Forever tied to Charm Island, a native daughter returns to fulfill a dream.
Everly Swan left the quiet barrier island she called home to follow her cowboy on the rodeo circuit. After he’s injured, he refuses to support her enrollment in cooking school, so she drops out and returns alone to Charm, where she opens Sun, Sand, and Tea in a beachfront house she purchased because it was zoned for the shop that would pay her mortgage. Her major problem is Benedict Paine, a town councilman who’s opposed to any changes in Charm and who’s therefore harassed her from the get-go. When Everly finds him dead with a glass of her tea next to him, Detective Grady Hays, the new homicide investigator in town, suspects that she killed him. Paine was poisoned, and the rumor mill, abetted by a local blogger, paints Everly’s fledgling business as being in dire straits. Fortunately, the aunts who raised her stand behind her, together with some of her old friends, who pitch in to help her find the real killer—much to the dismay of Hays, a widower with a young child who’s attracted to Everly in spite of his professional objections to her interference. Paine was a troublemaker who certainly wasn’t universally beloved, and Everly finds an especially promising suspect in a bullying builder who wants to turn some of Charm’s lovely old homes into B&Bs, a plan Paine would have fought to the death. When someone smashes up Everly's shop just before a party she’s planned, the damage only makes her more determined to solve the crimes with a little help from her friends.
A charming cozy debut with characters as sweet as the titular tea, a mystery with numerous attractive byways, and a budding romance waiting to be explored.