by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of the post on how to enter to win a copy of Tea and Treachery By Vicki Delany and a link to order it from Amazon and an indie bookstore.
Pastry chef Lily Roberts always dreamed of opening her own traditional teashop. The opportunity to help her British grandmother Rose run her own Bed and Breakfast – not to mention Lily’s boyfriend chef coming at her with a chef’s knife – spurred Lily into finally opening Tea By the Sea in Cape Cod’s Outer Cape. Rose seems to view Lily as both her favorite relative and a lowly servant, but Lily adores being able to experiment with innovative teas and traditional British pastries. It also allows her to share a tearoom experience with her best friend Bernadette Murphy, who similarly left her corporate life in Manhattan to pursue her own dream as being a writer.
Bernie seems more invested in calling herself an author than doing the actual job of writing, which may explain why she is so eager to jump in on the distraction of a police investigation. The developer who wanted to purchase the property next to Rose’s B & B in order to raze it down and build a hotel and golf resort has been found murdered, unfortunately just after he was seen having a rather loud confrontation with Lily’s grandmother. The police chief has a reputation for being lazy and circling down on the easiest suspects, which means that Rose is in the hot seat for a quick arrest and conviction.
Rose and Bernie together are A LOT, leaving Lily as the lone voice of reason and practicality. Fortunately for her, Lily has the support of the unexpected talented new gardener Simon McCracken, who has a charming British accent in addition to being a talented baker in his own right. So while Simon helps Lily prepare scones for drop-in tour buses, he is able to counsel Lily as she is dragged along on Bernie and Rose’s investigations. Affairs, jealous rivals, and land development schemes all could play a role in the murder of a man by a weapon that police believe resembles Rose’s missing walking cane.
Lily proves to be a charming and sympathetic lead character, one whose humor and wry observations have the reader on her side and rooting for her success. Bernie’s inability to focus on her actual writing while being completely uninterested in research is exasperating but entertaining, especially as it looks like she may be taking inspiration from her recent adventures. The hint of romance that is introduced for both Lily and Bernie will be fun to follow in future installments, and hopefully we will be given more insight into her romantic past. Recipes and descriptions of Lily’s baking tasks will have mouths watering and hungering for more, with tea lore and in-depth details making it a standout foodie mystery. This debut series by the prolific author highlights her experience in crafting nuanced plots while introducing a very likable and relatable heroine.
To enter to win a copy of Tea and Treachery, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “tea,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 12, 2020. U.S. residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. BE AWARE THAT IT WILL TAKE LONGER THAN USUAL FOR WINNERS TO GET THEIR BOOKS DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS.
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