Laura Childs has once again turned out a riveting mystery set in Charleston, South Carolina, one of my favorite cities, adding to her Tea Shop Mystery series her newest work Broken Bone China.

In her latest adventure, Theodosia Browning, owner of the highly successful downtown Indigo Tea Shop is truly riding high with dear friend Drayton Conneley, drifting along with half a dozen hot air balloons over Hampton Park while her staff prepares to serve tea to members of the Top Flight Balloon Club down below.

Theodosia is thoroughly enjoying the experience (much more than Drayton) when suddenly two things occur which bring the ride to a grisly ending: the sky turns gray and a bright, shiny object appears in the air with them. It’s a drone, which zips and zooms among the balloons, hovers for a moment, and then, at full speed dives into a red and white balloon.

The drone’s target immediately deflates, bursts into flames, and then plunges to earth, carrying its three passengers to their fiery deaths.

The police quickly determine the actual target of the killer was Don Kingsley—the CEO of a local software company, SyncSoft. They also learn Kingsley was the owner of a priceless Revolutionary War British flag, which he was in the process of selling. The estimated auction price was upwards of $20 million.

Suspects quickly pile up, but, for once, Theodosia vows to stay clear of the investigation. She’s had her fill of brushes with death. Let the police do their work.

But then the fiance of one of Theodosia’s dearest friends moves to the top of the suspect list. He’s a whistle-blower at SyncSoft and quite of bit of evidence points to him as the killer.

Reluctantly Theodosia agrees to ask a few questions on her own, and before she knows it, finds herself knee deep in the investigation.

Stokely Memorial Library now has Broken Bone China, along with Childs’ other Tea Shop mysteries.

Located at 383 East Broadway, Stokely Memorial Library is open Mondays—Saturdays from 10-5 and may be reached by telephone at 423-623-3832.

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