Silver Needle Murder Hardcover – Mar 4 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
In Childs's diverting ninth Tea Shop cozy (after 2007's Dragonwell Dead), Theodosia Browning, proprietor of Charleston's Indigo Tea Shop, is in the audience of the recently restored Belvedere Theater when someone shoots celebrated movie director Jordan Cole on stage during Charleston's first film festival. Theodosia glimpses the murderer escaping in the theater's old dumbwaiter, but doesn't see enough to identity the culprit. Cole, a handsome rake, had more than his share of enemies, including his recently ditched girlfriend, Isabelle, granddaughter of curmudgeonly Timothy Neville, the festival's organizer, who asks Theodosia to fill in for a judge who quits. Despite being burdened with catering duties as well, Theodosia feels compelled to investigate the crime, much to CPD Det. Burt Tidwell's consternation. The savory recipes at the end will leave readers hungry for more. (Mar.)
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About the Author
Laura Childs is the bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mystery series and the Scrapbook Mystery series. She is a consummate tea drinker, scrapbooker, and dog lover, and travels frequently to China and Japan with Dr. Bob, her professor husband. In her past life she was a Clio Award-winning advertising writer and CEO of her own marketing firm.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
As much as I usually enjoy this light reading series, for some reason this particular book just annoyed me.
Yes, fashion, tea history tidbits, and Charleston society doings are mildly interesting, but the 'mystery' was lost this time and the characters acted stupid!
I knew 'who done it' early in the book and am sure most readers figured it out, too. The usually well written heroine needs to get back to some semblance of reality and I'm truly beginning to dislike these gossipy, snoopy people.
We had way, way, way too much description of clothing, jewelry, shoes, table settings, glassware, crystal, wine, & antique furniture. It's like the author is going overboard to let readers know these people have good taste, are wealthy, and, supposedly, are well-bred.
It felt like the author needed to get the length of the novel up and increase the word count, so readers wouldn't feel cheated.
But, what bothered me the most this time was that the character of Theodosia acted like a stupid heroine from a B-rated horror movie.
More than once she went, alone, into the empty theater, scene of the murder, without letting anyone know where she was going. Like a female horror movie character going alone down to the cellar or up to the attic where you KNOW something awful is going to happen. If this book had sound track it would be a slasher-type theme.
Then, Theodosia, wearing 3" high heels, **runs**, with her dog on leash, away from someone who's following her home down the darkest, loneliest street in Charleston. Running in high heels. Sure!
Toward the (very bad, unbelievable) end, again, wearing Prada slides with 3-1/2 heels, she follows a wooded path off a dirt road. Only after walking quite a way, with no light, does she remove her shoes.
Come on! Any woman who wears heels knows there is no way you can easily walk on non-pavement without twisting your ankle. And slides -- no backs, no straps, no support! Just totally unreal.
Maybe it's time for a good editor to step in. Perhaps the author has run out of ideas for murders. If so, that's OK. Start a new series with new characters and let this one die a well deserved death.
Mostly, Laura Childs does a wonderful job with all of her characters. The little bit crazy ones, dignified, older Drayton, her tea master and her hard-working, creative clever chef (I have advanced her position) Haley. Of course, the love interest, Parker, also increases the pace of the book.
My recommendation, always, would be start with the first "tea" book, Death by Darjeeling and work your way thru the next 8, ending with this great rendition.