Read Death by Darjeeling by Laura Childs Free Online
Book Title: Death by Darjeeling|
The author of the book: Laura Childs
Edition: Penguin Group (USA)
Date of issue: May 1st 2001
Loaded: 1199 times
Reader ratings: 4.6
ISBN 13: 9781101099940
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 37.33 MB
City - Country: No data
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I spotted the "Tea Shop Mystery" series piled on a table at a friend's house and borrowed them, as I was in the mood for a "cozy" mystery, and the trio of paperbacks also promised "Scrumptious recipes." Mysteries *and* recipes! What could be better?
I have now read Gunpowder Green, Shades of Earl Grey, and The English Breakfast Murder (but not the first of the series, Death by Darjeeling). The titles are unavoidable, of course, but they also could definitely be better books. Worse, the recipes tend to be too frou-frou for my taste (though I might try out the Sweet Potato Muffins).
The books are *very* firmly set in the historic district of Charleston, South Carolina. Having read them, I now know a great deal about the historic district of Charleston. It seems charming, but if any of the people living there are black, none of the characters is tactless enough to mention the fact.
I have also learned a lot about tea and service dogs, and I'd actually love to visit Theodosia Browning's tea shop, at least as long as Delaine Dish, the annoying clothing shop owner, stayed away.
But I've also learned several things about how not to write a book. For example, sentences depicting the main character's thought processes should not be repeatedly concluded "Theodosia decided." It makes very little sense and gets annoying. In addition, if you're using the close third-person point of view, and the point of view shifts away from the main character, there should be a discernible reason for it. Also, the reader feels cheated if the point of view shifts into a suspect's head and the suspect's thoughts deliberately mislead the reader - especially when the amateur sleuth's investigations proceed to have exactly the same effect.
Overall, though, these are perfectly workmanlike examples of their type - that type being what I might call the Topical Mystery. The reader is assumed to want to be fed (pardon the pun) tidbits of knowledge about a consistent subject - here, it's tea, and also Charleston - as well as whatever's needful for the plot (antiques and related subjects come in a lot in this series). This is the model that Dick Francis used to extraordinary effect. Childs' efforts tend to be clunkier; more forced, somehow. It probably doesn't help, from my point of view, that I'm not interested in Theodosia's thoughts about fashion or decorating her shop and apartment, or even her relationship with her lawyer boyfriend. In fact, nearly *everything* Theodosia encounters seems to be an excuse for a mini-lecture, and that's just taking the technique too far.
On the other hand, I did become quite fond of Theodosia, and her employee-friends Drayton (who has *got* to be gay but is so-tastefully never caught on screen with a man) and Haley (perpetual student and baking wizard). Overall, in fact, the characters are the best features of the books. The mysteries are perfectly adequate and even credibly constructed. The biggest treat, though, is Burt Tidwell, Charleston police detective and the epitome of "not a people person." His peculiar relationship with the amateur Theo (you couldn't call it "friendship" but it's definitely not hostility either) is the most interesting part of the book - something that is actually *not* smooth and civil and all surface value.
All in all, I'd say: Good beach reads, especially for people who haven't developed my rudimentary editor's eye.
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Read information about the authorLaura Childs is a pseudonym for Gerry Schmitt and she is the best-selling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, the Scrapbook Mysteries, and the Cackleberry Club Mysteries.
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 fund raising 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.
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