Friday, July 29, 2022

Murder Spills the Tea by Vicki Delany

Murder Spills the Tea
Book Summary

The country's hottest TV cooking show is coming to Cape Cod. And against her better judgment, Lily Roberts is entering America Bakes! with her charming tearoom, Tea by the Sea! Filming is already proving disruptive, closing the tearoom during Lily's busiest season. But tensions really bubble over when infamous bad-boy chef and celebrity judge, Tommy Greene, loses his temper with Lily's staff, resulting in an on-camera blowout with Cheryl Wainwright. Just as Lily thinks the competition can't get more bitter, Tommy is found dead in Tea by the Sea's kitchen . . . murdered with Lily's rolling pin.
Suspicion immediately falls on Cheryl, but the temperamental star has racked up plenty of culinary clashes in the past, both on- and off-screen. And nearly anyone associated with Tommy or the show could be the killer: be it one of Lily's fierce competitors, a member of the beleaguered film crew, or even one of Tommy's fellow judges--struggling cookbook maven, Claudia D'Angelo or beauty contest winner, Scarlet McIntosh. Now, while she's baking up a storm for the show, Lily must also whip up an impromptu investigation . . . before the murderer rolls someone else away. 
My Thoughts

Murder Spills the Tea by Vicki Delany is the third A Tea by the Sea Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series.  Lily Roberts finds herself on America Bakes! thanks to her grandmother, Rose and her best friend, Bernie.  Lily soon learns there is nothing real about reality television.  Lily arrives for her final day of filming to find Tommy Greene, one of the judges, dead in her tearoom kitchen.  Cheryl, one of Lily’s servers, ends up the prime suspect.  When the lead detective arrests Cheryl for the crime, it is up to Lily with help from Rose and Bernie to prove Cheryl’s innocence.  

I found Murder Spills the Tea to be well-written with developed characters.  I like the cast of regulars (Lily, Rose, Bernie, Cheryl, Simon, and MaryBeth).  The television people are a mixed bag.  There are some nice people and some you would like to toss into next week (and hope they get lost on their way back).  I enjoyed the descriptions of the Cape Cod as well as Rose’s bed and breakfast, the tearoom, and the lovely gardens.  The whodunit had good suspects plus misdirection.  There are clues to help readers solve the crime before the reveal.  Avid mystery readers will have no problem solving the crime.  I love Éclair, Lily’s labradoodle but I do not feel he should be allowed in the bed and breakfast’s kitchen (health department would have a field day).  Of course, Rose’s snooty cat should not be allowed free reign either.  The descriptions of Lily’s enticing pastries (lemon tarts, scones, cookies) will have your mouth watering.  There are recipes at the end of the book.  I was delighted with my latest visit to Cape Cod, and I look forward to returning in the next A Tea by the Sea Mystery.  Murder Spills the Tea is charming Cape Cod cozy with tasty tea, a bothersome baking competition, a derisive rival, a foul flirt, a bashed baking judge, a disdainful detective, and a killer to catch.
Murder Spills the Tea is available from Amazon*.  The first two books in A Tea by the Sea Mysteries are Tea & Treachery and Murder in a Teacup (you can read both novels for free if you belong to Kindle Unlimited).  You can find Vicki Delany's other novels here.  Thank you for stopping by today and reading my review.  Tomorrow I am a stop on the Celebrate Lit Tour for Off the Chain by Janice Thompson.  It is the first book in the Gone to the Dogs series.  I am off to get items on my to do list done.  I have been putting off phone calls that I need to make because they always take longer than they should (a five minute calls ends up taking an hour).  I hope that you have jaunty day.  Take care, stay cool, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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