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Steeped in Murder*

Tea and Tarot… What’s Not to Like?

“In my defense, the day did not ‘seem’ that murdery.” And so begins this absolutely delightful culinary cozy mystery. I will admit that I was drawn by the series name, as I am a fan of both tea and tarot. I actually lived on the northern California coast for some years, and I think that Abigail’s tearoom would have been perfect where I lived. Why didn’t we have one? As a tea person, I loved all the descriptions of the teas, and I could imagine being in a little tearoom on the California coast, eating some delightful scones and drinking some of the wonderful blends that were mentioned. I will admit that I am drawn to fictional books that include tarot as a part of the story, and it was perfectly integrated here. This book is a little zany, which–of course–is a delight in a cozy mystery. The small town where this takes place, I believe in southern California by the description, is full of a cast of quirky characters that I’m sure we’ll get to know and enjoy more in future books of the series. Just the names of the two main characters who were swindled by the same man tell you this book is as light as a murder mystery can be: Abigail Beanblossom (tearoom) and Hyperion Night (tarot reader). The book was long, but the author was able to maintain suspense and keep a good focus on the evolving mystery plot. The length of the novel allowed for the little tangents and red herrings that must occur in a satisfying mystery. In all, this is a perfect cozy mystery beach read, if you like bringing murder mysteries with you on vacation!