Sweet Tea and Secrets
by Joy Avon
Published June 11th 2019 by Crooked Lane Books
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 Book Tea Shop Mystery.
I thought this book was decent, good. I thought it was a little convoluted how Callie became involved in the search for a missing 80’s tv star. I wasn’t sure what a missing woman from the past had to do with a Book Tea Shop Fourth of July event. It just struck me as a little odd. And exactly how many recipes of sweet tea can there possibly be?
The mystery of it all got rolling about halfway through and we discover Quinn may have more reasons to look into this missing lady than he is revealing. I wanted to see more between Callie and Falk than what was revealed here. He didn’t really speak to her like a normal woman he might want to date until the last chapter. That is sad. I think an opportunity was missed here. Plus, I felt like mystery wasn’t solved. The bad guy just told them all how he had manipulated them all in the past and today. He basically just confessed. I like my mysteries to be solved by the main character.
Just okay for me. Okay mystery. Good tension but would have liked the suspense to have an edge to it. We need to feel it more to enjoy it, in my opinion. A touch more romance would have been nice too.
I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.