Once again murder has come to the small town of Pine Hills and once again coffee shop/bookstore owner, Krissy Hancock is involved.
The yearly book club competition between Pine Hills and Cherry Valley is going to be held in Krissy’s store because the clubs are reading one of Krissy’s father’s murder mysteries. She isn’t thrilled with it but is kind of happy with all the customers the event will bring to her store.
One of the competition’s organizers, Rita, has a wild crush on Krissy’s dad and has put in a life size cardboard poster of the author in the coffee shop. Rita told Krissy that she usually keeps the poster in her bedroom and that sort of makes Krissy very uncomfortable. The last thing she wants is that poster in her store. So one night she sneaks out of her house, goes to the coffee shop and takes the poster. Krissy wasn’t stealing it exactly, she had every intention of giving it back to Rita but not until the book club competition ended.
The next morning the police come to Krissy’s house and arrest her for a murder. The dead man was found in Krissy’s shop. They knew she left her home late the previous night because her nosy neighbor with good binoculars saw her leave.
But Krissy is shocked. She didn’t kill anyone and when she was in the store that night she didn’t see a dead body. The police tell her that the murdered man was the newest member of Cherry Valley’s book club and he was killed with the silver teapot which is the prize the winning club gets to keep for the year.
Krissy is let out of jail but she knows she’s the prime suspect and the police will arrest her and throw away the key unless she finds out who murdered the club member. So she starts investigating to find out who the real culprit is.
“Death by Tea” by Alex Erickson is the second in the Bookstore Cafe Mystery Series and like the first in the series, “Death by Coffee,” this is very entertaining. Almost all of the characters in the first book appear again and that makes the book comfortable and familiar.
Krissy is still in love with the police chief’s hunky son, Paul, who is also a detective in Pine Hills. But Paul doesn’t seem to be as enamored with Krissy as he once was. Maybe it’s because she keeps interfering with the police department’s investigations or maybe he just lost interest in her. Krissy is going to find out about that.
This book is a fast paced cozy with fun characters and a good story line and there are few little twists in it too. Author Alex Erickson keeps the reader guessing what happened and who the murderer is until the very end.
Spend some time in Pine Hills and treat yourself to some cookies and coffee at Krissy’s store. Maybe even buy a book but whatever you do, don’t join the book club.