On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
Broken Bone China (A Tea Shop Mystery)
20th in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Berkley (March 5, 2019)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Digital ASIN: B07DMZPLWY
Theodosia Browning serves tea and solves crimes in Charleston, a city steeped in tradition and treachery in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.
It is Sunday afternoon, and Theodosia and Drayton are catering a formal tea at a hot-air balloon rally. The view aloft is not only stunning, they are also surrounded by a dozen other colorful hot-air balloons. But as the sky turns gray and the clouds start to boil up, a strange object zooms out of nowhere. It is a drone, and it appears to be buzzing around the balloons, checking them out.
As Theodosia and Drayton watch, the drone, hovering like some angry, mechanized insect, deliberately crashes into the balloon next to them. An enormous, fiery explosion erupts, and everyone watches in horror as the balloon plummets to the earth, killing all three of its passengers.
Sirens scream, first responders arrive, and Theodosia is interviewed by the police. During the interview she learns that one of the downed occupants was Don Kingsley, the CEO of a local software company, SyncSoft. Not only do the police suspect Kingsley as the primary target, they learn that he possessed a rare Revolutionary War Union Jack flag that several people were rabidly bidding on.
Intrigued, Theodosia begins her own investigation. Was it the CEO’s soon-to-be ex-wife, who is restoring an enormous mansion at no expense? The CEO’s personal assistant, who also functioned as curator of his prized collection of Americana? Two rival antiques’ dealers known for dirty dealing? Or was the killer the fiancée of one of Theodosia’s dear friends, who turns out to be an employee—and whistle-blower—at SyncSoft?
INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!
The story opens with Theodosia and Drayton high in the air in a hot-air balloon. They were catering the rally and were gifted to fly in the air themselves. While enjoying the spectacular views and the other balloons the clouds start to roll in and Theo noticed a buzzing and then a strange object flying between the balloons. She soon realizes it is a drone. She doesn’t really get excited at first thinking it is carrying a camera taking pictures of the event. But then the drone crashes into the balloon right next to them. There is a huge explosion and as the rain starts to fall and so does the fiery balloon, crashing to the ground killing the three souls aboard.
Theo and Drayton’s balloon makes a hasty descent followed by a bumpy landing. Theo saw the whole thing and reports the drone’s deliberate attack. It is then she learns one of the people killed was Don Kingsley, the CEO of a local software company, SyncSoft. It later comes out that Kingsley is the owner of a rare Revolutionary War Union Jack flag that was recently part of a bidding war and is now missing. He was also in the process of divorcing his wife who had been spending tons of money to renovate a mansion to open it as a B&B.
After witnessing such a tragic event, Theodosia is driven to distraction. Even though she is warned to leave the case to the police she just can’t stop herself from investigating the deaths herself, pulling Drayton along with her. It doesn’t help that the prime suspect is the fiancée of one of her friends and the evidence is piling up.
Wow, this is the 20th Tea Shop Mystery and the author always delivers a fresh and exciting mystery. I mean a drone taking down a hot air balloon, that catches a reader’s attention and the investigation keeps it until the last page.
What makes these stories great is the wonderful cast of characters and the Indigo Tea Shop where everyone seems to gather to pick up their morning tea and scones, or stop by for a lunch of soup and sandwiches or the fantastic tea events that are held there several times a week. The Nancy Drew Tea is one I wish I had been able to attend. While Theo and Drayton venture out to sleuth, most of the key figures find their way to the tea shop eventually and some are there numerous times. Ms. Childs’ descriptive talents really bring time, place, and people to life.
I found the historical information about the Union Jack flag was very interesting. It was a unique element playing a big part in a mystery that was full of twists and turns. Theodosia has built a reputation for solving crimes before the police so expectations are always high and she doesn’t let us down.
The author plots her stories so well and truly fills them with Southern charm. They are perfectly paced and flow so well they are almost impossible to put down. I read this one incredibly fast and totally enjoyed every page.
Broken Bone China is a delightful addition to this long-running series. If you’re not already of fan of this series the author always provides plenty of background so you can jump in the series at any time. Of course, I recommend you read them all 😀
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.
Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:
The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.
The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!
The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.
Thanks to the people at Berkley I have 1 copy of Broken Bone China to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.
Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.
Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.
If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.
Contest Will End March 13, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.
Laura Childs will be touring with Great Escapes Book Tours in March!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”