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Pekoe Most Poison
by Laura Childs
Pekoe Most Poison (A Tea Shop Mystery)
18th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (March 7, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 320 pages
Kindle – ASIN: B01KGZVXTK
In the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs, Theodosia Browning attends a “Rat Tea,” where the mice will play…at murder.
When Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is invited by Doreen Briggs, one of Charleston’s most prominent hostesses, to a “Rat Tea,” she is understandably intrigued. As servers dressed in rodent costumes and wearing white gloves offer elegant finger sandwiches and fine teas, Theo learns these parties date back to early twentieth-century Charleston, where the cream of society would sponsor so-called rat teas to promote city rodent control and better public health.
But this party goes from odd to chaotic when a fire starts at one of the tables and Doreen’s entrepreneur husband suddenly goes into convulsions and drops dead. Has his favorite orange pekoe tea been poisoned? Theo smells a rat.
The distraught Doreen soon engages Theo to pursue a discreet inquiry into who might have murdered her husband. As Theo and her tea sommelier review the guest list for suspects, they soon find themselves drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse…
INCLUDES RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS
Interview With The Author
What initially got you interested in writing?
Thanks for inviting me today to celebrate the release of Pekoe Most Poison. I’d have to say that I always loved story telling. As a kid I wrote poems and short stories, and when I graduated from college I was immediately drawn into advertising where I wrote radio and TV copy. At the tender age of 28 I started my own advertising agency and ran that for 25 very successful years. Of course, along the way I wrote 3 screenplays and 2 thrillers. That piqued my interest in fiction writing and, lucky me, I was able to sell my business and launch a full-time transition.
What genres do you write in?
My Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbooking Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries are a hybrid between a cozy and a thriller – what I call a thrillzy. In other words, there’s no bad language or gratuitous violence, but they do have a distinctive edge that incorporates fast pacing, multiple plot lines, and other thriller characteristics. And readers who like pure thrillers might enjoy one of the Afton Tangler Thrillers, Little Girl Gone, or the soon to be released Shadow Girl, both written under my name Gerry Schmitt.
What drew you to writing these specific genres?
I was the kid who was always reading Nancy Drew and Judy Bolton under the covers with a flashlight. I told ghost stories around the campfire, ventured into haunted houses, and loved The Twilight Zone. So becoming a mystery-thiller writer seemed a natural fit.
How did you break into the field?
Once I decided to change careers and write mysteries, I recognized that writing and publishing is a serious business and I treated it as such. I made contacts, researched the craft, and attended a few writing classes. A friend introduced me to mystery great Mary Higgins Clark and she not only gave me some pointers, she introduced me to her agent!
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
I’m always thrilled when I get an email or Facebook post from a reader who enjoys my books and finds them a fun, exciting getaway. I’m also touched by the many readers who tell me that my books helped get them through a particularly stressful time in their life, such as surgery or family illness.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
I love hearing from readers who refer to my characters as if they are close friends. That’s exactly what I want the takeaway to be – that readers feel like they’re right there in the story, sorting out suspects along with Theodosia, Drayton, and the gang.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
Time. It seems there’s never enough time to write every story that’s buzzing around inside my head. They’re good ideas (really!) but since I’m writing 4 different series, I just don’t know how I’ll ever get to them.
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
I love the old Nike war cry – “Just Do It.” If you want to write a short story or novel, you need to come up with an idea, write an outline, and then bang out your product. Persistence is the key. Every word and story you write helps make you a better writer.
What type of books do you enjoy reading?
I’m a huge fan of John Sandford. He tells a whopping good story wrapped in superb plot lines. His Prey novels feature the dashing Lucas Davenport, a tough detective who drives a Porsche. Who could resist?
Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?
I’m married to a professor of art history, so we do lots of foreign travel and art collecting. I’ve also served on the boards of two service dog organizations.
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
I keep my website current with information about all my series. For example, I am delighted that Devonshire Scream has just been released in paperback, so for those who haven’t read it, now is a terrific time to scoop it up.
I love to comment back and forth with friends and readers on Facebook, so please feel free to link with me there.
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.
Webpage – http://www.laurachilds.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/laura.childs.31
March 6 – Michelle’s Romantic Tangle – REVIEW
March 6 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT
March 7 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW
March 7 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
March 8 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
March 8 – Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT
March 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 9 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW
March 9 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW
March 9 – My Journey Back – REVIEW
March 10 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
March 11 – Rainy Day Reviews – REVIEW
March 11 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
March 12 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
March 12 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
March 13 – Queen of All She Reads – SPOTLIGHT
March 13 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW
March 14 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
March 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 15 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
March 15 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
March 16 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW
March 16 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – INTERVIEW
March 17 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
March 17 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 18 – The Editing Pen – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
March 18 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
March 19 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – REVIEW
March 19 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT
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