Broken Bone China

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

Laura Childs continues to create cozy mysteries that are fun and move at a good pace for readers. This one does not disappoint with characters that are likable and enjoyable. Great weekend read when you just want to stay in and avoid the hot weather.
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Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC of this book. 
Pretty entertaining for a cozy. Not my favorite genre but a nice place to take a break from heavier reading.
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Grab your blanket, a hot cup of tea and cozy up with your blanket!  We're off for another adventure with Theodosia Browning!  Right away the action started as Theodosia and Drayton are taking in the sights from the spectacular view of a hot-air balloon.  Don't get too comfortable, because very quickly the peaceful morning is shattered, literally, by a killer drone!  

One of my favorite parts is a throwback to Nancy Drew, my all time fav mystery gal.  Yes, it's just a themed tea party, but it does give you great ideas!  Back to the story, all of the favorites or not so favorites are along for the ride.  The not so lovable Detective Tidwell is here, and while we don't see much at all of Theo's love, he is mentioned a little.  

Can you figure out the killer before the end?  If you want a clean mystery, with no gory details, then this is the perfect cup of tea for you!
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Great, enjoyable mystery by Laura Childs!

The action begins from the first page of the book. Theodosia and Drayton are taking a ride in a hot-air balloon while catering the formal tea for the event. Theodosia is enjoying it a lot more than Drayton, but the fun soon turns deadly when a drone narrowly misses them, hitting a balloon right next to them. This begins a murder mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end.

As usual, Theodosia begins her own little investigation into the murder of Don Kingsley, a CEO of a software company. The list of suspects is long, so her investigation won’t be easy. Childs gives her readers a tale full of secrets and intrigue. I really enjoyed the way she developed the story and her characters. She also writes in such a way that you are there in the story with the characters. That is evident in the very first pages of the book when the other balloon crashes to the ground. I could feel the same shock and horror as Theodosia and Drayton did. She has a way of completely hooking her readers.

I have to say that I love the setting, Charleston, SC, but it’s my hometown! Childs does a phenomenal job of showing others what a beautiful, special town Charleston is!!!! I highly recommend reading if you love a great mystery with great characters and a wonderful, beautiful setting.
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Oh My Word! what a page turner, this is one I couldn't put down once I started it, maximum stars and then some!

Drayton and Theodosia from the Indigo Tea Shop are in a hot air balloon, at a hot air balloon rally (oh and Drayton really, REALLY wishes he had stayed with his feet on the ground serving tea) when they are buzzed by a drone, as are other balloons, everyone seems to thing it is just someone being stupid until the drone hurtles towards one particular balloon and rips a hole in it, leading to a fireball crash. Drayton and Theodosia are the ones who saw what happened, but everything is complicated when one of the deceased balloonist's assistant turns up stating that a major theft has happened!

Now as well as putting on some themed teas, judging a competition, going on live TV and helping Drayton with a photo shoot in his house, Theodosia needs to figure out who killed three people, is the theft linked or not, oh and keep one of her good friend's fiance out of jail.   Err no pressure then?
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After watching a hot air balloon plummet to the ground and kill its occupants, Theodesia must once again find a killer. One of the passengers was selling a priceless flag that several people wanted to get their hands on, so it seems that he may have been the intended victim of the crime.

The dramatic murder will certainly grab your attention and the mystery will hold onto it through the rest of the story. I love Theodesia and the rest of the characters in this series, and always enjoy visiting them and the tea shop. This series manages to stay fresh even after so many books, and I am already looking forward to the next one.  The tea info and recipes are a wonderful bonus.

Broken bone China is book #20 in the Tea Shop Mystery series, but the mystery can stand alone and you can read this book without having read the others.

Please read on for a guest post from author Laura Childs!
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This is one of my favorite cozy series.  This is book 20 in A Tea Shop Mystery series set in Charleston.  Theodosia and Drayton are offered a hot air balloon ride at the end of their catering job for a local fund raiser.  When a drone attacks the balloon next to them it plunges to the earth and kills the 3 people on board.  Now Theo and Drayton are the start witnesses and prime candidates to be next on the murderer's list.  A historic flag is missing and the local antiques dealers are all high on the list of suspects.  Great mystery and wonderful characters.  I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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Nothing is more normal for Theodosia Browning, “the proprietor of the Indigo Tea Shop on Church Street,” than to “host weekend tea parties” at various locations in Charleston, South Carolina. Often, she is accompanied by Drayton Conneley, her in-house tea sommelier. What could be more pleasantly genteel and refined than an outdoor tea at Hampton Park? Going up, up and away in a beautiful balloon perhaps? Drayton is not a fan, as he tells Theodosia when she proclaims it is the “coolest thing” ever.

“No, it’s terrifying,” Drayton Conneley responded. He’d wedged himself into the corner of their wicker basket, teeth gritted, knuckles white, as he hung on for dear life. “When you talked me into serving afternoon tea for the Top Flight Balloon Club, I had no idea you’d twist my arm and make me go for an actual ride.”

“It’s good to live a little dangerously,” Theodosia said.

Living dangerously takes a fatal turn when Drayton and Theodosia spot a “whirligig thing” swooping and hovering beside each balloon, almost as if it were peering inside each basket. It’s a little drone with a camera; its circling maneuvers give Drayton the “heebie-jeebies.”  Suddenly, it picks up speed and flies right into a red-and-white balloon.

Theodosia threw up her arm to shield her eyes and then watched in horror as the red-and-white balloon was ripped wide open, top to bottom, like a hapless fish being gutted.

Tongues of ugly red and purple flames roiled and twisted, practically drowning out the screams of the hapless passengers. Then the gigantic balloon exploded in a hellish conflagration, sizzling and popping and wobbling for a few long seconds.

On a final, gruesome note, “The balloon and its seared basket smashed down on top of Theodosia’s tea table.” Theodosia and Drayton’s pilot slams their basket into the ground, getting them to terra firma and safety with dizzying speed. A hard rain pours down while “anger and outrage bubbled inside Theodosia.”

Broken Bone China is Laura Child’s 20th “Tea Shop Mystery,” and readers know that Theodosia is a dab hand at solving mysteries at the same time she runs her delightful tea emporium. The local constabulary knows that too, and they’re hardly surprised that she witnessed the drone attack. Theodosia might be willing to sit out investigating this high-tech, deliberate drone killing, but when the police share behind-the-scene details, she’s intrigued.

During the interview she learns that one of the downed occupants was Don Kingsley, the CEO of a local software company, SyncSoft. Not only do the police suspect Kingsley as the primary target, they learn that he possessed a rare Revolutionary War Union Jack flag that several people were rabidly bidding on.

The juxtaposition of an airborne assassination and an antique flag worth many millions of dollars is one of the pleasures of Broken Bone China. Tourists with a yen for history and antiques have made a beeline for Charleston for decades, with King Street in the heart of the historic district being a top destination. Charleston is practically a character in Broken Bone China.

Any walk in Charleston is a scenic, practically cinematic walk. There are block after block of elegant mansions, walled gardens, historical markers, old churches, fountains surrounded by riots of greenery, and narrow cobblestone alleys.

No wonder Theodosia says to Drayton while they’re on their way to interview a potential person of interest that wandering through the back streets is like being on “a treasure hunt.” While Theodosia learns more about the circle of rabid bidders for the suddenly missing flag, life goes on at her “sparkling jewel box of a tea room.”

Several years ago, Theodosia left the corporate world of marketing, determined to open a specialty establishment—more than a place for a cup of tea and a scone, rather, a jewel of destination featuring “elegant cream teas, luncheon teas, and high teas.” There’s no trace of the “former stable and blacksmith shop” it once was. Theodosia is blessed in her staff, which she acknowledges to herself daily.

Drayton as tea master had also been a rare find and a true complement to her shop. Haley, her chef and baker, had been a lucky strike. Now, after almost a half dozen years together, they operated as a well-oiled machine.

Dead entrepreneurs, greedy ex-wives, and sharp-throated antique dealers notwithstanding, the show must go on. Theodosia knows her customers will be anxious to discuss yesterday’s hot-air-balloon disaster, so she considers her table setting options.

Theodosia pulled out a set of Spode china in the Golden Valley pattern, and decided the gold trim and purple-and-green peaches and pears would be the perfect antidote to such a rainy, gloomy day.

Drayton and Haley have tag-teamed with Theodosia in solving many mysteries over the years as well. The trio is adept at making connections between new and old money, noting who is renovating and at what cost—generally sussing out the delicious details that inform investigations. Other than the mystery surrounding Don Kingsley’s murder, the constants of the story are tea, china, food, antiques, parties, and of course, Charleston!

Laura Childs is such a generous writer: in an elaborate index, she gives recipes and recommendations on how to become a tea connoisseur, including how to throw one’s own Beaux Art Tea or a Nancy Drew Mystery Tea. Pour a carefully-steeped cup of your favorite tea and settle back to enjoy Broken Bone China.
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Fans of Laura Childs will not be disappointed with her new title!  Starting out uniquely in a hot air balloon that gets attacked by a drone, this book sets you on a fast-paced adventure to find the murderer of the CEO of a local software company.  Theodosia and her friends must also tackle a hurricane that threatens the city.
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Theodosia and Drayton are excited to be on a hot-air balloon adventure. The adventure turns to horror when a nearby hot-air balloon is targeted by a drone and crashes. All three passengers are killed instantly. One passenger happens to be the CEO of SyncSoft. They wonder if this was an accident or was this a murder with the main target being Don Kingsley, CEO. 

After being so close to the crash, Theodosia can’t get it out of her mind. Against the orders of the local detective, Theodosia dives right in and starts investigating on her own. With the help of her trusty friend and employee, Drayton, of course.

I can’t say enough good things about Laura Childs’ writing. I’m a huge fan of all her series even though I’m also a bit behind on them, but it doesn’t matter. I’ve enjoyed them all, even when I jump into the middle of one of her series. She gives you enough info so you aren’t lost or left wondering.

The series oozes with charm with its quaint tea shop setting. The myriad of quirky characters make you smile or grit your teeth depending on their antics.

I couldn’t put this one down until I knew who the killer was. Laura Childs is an expert at keeping readers guessing and this one is no exception. The ending is exciting. I didn’t want the story to end. I can’t wait to see what Theodosia is up to next.
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Beginning with an adventure turned deadly, this book is a page turner. Full of delicious secrets and many events and characters you'll enjoy spending time with, a Laura Childs' book can be read as a stand alone mystery even as I know you will enjoy each series.
Theodosia Browning has a reputation around town as an amateur sleuth. She is seeing a local detective but this time he is out of town as she follows clues and builds a case against several worthy suspects. As much as I enjoyed the mysteries, (plural,) I was intrigued by the tea shop happenings.
I love Laura Childs' attention to detail and everything I learn as I get lost in her small town worlds.
While I am not a tea drinker, I want to be included in Theodosia and friends's parties.

This book seemed very timely with weather aspects and technology.
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At this point in the series, readers will be comforted by the familiar settings, characters, and plot style - and that will certainly appeal to fans of Childs and the cozy mystery genre.  It contains a fresh, well-thought plot and well-developed characters, which is a feat in itself for such a long-standing series. I would definitely recommend!
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Tea at a Hot Air Balloon Rally Spiced with Murder

Theodosia and Drayton are catering a tea at a hot air balloon rally. Theodosia leaps at the chance for a balloon ride. Dayton is not so enthusiastic. When they’re aloft, they near another balloon just as a strange object plows into it exploding the balloon and killing the passengers. 

Theodosia is interviewed by Detective Tidwell, who hopes she’ll refrain from using her detective skills in this case. She has good intentions, but when one of the main suspects turns out to be the fiancée of one of Theodosia’s best friends, she can’t help trying to discover who committed the murder. 

There’s no dearth of suspects in this latest tea shop mystery. Somehow Theodosia meets them all either through happenstance, or design. There’s the widow of the murdered software CEO who is building a mansion which is supposed to be a bed and breakfast, and there’s also the CEO’s assistant and a missing Revolutionary war flag. 

As usual, the characters are delightful. I was a little disappointed that Detective Riley, Theodosia’s current boyfriend, was away at a conference. Hopefully, he’ll be back in the next book.  I particularly enjoyed the history woven into the story. It makes Charleston come alive.

The descriptions of the teas were wonderful as usual. I’m glad the recipes are included at the end of the book. The food is so mouthwatering, you can’t help wanting to try it. If you enjoy cozy mysteries, this is a good one. 

I received this book from Net Galley for this review.
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Theodosia and Drayton are at it again! I never know where I will find these two. What started out as a pleasant hot air balloon ride ends tragically as the balloon next to them is hit by a rogue drone.  Broken Bone China by Laura Childs is book twenty in the Tea Shop Mystery Series and it is a good one.  There are a lot of things going on this story and it seems like one thing just keeps going on after another to where there are more than one suspects being juggled in the air.  It is a complex plot that took some twists and turns with some bad weather in the mix.


Drayton never fails to disappoint with all his wit and wisdom.  He is a font of historical knowledge and there is good information for people who enjoy American history as I do.  Laura Childs' research is impeccable from her knowledge of tea, to southern culture, fabulous recipes, history, and of course, the sleuthing.  I always look forward to her next book because they are so enjoyable, especially with a cup of tea.
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In this book Theo and Drayton are having a hot air balloon ride and find themselves watching a drone fly around the hot air balloons.  When the drone flies into one of the balloons and the balloon crashes to the ground killing Don Kingsley the CEO of SyncSoft.  Of course everyone in town is curious about who had the drone and why kill Don Kingsley.

As Theo and Drayton investigate the situation they find themselves with more questions than answers especially when a rare flag disappears and many people seem to have interest in it.  Could it have been his his soon to be ex-wife who is determined to open a B & B.  Or could it be local antique collectors in the area?  Or could it be a Theo's friend's sweetheart who blew the whistle on SyncSoft?  

This was a great adventure to go on even with  all the rain this book was definitely intriguing to say the least.  We get to see many different people and what had to gain by the death of the CEO along with the rare flag.  

I also enjoyed learning and reading about Drayton's house and seeing how he handled being photographed for a magazine spread.  Can't wait to see what is next.  And I loved the hero of the book Early Grey to the rescue he was wonderful helping out where he can!
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Broken Bone China by Laura Childs is the twentieth A Tea Shop Mystery.  Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop, is catering afternoon tea for the Top Flight Balloon Club with her tea master, Drayton Conneley at Hampton Park.  They are enjoying a balloon ride after the tea when a drone flies up checking out the passengers in each hot air balloon.  Suddenly the drone crashes into the red and white balloon next to them causing it to explode in flames and plunge to the ground.  Detective Burt Tidwell soon arrives on the scene, and Theo learns one of the victims is Don Kingsley, CEO of SyncSoft who they believe was the prime target.  It seems that a large sum of money is missing from SyncSoft and Don was selling a rare Revolutionary War flag that has garnered quite a bit of interest.  Theo did not plan on diving into the crime until Angie Congdon, owner of Featherbed House Bed & Breakfast, approaches her.  Angie’s fiancé, Harold Affolter is a prime suspect and Angie wants Theo to use her skills to clear his name.  There is no shortage of suspects that include the widow, victim’s personal assistant, a woman intent on purchasing the flag, and disreputable antiques dealer.  Then the rare flag disappears from Kingsley’s home, and Detective Tidwell is attacked.  Can Theo unravel the clues before the killer strikes again?  In between sleuthing, Theo is busy at the tea shop, judging the Floral Tea Cups competition, hosting a Nancy Drew tea, helping Drayton with a photoshoot of his home for Southern Interiors Magazine, and preparing for the Beaux Arts Tea where a secret sipper will be in attendance.  Join Theo, Drayton, Hayley and Earl Gray in Charleston for another high flying adventure in Broken Bone China.

Broken Bone China may be the twentieth A Tea Shop Mystery, but you can read alone.  I highly recommend reading this entire delightful cozy mystery series.  I am happy that I discovered Laura Childs’ A Tea Shop Mystery (and the cozy mystery genre) while perusing a bookstore eighteen years ago.  I thought Broken Bone China was well-written and proceeds at a steady pace.  The book contains developed characters like Theo, Drayton, Haley and Detective Tidwell.  I just love Theo’s adorable dog, Earl Grey.  Haley, Drayton and Theo have become close friends and have a good working relationship.  I enjoy the interactions between the three of them.  I appreciate Laura Childs wonderful descriptions of the Indigo Tea Shop, Charleston, the beautiful antiques, books, Haley’s tasty dishes and the entrancing teas (I can just imagine how they would smell).  The authors descriptive prose transports me into the world of A Tea Shop Mystery series.   I wanted to attend the charming Nancy Drew tea that the shop hosted with the creative decorations and I liked the reference to Trixie Belden (I am a Cherry Ames girl myself).  The mystery was multifaceted with a murder and a missing flag.  I loved the ingenious method of killing employed by the author.  There are good clues to assist readers in solving the mystery with misdirection to throw you off track.  There is one little loose end at the end of the book regarding the secret sipper from Tea Faire magazine (I am hoping the author will address it in the next book with a positive review for the tea shop).  There are recipes from the tea shop at the end along with tea time tips.  A preview of Mumbo Gumbo Murder is included (the next A Scrapbooking Mystery). Ms. Childs has created another winner with Broken Bone China.  The only sad part is that I now must wait a year to revisit Theo and the Indigo Tea Shop.  If you are looking for an uplifting cozy mystery, look no further than Broken Bone China.
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This is the twentieth Laura Child Tea mystery and it starts off with a bang- literally...Theodore Browning and Drayton, her tea connoisseur, are up in a hot air balloon and witness the attack and explosion of another hot air balloon near them.When one of the victims has a Navy Jack flag, from the Revolutionary War Days disappear- then millions are at stake and a determined killer is on the loose. Theodosia and Drayton, witnessed the attack together- but she is the one hot in pursuit building up clues. Drayton, is a reluctant partner in all this, but it makes for a warm friendship between the two of them.

Laura Childs, provides a charming, cozy, atmosphere with this one and between clues we are fed with Hayley's wonderful food and Drayton's choices of Tea. I love the thought of all those colorful, rich, teas served in Spode teacups. The names Chinese Gunpowder Green, Chai Masala or Tippi Yunnan China black Tea, sound exotic and elegant. Customers are left to gaze out the window of  the Tea Shop, located in the historic district, with all its atmosphere. Charleston is very charming and the location makes the series even better.

Broken Bone China, provides us with a wonderful array of characters-any of whom could be wearing a false face. If you read cozy mysteries for the clues, food and the details- then you will love this one. Five stars for a bang-up story.
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And that makes twenty! Another winner in this long-running series, which are increasingly so hard to find in the cozy world. Theodosia and Drayton are enjoying a tea together in a hot air balloon when they witnesses a drone attack another and cause it to crash, killing the people on board. The mystery also includes an artifact from the Revolutionary War. Suspects include his estranged widow, a disgruntled employee, a shady antique dealer, and a few others in the mix. 
I also enjoyed the tea parties, especially the Nancy Drew one. It brought back such fond memories of my childhood and some first edition books my grandmother bought for me as gifts as an adult. Always like to learn about teas that Drayton brews and Hayley's delicious lunches. Theodosia's police officer boyfriend is absent for most of the book. I'd like to see their romance go further than her prior relationships after such a long series.
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You can count on having a good time with Theodosia and Drayton - unless you're in the hot-air balloon targeted by a murderer! This time around, the tea parties and lore are used in the service of solving the murder of a software guru whose Revolutionary war flag has gone missing... Don't worry if you haven't read other books in the series. Laura Childs gives you enough background to enjoy this book, and more-than-enough appetite to read what you've missed.
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Theodosia and Drayton witness a drone intentionally taking out a nearby hot air balloon as they soar above Charleston. The three person aboard were killed in the explosion. Then an employee of one of murdered men reports the theft of a valuable historic flag. Theodosia's detective boyfriend is attending a conference out of town  most of the book. Tidwell is the main investigator. Needless to say, Theodosia does a little detecting. Readers always wish they could visit the tea shop on their trips to Charleston. I wanted to attend all the themed teas she did in this installment, especially the Nancy Drew one! It's a satisfying installment in a long-running series. I received an advance electronic copy from the publisher through NetGalley with the expecation of an honest review. (3.5 stars)
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