TEA & TREACHERY by Vicki Delany
SERIES: Tea by the Sea Mysteries #1
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
RELEASE DATE: July 28, 2020
In this charming new cozy mystery series from nationally bestselling author, Vicki Delany, a New York City expat-turned-Cape Cod tea shop owner must solve the murder of a local real estate developer to help her feisty grandmother out of a jam . . .
As the proud proprietor and head pastry chef of Tea by the Sea, a traditional English tearoom on the picturesque bluffs of Cape Cod, Lily Roberts has her hands full, often literally. But nothing keeps her busier than steering her sassy grandmother, Rose, away from trouble. Rose operates the grand old Victorian B & B adjacent to Lily’s tea shop . . . for now. An aggressive real estate developer, Jack Ford, is pushing hard to rezone nearby land, with an eye toward building a sprawling golf resort, which would drive Rose and Lily out of business.
Tempers are already steaming, but things really get sticky when Ford is found dead at the foot of Rose’s property and the police think she had something to do with his dramatic demise. Lily can’t let her grandmother get burned by a false murder charge. So she starts her own investigation and discovers Ford’s been brewing bad blood all over town, from his jilted lover to his trophy wife to his shady business partners. Now, it’s down to Lily to stir up some clues, sift through the suspects, and uncover the real killer before Rose is left holding the tea bag.
I love going to tearooms with my mom. We’ve had many delightful experiences at tearooms over the years, not the least of which can be summed in one word: scones. YUM. Because of all my wonderful memories surrounding this type of setting, I went into Tea & Treachery prepared to love it. It also helped that it’s penned by one of my fave cozy mystery authors, Vicki Delany (who also writes as Eva Gates).
And love it, I did.
Delany’s writing is the perfect blend of wit and mystery, and I’m always sure to laugh out loud at least once over the way she’s particularly phrased a scene to highlight its humor without dumbing it down. In Tea & Treachery, I found myself chuckling over Lily’s summing up of the chaos that ensued after a body was found on her grandmother’s property. It begins with “Whereupon the scene had descended into something out of a French farce,” continues with one intentionally (and humorously) long sentence of the kind of things one on top of the other that would make me break out into nervous laughter if I were an observer, ending with “And then the coroner arrived.” Because that’s exactly what a scene dissolving into a farce needs to make you feel better – the coroner. LOL.
I honestly loved everything about this story. I loved Lily as a protagonist. I loved her tearoom. I loved her employees. I loved Simon the gardener and his swooniness. I loved Rose (sassy grandmas are my jam) and Bernie, even though both had to grow on me a bit. I loved the Cape Cod setting & the supporting characters. Each word is smartly placed, and Delany does a great job of integrating the ‘hobby’ side without it feeling as though we’ve just stopped the story for a brief infomercial lol. The plot was nicely constructed and threw in some interesting twists that kept me on my toes, too.
Bottom Line: Tea & Treachery is a charming start to a new series, and I’m eager for future books to arrive ASAP! Engaging and relatable characters, yummy food, and a picturesque setting keep you turning the pages, trying to solve the mystery along with Lily and her crew of amateur sleuths. The story is both witty and warmhearted, and it’s sure to appeal to cozy mystery lovers all around. Perfect for fans of the author, but if you haven’t yet tried her books, this is also the perfect one to start with!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4.5 stars / Loved it!
Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than thirty-five books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing four cozy mystery series: the Tea by the Sea mysteries for Kensington, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series for Crooked Lane Books, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House, and the Lighthouse Library series (as Eva Gates) for Crooked Lane.
Vicki is a past president of the Crime Writers of Canada and co-founder and organizer of the Women Killing It Crime Writing Festival. She is the 2019 recipient of the Derrick Murdoch award for contributions to Canadian crime writing. Vicki lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario.
Other Books by Vicki Delany/Eva Gates
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What about you? What makes you want to read Tea & Treachery by Vicki Delany? Have you ever been to a tearoom?