I recently finished reading Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes, the first in a series by Karen Rose Smith, Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery series. This is next in my list of most popular and recommended Cozy Mystery series. This is the second series by Karen Rose Smith, following her Caprice De Luca Mystery Series.
Murder With Lemon Tea Cakes follows the life of Daisy Swanson, the owner of “Daisy’s Tea Garden”, a shop in Willow Creek, a semi-tourist small town in Amish country near Lancaster. Daisy is 37, a widow, and has two teenage daughters, one of whom has just left for college.
There was a tradition in Daisy’s family that all the women were given flower names. Her mother’s name was Rose, her aunt’s name was Iris, and Daisy’s sister’s name was Camellia. Daisy had named her daughters Violet and Jasmine. But Jazzi never used her full name. She preferred her nickname.
As it happens in Cozy Mysteries, the small-town charm of Willow Creek is soon marred by a murder — right in the middle of the garden of “Daisy’s Tea Garden”, no less. The small-town police of Willow Creek seem to have no business trying to solve the mystery of who is the murderer. They are even more incompetent than is normal and are soon grilling Daisy’s Aunt Iris as their chief suspect.
Luckily, Daisy and her new friend, the proprietor of the nearby furniture store, Jonas, who is, coincidentally, a very eligible bachelor and an ex-police detective, are available to try to solve the mystery and clear Iris from this cloud of suspicion.
There is a subplot involving Jazzi who has a mystery of her own to solve. (Jonas helps with that one too). And, the story contains a lot of information about tea and goodies served with tea. At the end of the book, there are several original recipes. (If I baked – other than boxed/prepared types of things, I’d be very tempted to try them.)
The small town of Willow Creek is a very comforting place to visit. I am very glad the series is already up to book six. I always enjoy finding a new series that is already established…