A charity fundraiser in elegant Charleston is an unlikely scene for a grisly murder.
Theodosia Browning, proprietor of the Indigo Tea Shop (Chamomile Mourning, 2005, etc.), is providing a lavish tea at a candlelight concert to raise money to restore Chait House, a recent gift to the Heritage Society. When the parlor doors are opened, the guests are horrified to behold Duke Wilkes, wealthy patron of numerous charities, dying from a stab wound. A noted sleuth, Theodosia can’t refuse when Duke’s wife, Pookie, asks her to investigate, even though her nemesis, Detective Burt Tidwell, warns her against interfering. Assuming that the murderer must have been at the fundraiser, she starts looking for suspects among the diverse group. The killer could be the Congressman whose shady campaign finances had been exposed by Duke, the pushy photographer who also publishes a local gossip rag, the entrepreneur whose startup TV station for women had been refused financing by Duke’s venture-capital company or the local condo king who wanted to buy Chait House. When the TV promoter is murdered and Theodosia’s dog Earl Grey kidnapped, the case develops chilling new aspects, but all is revealed with the help of Theodosia’s talented circle.
A paean to Charleston, the genteel enjoyment of tea and the tasty treats that accompany it, complete with recipes.