Title: Murder in a Teacup (Tea by the Sea #2)
Author: Vicki Delany
Published on: 27 July 2021
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Murder in a Teacup is the second book in Vicki Delany’s Tea by the Sea Mystery series.
Lily Roberts has her work cut out when a visit from her grandmother Rose’s friend Sandra McHenry turns into an unexpected and unpleasant McHenry family reunion. Sandra’s granddaughter Heather is estranged from her parents and brother. Sandra is the only one who’s in contact with Heather. The whole McHenry family is meeting at Victoria-by-the-Sea B&B for a reunion.
When the family arrives, it is quite clear that they still have their differences with Heather. They want Heather to pay for everything – from hotel room bills to day trips to shopping! Heather agrees though. After all, her late husband Norman’s company was sold for 65 million dollars. Norman was twenty-years older than Heather and they were married for a short duration – Norman was killed in an accident soon after the takeover of his company. Heather received all the money – the whole lot of 65 mil!
The family is in for a surprise when they see Heather’s extended family arrive at the B&B – Ed French (Norman’s brother) and his wife Trish. Ed drinks a special variety of tea – which smells like grass – Bernie’s words, not mine!
During an afternoon tea party at Lily’s Tea by the Sea, there is an incident. Tyler, Sandra’s great-grandson, crashes Simon’s bike. Simon is furious that the teenager stole his bike. Tyler escapes unhurt and everybody returns to the tea room. That same evening, Ed starts feeling unwell. By night, his condition worsens and is taken to the hospital. The next morning, Lily learns from Rose that Ed French is dead. On autopsy, it is revealed that Ed was poisoned. Did one of the McHenrys poison Ed? It is up to Lily, Rose and friends to find the truth behind Ed’s murder and bring the killer to justice.
A tearoom setting, mouth-watering delicacies, quirky characters (Bernie and Rose), amateur sleuthing, incompetent detective (Williams) and interesting family dynamics, I had a blast reading Murder in a Teacup.
The story begins with Rose looking forward to meeting her dear friend Sandra. When Sandra’s family arrive at the B&B, it becomes quite clear to Lily and Bernie (Lily’s best friend) that Heather is being taken advantage of. Heather is estranged from her parents and brother and this was supposed to be a quiet reunion. But looks like the family is only interested in vacationing at Heather’s expense – she’s booked their flight tickets, hotel rooms, day-trips and is even taking them shopping!
The McHenry family include: Brian and Darlene (Sandra’s son and daughter-in-law), Lewis and Julie-Ann (Brian and Darlene’s son), Amanda and Tyler (Lewis and Julie-Ann’s teenaged children), and Heather (Brian and Darlene’s daughter).
At the beginning, when McHenry family were introduced, I had trouble remembering who’s who – there were too many names to remember. Apart from the interesting McHenry family dynamics, it seems like the McHenrys have an issue with the French. Trish and Julie-Ann do not see eye-to-eye – this becomes clear after Ed’s death – and Lily wonders if there have a history.
Suspects are plenty and so are the red herrings. Detective Williams makes rash decisions about the case while his partner Amanda wants to investigate further. Lily finds a friend in Amanda – well, it’s more of a detective-civilian relation. Lily, Rose and Bernie have been doing a bit of amateur sleuthing by the side and Lily shares their discoveries with Amanda.
I was hooked on to the story and could not put it down until the end. I loved the character portrayal and development. Excellent storytelling. We also have a couple of twists in the second half of the book – this increased the engrossing factor by a notch. A dash of quirky humor was a cherry on top.
Don’t get me started on all the mouth-watering baked goodies. Darjeeling-infused chicken sandwiches, varieties of tea and scones, pistachio macaroons, mini coconut cupcakes, strawberry tarts and shortbread. YUM!
The identity of the killer was a real shocker. Gosh! Never did I think that they could be um… a wolf in sheep’s clothing! The denouement was excellent – no action-sequences here but the killer had no idea what was in store for them. Hah!
Murder in a Teacup by Vicki Delany is an engrossing, entertaining and completely enjoyable cozy mystery. If you love tea (I know I do!), baked goodies (YASSS!) and cozy mysteries (YESSSS!), you might want to give this book a try.
So much food–looks like I’ll enjoy this
Oh yes. I was drooling. Haha. I want to try the orange scones – supposed to be served with orange marmalade. Yum!