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

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  7,540 Ratings  ·  610 Reviews
When a man is poisoned by tea, Theo is the prime suspect. Now she has to prove her innocence and track down the real killer-before someone else takes their last sip. Just the right blend of cozy fun and clever plotting.


Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Berkley (first published 2001)
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Nicole Just picked up #14 at the library and read it not knowing it was a series. I found it entertaining. While I think you could get more background from…moreJust picked up #14 at the library and read it not knowing it was a series. I found it entertaining. While I think you could get more background from reading them all in order, I think you could do it out of order as I did. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Thomas
Feb 02, 2008 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Book Concierge
Theodosia Browning and her staff at the Indigo Tea Shop are catering a garden party during Charleston’s historic homes Lamplighter Tour. As the guests depart and they are cleaning up, one young helper discovers a guest has died. But what looks like a heart attack turns out to be murder, and the tea he was drinking puts the focus on Theo’s business.

This is a good cozy mystery. I like how Childs took time to build the relationships among the tea shop’s employees, and other characters – the detect
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Kathie H
Jul 22, 2010 Kathie H rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
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Helen
Dec 25, 2013 Helen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Susan
Jun 25, 2008 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Darlene
Jan 14, 2014 Darlene rated it liked it
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
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Sensitivemuse
Dec 14, 2009 Sensitivemuse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 22, 2010 Monica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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❀✿ Gem ✿❀
I enjoyed this cozy, it's one I've wanted to read for a while. Cozy mysteries are easy read "comfort foods," so to speak and I do love a good cup of tea, so this seems like it would be right up my alley.

I found the character development a bit lacking and I'm hoping as the series continues the characters will be developed better. I'm really glad that I didn't see the "who done it" coming. I initially though it was one particular character, however that was the "obvious" person and that would hav
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FictionForesight
May 14, 2015 FictionForesight rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Sunhi
May 22, 2011 Sunhi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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C.
Nov 04, 2013 C. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Angela Holland
May 24, 2009 Angela Holland rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Carol
Feb 25, 2015 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Debbie
Nov 02, 2016 Debbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this first book of the series. Although I'm not a hot tea drinker I want to visit this tea shoppe and have a nice visit. I'm looking forward to reading on in this series.
Kelsey Langenfeld
Jun 30, 2017 Kelsey Langenfeld rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a delightful read. As far as mysteries go, it was very PG but cute. I had some problems getting in touch with some of the characters, especially the MC but she was quirky and fun. I learned a lot about tea that I didn't already know and I am already a tea lover so that was fantastic.
Elizabeth Meadows
I really liked this book. It made me want to drink more tea, and I'm a coffee drinker.
Danny Reid
Less a murder mystery (six chapters from the end and the hero is busy doing inventory, for chrissake), this is more a languid Charleston travelogue crossed with tea porn.
Kelsey Keating
An interesting read. I wasn't a fan of the Bethany character (so whiny and wimpy and dramatic) but the MC was delightful. Theodosia is interesting and strong.
There's quite abbot of telling in this book, with dialogue tags I'm not used to, but this is my first cozy mystery so that might be the genre. Also, it was a fun ride with short chapters and when I finished, I was already thinking about the next book in the series.

Recommended for anyone who is a tea lover and enjoys a good mystery. Thumbs
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Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*

I went on a shopping spree last year to the local independent used bookstore and grabbed up a lot of first books in several cozy series - tea focused (this one), coffee shop themed, bookstore themed, random themes. What a nice but expensive day that turned out to be. This one drew my eye because it focused on tea - of which I'm a fan - but I went to into aware of mixed reviews and ratings.

It turned out pretty good for an introduction into a typical cozy world. A lot of these series start out med
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Cynthia
Jul 31, 2011 Cynthia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Patricia Rockwell
Oct 30, 2010 Patricia Rockwell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Kirsti
Jan 02, 2017 Kirsti rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So I went and hired most of this series on NYE, and the Librarian was just like o_o "You know we're only shut for two days, right?" Haha, oh well, it was worth it to read this brilliant start to the series, and know I have many more of them to enjoy now (plus a few other goodies I picked up!)

Basically this started like many cozies; introduction of a great main character, then slowly establishing the web around her as she investigates a murder. In this instance the secondary characters are equal
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Mary
Jun 19, 2016 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first intro to Laura Childs books. It was my turn to choose the books for the Cozy Mystery Group for Goodreads. I knew that many of our participants had read many of the books that I had in mind. But I thought that I would try it any way.

Well, I enjoyed both of the books that were picked, even if I have to say so myself.

This book introduces us to Theo Browning who owns The Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston. She has three people working for her Drayton her manager, Haley her baker, sales associate
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Valerie
Jul 17, 2008 Valerie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Deanna Anderson
Jan 16, 2017 Deanna Anderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little slow-going and hard to get into. I didn't really connect with any of the characters and Theodosia tends to act and think like a woman in her 50's or 60's but I think only in her mid-30's so that had me feeling off for most of the book. I think her character is better portrayed by a Ms. Marple type person, not a young woman.

There was also nothing to lead me to the actual murderer and murder mysteries are supposed to give you clues so you scan decipher 'who dunnit'. But overall still a g
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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...

Other Books in the Series

A Tea Shop Mystery (1 - 10 of 19 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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