Lines to remember:
"You're sure?" One of Tidwell's furry eyebrows quivered expectantly. "Because you look awfully pale. Ashen."
"It's just my post-traumatic stress look," Theodosia said slowly. "Comes from confronting murderous maniacs."
Theodosia Browning owns the Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston and hosts a garden tea party during the Lamplighter Tour, an event where all the old and splendiferous houses of Charleston are open to public. At the end of the evening, when Bethany, a young employee, is about to clear the tables, she discovers the body of a man at one of the tables, clutching an empty teacup. Soon it is official that the man died not of a natural cause, but of poison. In an attempt to rescue her reputation and that of her employee, Theodosia starts an investigation of her own, which leads her to meet some rather strange people, who all might have a reason to kill the dead man.
I finished this book only a few seconds ago and my mind is still drawing a blank as to how best describe how much I enjoyed it.
This is the first book for the year that I finished (I decided to give up on two books I had started way back in 2006) and I'm now anxiously awaiting my next book buying spree so that I can get the second in series, Gunpowder Green.
I'm a tea addict, so I especially enjoyed the tea facts the author gave, but of course, this doesn't make a good book. At least not alone... What I thought really helped connect to the characters was that they appeared one after the other and not just popped up all together right at the big event, the Lamplighter Tour. That way, one could get used to a new character before having to try to figure out yet another character, as in some other books.
The setting was a completely new one to me, but nontheless (or maybe exactly because of that?) a good decision, as I doubt there are many mysteries with a tea shop as the main place of events.