Monday, August 21, 2023

Review: Lemon Curd Killer by Laura Childs

by Laura Childs
Release Date: March 7, 2023
2023 Berkley
Kindle Edition; 336 Pages
ISBN: 978-0593200825
Audiobook: B0BP9Y5L9Z
Genre: Fiction / Cozy Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher

2.75 / 5 Stars

Tea shop entrepreneur Theodosia Browning has been tapped to host a fancy Limon Tea in a genuine lemon orchard as a rousing kickoff to Charleston Fashion Week. But as fairy lights twinkle and the scent of lemon wafts among the tea tables, the deadly murder of a fashion designer puts the squeeze on things.

As the lemon curd begins to sour, the murdered woman's daughter begs Theodosia to help find the killer. Tea events and fashion shows must go on, however, which puts Theodosia and her tea sommelier, Drayton Conneley, right in the thick of squabbling business partners, crazed clothing designers, irate film producers, drug deals, and a disastrous Tea Trolley Tour.
My Thoughts
Lemon Curd Killer is long-running series featuring Theodosia and her fascinating tea shop. I have long been a fan of the interesting recipes and decadent desserts that have been mentioned throughout the books.  The mysteries have often been interesting, and while this one is interesting as well, I am having a lot of difficulty with this series as I am no longer a fan of the main character.
Theodosia, the owner of the tea shop, has slowly been changing throughout the books, and not in a positive way. I have commented about this over several books now and still don't like the way her character is being developed. From a person who was kind and caring, we now have this arrogant woman who is also reckless and somewhat overconfident, and thinks she knows better than everyone around her, including law enforcement, constantly putting everyone around her in danger.  She withholds relevant information as if it's her right and then gets upset when she is called out on her immature behaviour, which rarely happens, the author always trying to justify her actions. Honestly, the amount of times I rolled my eyes at the things she said and did...crazy. Now, if Drayton became the main character, that would make my day completely.  I don't care how this is done, but please!!

The mystery itself was actually interesting and I would have enjoyed it a lot more if the cavalier actions of said MC did not constantly interrupt the flow of the story. There were quite a few twists and turns and I did find them amusing. However, that being said, I do wish the author paid more attention to her characters and the relationships they had in previous books.  There was the issue with Bill Glass and Nadine in this one, acting as if they didn't really know each other, and I also wish the author would develop Riley's character a bit more as all it does it make me wish he would thump Theodosia once in a while (rhetorically, of course).  

Lemon Curd Killer seems to have lost its shine. While I didn't dislike the mystery, I was not a fan of the character developments happening for the past few books as I don't think it has been favourable.  There used to be quite a few historical facts about the area and about the tea which were a huge bonus, but lately these have been lacking so this rather charming cozy mystery series has developed into a weak oblong tea that is ready to be thrown out.  I gave it a few books when the changes started happening, but I think I am done with the series.