Most helpful critical review
Not the best in the series...
on February 3, 2003
I have thoroughly enjoyed Laura Childs' Tea Shop Mysteries from the first. However, *Shades of Earl Grey* is not quite up to par with the previous two.
Sure, the setting is still just as cozy, and the little pieces of tea knowledge just as interesting, but the story is lacking. The characters, for some reason, seem too breezy this time round. There is little depth to any of them. To be honest, they come across as almost silly. They are constantly going around spouting "poor him," "poor her," "poor baby." The repetition of the word poor is bad enough, but the rest of the dialogue is also rather unrealistic. And there really is no mystery. There are crimes and suspects, but the investigation in no way reveals any true talent on the part of Theo Browning and it's basically pure luck that catches the thief.
*Shades of Earl Grey* is a very, very light mystery. It's enjoyable, but by no means engrossing or even particularly satisfying. It's a nice little book that would be great for killing some time. But even though this particular title in the series wasn't the best, I'd have to say that I'll still read the ones that follow.