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Shades of Earl Grey (A Tea Shop Mystery #3)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  2,359 ratings  ·  112 reviews
Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is finally invited to a social event that she doesn’t have to cater—but there’s more than champagne bubbling…

Theo is mingling with the cream of Charleston society at the engagement soiree of the season. But as they eagerly await the dazzling young couple’s arrival—the groom meets with a freak accident. The exquisite wedding ring—a f
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 7th 2003 by Berkley (first published 2003)
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One for the Money by Janet EvanovichChocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeAbby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria LaurieThe No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall SmithMurder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
Best Cozy Mystery Series
334th out of 998 books — 1,133 voters
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeCatering to Nobody by Diane Mott DavidsonFudge Cupcake Murder by Joanne FlukeEvertaster by Adam Glendon SidwellDying For Chocolate by Diane Mott Davidson
Mysteries in Good Taste!
65th out of 283 books — 243 voters

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Community Reviews

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My third tea shop mystery. They are growing on me. Tea is much more complicated than I expected and actually more complicated than I care to know; but I do enjoy the interplay of the main character with her staff at the shop. Mysteries are fairly light, but complicated enough to make them interesting.
I love the stories that Laura Childs weaves. However, I have two small issues with this book and her other books, generally. The first is that I don't really like how in the beginning of some chapters, she writes in the perspective of characters other than the protagonist, Theodosia. While I appreciate having extra 'insider' information, it doesn't flow very well with the rest of the novel. (However, in her later books, she stopped doing that.) The second is that the mark of a superlative myster ...more
Aug 26, 2011 Marilyn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Beth, Kerry
Loved it! Laura Childs' mystery stories are good. Her character Theodosia Browning, left a lucrative marketing job to open and run a tea shop in the historic district in Charleston South Carolina, her books are all quick reads and she always has good endings-I just hate it when you know who done it way before the end of the book. This story is about a the murder of a young marine at his engagement party. Theodosia if forced to work with the local police detective whom doesn't like her involvemen ...more
This is the tale of one cat burglar who found Theo on its tail. An horrible accident leaves a groom to be dead and an engagement ring missing, Theo happens to be on the premises and makes it her quest to find the culprit after a rash of burglery happens all around the Tea shop. Well paced, with interesting characters who are given more layers as books go by. The plot is mysterious enough and you might find the culprit before the name is revealed but it won't mess up with your enjoyment of the no ...more
I love how Laura Childs can write about something that should be mundane (i.e. the daily workings of a tea shop) and turn it into my favorite part of a book. That said, there wasn't as much about tea and the tea shop in this installment. I missed that.

However, the mystery was solid. It kept me guessing until the very end, which I always love in a whodunnit story.
This is the 3rd book in the Tea Shop Mystery Series by Laura Childs. Theodosia, Drayton and Haley are attending the engagement party for Delaine Dish's niece Camille Cantroux and her fiancee, Captain Corey Buchanan. The event is taking place in the Garden Room at the Lady Goodwood Inn. Camille's estate wedding ring worth seventy thousand dollars is placed on display. Captain Buchanan is killed when the glass roof in the Garden Room gives way. Camille's wedding ring disappears and is not located ...more
I can't help it. I love these silly, cozy mysteries. Sometimes I just need Brain Candy and this does it for me.
Betty Strohecker
As Theodosia Browning continues to get involved in murders around Charleston, her tea shop employees gain a bigger role in the story. Haley is a college student and master baker who fills the shop with mouth-watering delicacies as well as giving an occasional point of view to help Theodosia in her crime solving adventures. Drayton, master tea brewer who gained his expertise in India, is always creating new blends of tea that help the shop's popularity expand. He is also a welcome assistant in Th ...more
Mar 14, 2012 Kathy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Cozy mystery readers
Recommended to Kathy by: Elizabeth Laumas
When Theodosia Browning and the Indigo Tea Shop crew attended an engagement party for the niece of their dear friend, Delaine Dish, they never thought that death would come calling, or a cat burglar for that matter! When the future groom dies in what is at first considered a freak accident and the future bride's heirloom engagement ring goes missing, Theodosia steps in to help solve the crime and uncovers a trend of missing antiques in the Historic District. Can Theo and the gang uncover the cul ...more
Theo's friend, Delaine Dish is throwing an engagement party for her niece Camille and her fiance Captain Corey Buchanan, one of 'THE BUCHANAN'S' of Charleston. This is an elegant affair and the wedding ring is being displayed for the party because it is a piece of the Estate jewelery. Unfortunately things don't go very well. As they are waiting for the couple to arrive the ring is stolen and the groom meets with a freak accident. Captain Buchanan dies and so the mystery begins, why would anyone ...more
I feel I ought to start this review with a gif of someone rolling their eyes. But I'm on my phone and have no gifs. Sadly.

This book...oh gods this book! I grit my teeth several times while reading it.

To begin with, many of the characters have names that are not only unusual, but in a few cases just downright absurd in their setting.

In all my quarter-century of reading I have only ever encountered one other character named Theodosia - like this book's central protagonist - and she both (a) had
Title: Shades of Earl Grey

Author: Laura Childs

Series: Tea Shop Mystery #3

Publisher: Penguin Group

Synopsis (from

Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is finally invited to a social event that she doesn’t have to cater—but there’s more than champagne bubbling…

Theo is mingling with the cream of Charleston society at the engagement soiree of the season. But as they eagerly await the dazzling young couple’s arrival—the groom meets with a freak accident. The exquisite wedding ring—a family
Theo is mingling with the cream of Charleston society at the engagement soiree of the season. But as they eagerly await the dazzling young couple’s arrival—the groom meets with a freak accident. The exquisite wedding ring—a family heirloom from the crown of Marie Antoinette—is mysteriously missing. Theodosia suspects that trouble is brewing. But when she goes to the authorities, they treat her like she’s been reading tea leaves—and that’s the surest way to put Theodosia’s kettle on the boil
This was one of the first cozy mystery series that I read but for some reason it's taken me a while to get back to it. I still enjoy Theo, Drayton and the rest of the characters around Charleston and the Indigo Tea Shop. But while I enjoy them, if I have one issue with the series, and the book, it's that the characters all seem a little too prim & proper, so much so that they sometimes don't seem real to me.

One thing I really liked about this book was that they mystery revolved around a cat
I must be the odd one out. I just don't see the main characters having any real personality and Theodosia just seems to be the worse. She sees everyone in a suspicious manner. Everyone thinks she has this instinct in solving mysteries, but she just stumbles onto the killer while trying to proof others guilty. This is the third in the series and good chance I won't be reading anymore, shame because I really liked Laura Childs scrapbooking series.
Easy reading, Agatha Christie like, but in a tea shop. As a tea lover I happily indulged in the many tea references as well as the tea (and tea related) recipees at the end of the book.

The book is part of a series, but it's not necessary to read them in order (or all of them for that matter).
Sep 30, 2014 Kim rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: mystery
It took me awhile to get into it. The business of the Indigo Tea Shop sounded very confusing and complicated. I thought the recipes at the end of the book were a nice touch.
Aug 13, 2014 Michelle marked it as to-read
I registered a book at!
Jeanie Harper
What a great book - suspense right to the last chapter, final pages. Great whodunit and filled with great tea ideas and recipes.

I enjoyed this book, I find the talk of tea interesting. The characters are likeable, I do wish there was a little more humor, although this book seemed to have a little more. The mystery kept me guessing until the end. I will continue to read this series to see how the characters develop.
Another fun, quick & easy read! Love these stories as I've been to Charleston and I love tea!
Dawn Michelle

3 1/2

Excellent!! Kept me guessing up to close to the end! MUCH harder to solve than the first two. Makes me eager to get into the next couple books in the series.

There is a cat burglar loose in Charleston and antiques and jewelry are disappearing at an alarming rate. Theo (of course) and crew get involved, but the thief is on to them and starts taunting them, leading the to believe it might be one of "their own". Can Theo solve the crime before the thief steals more of Charleston's precious
Fairlee Corkran
i loved this series
Interesting plot.
Dec 29, 2014 Pat rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: mystery
Good one.
This is the third Tea Shop cozy mystery and they are just fun escapist lit. The characters are growing on me and getting more personality. I like the Charleston historic district setting and want to take a visit and see the city. This murder turns out to be an accident by the criminal and we are left to follow Theo as she lays traps for the cat burglar preying on Charleston. I call these fun mind candy which is perfect for summer reading or stressful times of life when I need an escape.
Julia Ibbotson
Cat burglars, missing antiques, freak accidents, larger than life characters - and the usual wonderful Theodosia Browning and her cosy Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston. The story starts with Theodosia invited to a grand social event in Charleston's Historic District where for once she is not asked to cater. But the relaxation does not last, of course, and Theo is soon on a quest to discover another murderer. A delight, as always, a gentle read by the fire on a winter's evening.

Third in Laura Childs tea shop mystery series. Set in Charleston, Theodosia Browning, tea shop owner, along with her two employees, is again involved in unraveling another mystery in the historical district. This one involves a series of robberies of vaulable items that has Theo again trying to discover what is going on and who is responsible.

The story is a good read; however, I was able to identify the thief early on so was waiting more for validation rather than resolution.
Another hit by Laura Childs. If you like tea, dogs and mysteries, these books are great, fun, easy reads. Each time I sit down with a copy of one of these Indigo Tea Shop Mysteries, I feel a hankering for a good cuppa, and I always feel like I'm with friends. Love the fact that the author shares recipes of some of the great teas and tea shop goodies, she writes about, at the end of each book, as well as some occasional tips for having your own tea parties.
i read the scones and bones first and thought that the main character, theodosia browning, was kind of interesting. she has a tea shop called indigo tea shop. her support characters are interesting too so i started reading the earlier ones. she has over ten books in the series so you'll never run out of things to read. it always seem that theo is at an event that someone dies. she investigates on her own and usually is close to death herself.

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Laura Childs is a pseudonym for Gerry Schmitt and she is the best-selling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, the Scrapbook Mysteries, and the Cackleberry Club Mysteries.

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
More about Laura Childs...

Other Books in the Series

A Tea Shop Mystery (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Death by Darjeeling (A Tea Shop Mystery, #1)
  • Gunpowder Green (A Tea Shop Mystery, #2)
  • The English Breakfast Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery, #4)
  • The Jasmine Moon Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery, #5)
  • Chamomile Mourning (A Tea Shop Mystery, #6)
  • Blood Orange Brewing (A Tea Shop Mystery, #7)
  • Dragonwell Dead (A Tea Shop Mystery, #8)
  • The Silver Needle Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery, #9)
  • Oolong Dead (A Tea Shop Mystery, #10)
  • The Teaberry Strangler (A Tea Shop Mystery, #11)
Death by Darjeeling (A Tea Shop Mystery, #1) Gunpowder Green (A Tea Shop Mystery, #2) The Jasmine Moon Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery, #5) Eggs in Purgatory (Cackleberry Club, #1) The English Breakfast Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery, #4)

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