Title: Sweet Tea and Secrets
Author: Joy Avon
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
Page Count: 288
My rating: 3 1/2 stars
About the book:
Sleuth Callie Aspen wants to light up the Fourth of July tea party by solving a celebrity’s decades-old disappearance, but her digging results in more fireworks than she expects.
Last Christmas, Callie Aspen left her tour guide job and settled in Heart’s Harbor, Maine. Now, she helps out at Book Tea, her great aunt’s vintage tearoom, where each treat has a bookish clue. Though she’s excited to start her new life, Callie worries she may regret having burned her bridges behind her. Fortunately, she finds immediate distraction in the preparations for a spectacular Fourth of July tea party, which will recreate key moments from the town’s rich history.
Intrigued to learn that 1980s TV star Monica Walker was last seen in Heart’s Harbor before she vanished—allegedly to elope—Callie probes the townsfolk for information. She’s stunned when several locals share contradictory stories about the last day before Monica’s disappearance. Did she intend to leave her hit TV series? Was she being stalked by her ex? And why is the newspaper editor who investigated the story at the time so anxious about the cold case heating up?
When one of the talkative townspeople turns up dead, Callie aims to catch the killer. But it’s no picnic: Deputy Falk doesn’t want her meddling, and the locals suddenly know more about the past than they’d been at liberty to admit. If Callie and the Book Tea crew can’t crack the case, they’ll pay a very steep price in Joy Avon’s explosive second Tea and a Read mystery.
Sweet Tea and Secrets by Joy Avon is the second book of the cozy A Book Tea Shop Mystery series. Each book of the series will have it’s own mystery to be solved so they can be read and understood reading alone or out of order.
Callie Aspen is finally making the permanent move to Heart’s Harbor, Maine to work with her aunt in her bookishly themed business having left her job as a tour guide. Callie’s aunt had found a cottage that was available to rent but needed a bit of fixing up and when the pair went to view the cottage a man was already there offering his assistance with the repairs.
Callie finds that Quinn’s estimate seems to be a bit too good to be true but can’t help hiring him on at the cottage. As the two are talking Callie’s shares the project she’s volunteered for and he suggests visiting the library for ideas. It’s there that Callie and Quinn find in the archives the story of the disappearance of the famous Monica Walker that happened in Heart’s Harbor but who would have thought beginning to look into a decades old cold case would bring about a new murder?
Sweet Tea and Secrets was definitely an improvement over the first book of this series in my opinion. When reading the first I felt dumped into the action without really getting to know Callie at all and thankfully I was able to this go round. I still think the series lacks an overall depth to the books though but perhaps it will continue to improve with each book of the series but for now I would rate this second at 3.5 stars.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
A lover of books, tea and sweet treats, Joy Avon decided to combine these in a mystery series about an organizer of the book-themed tea parties Joy herself would love to attend. When not writing or reading, Joy can be found buying bonbons, fluffy socks or notebooks with pretty patterns to write down her next idea. This is her second Tea and a Read mystery.