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Jan 18

Series Saturday Tea Shop Mysteries

Posted on January 18, 2019 at 4:28 PM by Lindsey Kult

Tea Shop Mysteries 20 book collage Square

This week's Series Saturday is Laura Child's Tea Shop Mysteries!  This is a fun cozy mystery series that is perfect for a cold month like January! Even better, January is hot tea month. I would like to credit The Cozy Mystery List Blog for writing a great blog post about this series. You can read it in full here. Thank you Danna for your work!

Genre: 

Mystery, Cozy Mystery

Location in Howard Miller: 

Mystery, MYS CHILDS

Setting: 

This series takes place in Charleston, South Carolina

Meet the Characters: 

Theodosia Browning (Theo) is the proud owner/manager of Charleston's Indigo Tea Shop. It's a far cry from her previous profession as an advertising executive. She's very intelligent and street smart. You'll love her rescue dog, Earl Grey!

Drayton is Theo's employee and star tea taster. He is the genius behind Indigo Tea's tea blends. Drayton is the acting manager when Theo is off sleuthing and her "in" to Charleston society.

Haley is the shop's clerk and baker. She provides some wonderful comic relief! Her delicious recipes are in the back of the books. Between her and Drayton, Theo wouldn't be able keep the shop running and solve mystery. 

Delaine Dish is the town gossip and is an excellent source of information. She is the fashionista of the town and can get annoying. 

Jory Davis is the love interest of Theo. He's a lawyer who is torn between his devotion to Theo and to his job. 

Historic Charleston plays such a large role in these mysteries that we decided to add it as a character! Laura Childs is huge on descriptions. 

Number in the Series: 

There are currently 19 books in the series, but the 20th comes out in March! Click here to put a hold on her books.  

  1. Death by Darjeeling
  2. Gunpowder Green
  3. Shades of Earl Grey
  4. English Breakfast Murder
  5. The Jasmine Moon Murder
  6. Chamomile Mourning
  7. Blood Orange Brewing
  8. Dragonwell Dead
  9. The Silver Needle Murder
  10. Oolong Dead
  11. The Teaberry Strangler
  12. Scones & Bones
  13. Agony of the Leaves
  14. Sweet Tea Revenge
  15. Steeped in Evil
  16. Ming Tea Murder
  17. Devonshire Scream
  18. Pekoe Most Poison
  19. Plum Tea Crazy
  20. Broken Bone China
Final Word: 

While these books are quintessentially cozy mystery, down to the recipes listed in the back, Theo is not the cookie cutter cozy heroine. For one, she isn't afraid of technology (an odd stereotype for cozies, but noticeable). She also knows when to back off a case and only decides to investigate to protect her business or friends - at least in the first few books. Like all cozy mysteries, you have to wonder when her friends will realize that most people don't find a dead body once a year!
Jan 04

Series Saturday UPDATE: Flavia de Luce

Posted on January 4, 2019 at 2:46 PM by Lindsey Kult

The Flavia de Luce Series is an old-fashioned mystery series. She might sound quirky on paper, but she and the other villagers are wonderful characters who transport the reader to a sleepy post-war English village. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys mysteries without the dark descriptions and rude language! 

Continue Reading...

Dec 14

Series Saturday - Santa Paws

Posted on December 14, 2018 at 2:33 PM by Lindsey Kult

Santa Paws Series Collage

This Series Saturday is about a series that we recommended on Facebook last week! It’s the Santa Paws series by Nicholas and Kris Edwards. Nicholas Edwards is the pen name for Ellen Emerson White. She is best known for her young adult books. I think her background in young adult writing allowed her to avoid the cheesy dialogue and descriptions that can plague junior fiction books. Goodreads reviewers (myself included) believe that this series does not have to be just for elementary students! The stories are well-written and enjoyable to adults without children as well as families reading together. While they all take place around Christmas, only the first one seems to be about finding the meaning of Christmas.

Genre: 

Junior Fiction, Holiday, Adventure, Animal


Location in Howard Miller: 

Junior Fiction, JF EDWARDS


Setting: 

A coastal town in Massachusetts called Oceanport.


Meet the Characters: 

Obviously the main character of the story is Santa Paws (also named Nicholas). He’s a stray puppy whose mother and siblings were caught by Animal Control and adopted to loving families. Sadly, Santa Paws doesn’t realize this and is a scared street dog for the first book. He has a knack for finding people who need help. He is eventually “caught” by the Callahan family, but the whole town views him as a mascot.


Gregory Callahan is the youngest Callahan. He’s in Middle School at the beginning of the series. Gregory is Santa Paws’ main human since he was the one who wanted to help Santa Paws the most. He likes sports and loves his family - especially his older sister Patty, even if they do fight occasionally.


Patty Callahan is Gregory’s older sister. She’s in the Junior High School at the start of the series and is mainly concerned about whether something is cool or uncool. She’s also very smart and hopes to become a police officer when she grows up.


Mrs. Callahan is Gregory and Patty’s mom. She’s a high school science teacher. She loves her family very much and usually struggles to keep Patty in warm clothes - being warm is not fashionable so is very uncool.


Mr. Callahan is an eccentric author. He loves to listen to Frank Sinatra and dress up in costumes while writing. He also loves his family, but is easily distracted while writing.


Uncle Steve is Gregory and Patty’s uncle. He’s a war veteran and a police officer in town. He is very serious on the job, but goofy when around his family. He and his wife had a baby around the time the Callahans brought Santa Paws home.


There are dozens of townspeople who are grateful to Santa Paws and the Callahans, but most of them are not reoccurring characters.


Number in the Series: 

There are 6 books written by Nicholas Edwards and at least 1 by Kris Edwards. It appears that Kris Edwards wrote more Santa Paws books, but for some reason they are not considered part of the series. We don’t carry all of the Santa Paws books, so use this link to put a hold on the books you want. It is definitely best to read the first book before any of the others.
  1. Santa Paws
  2. Return of Santa Paws
  3. Santa Paws, Come Home
  4. Santa Paws to the Rescue 
  5. Santa Paws, Our Hero
  6. Santa Paws and the New Puppy
  7. Santa Paws Saves the Day
Final Word: 

This series is older; the books were written in the mid-1990s and early 2000s. The writing is so strong that it might not seem like the books are 23 years old. So your children might not understand why the Callahans or other townspeople don’t just use their cell phones to call for help or take pictures!  Not all of the characters are likable, but none are pure evil. Instead, Edwards writes about very sad events (homelessness and widows for example) through a dog’s eyes. The innocence of Santa Paws provides parents with an opportunity to have a conversation with their little ones about sad parts of life. Like many books in a series, they do get progressively longer but the longest is 205 pages. It’s a wonderful series for animal lovers of all ages and a great way to prepare for Christmas!