Callie Aspen and her Boston terrier Daisy are back again with a whole lot of adventures in the second instalment of A Tea and a Read Mystery.
Callie has finally decided to do the Big Move. From working as a tour guide to settling down in Heart’s Harbor, Callie is going to start all over again. Great-aunt Iphy is happier than ever. She even finds a nice little cottage by the lighthouse and sea for Callie. Known as Sea Anemone, the cottage is in some dire need of repairs. Enter Quinn, a handsome guy who decides to help Callie in repairing her cottage, that too for a dirt cheap price!
Callie and Deputy Inspector Falk had quite a bonding last time. But like most things, their bonding seems temporary. Or, does it? Iphy asks Quinn to help her and Callie with the fourth of July celebrations.
Callie and Quinn go to the library to refer old newspapers in the hopes of finding something interesting for the fourth of July celebrations. Quinn comes across an interesting piece of news dated back to 1989. TV personality Monica Walker had vanished from Heart’s Harbor. She was supposedly in Heart’s Harbor to meet her lover and then she went missing. Did someone kill her? Or, was Monica so tired of the paparazzi and cameras that she decided to vanish and pop-up elsewhere with a different name?
Falk does not trust Quinn. Joe Jamison, the newspaper reporter who was assigned the Monica Walker case doubts Quinn too. Now Callie isn’t quite sure if Quinn is who he seems to be.
After solving a murder case in In Peppermint Peril, Callie is back again! This time, she decides to solve a missing person’s case. Missing or did someone kill Monica Walkers?
Callie is her usual self. By usual self I mean, indecisive (at the beginning of the story). Initially, she doesn’t like Quinn for some mysterious reason, then she likes him and when she learns that Falk has Quinn on a watch, she doesn’t trust him again.
Iphy’s baked delicacies are no doubt the best in town. From marzipan to pancakes and blueberry jams, the book is full of yummy stuff that makes you drool.
Then there’s Dave and Elvira Riggs, the couple who live in the lighthouse and run treasure hunt for families. Quinn did not stumble upon Monica Walker’s case by chance. He had some agenda in mind and he wanted Callie to help him out. This was pretty obvious but Callie somehow failed to recognize this. Even Dave and Elvira had something fishy going on, Callie. How did you not notice that either?
The characters are pretty likeable. Callie is someone whom you would love and hate at the same time. When I first read In Peppermint Peril, I was thinking as to why is the main character portrayed differently? But after reading the second book, I am convinced that the author has portrayed Callie as so for a reason. Callie has her tiny issues. After having quit her tour guide job to help Iphy run the cafe, she isn’t quite sure if this is the right thing to do. Her relationship with Falk is complicated. And to add to her woes, she comes across people who lie to her or take advantage of her friendliness. This is pretty okay given that Callie learns her lesson and improves later on in the story.
In this story, there’s not just one but two dogs. Daisy is at her all-time cute and best, and there’s another cutie pie – Biscuit. Isn’t the name just cute? Hey Biscuit, here boy. *Whistles*
The identity of the perp was unexpected. I like stories in which the suspects’ list is long and you are almost certain that XYZ is the murderer and them… Bam! The author proves you wrong! Vivian Conroy is a master storyteller. After having read Cornish Castle mysteries, I must say that I am a fan of her writing. I haven’t come across authors who change their writing styles according to the series that they write. At least not until I came across Conroy’s works. If Cornish Castle series were written in a different style, then so was A Tea and a Read series. Both are equally appreciable.
The only issue I had with the story was me finding out Quinn’s and the Riggs’ connection to the missing celebrity before Callie. I might found out a juicy piece before Callie but it was Callie who identified the killer before me.
I liked the second instalment of A Tea and a Read Mystery better than the first one. These books can be read as a standalone and there are no cliffhangers. But I would recommend you to read it in order so that you know what to expect from each character.
Character Development: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Title: Sweet Tea and Secrets ( A Tea and a Read Mystery #2)
Author: Joy Avon (Vivian Conroy)
Publication Date: 11 June 2019
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Featured Image Credits: NetGalley
Thank you, NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the ARC. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.
By the way, look at the cover! Cute, isn’t it? 🙂