Death And A Cup Of Tea
Edited by Jess Faraday
Eight stories involving mysteries and death and tea. (Pretty obvious by the title, eh? lol) Some are cozy, some aren’t. Set in the past and the future. From a misfiled book to a stolen mouse to death by mechanical spider, there’s a variety of mysteries for everyone.
Some stories don’t deal with death (i.e. the misfiled book, a stolen mouse, a recovered Romanov egg.) I found most of the plots pretty good. The tea group story reminded me of a plot by Sayers. The very short story, as mentioned below, was basically an explanation for something that happened before the story started.
Edith Chauvaune Jones: medical examiner, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, played basketball at Penn
Beatrice Winser: librarian
Darcy McKay: slender, blonde, amateur P.I., attends University of Illinois-Chicago
Sofia Goodreck: private investigator, blind
Anne Holcomb: works in a psychological lab
Audrey Louise Plotz: appraiser, gemologist
Claire Leighton: gardener, drives a Mini Cooper, middle aged, fake psychic
Short stories mean quick hits on characters. Not much description on some of them. In fact in the tea group story I didn’t see a name for the main character telling the story. But most of the characters, and the supporting cast, were pretty good and likeable.
Pretty good voices throughout. Some come through very well – the blind detective, the target of the tea group, Winser.
Some profanity. I found some of the stories confusing. One very short story didn’t really involved a ‘mystery’ per se, but was the ending to what could have been a longer story. This one was the explanation at the end of a long mystery. In the final story, POV jumps and although I might have accepted a shift from Claire to the cop, when the narrator takes over in Claire’s memories, the narrator jumps to the POV of a third party, something Claire wouldn’t know about.
For an anthology promoting tea, the beverage plays a major role in only one story. In others, it’s a token mention. In the first story, it’s a quick mention and the story centers more on basketball than it does on the death.
There was a bit of tension in the blind detective story which was good.
I found no grammar/spelling/punctuation mistakes.
There’s something here for different tastes, though, and despite the problems, most were enjoyable.