on June 7, 2016
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Also in this series: Guidebook to Murder, Mission to Murder, If the Shoe Kills, Dressed To Kill, Killer Run, Murder on Wheels, Hospitality and Homicide, Killer Party, Rockets' Dead Glare, Santa Puppy, Memories and Murder
The quaint coastal town of South Cove, California, is all abuzz about the opening of a new specialty shop, Tea Hee. But as Coffee, Books, and More owner Jill Gardner is about to find out, there's nothing cozy about murder . . .
Shop owner Kathi Corbin says she came to South Cove to get away from her estranged family. But is she telling the truth? And did a sinister someone from her past follow her to South Cove? When a woman claiming to be Kathi's sister starts making waves and a dead body is found in a local motel, Jill must step in to clear Kathi's name--without getting herself in hot water.
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.
Lynn Cahoon does it again with Tea Cups and Carnage, the latest book in her Tourist Trap mystery series. This may be one of the strongest yet, with good pacing, new tensions between some regular characters, and of course a mystery that kept me guessing. While I did suspect the murderer (among several other characters I was also considering), the author does a good job of concealing both the identity and motive of the killer as well as offering up several alternative suspects. There’s plenty going on, too: there’s a summer beach festival in town; the gorgeous, charismatic new tea shop owner and her sister don’t seem to get along; the bank has teller problems; there’s a new motorcyclist in town, terrorizing the inhabitants as well as the tourists; Coffee, Books and More has financial issues; and to top it all off, someone finds a dead body at the local cheap motel. Greg is kept pretty busy investigating, but not so busy that he can’t drop Jill a hint now and then!
Ms. Cahoon is also allowing the regulars’ relationships to change, in both positive and potentially negative ways. Jill and Greg are still an item, but there are a few underlying issues they’ve both been avoiding, and it looks like some of them might come to a head in the next few books. There are hints of possible problems with both the other coffee-and-bookstore employees, several surprises involving Aunt Jackie, and Josh is obviously up to something, plus we get to see a facet of Lille that I totally wasn’t expecting. All in all, I’m really pleased at how realistically the recurring characters’ lives are developing—though I hope Jill and Greg can deal with their issues instead of ignoring them (never a good plan.)
Although Tea Cups and Carnage is the seventh book in the Tourist Trap series, you could easily jump in here; the author does a pretty good job of reintroducing the recurring characters without being obvious about it. (That’s one of my pet peeves with some series.) On the other hand, if you enjoy light, breezy cozies, why not start at the beginning of the series, so you get the fun of reading all the previous books?
You could win an e-copy of Tea Cups and Carnage!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- Cruisin' Thru the Cozies 2016