Not A Pink Girl

Death by Darjeeling by Laura Childs | August 9, 2010

Death by Darjeeling (A Tea Shop Mystery, #1)Death by Darjeeling by Laura Childs
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Oh dear, where do I start? This was a selection for our Goodreads “cozy mysteries” book club (our July author was Laura Childs). I wanted to like it. I love tea & love the idea of the owner of a teashop as the protagonist for a mystery series.

Childs has an issue with writing in complete sentences. Also, she has an odd way of changing well-known phrases into you-almost-got-it-right word groups. For example, instead of saying “dribs & drabs,” she uses “drips & drops.” Instead of “slapdash” she says “slap-dab.”

I got to the point where I was convinced she just needed a decent editor. She wrote, “Rounded cobblestones poked at the soft leather soles of her Todd loafers…” She meant Tod’s loafers. She uses “noodled” instead of “doodled.”

Referring to the classic Parker Brothers board game Clue, a character says, “Mr. Mustard in the library, so to speak.” No, it’s Colonel Mustard. Little things like this are so easy to research (for the author) & should be double-checked or corrected (by the editor).

One loose end that wasn’t properly tied up was the character who had a romantic interest in Theodosia. He just rather faded away, instead of there being a substantive exchange between the characters to provide closure for the reader.

Some things I enjoyed were the descriptions of exotic kinds of tea, & the charming city of Charleston, South Carolina (where the story takes place). I like the idea of an ensemble of characters who work in the tea shop & share a sense of ownership & camaraderie.

This is the first book in the Theodosia Browning Tea Shop Mystery series. I also bought the first in the Scrapbooking Mystery series, Keepsake Crimes (which I haven’t read). Both books are going to Goodwill.

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