BLOOD ORANGE BREWING

Author(s): 
A wealthy donor is murdered at a fund-raiser for the restoration of a Charleston, S.C., mansion. Theodosia Browning and her crew from the Indigo Tea Shop are serving a lavish tea at the benefit concert, which many of the community's wealthiest and politically well-connected citizens are attending. And someone in this distinguished group is a murderer.

The victim's wife asks Theodosia if she can uncover some connections or gossip that the police missed. Theo agrees, and soon she's at odds with detective Burt Tidwell, who resents her interference in his investigation. But Theo persists despite his warning and the growing danger to her personal safety.

Eclectic characters and snappy dialogue make this cozy a fun read. Childs captures the charm and spirit of Southern life -- not to mention the taste of it with her collection of recipes. The old mansion, with its hidden passageways and collection of medical instruments from the 1800s, makes a fantastic setting. (Apr., 304 pp., $23.95)
Reviewed by: 
Roseann Marlett