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Dragonwell Dead (A Tea Shop Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – March 4, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: A Tea Shop Mystery (Book 8)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (March 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425220451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425220450
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #406,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the enjoyable eighth installment of Childs's tea shop series (after 2006's Blood Orange Brewing), Mark Congdon, commodities broker and co-owner of a Charleston bed and breakfast, drops dead after sipping a glass of sweet tea at the Spring Plantation Ramble. This was no simple heart attack—Mark was poisoned. Eager to help out Mark's grieving widow, tea shop proprietress and gumshoe Theodosia Browning offers to collect his belongings from his office. There, she discovers that a surprising number of co-workers, including a spurned lover and a professional rival, had reason to want Mark dead. Yet again, Childs proves herself skilled at local color, serving up cunning portraits of Southern society and delectable descriptions of dishes like cheesy crab casserole (recipe included). (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Cackleberry Club, Tea Shop, and Scrapbooking mysteries. In her past life she was a Clio Award–winning advertising writer and CEO of her own marketing firm. She lives in Plymouth, Minnesota.

More About the Author

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.

Customer Reviews

A fun book to read!
Pami Sue
This is a well written, fun to read mystery set in lovely Charleston.
Scooterpea
I do enjoy the Idigo Tea shop mysteries.
S. Cyboron

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer VINE VOICE on June 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The eighth book in a series called The Tea Shop Mysteries. Like the others, it is set in a charming tea shop in the beautiful historic district of Charleston, South Carolina run by the very likable Theodosia Browning. This one involves poisoned tea (something unfortunately already used in this series), rare orchids, charity fund raising, and international finance. I read this series for the charm and atmosphere of both the tea shop, and of Charleston, and both are fully present.

This is very nice series of very "cozy" mysteries. I love to read them in my big easy chair with a cup of tea. ;-)
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on December 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston's historic district is doing well. Theodosia Browning even has a line of T-Bath products. Drayton, their tea blending expert, is planning new signature teas for the shop and getting used to the idea of an intern working with him. Then tragedy strikes at the Annual Plantation Ramble where Theo had supplied the refreshments. At first the death is ruled to be from natural causes but later it's found to be murder and Theo promises to help find the killer, as the victim's wife is overwhelmed with disaster on top of disaster.

This, the eighth of the Tea Shop Mysteries, continues to develop the characters that have been introduced and continued in the series. As much as one might read the book for the whodunit and whodidit, it's a chance to visit again with people we know and care for. The major part of series is that when you read the story it's like catching up with a yearly letter..

Childs manages to bring us into the story and the setting. There's information about teas and their blends. Descriptions of the historic houses, clothes, and food, reading becomes a very sensual experience filled with vivid descriptions. Because of the descriptions you get caught up in Theo's life and experiences. She's a woman who manages to be at the center of things -- outgoing and friendly with a strong organizational sense, people confide in her and trust her. So, it seems natural that she'd be asked to look into the murder by the victim's wife. Childs doesn't have Theo charge around like a PI but simply listen, observe and report to the authorities as often as she can. However, when the authorities don't take her hints, well then she may follow up on her own because she has to be sure that all avenues are explored.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Karen Potts on April 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Theodosia Browning loves living in Charleston, South Carolina, especially in the spring when flowers are blooming and several wealthy people open their gardens to the public for what is known as the Spring Plantation Ramble. Things go well until Mark Congdon, one of Theodosia's friends, collapses of an apparent heart attack, which later proves to be a poisoning. Out of friendship Theodosia promises his widow, Angie, that she will do some amateur sleuthing and try to find Mark's killer. There is no shortage of suspects, especially among Mark's former co-workers. There are lots of red herrings and the revelation of the murderer at the end is a surprise. Again, author Laura Childs writes a charming novel filled with characters who have become familiar to readers during the previous seven books in the series. Charleston is a wonderful setting and Childs always includes recipes, decorating tips, and of course, descriptions of exotic teas from Theodosia's Indigo Tea Shop.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kristigirl6 on May 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I have been a fan of the tea shop series since the first book hit stores. I stumbled on them quite by chance - but now - several years later - I can't wait for the next installment each time I finish a book!

Dragonwell Dead was, in my opinion, a more solid mystery than its predecessor, Blood Orange Brewing. No question - I enjoyed both books just due to the wonderful, fun characters and colorful descriptions of Charleston - but Dragonwell Dead is closer in tone and feel to the first books in the series. The mystery seems more clever - and the ending ties together much better.

Laura Childs offers a wonderful respite for tea and mystery lovers in her warm and charming series. The characters in the books feel like old friends - and each time, I just can't wait to hear more about them!

The one and only thing that bothered me (simply as a fan of the series) about Dragonwell Dead was the lack of interaction with detective Burt Tidwell. I have grown to like Theodosia's constant sparring with Det. Tidwell - and, to me at least, the local sheriff was not nearly as interesting as our good detective would have been. As well - although all of the major players were back for this book (except Tidwell, who made only a minor appearance), I missed hearing about Theo's therapy dog and pet, Earl Grey.

All this in stride - the book is a good, solid read and contains most of the great characters that we've come to know and love, plus some wonderful new mouth-watering recipes as well!

Does anyone know when the next book - The Silver Needle Murder - will be out? I can't stand the wait!

Karen
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. Scott on July 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Laura Childs does it again. I love her tea time series. This one provides the mystery and suspense, as expected, mingled with a lovely amount of tea room interaction. The whole series is worth the read. I can't say any one is better than the other. Enjoy!
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