Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Book Review: Scones and Bones by Laura Childs

Scones & Bones (A Tea Shop Mystery)Scones and Bones by Laura Childs
Publish Date: March 1, 2011
Hardcover, 320 pages 
A Tea Shop Mystery #12
Fiction, Mystery, Cozy
ISBN: 978-0425238967

My Review:
Why I read this:  I was contacted by the author last year to review Bedeviled Eggs which is one of Cackleberry Club Mysteries.  I loved it so much that I pretty much begged the author to review more of her books.  Okay, I didn't really beg, but I did ask nicely :)  She is wonderful too and sent me the ARC of Scones and Bones so I could try another one of her series.

My thoughts:  I am starting to realize that I really enjoy Cozy Mysteries.  They are a lot of fun with out all the sometimes gruesome details of other mystery and suspense novels and it's also fun to watch an amateur solve the case.  And Ms. Childs makes some very interesting characters in her books that I found endearing and I enjoyed watching through the book.

This is the first book I have read in The Tea Shop Mystery series, and it's the 12th book in the series.  But don't let that stop you if you haven't read any in the series.  I know I would know and understand the characters more if I had read the earlier books, but I never felt lost and I got to know the characters well and found that this book is a good stand-alone cozy mystery.  Will I go back and read the series now?  Sure I will and I will continue to read from this point.  The characters and the setting have really drawn me in and I look forward to having another series to read.

Let's talk a little about characters.  Theodosia, Drayton and Hayley seem to be the main characters.  They are the owners and workers at their tea shop in Charleston, South Carolina.  I loved getting to know them a little in this book and found I really liked all three of them and liked how the work together even though they are all three very different people.  Theodosia (Theo) takes the lead role in the book and she and Drayton work together to solve the mystery with help from some other friends, while running the tea shop and participating in the Food and Wine week that is going on in the city.  To go along with the mystery there may also be some romance brewing.

I also found the setting to be fascinating.  Charleston is a town I would like to visit and since I live just a few hours north on the North Carolina coast I loved the setting.  I also loved the pirate lore in this book.  Using Blackbeard is a great plot device.  Everyone knows about Blackbeard and I loved seeing our own beloved Beaufort Inlet mentioned in the book (I live and work just a few miles from there and that is where the Queen Anne's Revenge, Blackbeard's ship has been found).  Ms. Childs does a wonderful job with pirate lore and incorporating it into the story and into the Charleston area.

The mystery was fun.  I liked following Theo and Drayton around as they met other people and began to put the pieces together.  Though I did somewhat suspect who did it, it still came as a surprise once they figured it out.  It makes a great cozy mystery and I enjoyed reading every minute of it.

My only problem with the whole book was I felt the ending was a little rushed.  I understand that this happens sometimes.  Even though I was a bit disappointed with this, it did not take away from my overall love for the book.  And I will definitely be picking up the next one in this series to see where a storyline from this book goes and to see what kind of mystery Theo and Drayton get to solve next.

My Rating: 4.25/5.0

About the Book:

Savor the latest from the New York Times bestselling author of The Teaberry Strangler
Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is lured into attending the Heritage Society's "Pirates and Plunder" soiree. But it's an antique diamond skull ring that gets plundered by someone who murders a history intern in the process. Theodosia knows she'll have to whet her investigative skills to find the killer among a raft of suspects.

About the Author: 

Laura Childs, is also the author of the Scrapbooking mystery series and the Cackleberry Club mystery series. In her past life she was a Clio Award-winning advertising writer and CEO of her own marketing firm. 

FTC Information: I received this book from the author for a honest review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.