South Carolina’s favorite outlaw, Blackbeard, returns from the grave to claim still another victim.
Theodosia Browning (The Teaberry Strangler, 2010, etc.) owns the Indigo Tea Shop, where master tea blender Drayton Conneley and chef Haley Parker reign supreme. While attending an opening of the Pirates and Plunder show at Charleston’s Heritage Society, Theodosia is drawn into yet another murder case. An unusual piece encased in silver wire and sporting a large diamond, purported to be the skull of Blackbeard, is stolen by a thief who kills a young graduate student. Theodosia’s old friend Timothy Neville, worried about the effect of the murder and theft on the Society, begs her to look into it. Theodosia already has her hands full, for the Charleston Food and Wine Festival is fast approaching, and she plans to host a cheese-and-tea tasting at her shop. At length, however, her curiosity gets the better of her. As she and Drayton look into the background of the skull, they discover it may be part of a series of objects that could reveal the whereabouts of Blackbeard’s fabled treasure. History professors, antique dealers and a friend who may have seen the murderer all add bits of information to help with Theodosia’s quest. Setting a trap for the killer may prove to be one of her biggest mistakes.
A weak mystery worth reading for the extensive tea lore, the loving portrayal of Charleston and the appended recipes.