Happy Black Friday! Today is also Buy Nothing Day! Talk about an oxymoron. The day was created as a protest against the commercialism of Christmas. They ask that you not purchase anything for twenty-four hours (on Black Friday?). I think the majority of people purchased items today. Either in the store or online (like me). I cannot stand crowds so I take advantage of the deals online. I want this to be a special Christmas for my mother. It will be a difficult one for all of us as it will be the first Christmas without my father.
Death by Tea by Alex Erickson is the second book in A Bookstore Café Mystery series. Krissy Hancock is part owner in Death by Coffee (named after a book by her father, James Hancock) with her best friend, Vicki Patterson in Pine Hills. Rita Jablonski (a big fan of James Hancock) has decided to move the Pines Hills and Cherry Valley Book Club Competition to Death by Coffee. A beautiful silver teapot is the prize. They are a vocal group, but it will bring business into the store. But then one of the Cherry Hill members, David Smith, ends up dead inside Death by Coffee. Krissy is a suspect thanks to her late night activities (taking a cardboard cutout of her father out of the store that belongs to Rita). Krissy sets out to prove her innocence and she will do whatever it takes. She will have to evade Officer Buchanan who is determined to put her in jail (he just does not like her) and her very nosy neighbor, Eleanor Withrow.
I was hoping that Death by Tea would be better than the first book in the series. Unfortunately, I was disappointed (I think it was worse). Krissy is just not a likable character. The story is written in the first person so we get to hear all her ramblings and nonsense. She likes Officer Paul Dalton (with the Pine Hills police department) and does not understand why he does not call (this goes on throughout the whole book). The mystery was secondary in the novel to Krissy’s life (she would forget what she was saying or doing when a handsome man was present). We get to hear more about her awful cat, Misfit (who destroys furniture), than about the mystery. There is also a very gross scene where Krissy has to pull twine out of Misfit's tush (we really did not need this scene). When Krissy questions or interrogates people she is not very polite (actually can be rude and pushy). It is like she feels she is entitled to get the answers she wants (even though the people have no reason to talk to her). Krissy rushes into situations (frequently) without thinking things through (leading to embarrassing moments for her and the person she accuses). I give Death by Tea 2.75 out of 5 stars. As you can tell, I am not a fan of this novel. The mystery was extremely easy to solve (despite the attempts of the author to mislead the readers). One clue was the key to solving the mystery.
The first book in A Bookstore Cafe Mystery series is Death by Coffee. I received a complimentary copy of Death by Tea from NetGalley (and the publisher) in exchange for an honest review.
I hope everyone had a great Black Friday! I am off to feed the cats and dogs their dinner. They like to keep to a schedule (and the cats are meowing at me while I am getting dirty looks from Wolfie--are oldest dog). If you like police dramas, check out Unforgettable (wonderful show). The new season starts tonight on A&E (new channel for the show). I am currently reading Secrets Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz (very good book). Take care and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader