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

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,418 Ratings  ·  488 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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The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall SmithCrocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth PetersThe Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha ChristieChocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeA is for Alibi by Sue Grafton
Cozy Mystery Series
22nd out of 634 books — 1,746 voters
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
18th out of 1,285 books — 1,407 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 04, 2013 Thomas rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 18, 2009 Kristen rated it liked it
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
Feb 15, 2013 Christine rated it it was ok
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
Jan 12, 2014 Helen rated it it was ok
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
Jun 28, 2008 Susan rated it it was amazing
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.
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
Dec 14, 2009 Sensitivemuse rated it it was amazing
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
Kathie H
Aug 09, 2010 Kathie H rated it it was ok
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
Jun 04, 2015 FictionForesight rated it liked it
Shelves: kim-f
Review Originally Posted At: FictionForesight

Theodosia Browning is a retired advertising mogul who decided to get into a more relaxing position as owner of the Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston. Her quiet life is turned upside down, however, when a guest at an esteemed party is found dead, still clutching his teacup filled with her blend of tea. Will Theodosia be able to solve his murder in order to absolve her tea shop's reputation?

This murder mystery started out like a nice, well blended, full-lea
May 31, 2011 Sunhi rated it liked it
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
Jul 05, 2010 Monica rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
Feb 25, 2015 Carol rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-mystery
This is about as cozy as a cozy mystery gets! Which to me is a good thing. Very, very tame but fun. There is a lovable Dalmation (Earl Grey!) and a tea shop that made my mouth water with all the good stuff they would bake every day. A fun one and part of a series.
Patricia Rockwell
Nov 01, 2010 Patricia Rockwell rated it really liked it
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
Nov 25, 2013 C. rated it liked it
It’s a treat to be carried away for the first time by a new narrator. Settings grow on you, at other times you can tell at once whether they are... wait for it... ‘your cup of tea’! I’m niggardly about a few aspects but feel I’ll enjoy this long-standing series. The first thing I loved about “Death By Darjeeling” is that 'Theodosia Browning' is an independent beauty of nearly 40. We don’t see enough full-grown adults in fiction; who aren’t coated in sarcasm. She left marketing for her own busine ...more
Aug 07, 2011 Cynthia rated it really liked it
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
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
Vicky Marie
May 26, 2015 Vicky Marie rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
A good start to what seems like a promising series. My only complaint is the strange flipping of perspectives between characters that occur randomly. One paragraph we'll be reading from Theodosia's perspective, then suddenly we are hearing some other person's thoughts in the next. It's a weird way of writing. Other than that I enjoyed the story and the characters. The mystery was fun, although a bit predictable. Like always, I figured out who done it about halfway through. That doesn't stop me f ...more
Angela Lynn Holland
Jan 18, 2016 Angela Lynn Holland rated it it was amazing
This was a re-read for me and luckily I don't remember what I read especially if it has been years. I enjoyed this book every bit as much as I do the scrapbooking mysteries that Laura writes. I can't wait to continue on with this series. The characters are fun, the tea shop is quaint and I enjoy the all the talk about the different teas. Laura Childs has a knack for giving us such vivid descriptions. The teas she describes have such fun names and sound so tasty that I would love to find them to ...more
Jul 21, 2008 Valerie rated it it was ok
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
Sep 08, 2014 RebeccaS rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 02, 2009 Hil rated it it was ok
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
Dec 24, 2013 Debra rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
A rather charming, tame, easy cozy read. If you are into Southern lit (Charleston, SC) you might like this one, too, as there was a lot of discussion about historical architecture and prize-winning gardens. I wouldn't mind attending a tea-tasting garden party. I even did the recipe in the back called Theodosia's Tea-Marbled Eggs.

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Darci Clark
Oct 15, 2014 Darci Clark rated it liked it
I know nothing about tea, don't even like it, but loved this book. Great cozy series.
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
Jan 19, 2016 Olivermagnus rated it liked it
Theodosia Browning is the owner of the Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston, South Carolina's famous historic district. When local developer Hughes Barron is found poisoned with a cup of her tea in his hand, she's angry to find out that she and her employees are all suspects. In order to save her business and good name, Theo sets out to solve the mystery of his death. The late Mr. Barron was a very unscrupulous man, so there is no shortage of suspects.

As you follow Theodosia's investigation you will l
Tam May
Sep 07, 2014 Tam May rated it liked it
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
Jun 04, 2014 Camilla rated it it was ok
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
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.
Oct 30, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, beach-read
I needed some light reading to distract myself. I remembered Joanne Fluke's cookie shop mysteries and how delightful they were so I decided to look for some more culinary mysteries at Half Price Book. That's where I discoveredLaura Childs. In addition to writing culinary mysteries, we share a name!

This was a cute book. It reminds me a bit of "Murder, She Wrote" because of the quietness of the characters. They're not looking for murders; the murders just seem to follow them around.

Theodosia is a
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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)
  • Gunpowder Green (A Tea Shop Mystery, #2)
  • Shades of Earl Grey (A Tea Shop Mystery, #3)
  • 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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