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

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,901 Ratings  ·  143 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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Chocolate 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 ChristieThe Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
Best Cozy Mystery Series
155th out of 1,338 books — 1,437 voters
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeCatering to Nobody by Diane Mott DavidsonA Dead Sister by Anna Celeste BurkeFudge Cupcake Murder by Joanne FlukeEvertaster by Adam Glendon Sidwell
Mysteries in Good Taste!
61st out of 353 books — 279 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nov 16, 2010 Barbara rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-cozy
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.
Feb 25, 2015 Carol rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
I know the characters after reading Death by Darjeeling first. I enjoyed the story set in a quaint tea shop.
Vicky Marie
Apr 15, 2016 Vicky Marie rated it it was ok
Welp, I'm officially done with this series. Theodosia is one of those amateur sleuths, you know, the kind who run into danger without thinking things through. There's a scene where she chases a dark figure out of the hospital, a figure who could possibly be a thief and murderer. She even brings her dog along in hopes he will stop the person. Not all dogs can be attack dogs. I couldn't believe she would do something so reckless, something that could have gotten her or her dog hurt. She's also tre ...more
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 really liked it
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
Anne Stephenson
Feb 22, 2016 Anne Stephenson rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Since I'm quite fond of the characters in this mystery book series, I'm conscious that I may be reaching the point (almost!) of being a tad biased in my reviews. But here it goes!

As with the other stories, the banter and friendship among the characters really creates a great atmosphere. I like how the tea shop moves forward with new product offerings. The place evolves and grows as do the characters.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed the story of the ring theft. However, I found it difficult to believ
Bonnijean Marley
Feb 13, 2016 Bonnijean Marley rated it it was ok
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Rare jewelry entices a burglar. Burglary turns deadly. Other thefts. Can Theodosia figure everything out before there are more thefts?

I have read 4 of Laura Childs's tea mystery books this week. Book 3 is my least favorite so far. The whole premise seems too obvious. Of course if you put a wedding ring on display in a place with minimal security, it will be stolen. There were too many loose threads or incongruities. For instance, the protagonist receives a letter with a threat or taunt, but fail
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
Sep 13, 2015 Guera25 rated it liked it
Not as good as the previous two installments. I realize that a certain amount of infodumping about the setting and characters is necessary to introduce them to new readers, but in this case, they were clumsy and intrusive and did not mesh well with the narrative flow. Early on, Childs spends several tedious paragraphs describing the interior of the tea shop in mind-numbing detail courtesy of a reverie of Theodosia's, and later, Childs spends a paragraph lamenting Theodosia's late father, only to ...more
Apr 05, 2011 Katie rated it liked it
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.
Jan 12, 2015 Diane rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
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
Oct 08, 2014 Reba rated it liked it
I can't help it. I love these silly, cozy mysteries. Sometimes I just need Brain Candy and this does it for me.
Feb 17, 2015 Rebecca rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
In South Carolina, Theodosia owns a tea shop and gets involved in murder. This time a glass roof comes crashing down and kills a would-be groom, and the invaluable engagement ring goes missing. Soon other bold thefts occur, and it's clear that a cat burglar is at work. Can Theodosia and her usual Scooby gang solve the mystery without getting killed? I'm betting yes.

I just finished this book, but actually don't remember a whole lot about it. It was one I kept putting down for days and not feeling
Betty Strohecker
Jan 20, 2015 Betty Strohecker rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
Deb Sharp
Sep 22, 2012 Deb Sharp rated it it was amazing
One of the first books I read in this great series! I love the charactrs and the way they conect with each other.
Feb 23, 2016 Becky rated it it was ok
I may have to give this series a break for a while. I enjoy the tea knowledge and quaintness of the tea shop. However, Drayton is just too haughty, Hailey is just too stupid, and the writing too repetitive for the tea facts to win me over. The characters are so one dimensional, no depth to them at all. It's like reading a bad play. The "mystery" and it's conclusion is too juvenile and the thought process of the main characters to solve the mystery very elementary. I really enjoyed the first of t ...more
Dharia Scarab
I'm afraid I'm not a really a fan of this series. At least not for the mystery, so far the author's formula is that the villain is always the one new character that doesn't make the protagonist's suspect list. And the protagonist never actually solves the mystery before finding herself confronted by them and in mortal danger.

The most interesting part of the books is really hearing about Charleston.

Since I have almost the entire series, I'll finish it, but I'm not looking to pick up more at this
Mar 14, 2012 Kathy rated it liked it
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
Apr 15, 2012 Wendy rated it it was ok
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
Jan 19, 2013 Heather rated it liked it
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
Oct 22, 2014 Pat rated it liked it
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
Mar 06, 2014 KarenF rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, cozy, own
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
Aug 26, 2014 Linda rated it it was ok
Shelves: childs-laura
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.
Angela Lynn Holland
Mar 06, 2016 Angela Lynn Holland rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
As with all of Laura Childs' book I enjoyed it. She does a good job of giving you just enough hints so you think you know who committed the crimes but in the end you did not know at all. It is enjoyable the way she includes all the history of the different teas that are used in the Indigo Tea Shop. In fact I learned that Orange Pekoe is not a flavor but rather a grade of tea. Also teas take on the flavor of flowers they are grown with and that is how some of the flavors like honey tea are made. ...more
Nov 13, 2015 Laura rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I'm not a fan of mysteries so most of the time my reviews of mysteries ought to be taken with a grain of salt. However, I find this series charming.

In this book I learned more about the main character. I met her boyfriend. I saw more of how her team operates. All in all, I'd call it a win.

I really do like the recipes and tea tips as the end of the book, too. I look forward to reading more of the series.... as soon as it arrives from Amazon.
Mar 19, 2016 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
This is my 2nd Laura Childs Tea Shop mystery -- I realize I started with #3 and #4; I don't think the order matters. I felt like I was exploring the Charleston historic district. It made me want to drop into the tea shop to meet these fun characters, learn something with Drayton's tea tasting and enjoy Haley's tasty treats!
Jun 29, 2014 ValeDeOro rated it really liked it
Shelves: fun-fiction
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).
Jul 16, 2015 Jeni rated it really liked it
This is the 3rd in the series & I enjoyed this more than the prior 2. Not the greatest mystery story, but it’s a wonderful setting in a tea shop in Charleston with historic info. The characters are mostly likeable, even if not totally realistic. These are quite light-hearted and fast reads; I’ve just requested the 4th in the series from the local library.
Mar 07, 2015 Divya rated it liked it
A little mystery, a little drama, lots of tea. Shades of Earl Grey is a typical mystery for Theodosia. This one's climax is pretty interesting though it does lead you to wonder why the clues didn't ever lead up to the villain.
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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 17 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)

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