Sunday, February 9, 2020

Sweet Tea and Secrets by Joy Avon

Sweet Tea and Secrets (A Tea and Read Mystery #2)
Happy Sunday!  On Sunday's, I feature books that I could not fit into my schedule when they were released.  This week it is Sweet Tea and Secrets which is the second book in A Tea and Read Mystery seriesIn Peppermint Peril is the first book in this cozy mystery series. 
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Sweet Tea and Secrets by Joy Avon has Callie Aspen starting a new chapter of her life in Heart’s Harbor, Maine.  Callie has quit her job as a tour guide with Travel the Past and will now be assisting her Great Aunt Iphy at Book Tea.  Callie arrives to learn that Aunt Iphy has rented Sea Anemone cottage for her, but it will require a wee bit of work.  Thankfully, Aunt Iphy put up an ad for a handyman and Quinn Darrow is already surveying the property.  There will be a Fourth of July tea party at Haywood Hall with the theme of living history.  Aunt Iphy needs Callie to come up with something big that happened in the town to present before the fireworks and she ropes Quinn into helping Callie.  Quinn and Callie dig into the newspaper archives at the library.  Quinn suggests they investigate the disappearance of television star, Monica Walker.  She disappeared from Heart’s Harbor while on vacation in 1989 and was never heard from again.  Callie makes a televised appeal for information and soon she is bombarded by calls.  Then Joe Jamison, who investigated Monica’s disappearance for the local paper, is murdered in his office and the killer is setting up Quinn to take the fall.  Callie wonders what Joe knew about the actress’s disappearance that got him killed.  Can Callie wrap up the two mysteries before the Fourth of July?
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Sweet Tea and Secrets by Joy Avon is the second A Tea and Read Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone if you did not read In Peppermint Peril.  Callie Aspen has quit her job as a tour guide with Travel the Past and is moving to Heart’s Harbor, Maine.  Callie will be helping her Great Aunt Iphy with Book Tea as well as with the renovations to Haywood House.  There is be a Fourth of July tea party at Haywood House with a sweet tea competition.  Aunt Iphy asks that Callie find a past historical event that will have a big impact to present before the fireworks.  Living history is the theme of the tea.  Quinn Darrow is new to town and responded to Aunt Iphy’s ad for a handyman.  Quinn will be fixing up Callie’s new cottage and has been roped into helping Callie find a historic event.  Monica Walker, a television star, was taking a vacation in Heart’s Harbor when she vanished in 1989.  She was never seen or heard from again.  There is plenty of speculation, but no solid facts.  Local editor-in-chief, Joe Jamison, reported on the incident years ago and Callie can tell he is hiding something.  After an appeal for information on a local news station, the calls start rolling in.  It seems Callie struck a nerve because Joe is found dead in his office and the evidence points to Quinn.  Callie works to find answers before the killer strikes again.  Two mysteries to solve in one book.  One can be solved early in the book while the other takes a little longer.  I was dissatisfied with the way the reveal was handled (I want the sleuth to solve).   I wish the characters had more depth since they feel flat.  There is supposed to be an attraction between Callie and Deputy Ace Falk, but I do not feel it.  He comes across as overprotective especially of his sister and uses his position to dig up information on people he does not like or trust.  I would like to see improvement to the dialogue which was awkward and more action.  The pacing lagged throughout the book as Callie speculates on the crimes.  The potential is there with a little tweaking.  Sweet Tea and Secrets is a light cozy mystery with creative culinary confections, a missing movie maven, a tea tournament, a cutthroat killer, and fantastic fireworks.
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Sweet Tea and Secrets is available through Amazon* as well as In Peppermint PerilIn Cold Chamomile is the third A Tea and Read Mystery.  It will release on February 11.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I will be sharing my review of The Fifth Avenue Story Society by Rachel Hauck tomorrow as part of the Celebrate Lit tour.  May you have a restful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
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