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In Cold Camomile
by Joy Avon
Callie Aspen and her great-aunt Iphy, who own the book-themed tea shop Book Tea, are managing a Valentine-themed fundraiser for lovely Haywood Hall. Callie is supervising the whole event with its many volunteers, and Iphy is providing her beautiful tea creations.
Unfortunately, there is a murder at the tea, and a long lost acquaintance of Iphy’s is a major suspect. The book includes several mysteries. Iphy is quite secretive about her relationship with the baritone guest singer. There are a pair of women overheard plotting revenge. No one seems to like the murder victim.
Callie risks her relationship with Ace, acting sheriff, to insure her aunt’s safety. Both ladies act rather rashly and contrary to Ace’s advisement as they investigate.
I enjoyed Joy Avon’s In Cold Camomile but never quite felt the thrill of the investigation. It is clear that Callie and Iphy are overstepping their bounds and that there will be negative consequences. This mystery is diverting, but not gripping. I look forward to the next book in the A Tea and a Read series as several personal relationships are at the cusp of transition.
I would like to extend my thanks to Netgalley and to Crooked Lane Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: #3 in the A Tea and a Read Mystery Series
Publication: February 11, 2020—Crooked Lane Books
The wind played around them, and the darkness seemed to squeeze just a little tighter. Sometimes happiness seemed just out of reach, so tantalizingly close and yet too far away to ever grab hold of.
Callie had the unpleasant sensation that everyone was different that day than they usually were, and not in a good way.
She didn’t feel like eggs and yogurt with walnuts and honey anymore. Her stomach seemed too full to eat anything. Full of murder and manipulation, with no clear clues leading her anywhere.
Sweet Tea and Secrets
by Joy Avon
Like the main character, Callie Aspen, the plot of Sweet Tea and Secrets seems to exist in limbo in Joy Avon’s latest cozy mystery. Callie has quit a job she loves as an international tour guide and moved back to Heart’s Harbor to help her Aunt Iphy run Book Tea, the local tea shop. She is waiting for a local rental to be restored to livable condition. She doesn’t actually contribute much help to the tea room in this book. To top it off, Deputy Falk, an additional enticement when she decided to move, seems less than enthusiastic about Callie’s return to town.
The plot follows the same erratic pacing and intensity as we see in Callie’s personal life. Callie gets pulled into the investigation of a cold murder case that revolves around a web of lies. It is hard for Callie and the reader to know which characters are reliable. My interest would ramp up, and then I would find myself wondering when the book would end. The ending was a surprise in regards to the mystery, and the author didn’t leave any loose ends. There were a number of subplots that were interesting but sometimes too distracting when acting as red herrings. I was glad Callie’s personal relationship with Falk showed forward progress. I would read another book in the series, but I hope it will have more of a focus on the tea room like the first books in the series do.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Crooked Lane Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: #2 in the Book Tea Shop Mystery Series
Publication: June 11, 2019—Crooked Lane Books
But nothing happened. Just those lights teasing her from the darkness. Telling her she wasn’t alone.
“So far everybody seems to have been lying about everything.”