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The Silver Needle Murder (Tea Shop, Bk 9)
The Silver Needle Murder - Tea Shop, Bk 9
Author: Laura Childs
When the Charleston Film Festival opens with a bang -- the real-life murder of a famous director -- Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is pulled into an investigation as perilous as any big-screen thriller.
PBS Market Price: $8.09 or $4.19+1 credit
ISBN-13: 9780425226766
ISBN-10: 042522676X
Publication Date: 3/3/2009
Pages: 304
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.

3.7 stars, based on 58 ratings
Publisher: Berkley
Book Type: Paperback
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Silver Needle Murder (Tea Shop, Bk 9) on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I will freely admit that I love her mystery books. The mysteries are nothing special. But that's not why you read the books. You read the books because you like the characters and you like whatever theme the book uses. In my case, I like her tea-based mysteries. No, the mysteries don't revolve around tea. Rather, the sleuth runs a tea shop. (Childs also does a series based around scrap-booking. No lie. There's also a new series built around a diner.)

In addition to the characters, Childs does a nice job on descriptions of the various places in which the story takes place. It makes for a pleasant read.

Where the book falters is on the quality of the mystery. I quite literally pegged the murderer at his/her very first appearance. In Childs' books, characters are placed into two categories:

1) Regular characters who putter around in their usual ways and are not suspects
2) Story-specific characters who are introduced solely to either be killed or be suspected of the murder

But there's a catch. What every mystery writer wants is for the murderer to be revealed at the end and have the reader be surprised, but not scammed. In other words, the writer doesn't want the reader to actually figure the mystery out, but wants it to be possible for them to do so.

To achieve this, Childs' murderer is the one character who is introduced but is never fleshed out. She wants the character to be there, but she takes pains to exclude them from becoming one of the suspects. And, once you realize that, the character sticks out like a sore thumb.

What she really needs to do is have a smooth continuum of characters. Instead, she has a bucket of suspects and a bucket of regulars and one sore thumb.

But, again, the mystery isn't really the draw here. And I absolutely adore the books.
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reviewed The Silver Needle Murder (Tea Shop, Bk 9) on + 12 more book reviews
As with other books in the tea shop mystery series, Childs intrigues the reader with local flavor and ingenious plotting. Highly recommended. Also includes teatime recipes. Yum!
reviewed The Silver Needle Murder (Tea Shop, Bk 9) on + 168 more book reviews
I solved this murder in chapter 3. This is pretty standard for this series. The murderer is always the one who is not on Theodosia's suspect list, and whom she never suspects. It's also the person about whom there is least written. I think the author needs to change this up a bit, as her books are very predictable based on this.

Nevertheless, I continue to read the series because I want to see what happens in the lives of the characters. Although, in this one, I thought Theodosia was rather indiscreet in terms of telling everyone other people's secret affairs. I certainly wouldn't want to confide in her based on that!

If you're looking for a good mystery, this isn't it. But, if you want to read about some interesting characters and treat this more as a soap opera series, then it makes for an OK read.
reviewed The Silver Needle Murder (Tea Shop, Bk 9) on + 33 more book reviews
Love all the tea shop books