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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very hesitant 4-star rating
"The Teaberry Strangler" is the eleventh installment in Laura Child's Tea Shop Mystery series. I have read each and every one and have largely enjoyed the series. The novels are set in Charleston, South Carolina and truly meet the definition of "cozy" - a beautiful sense of place, interesting characters and a little intrigue thrown in.

Unfortunately, I think...
Published on March 18, 2010 by Holly

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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Feelings...
I've read all the books in this series, and I read for one reason alone -- atmosphere. Childs is VERY good at this. I can't tell you how many cozies I've read that have a fabulous setting in a wonderful era or at the perfect time of year, and other than being told once or twice, "It was October in Vermont..." the book could just as easily have been set in February in...
Published on March 29, 2010 by Rick


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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Feelings..., March 29, 2010
I've read all the books in this series, and I read for one reason alone -- atmosphere. Childs is VERY good at this. I can't tell you how many cozies I've read that have a fabulous setting in a wonderful era or at the perfect time of year, and other than being told once or twice, "It was October in Vermont..." the book could just as easily have been set in February in Flint, Michigan, circa 1979. Not so with Childs. Some (many) would even say she overdoes the atmosphere, but that's fine with me. I object, by the way, to the fashionista aspects of the story -- antiques are fine, "Coco Chanel" blouses are a bit grating. Characters? Eh, okay, I guess. Theo and Haley are cool, Drayton and Tidwell are better. So, for atmosphere, this book gets five stars; character development gets 3.5 or even 4 stars. But... Here's where it gets bad. Plotting. As noted by others, Childs' plotting is almost unimaginably bad, juvenille on a scale that my vocabulary finds difficult to detail. She uncovers zero clues, zero clues are presented to us, and the grand climaxes are so far out of left field as to simply not be believed. Felonious motives and solutions to the crimes are flat out invented in the last two pages. And sometimes, Childs simply loses her mind. In the last of her tea shop books (not this one), Theo restrains the killer by (I am NOT making this up) squirting a tube of glue into said killer's hair after said killer has been knocked to the ground. The glue firmly secures the bad guy/girl to the ground until the cops show up. What more can be said?
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very hesitant 4-star rating, March 18, 2010
"The Teaberry Strangler" is the eleventh installment in Laura Child's Tea Shop Mystery series. I have read each and every one and have largely enjoyed the series. The novels are set in Charleston, South Carolina and truly meet the definition of "cozy" - a beautiful sense of place, interesting characters and a little intrigue thrown in.

Unfortunately, I think this is one of the weaker books in the series. The wonderful descriptions of Charleston (and its society gatherings) are included but the mystery itself is insubstantial. The murder takes place, Theodosia (our main character) lines up a cast of suspects with flimsy motives and then the reader is left hanging since there are no clues as to who actually did it. The murderer is revealed in the final pages and it is totally "sprung" on the reader since new information is given. The mystery definitely feels like an afterthought in this book. I also thought the character development was fairly non-existent as well. Not much has changed in any of the character's lives and Drayton and Hayley continue to exist in order to give Theodosia someone to talk to. To add freshness to a long series, I would love to see a future mystery written focused more on one of those two characters, particularly Drayton (lots of unrealized potential here).

To sum it up - if I were picking up the book as a first time reader, it would rate a 3-star. Since I have come to love the books as a whole and there is some halo effect going on, I would rate it a 4-star for me. Settled on 4 stars with some reservations .....
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bait, March 26, 2010
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First let me say that I love the tea shop series. I love all the characters and the setting. However, it has just occurred to me after reading this last installment that often when Theodosia is solving a "mystery" she really hasn't got a clue who the actual killer is until she is attacked at the end of the book because she's been asking questions and the murderer is fearful of exposure. Sometimes I get the impression that Theo is as surprised as the rest of us with the outcome. This, some readers might find frustrating because a traditional detective story is supposed to give the reader the clues needed to try to solve the mystery. This doesn't particularly bother me since the well-written charm of the series, for me, supercedes the need to figure out the ending.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is good to be back in Charleston., January 10, 2011
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I brewed a pot of Earl Gray, grabbed my cat Cohiba, positioned myself on my cained chaise lounge and settled in to be reunited with the gang at the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia introduced us to some new people in the Historic District and they brought us an intriguing set of problems and another murder for Theo to solve. Twists and turns revealed to us the unexpected killer and once again it was an afternoon well spent reading about the denizens of Charleston.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy Customer, August 20, 2010
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The book that I had ordered arrived before the expected date. The book arrived in excellent condition, just as the discription stated prior to my purchase. I would definately purchase another book from this company.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grand 11th outing for the gang at Indigo Tea Shop, March 26, 2010
A back alley crawl for tourists ends badly for the owner of a map shop down the way from Theodosia Browning's Indigo Tea Shop. Naturally, Theo is the one who stumbles upon the body of her friend Daria, chasing away a cloaked form. I found this 11th tea shop mystery to be as fresh and carefully plotted as usual. All of our favorite characters, from Haley to Drayton, to Inspector Tidwell and fashionista Delaine, help Theo sort out the neighborhood's latest crime. Theo's former boyfriend, Jory, adds an extra storyline that maybe will be continued in number twelve? I guess we'll see.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tea Shop Thriller, March 24, 2011
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I love Laura Childs series of mysteries!! Always look forward to her next one! Not only are we trying to figure out who did what but we get to take a tour of her beautiful city so we feel like we are right there with her!!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HOW GOOD ARE YOUR SCENTS??, March 7, 2010
Theodosia is back in her element of trying to unravel a murder. This time the victim is a close friend of her's Daria who owns an antique map shop a few doors from her Indigo Tea Shop. Her friend is strangled and Theo notices a definite teaberry scent at the scene of the crime. Her ex-boyfriend's girl Beth Ann adds an interesting tension to this novel. Well worth the read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lost her mojo?, August 30, 2012
This review is from: The Teaberry Strangler (A Tea Shop Mystery) (Hardcover)
I don't know if Childs has lost interest in the series because she's writing several others, spreading herself too thin, or what, but this one was not just weak, but bad! The previous one wasn't all that great, either, but I thought perhaps it was because I hadn't read one in a while....but, no. Weak plotting, dragging in old characters to no purpose, a new favorite much-overused verb, "intoned," and a completely extraneous scene, where she agrees to go pick up her old boyfriend's boat on a deserted island (the kind of scene where you are thinking, "no, no, don't do it!") and then NOTHING happens - didn't advance the plot at all. In fact, let Jory die a natural death off scene - where's the new boyfriend? Too many false starts - the archaeology guy - interested in Theo or Haley? - we never find out. If I didn't think more highly of Childs, I'd almost suspect she let someone else write this one for her. Even the recipes at the end and the tea party ideas were pretty lame. Sorry to write this, because I have liked the series so far.......don't even know if I'll bother with number 12.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific tea, mediocre mystery, September 20, 2011
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This review is from: The Teaberry Strangler (A Tea Shop Mystery) (Hardcover)
This is the 11th in the Tea Shop cozy mystery series. Theo is excited to be a part of a streetwide evening open house. However, she makes a grizzly discovery as she sees a woman being attacked in the alley. She finds that it is her friend, Daria, owner of the map shop. Daria has been murdered, and Theo is on the case. Was it the new neighbors, so interested in expanding the space for their perfume business, Daria's employee with a criminal past, or someone interested in one of the maps from her shop? As usual, the characters are enjoyable and I love the tea shop setting. However, the mystery was a bit lacking in this one and ends abruptly and without much explanation. Recipes are included as well as tips for holding different types of tea parties.
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The Teaberry Strangler (A Tea Shop Mystery)
The Teaberry Strangler (A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs (Hardcover - March 2, 2010)
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