The Teaberry Strangler Hardcover – Large Print, Jul 1 2010
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About the Author
Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Cackleberry Club, Tea Shop, and Scrapbooking mysteries. In her past life she was a Clio Award–winning advertising writer and CEO of her own marketing firm. She lives in Plymouth, Minnesota. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Unfortunately, I think this is one of the weaker books in the series. The wonderful descriptions of Charleston (and its society gatherings) are included but the mystery itself is insubstantial. The murder takes place, Theodosia (our main character) lines up a cast of suspects with flimsy motives and then the reader is left hanging since there are no clues as to who actually did it. The murderer is revealed in the final pages and it is totally "sprung" on the reader since new information is given. The mystery definitely feels like an afterthought in this book. I also thought the character development was fairly non-existent as well. Not much has changed in any of the character's lives and Drayton and Hayley continue to exist in order to give Theodosia someone to talk to. To add freshness to a long series, I would love to see a future mystery written focused more on one of those two characters, particularly Drayton (lots of unrealized potential here).
To sum it up - if I were picking up the book as a first time reader, it would rate a 3-star. Since I have come to love the books as a whole and there is some halo effect going on, I would rate it a 4-star for me. Settled on 4 stars with some reservations .....
The prose is so bad that it's laughable. A sandwich filling is "lathered on" instead of slathered on (this is just one example). Sentences are split in two, with sentence fragments sticking out like splinters. This tea shop owner is supposed to do catering as well, yet seems to know absolutely nothing about that line of work. The descriptions of Charleston are superficial, the dialogue drivel, so many of the characters snarl, screech, spit and whine that it's painful, the point of view switches briefly and unbelievably, and there is a whole scene about Theodosia having to retrieve her ex-boyfriend's sailboat from an island (with rattlesnake) that adds absolutely nothing to the story.
The best that I can say about this book is the author knows about tea.