Death by Darjeeling (A Tea Shop Mystery, #1)
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Death by Darjeeling (A Tea Shop Mystery #1)

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  5,166 ratings  ·  393 reviews
Meet Theodosia Browning, owner of Charleston's beloved Indigo Tea Shop. Patrons love her blend of delicious tea tastings and southern hospitality. And Theo enjoys the full-bodied flavor of a town steeped in history -- and mystery... — It's tea for two hundred or so at the annual historic homes garden party. And Theodosia, as event caterer, is busy serving steaming teas and...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Berkley (first published 2001)
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One for the Money by Janet EvanovichThe No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall SmithCrocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth PetersChocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeThe Cat Who Could Read Backwards by Lilian Jackson Braun
Cozy Mystery Series
19th out of 414 books — 1,277 voters
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
15th out of 928 books — 1,035 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Thomas
I know, this series may not be something you expected to see on my shelves. But I can't help it. I'm an old woman at heart. And a tea fanatic. The writing's OK, the mysteries are well within the framework of the genre — nothing to get excited about. But the descriptions of Charleston, and the tea talk, well, it helps me get through Chicago winters, OK?! ;-)
Lisa Kay

★★★★☆ Yes, finally started this interesting series. What is not to love? Tea, mystery, and South Carolina! Some people won't like all the tea facts, but I gulped them down. I studied the art of tea for one of my cultural classes in collage and drink tea everyday. There were a few bumps, but I'm more than happy with this book that satisfies my arduous "double-decker" challenge. I'll be continuing with the series, though I'll seek them out at the library.
Kristen
I spotted the "Tea Shop Mystery" series piled on a table at a friend's house and borrowed them, as I was in the mood for a "cozy" mystery, and the trio of paperbacks also promised "Scrumptious recipes." Mysteries *and* recipes! What could be better?

I have now read Gunpowder Green, Shades of Earl Grey, and The English Breakfast Murder (but not the first of the series, Death by Darjeeling). The titles are unavoidable, of course, but they also could definitely be better books. Worse, the recipes te...more
Susan
I am currently reading the fifth in this series. Great bedtime reading. Light with a modicum of murder, very well done. Gives the flavor of Charleston as a very historic city. With the tea shop as a base Theodosia gets into a lot of fixes and barely gets the killers.
Christine
Sometimes being a writer is burdensome to being a reader..

On the plus side, Ms. Childs infused (no pun intended!) "Death by Darjeeling" with a distinctive sense of place--I'd love to have a cuppa in that tea shop! Especially if the fun character Drayton Connelley is there to pour and have a chat about the properties of tea.

On the critique side..
"Death" could have benefitted from a few read-throughs by a good writing group. If you're an avid reader who delights in a well-wrought mystery, this one...more
Kathie H
Aug 09, 2010 Kathie H rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one
Recommended to Kathie by: Cozy Mysteries goodreads group
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 "slapd...more
Helen
I was so hoping to fall in love with this series, as it seemingly contained all the elements of things I enjoy. Whilst there is nothing wrong or bad about this book there is nothing endearing about it either - its dull and sadly boring. Characters are underdevelped, plots are thin and chapters are strangely formated. It may not help that at the same time I am reading a Kate Morton book. These two authors are poles apart - whilst Morton is a blockbuster big screen release, Childs is a lazy Sunday...more
Darlene
The first book in the Tea Shop Mystery series, "Death by Darjeeling" , is just about what you would expect from a cozy mystery. This story comes with quirky characters, an interesting and historical setting.. in this case, the historic district in Charleston, South Carolina.... and of course, this a murder to start things off.

Theodosia Browning (who was named for Theodosia Alston, wife of former governor, Joseph Alston and daughter of former vice-president Aaron Burr), is the owner of the Indi...more
Sensitivemuse
What can I say but that I absolutely loved this book. Everything about it just got me so wrapped up in Theo's Indigo Tea Shop and the mystery itself was intriguing in its' own little way I had to read this from cover to cover. Everything about it was just so "cozy". I loved the different descriptions about tea, and being a tea lover myself am now in the look out for new teas to try. Aside from the wonderful tea descriptions and the desserts that went along with it, the mystery was a fun read. No...more
Monica
In the middle of reading this book I got to thinking about why I read so many series similar to this one in which the mystery is not extraordinary and the characters are similar. I suppose it’s the appeal of escaping the tensions of the day by reading about women (usually) who have left behind a stressful job or have been widowed/divorced and open up a tea/coffee/book shop. And they aren’t taxing or gut wrenching stories. Just a nice diversion at the end of a stressful week, which allows me to l...more
Sunhi
May 31, 2011 Sunhi rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Tea Drinkers Who Love Mysteries
Recommended to Sunhi by: Dot
Shelves: mystery
I say this now without any irony, I love the fact that mystery series are so popular that you can get one about almost any interest or hobby you have. You want a mystery series about scrapbooking? No problem! How about one about knitting? There must be three or four such series! Gardening, wedding planning, coffee drinking, or birdwatching? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. Vampires? Sure! Witches? More than one such series. The only problem is weeding out the bad series.
After recently deciding that I lo...more
Patricia Rockwell
An exemplary cozy mystery. This one is just perfect for cozy mystery lovers. The heroine has just the right amount of curiosity and caution. The plot twists and turns down the winding old streets of Charlston, South Carolina, with a delightful frenzy. The characters are all unique and sassy, but still imbued with the charm of the Old South. The author writes with knowledge and provides great detail about an area and culture she obviously knows and loves.

Theodosia Browning owns a small tea shop...more
Cynthia
There is nothing like finishing the last page of a book and knowing without a doubt that you will be picking up the next in the series very soon. (the last one I felt that way about was Carrie Vaughn's Kitty series) This series was a no brainer for me. It's a mystery. Check. It's a cozy. Check. It revolves around tea. HUGE check. And it was delightful.

Theodosia Browning, a thirty-something former rat race participant is now the owner of a tea shop in the historic district of Charleston, SC. Whe...more
Chaitra
Death by Darjeeling started out pretty well, but turned lame around midway. just when I was thinking that it didn't follow any of the clichés that cozies with middle aged protagonists employed too. Heh. I will never read a cozy that I like unconditionally. (Flavia de Luce excepted).

The middle aged heroine of this novel is Theodosia Browning, who runs the Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston, SC. This was an immediate win for me. I like tea, and I visited Charleston some years ago and immediately fell i...more
Valerie
Like a good mystery, the murderer was difficult to figure out and not a main, glaring suspect. But the murderer was never developed enough to even put the character on the reader's radar. Because of this, it was next to impossible for the reader to discover who the murderer was by their own deduction, one of the main reasons for reading a mystery. The book wasn't a bad read but the conclusion of the mystery was a let-down. I also found some of the main characters antics unbelievable (things that...more
RebeccaS
What a fun cozy town for a cozy murder. Historic Charleston seems to be the best place for a cozy tea shop and an interesting murder of a corrupt real estate developer. I really enjoyed this mystery, mostly due to the town and characters. I loved Theo and her friends that work in the tea shop. I could see myself visiting this town and spending lots of time in the tea shop. The descriptions are so wonderful and add a lot to the story. I also thought it was interesting that we got random insight i...more
Hil
It's a one star mystery I'm afraid, but there are some great tea references. There is also a recipe for tea eggs in the back. Unfortunately it was easy to tell who the murderer was at the beginning and then I was frustrated with the tea shop owner for pretending to be a detective and putting unwarranted blame on innocent people for the rest of the book. There was an interesting post-modernist self-reflection going on when the main character compared herself to other mystery series, but it kind o...more
Writerlibrarian
First book in Childs' "A Tea Shop Mystery" where we are introduced to Theodosia Browning owner of The Indigo Tea shop in Charleston historical district. We also meet her partners in the shop Drayton, tea master extraordinaire, a sixtyish man who reads gay and Haley, the young baker, eternal student.
This first novel takes a long time to get to the core of the mystery and spends a lot of time with exposition, Theo's car, Theo's shop, Theo's hair etc. It drags a bit but the characters are interest...more
Tam May
I picked up this book on Kindle because it was a selection of a book club for cozy mysteries.

The characters, setting, and storyline were interesting. The characters come across as real and sympathetic and likable, especially those working at the Indigo Tea Shop, though I agree with many reviewers that Theo comes off as too perfect. I do wish that the main character had more connections with someone who would have access to information on the case, as this seemed a bit random (but maybe this com...more
Camilla
I used to love mysteries. I think I devoured every single Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys book before I was nine-years-old; a childhood friend and I even fancied ourselves detectives and started our own detective agency, the JCM Detective Agency; and through high school, I adored Agatha Christie's Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. Needless to say, I had high hopes for this book, my first summer-vacation read.

But, I have to admit, I struggled to get through Death by Darjeerling. Childs' flowery descripti...more
Denae
I've lately been coming to the conclusion that, if a book is particularly bad or boring at the beginning, I have no need to continue it out of a sense of obligation. This one falls into the boring category. Having no particular interest in the history of Charleston or descriptions of places there which I have already visited, the first chapter and a half of this was roughly akin to a sonorous lecture right after lunch. I'm moving on to things more interesting.
Sydney
Let me just start off by saying this book was not my cup of tea (no pun intended).

I started this series with high hopes, especially since everyone talks so highly of Laura Childs as an author, my mother included.

After reading the first 90 pages or so, I just couldn't get into the story, and what bothered me most was the way that it seemed like some major editing was overlooked. There were SEVERAL times in the pages that I read where two conflicting thoughts were presented in consecutive paragra...more
Lindz
I read it because it was on my TBR for forever, and it was about tea, so why not? And it was pretty okay, as far as cozies go! I'm just not a fan of cozy mysteries. The tea sections were excellent and I got up more than once to refill my cuppa. The mystery was poorly done, and the chapters were short and choppy. In addition, it felt like the book was written in small chunks, and not a whole lot of care was taken for continuity.
Minna
Mar 14, 2014 Minna rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People to prude for Harlequin novels, too squeamish for mystery/crime books
Stephen King once said that you should read both good and bad books so that one day you'd be amazed at what was published and feel encouraged to write and try to publish something yourself. This book is one of those books. It commits so many crimes against decent storytelling that I won't recount all its offenses, but I will mention the most grave ones.

Firstly, repetition. Repetition can be utilised as a tool for aesthetic reasons. Repetition is not always bad. Repetition is oft used by poets,...more
Vic
I picked up this book on the recommendation of one of the owners of Mainely Murders, a specialty bookstore in Kennebunk. It was described as a cozy involving a tea shop owner in historic Charleston, SC.

It had its possibilities, but ultimately failed on two counts; the killer was never a suspect and there were no clues pointing to the killer, and the narrative glossed over all the plot lines while emphasizing excruciating detail about things of no importance. For example, I know the size, color,...more
Wendy
My favourite cozy mysteries pack in lots of tidbits about their theme. This was a definite plus for me in this book, lots of tea information! I also very much enjoyed the characters and the setting, Earl Grey the dalbrador service dog, Drayton the tea genius, and Haley the young and loyal perpetual student. Heading into the second book I hope these things stay strong.

The mystery itself is pretty straightforward. Not overly twisty or confusing. I figured it out pretty early on, but it was still...more
J. Else
This would be my first cozy mystery that I made it through. I tried the Magical Cats series, but the first book was not well balanced and lost sight of the mystery part of the story (as the character was too busy attending fancy parties and yoga classes). This book was well structured and kept me guessing.

This is not a book for those seeking epic thrillers. I was not at the edge of my seat. However, its cute and very enjoyable. It has a good base of characters, it knows its tea, and it has a mys...more
Mary Kay
I really wanted to love this book. It is about a teashop owner, who is feisty and single and my age! It is set in the historic district in Charleston! And it is a "cozy mystery"! I had never heard of the genre before finding this book, but doesn't it sound great? Sadly, I did not get swept away by the story, and I was not enthralled by the characters. Halfway through the book, I just wanted to get it over with. The motivations from the protagonists investigations seemed weak, and she did not act...more
Sandra
If you are interested in the blending of specialty teas and a decent murder thrown in for good measure, this may be the book for you. I wish the characters had been better developed. The murderer was a surprise but only because we didn't know any of the characters very well.
Angela
Since I loved the cozies about the coffee shop I thought I would try this one about the tea shop but it didn't grab me. Didn't even finish it. The tea info was a little heavy-handed as was the characterization.
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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
More about Laura Childs...
Gunpowder Green (A Tea Shop Mystery, #2) Shades of Earl Grey (A Tea Shop Mystery, #3) 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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