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I am delighted to feature and share my thoughts about Murder With Chocolate Tea by Karen Rose Smith!
Murder with Chocolate Tea (A Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery)
10th in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Kensington Cozies (November 28, 2023)
Mass Market Paperback : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 1496738489
ISBN-13 : 978-1496738486
Kindle ASIN : B0BZBM7B1T
Daisy Swanson, bride-to-be and owner of Daisy’s Tea Garden in Pennsylvania’s Amish country, may have one or two more murders to solve before she says “ I do . . .”
Daisy has a lot to celebrate this summer. She’s supervising a special tea event to help commemorate the 100-year-anniversary of her town’s historic covered bridge. But the main event is her upcoming wedding to her beloved fiancé Jonas. Somehow Willow Creek’s busiest brewer of specialty teas and amateur sleuth still finds time to be a guest on local journalist Trevor Lundquist’s crime podcast to discuss the last murder she solved.
After the podcast, Trevor receives an anonymous tip from a caller who claims a travel chest that’s about to be auctioned holds a clue to a twenty-year-old unsolved murder. Is it a hoax or a genuine lead? When a body turns up in Willow Creek, Trevor suspects a connection between this current homicide and the cold case. Has the murderer killed again to cover their tracks? Now Daisy has another mystery steeping and Trevor may just have his next podcast . . .
Life sure is busy from Daisy Swanson. She works at her tea garden every day where she holds many special events too. She is finalizing all the plans for her upcoming wedding. Her daughter Jazzi is preparing to leave for college and her son-in-law Foster seems to be burning the candle at both ends to provide for what he thinks his family needs.
With all that on her plate, she takes time to be a guest on Trevor Lundquist’s crime podcast to talk about the last murder she solved. After the program, an anonymous tip comes in telling Trevor a chest is soon to be auctioned off and that it contains a clue that could solve a cold murder case. Then the police have a new homicide to deal with, but podcaster Trevor thinks it is connected to the 20-year-old murder and he is going to prove it. When the police ask Daisy for help with the deceased wife, she can’t say no. Soon after Daisy is investigating too and running interference between Trevor and Detective Morris Rappaport. Can she solve another murder and make it to her wedding on time?
The author continues to breathe life into her true-to-life genuine characters. Daisy has such a big heart, she will always help everyone in any way she can, even with her own wedding quickly approaching. Her journey to find the perfect dress, making sure fiancé Jonas is part of every decision and his building the perfect place to have the ceremony just warmed my heart. Witnessing their relationship grow throughout several books and evolve so naturally is a true credit to the author. She has shown us how relationships have their ebbs and flows too. Vi and Foster’s life had a bumpy start but with help from family and friends, they too have moved forward realistically. They have some rough times in this story but again family is right there for them. Jazzi has had an interesting life too. Daisy’s support of her finding her birth mother, Portia, and including the woman in family events like her wedding is more evidence of Daisy’s huge heart. Ms. Smith has created a remarkable cast of supporting characters as well. I have enjoyed all the time I have spent peeking into these character’s lives.
The mystery was complicated and took some research and true investigation before the clues started to come together in a way that made sense but evidence to pin down the killer may have been lost forever. It may end up being another cold case. But Trevor wasn’t letting the case go and Daisy may not make it to her wedding. This book is so well-plotted and written. Each twist and turn pulled me deeper into the story and kept me guessing. An interesting visit to Daisy did push me toward a certain character but I still had several questions. Happily, when all was revealed they were all answered.
I am very sad that this appears to be the last book in this series as the author begins a new spinoff series featuring Daisy’s daughter Jazzi. I am intrigued to see her in a different way and seeing things from her point of view as the lead character. I do hope her family visits her often though. They are all characters I have become invested in after 10 books. I am holding out hope though that we will return to Willow Creek and Daisy’s Tea Garden someday. It is such a great fictional setting.
Murder with Chocolate Tea is a wonderful addition to this series. Wonderful characters, a stirring mystery, set in a charming place where Amish and Englishers come together, along with a lot of chocolate tea make this a must-read for cozy mystery lovers. I have enjoyed every book in this series and highly recommend them all.
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About the Author
Karen Rose Smith is the author of the Daisy’s Tea Garden Mysteries and the Caprice De Luca home-staging mysteries. Married to her college sweetheart, Karen has convinced her husband that felines can make purr-fect housemates. They share their home in the Susquehanna Valley of Pennsylvania with their three rescued cats. You can find her on Facebook at KarenRoseSmithBooks and on Twitter @karenrosemith. Find out more about her mysteries at https://www.karenrosesmithmysteries.com.
Also written by this Author
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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.”