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It is my pleasure to feature
Vanilla Chai and A Vanishing Victim by Victoria Tait today!
About Vanilla Chai and A Vanishing Victim
Vanilla Chai and A Vanishing Victim: A British Cozy Murder Mystery with a Female Sleuth (A Waterwheel Cafe Mystery)
3rd in Series
Setting – Cotswold, England
Kanga Press (January 5, 2024)
Number of Pages c. 240
Digital ASIN : B0C4V4CCGT
A missing child. A half-baked ransom demand. Can a community cop sift through clues and rescue the tot before teatime?
Sergeant Keya Varma’s culinary dreams come true as she joyfully opens her own café. And attending her sister’s wedding is the cherry on the cake. But her excitement sinks like a souffle when a customer’s little boy disappears.
Shaken as well as stirred into action, the part-time police officer joins the search, but she’s shattered when even a ransom payment doesn’t bring the rug rat back home.
For Keya, justice is served with a side of scones, but can she save the child before the clotted cream turns sour?
We return to the Cotswolds where Sergeant Keya Varma has finally opened her Waterwheel Café. She is still trying to find a balance between her job as a police officer and working at her café. Thankfully, her mother, sister, and friends can help take care of the cafe, especially now that the police are searching for a little boy who has gone missing. The boy’s family has visited Keya’s café so she feels personally invested. She also has a little insight into the family dynamics. Can she help to bring the little guy home or will all her efforts be too late?
Keya Varma has grown so much since we met her in the Dotty Sayers series. She is much more confident, not quite as clumsy, has become an integral part of the Cirencester police force, and is now running the cafe at Akeman’s Antique Center. She is most often teamed up with Constable Ryan Jenkins and they make a great team. She thinks of him like a little brother, but her mother would love to see them romantically involved. Especially now that her little sister has married. He is much younger than Keya but you never know. It was nice to meet his mom, Monica, in this story. I do enjoy that characters from the Dotty Sayers series are involved in this series as well but you don’t have to have read that series to enjoy this one. Ms. Tait’s characters are unique and genuine and will quickly feel like old friends.
The kidnapping of Zaad Bartlett while he was at a park with his nanny has the entire Cirencester crew working together. When ransom notes, yes, plural, everything moves into an even higher gear. The boy’s mother is a successful businesswoman who has a high-pressure job, works a lot of hours, and has a lot of contacts. His father stays home but is also an artist. He takes Zaad on playdates and to toddler groups and has made friends with all the other moms. Zaad’s nanny entertains him and takes him to the park, someone she met may have taken the child. Keya and Ryan are chasing down every clue, trying to make them fit together like a complicated puzzle. Inspector Sue Honeywell has experience with families and victims of crime so she stays with the family to learn all she can about them. She has a softer side, unlike Detective Evans who is more old school. It was easy to get invested in all of the characters and following each twist and turn. A surprising reveal had my jaw dropping.
Entangled within the mystery are some interesting subplots including Keya’s sister, Zivah’s rescheduled wedding that wasn’t able to take place in Darjeeling and A Deadly Disappearance, and Keya was ordered to reach out to Dotty for some important information. Ryan went to the wedding with Keya. Her explanation to him about all the Hindu traditions was enlightening for me. I love learning about different cultures and for some reason when they are told or described in a fictional way as part of a story I retain them better. The conversation with Dotty sets up something that was settled for now but I think will come into play in a future story too.
I appreciate the way this author sets a scene. Each place Keya traveled from her Waterwheel Cafe, to the Bartlett’s home, to Zivah’s wedding, and more easily came alive in my mind’s eye.
Vanilla Chai and A Vanishing Victim is well-plotted and so well-written. Ms. Tait’s wonderful characters draw readers right into the story and soon the pages are flipping rapidly. I have been delightfully entertained by every book Victoria Tait has written. I recommend them all.
I am excited to see Hot Chocolate and a Festive Fatality will be out on November 22. I have a spot saved on my reading calendar.
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
About Victoria Tait
Victoria Tait was born and raised in Yorkshire, England. After following her military husband around the world, she drew on her life’s experiences, and a love of Agatha Christie, Father Brown, and Murder She Wrote, to write British based cozy mysteries.
Her determined female sleuths are joined by colourful and quirky teams of helpers, and her settings are vivid and realistic. As you’re compelled to keep turning the pages, you’ll be irresistibly drawn into a world where you’ll experience surprises, humour and sometimes, a tug on your heartstrings.
Do you like tea, mysteries, and books? Then why not join Victoria’s TeaCozy Club for regular news and updates, and download the free prequel to the Dotty Sayers Antique Mysteries series as a gift by visiting VictoriaTait.com
Who doesn’t like tea, cake, and a slice of murder!
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Also written by Victoria Tait
Great Escapes Praise for Vanilla Chai and A Vanishing Victim: A British Cozy Murder Mystery with a Female Sleuth
(A Waterwheel Cafe Mystery)
by Victoria Tait
I’ve loved every Victoria Tait book I’ve read, and Vanilla Chai and a Vanishing Victim is no exception. This is a cozy mystery series that makes me want to jump into the books and live there, and I think you’ll feel the same!
~Christy’s Cozy Corners
Vanilla Chai and a Vanishing Victim takes readers back to the charming Cotswolds region of England, with its picturesque landscape and cozy atmosphere. The plot of the story is solidly constructed with a satisfying number of red herrings and unexpected twists that keep readers guessing whodunit until the book’s final chapters.
~Book Club Librarian
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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.”