Sitting here waiting for my shortbread to chill, I finished Death by Darjeeling, written by Laura Child. My mom introduced me to this series of books written about a tea shop owner who likes to solve mysteries. I read two of them a couple of years ago but did not remember the whole story. The first book was delightful, for her first published book. There are definite flaws; however, I enjoyed the tea shop scene. She describes (almost overly so) the tea shop and the patrons as charming and comforting. Towards the end of the book, they are blending teas for an upcoming holiday season, and ordering gifts to beef up their stock. And after the first couple of chapters, I felt drawn to the mystery. Plus throughout the book the main character describes teas that she is drinking. Thinking about her sipping on calming Chamomile after a hectic day in her tea shop with the smell of freshly baked goods coming in, just makes me want to sip on tea as well. In yoga, instructors usually say “enjoy your breathe”, this book says to me “enjoy your sips of tea”. I have started tasting new teas before adding any cream or sugar. When I am presented with a cup of tea, I want to smell and taste all the flavors described on the packaging. Then I will add what I think is best.
Another plus about the book is the amount of knowledge the author (seen in one character in particular) has about tea. One evening, I spent hours reading about tea, how it is made, and where it comes from. The book makes me want to increase the small amount of knowledge I have about those teas, hopefully one day, I will have enough knowledge to produce blends of teas and know what teas to serve with what dishes. I recommend the book, and we will say three teacups out of five. If you need a pick-me-up, this is enjoyable.