 3 Cackleberry Club Mysteries.  Her books have been named to the USA Today and The New York Times Bestseller Lists, and have been featured selections in the Literary Guild’s Mystery Book Club.  She is a former Cleo Award-winning ad writer and CEO of Mission Critical Marketing.


BW said...

Murder is my cup of tea and I love tea too. I've been to Charleston too and I realy thought it was a neat town. I've had the tea that is grown in South Carolina some time ago but I can't find it anymore.

Pat Cochran said...

Enjoy tea but am not a tea aficionada. I sing
in my parish choir so "throat coat tea" is my
best friend, especially prior to Easter and Christmas. Shame on me, but I haven't read
any of your mysteries! I can tell I need to
plan a bookstore run in the VERY near future!!

Pat Cochran

marybelle said...

I do love a good cup of tea. I have added to my wish list. AGONY OF THE LEAVES has such a pretty cover.