The English Breakfast Murder (Tea Shop Series #4)

The English Breakfast Murder (Tea Shop Series #4)

by Laura Childs

Paperback(Large Print)

View All Available Formats & Editions


It is a truly exhilarating experience for Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning-helping Charleston's Sea Turtle Protection League shepherd hundreds of tiny green loggerheads safely into the sea. But just as she's about to celebrate all her hard work, she spots a dead body bobbing in the waves. Now it's up to Theo to get to the bottom of the murder before the culprit's greed stirs him to kill again.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781587245480
Publisher: Cengage Gale
Publication date: 12/24/2003
Series: Tea Shop Series , #4
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 354
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.24(h) x 0.91(d)

About the Author

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Cackleberry Club, Tea Shop, and Scrapbooking mysteries. In her past life she was a Clio Award–winning advertising writer and CEO of her own marketing firm. She lives in Plymouth, Minnesota.

Table of Contents


An Interview with Laura Childs
Trouble is brewing along with the tea in Laura Childs's fourth Tea Shop Mystery, The English Breakfast Murder, and Ransom Notes asked the author of this charmingly cozy southern mystery series to chat about her taste for tea -- and her appetite for intrigue.

Laura Childs: I've always loved mysteries and thrillers. I was the kid who adored old Charlie Chan movies, snuck into the cemetery at night, and hunkered down with a flashlight under the quilt to read Nancy Drew. Now, as a writer, I get to answer pesky questions like: What's really in that locked trunk? Did that fellow fall overboard or was he pushed?

Ransom Notes: What made you choose Charleston as the setting for these books?

LC: Charleston is home to the last tea plantation in the U.S. The tea grown there is a rich black tea that's served at official White House functions. Also, Charleston is an old city. Highly atmospheric, it abounds with magnificent architecture, proud southern families with skeletons in the closet, priceless art and antiques, and lots of quirky characters.

RN: Is there a "motive" behind including recipes in your books?

LC: Recipes just seemed to be in keeping with my main character, Theodosia Browning. She's an amateur sleuth, but she's also a warm, caring southern hostess -- the sort of woman who'd share her recipes with you. Plus, readers tell me there's something very satisfying about reading the story, then baking the scones or muffins. There's a kind of "interactivity" at work.

RN: How does Theodosia feel about tea, and the events she has at her Indigo Tea Shop?

LC: Theodosia is passionate about tea -- she sees the simple act of sipping tea as an important respite in a crazy world (remember, she used to be in advertising!) But she's a realist, too, which is why she offers special events like a mystery tea, chocolate tea, lavender tea, or garden tea. She know she's got to promote, to give customers a reason for coming back. (Can you guess? I was in advertising, too!)

RN: Tell us about the two animal-related elements you included -- the environmental issue of protecting endangered turtle hatchlings, and the important role played by service dogs.

LC: Charleston is an Atlantic port city that's set between two major rivers. The surrounding low country is honeycombed with rivers, streams, and marshes. There is a deep and abiding love for things oceanic here -- and a keen realization that these resources must be protected. The service dog issue is something I put in to keep my main character grounded. By training a therapy dog and taking him to visit seniors, Theodosia's doing something that's very real and caring -- she's not just flitting about, serving tea and solving mysteries.

RN: What inspired you to use collecting historical memorabilia, and undersea treasure hunting in The English Breakfast Murder?

LC: Charleston's harbor, and the waters around it, are littered with historic shipwrecks from the Revolutionary War and Civil War. Pirates also plied these waters, and treasure hunters are forever turning up doubloons!

RN: Please tell us what you're working on now.

LC: The fifth Tea Shop Mystery, Jasmine Moon Murder, and the second Scrapbook Mystery, Photo Finished both scheduled for 2004. Meanwhile, I love to hear from readers and make it a point to answer every email. I can be reached via my web site at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

English Breakfast Murder 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
mystryluvr More than 1 year ago
Theodosia is a fresh heroine/sleuth. I love the characters who work in the tea shop, an unlikely group of people who work together well. This book takes you away from the tea shop setting and winds around so many twists and turns till the conclusion. Great Recipies at the end too!!!! I have tried the gingered scones and substituted dried mango for the pears, it worked well and was a hit with my family. Also the dipping sauce makes a great marinate for chicken!
bookloverRP More than 1 year ago
only one book in the series to go, have enjoyed them all. hope she writes more of them. want to see where characters are the setting and recipes.
Pattie_pj More than 1 year ago
The series is fun, the characters are believable, the recipes look scrumptous and I love the Charleston setting
Guest More than 1 year ago
A fast paced mystery with a well written storyline. I highly recommend it!
harstan More than 1 year ago
The Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston, South Carolina is doing a booming business despite the depressed economy. In addition to selling all kinds of teas from different countries, the owner serves food and sells aromatherapy teas for the bath. The store proprietor, Theodosia Browning realizes there is more to life than work and volunteers her time to the Charleston¿s Sea Turtle League. When the eggs hatch, the volunteers make sure they make it safely into the ocean.

When it is Theodosia¿s shift she spots a large object floating in the water and swims out to see what it is. She doesn¿t expect to find the dead body of local antique dealer Harper Fisk, a good friend of Theodosia¿s tea blender Drayton Connelly. Both Clayton and Theodosia are sure the man was murdered even if the police won¿t admit it was a homicide. Theodosia, who has solved previous homicides, vows to find the killer even though she is embarking on a dangerous manhunt.

Readers will be charmed and beguiled by this delicious amateur sleuth mystery and will feel like visiting Charles Street to have a cuppa at the Indigo Tea Shop. Laura Childs makes tea sound so delectable sounding that a coffee lover will commit heresy and convert. The heroine is a charming down to earth person who believes in helping out her friends and the community, two sides of her personality, which will endear her to the audiences. There is a plethora of suspects but the reader will be shocked when the author cleverly reveals who the perpetrator is.

Harriet Klausner

5KittyLady More than 1 year ago
Laura Childs, Tea Shop Mysteries are absolutely wonderful. You are kept in suspense until the very end. I like the way that she carries the characters from book to book without making them "boring". Each one feels like your new friend. I recommend for young adult and older. My 90 year old neighbor is enthralled with the books.
TMW08 More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I have read from the Tea Shop Series. I really did enjoy the characters especially Drayton, Haley, Theodosia, and Delaine. The twists the story line took from the Indigo Tea Shop to the different shoppes around town and their properietors. Theodosia and Drayton with their amateur crime solving tactics puts the suspension of the murder of Harper Fisk on two members of the English Breakfast Club only because they were fascinated and shared the same hobby of discovering shipwrecks and civil war artifacts as Harper Fisk. The person who actually murdered Harper Fisk was a surprise. I also loved the way the author gave brief descriptions on the teas that were blended by Drayton and the food that Haley prepared for the morning and afternoon teas. I was a soso tea drinker, but now I am starting to enjoy the many different flavors and the aromas of teas. The recipes in the book I have not tried yet and they all sound scrumptous.
Trip More than 1 year ago
I've read several of the Tea Shop Mysteries and this, by far, was the least enjoyable. It read like an advertisement for the tea shop and Coastal Carolina tourism. There were far too many references to the menu and endless descriptions of various teas. I would not recommend this one. It was very disappointing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't decide if the author intended Theodosia Browning to be so snobby, or if it just happened by accident, but this heroine really grates on my nerves! And even though I love a good cup of tea and a scone, I found myself skimming through the long, self-congratulatory descriptions of the fare at the Indigo Tea Shop. At times, Theodosia seems as condescending as her name. She seems much more interested in appearances and presentation than in genuine human warmth, referring to Drayton and Haley numerous times as 'her employees' despite Drayton's senior age and both of their importance to the business. At other times I almost like her, particularly when she is interacting with her dog. I can sympathize with her intelligence and determination to succeed as a single woman and small business owner, but otherwise I can't figure her out. Her boyfriend seems to be more of an acquaintance (and a source of information to further the plot) than anyone for whom she cares deeply. She seems to have started her tea business for the purpose of looking down her nose at her customers (the very same horrid tourists who keep a roof over her head). I'm very disappointed in this series. Yes, the background is interesting but I just can't warm up to the characters. The author seems to feel the need to show off all her research and push the story along rather than let us spend time really getting to know the characters.
BrianEWilliams on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is another well plotted suspenseful mystery in the Tea Shop series. The pace is brisk, from the first chapter in which the body of the murdered antique store owner is found, until the murdered is unmasked at the end. There are many red herrings in the main plot, and along the way there are "sidebars" about sea turtles and therapy dogs. Of course, there is the usual tea lore (and recipes). It's an easy read. The obtuse Detective Tidwell is joined by Detective Hudson for a brief appearance. Hudson adds nothing to the story-telling and one wonders why he is included. Delaine, Theo's best friend, has a kleptomanic sister visit her and play a part in the solution of the mystery. The other continuing tea shop characters (Drayton and Haley) play their usual supporting roles."The English Breakfast Murder " is better than the previous one in the series (Shades of Earl Grey). Perhaps the future ones in the series will continue this trend toward improvement.
Sensitivemuse More than 1 year ago
***Spoilers ahead you’ve been warned*** This would have to be the worst book in the series so far. I read this through because I just wanted to get to the end of it in the hopes of having somewhat of a satisfying ending but even that was denied. The plot wasn’t that interesting. It tried to have intrigue and mystery but it was severely lacking. What you read more was more tea parties than anything else. Yes, she owns a tea shop and has two large events that somehow took over nearly half of the book. The mystery takes a back seat in this book and it’s disappointing. The pace of the book was slow and although it tried to make it a little engaging with two issues going on at once it wasn’t enough to really capture my attention. I wasn’t even that interested in the suspects. Nothing stood out and even when it was revealed it was so lackluster. There wasn’t much of an action scene and it completely did a nose dive. The suspect was nabbed. Done. No explanation, no way to tie the loose ends. Everything was just left open and unfinished. I have no idea what in the world happened in this book with the mystery aspect of it. Then there was the issue with Nadine being a complete kleptomaniac. Okay, she stole stuff….so...what ever happened to the items she stole? Nothing was said. Was it ever recovered? And Delaine, lordy. She got the point where she became annoying everytime she appeared in a scene. I read this book just because it was following the series. I think the next one will determine if I continue on with it or not. It’s too bad. I actually enjoyed these and thought they were quaint little mysteries to get into after heavy reads. Not so with this one. You could probably skip this one and go to the following. You’re not missing anything.
juglicerr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Theodosia Browning runs a tea shop in Charleston, SC., offering exotic teas and delicious pastries, and also caters. There is a good deal of lore about types of teas and tea-drinking, which I found fascinating. Theodosia also becomes involved in a lot of Charleston events, from boat races to saving hatching turtles. I have read some controversy about the accuracy of her portrayal of Charleston. As a tourist, I found it very evocative, but I leave more definitive discussions to people who know what they are talking about.The mysteries are generally competent and enjoyable. I stopped reading them because my tolerance for Upper Upper Class people is obviously much less than Laura Childs. I also found the adoration of Browning by her employees a bit cloying. It's gret to be happy at one's job, but at this rate Theodosia will be walking on water.
NemesisClaws on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very much enjoyed this book! So many varieties of tea mentioned, all without restricting the flow of the plot, and even has a few recipes in the back as well. Very much a book that leaves you inspired to try new things in your life, including volunteering in your community. I found the description of helping baby turtles reach the ocean so that predators won't get to them so sweet. My only complaint has to do with the fictional character of the detective Tidwell. There's no need for the man to be quite this obtuse, nor this unhelpful. Indeed, it's rather amazing the crime was solved at all, and could've been solved much sooner with his help.
Griperang72a More than 1 year ago
By now you all know I love Laura Childs and do not think I have ever read a bad book by her. This was no exception. I liked how this mystery was themed around a little treasure hunting and Civil War relics. It was sad that Harper Fisk was found drowned. I can not imagine how Theodosia felt when she found him. The more I read about Haley and Delanie the more I do not like them one bit. I think Haley is rude and acts childish. Delanie is a snob and wants everything her way and now. I also did not like her sister Nadine either I think she is worse than Delanie. Now I love Drayton and am always glad that he is in the stories and shares his knowledge of tea. Theodosia is also a favorite of mine she is such a nice helpful person. I liked that we got to see a bit more of Jory this time around. It seemed to take Theodosia a little longer to come up with clues to solve the murder this time around. I liked that Drayton was helping her the whole way. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series.
BookloverUT More than 1 year ago
Theodosia Browning, tea shop owner, is having the time of her life as she's watching green loggerhead turtles emerge from their eggs and strive to make their way to the ocean. While witnessing the spectacle, she sees something floating in the water. She approaches it and discovers a dead body. It's the local art dealer, Harper Fisk. He's a known colleague of friend and tea aficionado Drayton through the Heritage Society. Was greed involved in Harper's death? This adult murder mystery is a very satisfying read. The characters are quirky, lighthearted and real. The plot keeps you turning the pages, trying to solve the mystery with Theodosia. The solution is an exciting surprise. And, the recipes at the end of the book make it equally satisfying to your belly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this book! I began reading the Tea Shop Mysteries after another author I read ended her series. I have really enjoyed the pace of these books and I enjoy the characters. It is a very good series; each new mystery has been well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For anyone who enjoys a good entertaining mystery, you can't go wrong reading a Laura Childs Mystery. I love her milieu - that being a Tea Shop - and her story telling is enormously entertaining. You'll love reading Laura Childs
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago