No Good Tea Goes Unpunished
Seaside Cafe series Book 2
Sourcebooks Landmark, Feb 2019
Purchased for Kindle app
This cover is bright and eye-catchingly appropriate for a cozy mystery. Since each of the items on this cover are part of the story, I have to approve. I’m just not convinced that sunflower yellow is the right color for the top and bottom banners. You have all three primary colors splashed around, and it seems a bit much. But that doesn’t take anything away from the book itself.
This second book in the Seaside Cafe Mystery series is even better than the first one. Not only do I already know the primary characters from the first book, but this mystery is better, with more depth and involvement. The intrepid owner, Everly Swan, of the Seaside Cafe, is preparing to cater a friend’s wedding right there on her own beach when the groom comes floating in face down on the morning tide. There are several really good suspects and a few other possibles that keep things lively while Everly tries to recoup her tea shop’s reputation and comfort her almost-a-bride friend. Handsome Detective Hays is once again on the case and trying to keep Everly out of things but he already knows she just can’t do it. That doesn’t make him any happier when she’s neck-deep in murder and feeling like she’s being watched.
Ms. Baker does an excellent job of bringing in all those new characters for the society wedding and blending them into the already established characters by creating a shared history for some of them. The bride grew up with Everly there in Charm, NC. There are other connections and some cause problems for the bride and groom before the not-quite-wedding.
Once again, the author has provided recipes for iced teas and goodies from the story in the back of the book for our gustatory enjoyment.
The pace is quite brisk once the murder is done. The tension starts at the beginning with Everly’s first big event for the cafe, a society wedding, and the usual friction that comes of having a lot of people in one area who have shared histories and frequently a difference of opinion. Add in secrets to the mix and the tension is strung tighter. The solution to the mystery is not a surprise by the end, as the author keeps us in the picture throughout pretty much, but it is satisfying. After reading this second book in the series, I believe I’ll be reading others in it to keep up with Everly and Detective Hays. I recommend this book and this series to cozy mystery readers.