Thursday, March 16, 2017


I'm thrilled to be a stop on the 
book tour for 
Laura Childs
and her new book
Book 18 in the Tea Shop Mysteries

In the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs, Theodosia Browning attends a “Rat Tea,” where the mice will murder.
When Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is invited by Doreen Briggs, one of Charleston’s most prominent hostesses, to a “Rat Tea,” she is understandably intrigued.  As servers dressed in rodent costumes and wearing white gloves offer elegant finger sandwiches and fine teas, Theo learns these parties date back to early twentieth-century Charleston, where the cream of society would sponsor so-called rat teas to promote city rodent control and better public health.
But this party goes from odd to chaotic when a fire starts at one of the tables and Doreen’s entrepreneur husband suddenly goes into convulsions and drops dead. Has his favorite orange pekoe tea been poisoned? Theo smells a rat.
The distraught Doreen soon engages Theo to pursue a discreet inquiry into who might have murdered her husband. As Theo and her tea sommelier review the guest list for suspects, they soon find themselves drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse... 


An Interview With Laura Childs
New York Times bestselling author of Pekoe Most Poison

LK: Thank you for being here today!

LC: Are you kidding? I wouldn’t miss this for the world!

LK: Please tell us a bit about your book/series.

LC: Right now I’m pretty thrilled with Pekoe Most Poison, the just-released (18th book!) in my New York Times bestselling Tea Shop Mysteries. In it I send my tea shop maven Theodosia to a “Rat Tea” at a fancy mansion in Charleston, SC. She’s not just knocked out by the waiters wearing white gloves and rat heads, she’s stunned when the genial host chokes to death on his tea. Then, when the victim’s wife begs Theodosia for help, she struggles to narrow down the suspects from a certifiably crazy cast of characters. I’m happy to say that the plot moves at a thriller pace making Pekoe Most Poison a suspenseful guilty pleasure.

LK: Do you have a favorite character in your book/series?

LC: I love all my characters, but my main character, Theodosia Browning, of my Tea Shop Mysteries, is near and dear to my heart. She was the first character I ever created and she kind of sprang to life, fully formed, in the first chapter of Death by Darjeeling, book #1 in the series.

LK: Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love, action, death, etc?

LC: I relish writing a good murder scene because I always put it right there in chapter one to shock readers and get the action rolling. The rest of my action scenes are easy to write, too, but those last chapters are killers! I mean, you have to gather up all the threads, pull them together into an exciting, meaningful, wrapped-up-nice-and-tight ending! Who can do that? I still struggle like crazy.

Photo by Karen M. Owen. Used with Karen's permission

LK: In your writing, have you ever used experiences based on someone you know, or events in your life?

LC: My main characters are all entrepreneurial women, so I suppose they’re somewhat influenced by my experiences in business. I met a lot of smart, hard-working women who weren’t afraid to take risks and ended up as business owners or powerful executives in large companies. That’s the exact same kind of drive and spirit I want my characters to have.

LK: When you’re in the process of writing a book, do you use a computer, typewriter, dictate, or use pen to paper?

LC: Sometimes I think I’d be better off using a Ouiga Board. But seriously, I always start with a hand-scrawled outline on a huge sheet of paper. I put down a beginning (a jump-off point to kick my mystery into high gear) and a possible ending. Then I sketch out a few key scenes and add characters and plot lines. When it feels like it’s starting to gel, I transfer everything to my computer and write straight through – from chapter one to the very end.

LK: What does your family think about your writing? How important is their support?

LC: My husband’s support has meant everything to me. When I first started writing, I sold my advertising agency without a second thought and jumped in feet first, not knowing if I’d be successful or not. My husband, who was due to retire from teaching, taught an extra four years to give me a fair shot at mystery writing. And that’s exactly what it took for my books to catch on, build a readership, and for me to start making money. How lucky am I?

LK: Do you have any advice for aspiring cozy writers?

LC: Well, it’s fairly tough to sell a cozy right now. I did it 15 years ago with 3 chapters and a 10-page outline. Now publishers want to see the entire manuscript, along with ideas for subsequent books and your marketing platform. So my advice would be to take writing classes, join a writing group, attend some of the conferences such as Malice Domestic, and don’t quite your day job. The other thing is, you’re going to need an agent if you want to publish with the big guys.

Photo by Karen M. Owen. Used with Karen's permission

LK: Where can readers go to learn more about you and your books?

LC: I keep my website current with information about all my series – the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbooking Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. For example, there’s a nice synopsis of my brand new hardcover, Pekoe Most Poison, as well as Devonshire Scream, which has just been released in paperback.

I love to comment back and forth with friends and readers on Facebook, so please feel free to link with me there.

About Laura

Laura Childs is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. Under her real name of Gerry Schmitt, she is the author of the Afton Tangler Thriller series including Little Girl Gone and Shadow Girl. In her previous life she was CEO of her own marketing firm, authored several screenplays, and produced a reality TV show. She is married to Dr. Bob, a professor of Chinese art history, enjoys travel, and her two Shar-Pei dogs.



Two (2) print copies of

(Open to USA only)

Winners will be chosen after March 19 
at the end of the tour
Enter using the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post.

This giveaway is through Great Escape Book Tours, not Lisa Ks Book Reviews.

A Recipe From Laura

Bonus Recipe from Pekoe Most Poison!

Raisin Scones   

3 ½ cups flour
½ tsp. salt
¾ cup butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup raisins (or craisins)
1 egg
3/4 cup cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In mixing bowl, add flour and salt, then cut in butter.  Stir in sugar and raisins.  Make a well in the center and add the egg and half of the cream.  Mix and add the rest of the cream as you go along.  If mixture is too dry, add a little more cream.  Roll dough out on floured board to about ½ inch thick.  Cut into wedges and placed on greased baking sheet.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown.  Yields 6 to 8 scones.



March 6 – Michelle's Romantic Tangle
March 6 – Sleuth Cafe
March 7 – MysteriesEtc
March 7 – A Blue Million Books
March 8 – Laura's Interests
March 8 – Readsalot 
March 8 – Celticlady's Reviews
March 9 – Maureen's Musings
March 10 – Texas Book-aholic
March 11 – Rainy Day Reviews
March 11 – The Power of Words
March 12 – Valerie's Musings
March 12 – Melina's Book Blog
March 13 – Queen of All She Reads
March 13 – Shelley's Book Case
March 14 – A Chick Who Reads
March 15 – StoreyBook Reviews
March 15 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf
March 15 – Island Confidential
March 16 – A Holland Reads
March 16 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews
March 17 – Bibliophile Reviews
March 17 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews
March 18 – The Editing Pen
March 18 – Community Bookstop
March 19 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!
March 19 – Books,Dreams,Life


Eighteen books in and the Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs are still strongly brewed and refreshing!

What can I say about PEKOE MOST POISON that hasn’t already been said about the other seventeen books in this series? I think all of the positive adjectives have been used, and rightly so. The one thing I can say . . . the very fact that this is book eighteen speaks to the brilliant writing talent of Laura Childs. Her middle name must be diversity, because she always manages to make each book in this series unique.  

One thing for sure that I can say about this book is, rats! Yes, like the rodent. Author Childs introduces us to the tradition of a Rat Tea. It’s a fascinating piece of history that I knew nothing of. (You’ll learn about it when you read this book!) It also happens to be where the victim in this book is murdered. Very original idea!

This excellent installment of the Tea Shop mysteries had a wonderfully complex plot. With more than a few suspects surfacing in the murder investigation, and business at Indigo Tea Shop being as brisk as ever, protagonist Theodosia “Theo” Browning, and her friend and tea sommelier Drayton really had their hands full trying to solve this murder, and keep things at the shop running smoothly. By the end of the book I was breathless from all the perfectly planned twists in the plot.

And as always, the fun isn’t over after the story is. The back of the book contains recipes, a list of tea resources, and a sneak peek of, SHADOW GIRL, from the suspense thriller Afton Tangler series by Laura, writing under her own name, Gerry Schmitt!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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let me know what you think!

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  1. Thanks, Lisa (and Laura). Happy Thursday, to you.

  2. I enjoy Laura Childs' books very much. I have this one on my TBR list.

  3. Lovely post. Very much appreciate the information. Do drink tea, but never really gave it much thought I'm going to have to change that would very much like to read this series Do hope this will be a start. Della at deepotter (at) peoplepc (dot) com

  4. Thank you for the great interview and review. I have seen this series popping up in Tea Time Magazine. I'll have to give it a go.

  5. I am so excited to be here today. Thanks, Lisa, for a fantastic interview. Love, Laura Childs

  6. Laura Childs, I can't wait to read your book. It sounds so fun. And Lisaksbookthoughts...what a great blog!

  7. The latest in my most favorite series ever!!

  8. This is a wonderful series! Love the Charleston setting and want to read more about the Rat Tea.

  9. I love this series. Can't wait to read "Pekoe Most Poison".

  10. I just love coming to this blog and read about the book. Thank you for offering 2 print books to us!