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Friday, June 6, 2014

Book Review: Tempest in a Teapot by Amanda Cooper

Sophie Taylor is returning to Gracious Grove, the place where her grandmother lives and she spent her holidays as a child. When her restaurant goes belly up in New York she decides it's time to move from the big city, back to Gracious Grove and lick her wounds! In Auntie Rose's Victorian Tea House, run by Nana, she finally feels like she's healing and ready to move onto the next stage of her life. However, before that can happen she has a murder to solve! One of her friend's fiance's mother dies at a nearby tea house and Sophie is called in to help find a murderer!

When it comes to caffeine I'm a big tea drinker. I start each day at 5:30am with a cup of Earl Grey tea and I couldn't imagine not drinking tea. A mystery series featuring not just one tea house, but two? Well I'm all over that!

I had high expectations going into this series. I really enjoy mysteries with cats (notice the adorable Birman on the cover) and tea and I was hoping that Tempest in a Teapot would live up to my expectations. I'm happy to report that Tempest in a Teapot far exceeded my expectations. This story had the air of the feeling of settling into your favourite chair, with a cup of tea and a good book. Complete and utter comfort, especially with the surroundings of Gracious Grove.

Gracious Grove is a little different from other cozy towns I've read about. It is a "dry" community, in that no alcohol is allowed. Naturally some locals would like to see this changed, especially Cissy's brother, Pete, who does his best to smuggle in alcohol! With Gracious Grove being a dry town, I felt like I'd almost gone back in time to prohibition, with tea-sipping ladies gossiping about everyone in town.

With this lovely setting, it was easy to picture Sophie wanting to return to Gracious Grove, and form a new life there. As she had spent her summers there, she already knew many of the locals and she enlists their help to assist with the investigation.

I liked Sophie. Even though her restaurant has gone belly up, she seems determined to brush herself off and help her Nana with Auntie Rose's Victoria Tea Room. Along with Sophie, there is a whole host of interesting, secondary characters that grabbed my attention. Cissy, her good friend from her days of spending her summer in Gracious Grove, is the same as ever and depicts perfectly the "little lost girl" and comes across as very naive. Even as I'm reading the story I wanted to wrap Cissy up in a hug and protect her, just like Sophie tries to do.

Amanda Cooper writes an engaging mystery in her first book in this new series. With intriguing characters and a delightful setting, I can already tell this series is going to be a firm favourite. For tea drinkers all across the world I highly recommend this series.

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