Thursday, May 10, 2018

Death by Darjeeling by Laura Childs

I wanted to read something lighter after the book on Austen and Social Science and a tea-themed cozy Mystery fit the bill!

Death by Darjeeling is centered around the Indigo Tea Shop, which in turn is owned by Theodosia. When a hater developer dies at her teashop and her employee’s friend loses her job over it, Theodosia starts digging into the death. But the more she learns, the more suspects she finds. And more worryingly, someone seems to be after her as well.

What I loved about this book was obviously all the tea references! The hanyu pinyin of the Chinese teas isn’t the standard one but that’s okay because there was a lot of tea talk and description of the teas. I would love to try the teas mentioned and if Indigo tea shop existed near me, I would definitely be a frequent patron.

I also liked the core group of characters. Theodosia, Drayton (the tea master), Haley (employee), and Bethany (employee’s friend turned employee) have a very nice group dynamic and I appreciated the way that Theodosia brought them into the mystery. I thought that made their friendship feel real and I really enjoyed their interactions with one another.

On the other hand, there were a few things I’m not too enthusiastic about.

One is the very long introductions of each character. Or perhaps they just felt long because I didn’t feel like I needed backstory at that moment. But since this is book one I can understand why it’s this way.

The other thing I didn’t like (and this is a bigger deal for me), was the sudden shift in one of the characters. This was done through a change in POV, which occurred a few times and always felt abrupt. More importantly, the sudden change in how one of the characters was presented felt too sudden and not very believable. Rather than a natural progression, it felt like a device used to heighten tension.

Would I read the second book? I’m not sure. I really enjoyed the tea references and I think that the long introductions should be gone by book two, but the sudden twist for one character at the end had me wary. I still have quite a number of tea-related books that I want to read (please believe that it’s work-related research) so perhaps I’ll read those first and then see if I’ll continue with the series.


  1. I am sorry this wasn't better for you. It bothers me too when there is a sudden shift with characters. I think sometimes authors do go overboard with a character's backstory too soon. I like it better when it appears more naturally in a novel, maybe even interspersed throughout the rest of the main story line. I hope your other books related to tea are much better--even if they are work related. :-)

    1. Well, I'm definitely enjoying this work-related tea reading binge(: Hopefully I find a good book featuring tea soon!


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