In my day job, I review a lot of data. I look at numbers, I evaluate performance, I coach teams on improving. There's a constant need to look at things from new and different angles and understanding the current business environment and be able to convey that environment in a way that our clients can continue to succeed.
While my mind can't help but work on solving problems, I savor the chance to switch gears completely and sink into a cozy mystery where there are no consequences to my being "wrong." I was born and raised on Agatha Christie (And Then There Were None and Murder on the Orient Express are particular favorites),
I discovered The Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs year ago while browsing the shelves of Barnes and Noble before a business trip. I was in the middle of completing a Masters program and my brain needed something other than school and work to swim around in. When I saw the cover and title, "Death by Darjeeling," I performed an internal happy dance. Mystery AND Tea in one novel? Heavenly.
Since then, I've devoured the entire series as each book has been released. And when there isn't a new book, I often will go back to the beginning, which is what I did today. As it happened, I had just prepared some tea sandwiches for a friend, so I treated myself with the leftovers and enjoyed a leisurely tea luncheon over an old favorite.
I also just scored a new delivery of Arya Diamond SFTGFOP1, an extremely rare organic, first flush Darjeeling (plucked by hand in April 2014!!!) from American Tea Room, so everything fell perfectly into place.
Death by Darjeeling introduces us to Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston, South Carolina. Along with her trusted employees, Drayton (master tea sommelier) and Haley (young baker extraordinaire), we are brought along on a journey of tea, intrigue and poison starting at the annual Lamplighter Tour where the team is catering one of the stops. When one of the high profile guests is found dead, still clutching his near-empty tea cup, the clock is ticking for Theodosia to not only salvage her reputation but track down the murderer before he or she strikes again.
If you enjoy a good mystery, you'll easily find this series to be a new favorite. And (just to pique your curiosity even more) if you register on my mailing list, you'll be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Laura Childs' newest release, Sweet Tea Revenge. In addition, the first 100 to register will receive a free copy of my first Recipe e-book, A Mother's Day Recipe Moment, which is set to be released this Friday, April 18th.