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Just in time for the holidays, In Cold Chamomile is sure to be a cupid's arrow aimed straight for your bookshelf. Tea party organizer Callie Aspen learns that Cupid's arrows can be deadly when a Valentine's Day soiree ends in murder. Callie Aspen can't think of a more appropriate place to spend Valentine's Day than her adopted hometown of Heart's Harbor, Maine. When she's no Just in time for the holidays, In Cold Chamomile is sure to be a cupid's arrow aimed straight for your bookshelf. Tea party organizer Callie Aspen learns that Cupid's arrows can be deadly when a Valentine's Day soiree ends in murder. Callie Aspen can't think of a more appropriate place to spend Valentine's Day than her adopted hometown of Heart's Harbor, Maine. When she's not helping out at Book Tea, her great-aunt Iphy's vintage tearoom, Callie's adorning Haywood Hall with hearts and roses for the big Valentine's event, where townspeople will fall in love with sweet treats, heartwarming music, and delightful books. But tension is brewing: The librarian argues with the expert who is on hand to appraise precious volumes. And Iphy is shocked to recognize the baritone who's slated to sing at the event as an old acquaintance--one she'd hoped she'd never meet again. And then, when a dead body is discovered, the stirring spoon of suspicion points at the many people who had reasons to want the victim dead. When Iphy's old acquaintance draws the attention of Deputy Ace Falk, Callie finds herself in a spot. Ace, as usual, doesn't want Callie involved, but how can she ignore Iphy's anguish over the fate of a man she cares for more than she will admit? Bringing the killer to justice may endanger Callie's budding relationship with Ace--and, quite possibly, her own life. Callie and the Book Tea crew may think they have this case in the bag, but un-kettling truths are yet to be decanted.


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Just in time for the holidays, In Cold Chamomile is sure to be a cupid's arrow aimed straight for your bookshelf. Tea party organizer Callie Aspen learns that Cupid's arrows can be deadly when a Valentine's Day soiree ends in murder. Callie Aspen can't think of a more appropriate place to spend Valentine's Day than her adopted hometown of Heart's Harbor, Maine. When she's no Just in time for the holidays, In Cold Chamomile is sure to be a cupid's arrow aimed straight for your bookshelf. Tea party organizer Callie Aspen learns that Cupid's arrows can be deadly when a Valentine's Day soiree ends in murder. Callie Aspen can't think of a more appropriate place to spend Valentine's Day than her adopted hometown of Heart's Harbor, Maine. When she's not helping out at Book Tea, her great-aunt Iphy's vintage tearoom, Callie's adorning Haywood Hall with hearts and roses for the big Valentine's event, where townspeople will fall in love with sweet treats, heartwarming music, and delightful books. But tension is brewing: The librarian argues with the expert who is on hand to appraise precious volumes. And Iphy is shocked to recognize the baritone who's slated to sing at the event as an old acquaintance--one she'd hoped she'd never meet again. And then, when a dead body is discovered, the stirring spoon of suspicion points at the many people who had reasons to want the victim dead. When Iphy's old acquaintance draws the attention of Deputy Ace Falk, Callie finds herself in a spot. Ace, as usual, doesn't want Callie involved, but how can she ignore Iphy's anguish over the fate of a man she cares for more than she will admit? Bringing the killer to justice may endanger Callie's budding relationship with Ace--and, quite possibly, her own life. Callie and the Book Tea crew may think they have this case in the bag, but un-kettling truths are yet to be decanted.

30 review for In Cold Chamomile

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    In Cold Chamomile by Joy Avon is the third book in the cozy A Tea and Read Mystery series. As with most cozy mystery series each book of this series will have it’s own fully solved mystery so each can be read as a standalone or in any order if choosing to do so. However, there’s always some character development to carry over from book to book for those who follow from the beginning. Callie Aspen had left Heart’s Harbor, Maine main years before after nursing a broken heart when her long time crus In Cold Chamomile by Joy Avon is the third book in the cozy A Tea and Read Mystery series. As with most cozy mystery series each book of this series will have it’s own fully solved mystery so each can be read as a standalone or in any order if choosing to do so. However, there’s always some character development to carry over from book to book for those who follow from the beginning. Callie Aspen had left Heart’s Harbor, Maine main years before after nursing a broken heart when her long time crush married another friend. After finally visiting her aunt last Christmas however Callie finally decided to move back and help her aunt in her bookish themed vintage tearoom, Book Tea. When not helping out at Book Tea though Callie has been in charge with decorating Haywood Hall for a huge Valentine’s event. Of course though things never stay calm around Callie and a disagreement ends up breaking out at the event. And amidst it all Aunt Iphy recognizes the man set to perform and through all the chaos another dead body is found which leads Callie to another investigation. Following the Tea and Read Mysteries from the beginning I think the series is one that has slowly come together and improved with each book. The beginning felt like being tossed into chaos without knowing the characters but the more I get to know them the more I’ve enjoyed the books so hopefully that enjoyment continues to build with each to come. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Reviews

    Joy Avon’s In Cold Chamomile is a light cosy with a decent mystery but it’s bogged down with a lagging plot and unnecessary character drama. This is the third book in the Tea and Read Mystery series but it works as a standalone. It’s Valentine’s Day in Heart's Harbor! Our protagonist Callie Aspen is helping out with the Valentine’s Event at historic Haywood Hall. The townspeople will enjoy a concert, books, and treats. However, love isn’t blossoming. Fussy librarian Mrs. Forrester has a huge argu Joy Avon’s In Cold Chamomile is a light cosy with a decent mystery but it’s bogged down with a lagging plot and unnecessary character drama. This is the third book in the Tea and Read Mystery series but it works as a standalone. It’s Valentine’s Day in Heart's Harbor! Our protagonist Callie Aspen is helping out with the Valentine’s Event at historic Haywood Hall. The townspeople will enjoy a concert, books, and treats. However, love isn’t blossoming. Fussy librarian Mrs. Forrester has a huge argument with smarmy book appraiser Mr. King. Great-Aunt Iphy also has a mysterious encounter with baritone Sean who is an acquaintance from her past. When Mr. King is murdered at the event, there’s a long list of suspects. Deputy Falk soon suspects Sean but Iphy will do anything to clear his name. Now Callie, who is stuck between loyalty to her Aunt and her budding romance with Falk, must find a killer before it’s too late! This is an okay one-time read if you’re looking for something that you can breeze through in a few hours without thinking too much. However, this book had potential and I am really disappointed with the mystery and the characters. It also lacks charm and warmth although it’s a Valentine’s Day mystery. The mystery is interesting with some red herrings and viable suspects. However, the murderer is very obvious. I wish Avon had better developed this plotline. I also wish there was a lot more sleuthing because the mystery plot dragged and the action jumps erratically. I know this is a Valentine’s mystery but this book neglected the mystery in favour of pointless romance drama. Too much time is spent on the characters’ unnecessarily dramatic romantic interactions that could’ve been spent on developing suspects. The dialogue is better than the previous book but it is still stilted and often feels like an info dump. I was hoping that this book would develop the characters much more than the previous book. Instead, they seem like a completely new set of characters! They act extremely implausibly and childishly. I struggled to connect with and understand them. Callie is a fairly likeable protagonist but I wish she was more interesting and not such a pushover. I hated her interactions with her controlling and patronizing boyfriend, Deputy Falk. I wanted to learn more about Great-Aunt Iphy. But in this book, she’s selfish and insufferable. She acts more like a child than an older woman! In Cold Chamomile is an easy and okay read with a good mystery that had the potential to be much better. I’m not sure if I will continue with this series because the characters aren’t interesting enough and the writing isn’t very engaging. Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for this book in exchange for an honest review. 💔💔 ½ broken hearts out of 5!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Peggy R

    I was looking forward to reading this book after having enjoyed the first two. Unfortunately, I found this installment to be disappointing. The characters fell very flat for me and I found I did not really like them. I also thought the main character came off as weak in this book. I voluntarily read a digital ARC provided to me through Netgalley.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    In Cold Chamomile by Joy Avon is the third A Tea and Read Mystery. It can be read as a standalone. Callie Aspen is organizing a Valentine’s fundraiser at Haywood Hall with a variety of events. My favorite was Fall in Love with Books where there was a book exchange, a book sale, and book appraisals. There was also plants for sale, seed swap, dogs for adoption, a concert with a singer as well as tea and pastries. Mrs. Forrester is in charge of the book events and she is a perfectionist. She also o In Cold Chamomile by Joy Avon is the third A Tea and Read Mystery. It can be read as a standalone. Callie Aspen is organizing a Valentine’s fundraiser at Haywood Hall with a variety of events. My favorite was Fall in Love with Books where there was a book exchange, a book sale, and book appraisals. There was also plants for sale, seed swap, dogs for adoption, a concert with a singer as well as tea and pastries. Mrs. Forrester is in charge of the book events and she is a perfectionist. She also organized the appraiser, Mr. King who had recently been on a television appraisal show. Aunt Iphy is out of sorts after seeing the replacement baritone. Turns out Aunt Iphy has a history with the singer, Sean Strong but she does not share the details with Callie. When Callie is taking a quiet moment outside, Peggy comes running towards her car and she is crying. She is upset by something Quinn has done, but (once again) she does not share what happened. Then Mrs. Moffett comes running out and announces, “he’s dead”. Mr. King, the appraiser, has been murdered. Mrs. Forrester was seen arguing with him and her prints are on the murder weapon. Deputy Ace Falk determines that Sean Strong, the baritone, is the killer. Aunt Iphy knows Sean did not kill the victim and needs Callie’s help in proving it. Ace Falk warns Callie to stay out of the investigation. Callie is aware that by becoming involved in the case, it may affect their personal relationship. The mystery was very straightforward and could easily be solved (early in the book). There was a lack of suspects, clues and investigation. Callie does not even check out the body or the room he was in before the police arrive. The majority of In Cold Chamomile focused on romantic issues. Peggy and Quinn, Aunt Iphy and Sean, plus Ace and Callie. I know the book is for Valentine’s Day, but the mystery should have been more complex and prominent. There were several inconsistencies in this book as well (those who have read the first two books will notice). Deputy Ace Falk treats Callie terribly and acts like a jerk. Callie needs to find a new love interest. Someone who will appreciate her and her curiosity. I thought the ending was odd. In Cold Chamomile was a miss for me. My favorite line in Cold Chamomile is, “...if there was an object in the world you could easily fall in love with, it had to be books.” In Cold Chamomile has a deceased evaluator, romantic morasses, tempting treats, a stylish singer, and a daft deputy.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kirsti

    Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book! This is another cozy series I greatly enjoy; when you find a good one, treasure it and eagerly await new volumes. All of the characters are connected, and these connections make for both an interesting read and a way to obstruct the sleuth from getting to the truth. Sometimes people aren't hiding murder, just embarrassed about the truth or where they really were. It's interesting following the tells though, and I had the k Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book! This is another cozy series I greatly enjoy; when you find a good one, treasure it and eagerly await new volumes. All of the characters are connected, and these connections make for both an interesting read and a way to obstruct the sleuth from getting to the truth. Sometimes people aren't hiding murder, just embarrassed about the truth or where they really were. It's interesting following the tells though, and I had the killer nailed long before any of the characters did. Not a problem for me, it's actually satisfying seeing them reach the same conclusion. Tea, books and murder combine for a great mystery, and I can't ask much more from either the writing or the characters. Can't wait for another book in this series! Five stars.

  6. 4 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    3.5 stars Callie is helping Aunt Iphy organize a Valentine's Day book party as a fundraiser for Haywood Hall. The event has grown since Callie first planned a tea party and the whole community is involved in some way or another. A baritone has been hired to sing Irish songs but when he arrives, his name doesn't ring a bell with Callie but it does with Iphy. She recognizes the singer as someone from her past, someone she thought she had forgotten long ago. The library volunteer, Mrs. Forrest, has 3.5 stars Callie is helping Aunt Iphy organize a Valentine's Day book party as a fundraiser for Haywood Hall. The event has grown since Callie first planned a tea party and the whole community is involved in some way or another. A baritone has been hired to sing Irish songs but when he arrives, his name doesn't ring a bell with Callie but it does with Iphy. She recognizes the singer as someone from her past, someone she thought she had forgotten long ago. The library volunteer, Mrs. Forrest, has brought in a book appraiser for free but from the looks of things, she isn't too happy with him. When a body is found upstairs at Haywood Hall, Mrs. Forrest becomes the chief suspect. Iphy knows Mrs. Forrest may be cranky but she isn't a murderer. Further clues lead to the baritone and Iphy becomes visibly upset. Ace warns Callie not to get involved this time and she tries to obey but when Iphy launches her very own investigation, Callie has no choice but to tag along to ensure her great-aunt's safety. Who is this mysterious man and what is Iphy's connection with him? Why is she so adamant that Ace isn't doing his job correctly? Callie's love life is about to implode and while it hurts, Aunt Iphy is far more important. I enjoyed this story best of the three. I especially loved the Valentine's Day party. I would love to attend that kind of party with a blind date with a book, a book swap, book appraisal and a meet and greet with shelter animals. Books, dogs, tea- what else does one need in life? The plot may have been inspired by Persuasion. It has similar elements and we know Jane Austen is popular because Book Tea often makes Austen-inspired cakes. (This book features a cake with a grand manor house that could be Pemberley or Mr. Rochester's home, etc.) The mystery was less engaging that the previous one. The murderer was too obvious but at least the motive was quite a surprise. I did NOT see that coming. While Persuasion is my favorite Austen novel and one of my favorite novels of all time, this story didn't have the same sense of emotion and romance. For one thing, Iphy is a strong, independent business owner. She owns her own business and is her own boss. She loves working for herself. I admire all this but I don't like the way Iphy acts in this story. (view spoiler)[She had a chance at love and adventure but gave it up mostly because she knew her family wouldn't approve for various reasons (not the same as Anne's) and she couldn't disappoint them. She ends up "loving longest when all existence or hope is gone" but has a second chance at love which she seizes. However, unlike in Austen's story, there's no more family to be concerned about and she has little contact or knowledge of her love interest's whereabouts for the last FIFTY years. Not 8, 50! How does she know he's not a murderer?! Why run off and abandon your business to a flighty great-niece who spends more time sticking her nose in murder cases that don't have anything to do with her? Why run off with a man you hardly know? None of that makes sense to me. (hide spoiler)] I was pleased to see Callie actually working at her job for a change and her reluctance to become involved in the investigation made a nice change from her snooping. I understood her hesitation and felt her pain having torn loyalties. Ace acts like a massive jerk in this novel. Does he love Callie as much as he loves his job? He does seem to care about her but his hot temper gets in the way. I always hate how Ace jumps to conclusions and how waaaayyy overprotective he is of Peggy. Callie should cut her losses and run. Ace is bad news. How about Quinn? Sadly he's attracted to Peggy. Quinn has proven to be a good guy after all. I didn't like or trust him much when he was previously introduced but the dogs like him so he must be a nice person. He is a little too impatient for me though and he, like Ace, has a bit of a temper. Peggy is a good person too but she hasn't gotten over the loss of her husband. That's not something you just move on from but I think he would want her to be happy and find love again. She isn't ready to let go yet. Mr. King, the murder victim, is a rare books appraiser who is a TV celebrity. I think he's a liar and a cheat. No real rare books appraiser would be rude enough to sniff and tell someone their book was worthless. I have some training in rare book librarianship and we were taught about what makes a book valuable : scarcity and condition. (Some of the rarest books include The Bay Psalm Book from pre-Revolutionary New England, double elephant folio of Birds of America, and... a first edition of Carrie, also some comics are worth a lot). A real appraiser, even one seen on TV, would tell their client why the book wasn't worth anything. Is it too common? Is it too torn or beat up? The book in question is leather bound and old. I would expect the leather alone to be worth more than the $20 Mr. King offered. There's no way I'd sell my book to him. The police are sooooo clueless about that sort of thing and don't even feel he's worth investigating! When Mr. King is murdered I can't say I was surprised or disappointed. My initial reaction was "please don't let the book people die!" but once I saw him in action, I knew he had to go. He is a terrible bully to his assistant, Seth Delacorte, a shy young man. Mrs. Forrester is a library volunteer-not a librarian. She seems to serve as the library director for some reason. It must be an all volunteer library. She is a tyrant and rude, which is ironic given what she observes later. Her assistant Mrs. Moffett, is cowed under Mrs. Forrester's command, again ironic. I can believe Mrs. Forrester is capable of murder but whether or not she actually did it, remains to be seen. Sean Strong, the baritone, arrives mysteriously. I think he's lying and shifty. He was seen arguing with the victim and won't explain his reasons to Deputy Falk, therefore, is a strong candidate for murder. I don't understand why Iphy has to move heaven and earth to save him when she doesn't actually KNOW he didn't kill Mr. King. More suspects are introduced late in the story. There are three women who came to Heart's Harbor for Mr. King. Paula, a timid sort of woman, seems like she has been bullied by Sheila, who is quite forceful. She seems clever enough to come up with a plan for murder and angry enough to stab someone in the heat of the moment. Who the heck is Jane and why on earth is she only mentioned super late in the story? She has every reason to want to kill Mr. King but we don't know if she was even there. Which one of them did it? The story wraps up so satisfactorily that I don't feel the need to read more about these characters. I would read a book just about the shop: pastries, books, tea = my kind of place!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tari

    This was a really good mystery that Aunt Iphy got a chance to take front stage in. Her old friend was in town for the Valentine's event and was the prime suspect in a book expert's death. I didn't like the tension between Callie and Ace as well as between Peggy and Quinn, so I sure hope all that gets resolved in the next book. There was a lot happening in this book, and I definitely couldn't put it down. I hadn't honestly guessed the killer too far ahead, but there weren't tons of suspects. I'm a This was a really good mystery that Aunt Iphy got a chance to take front stage in. Her old friend was in town for the Valentine's event and was the prime suspect in a book expert's death. I didn't like the tension between Callie and Ace as well as between Peggy and Quinn, so I sure hope all that gets resolved in the next book. There was a lot happening in this book, and I definitely couldn't put it down. I hadn't honestly guessed the killer too far ahead, but there weren't tons of suspects. I'm always a sucker for a good red herring though. Ace seemed more on edge during this book than he had previously, but Callie and Iphy did do some snooping that he was justified in being upset at. As I said, I don't care for tension with characters and their love interests, so I'm relying on the next book to smooth it out. Aunt Iphy did get a sweet little ending out of this. I'm interested to see what she has to say when we see her next. I can't say too much or give it away. ;) I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher through NetGalley, and my opinions are my own. Publication date is February 11, 2020.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mystereity Reviews

    Haywood Hall is throwing a Valentine's Day event with plant sales, dog adoptions, a concert and a chance to have books appraised by a TV expert! What starts out as a grand day devolves into one problem after another and then the worst problem of all, the TV expert is found dead, stabbed to death with a pair of scissors and the main suspect is Sean Strong, a world renowned baritone and a link to Iphy's past. Iphy and Callie take charge to solve the murder, uncovering clues and putting the pieces Haywood Hall is throwing a Valentine's Day event with plant sales, dog adoptions, a concert and a chance to have books appraised by a TV expert! What starts out as a grand day devolves into one problem after another and then the worst problem of all, the TV expert is found dead, stabbed to death with a pair of scissors and the main suspect is Sean Strong, a world renowned baritone and a link to Iphy's past. Iphy and Callie take charge to solve the murder, uncovering clues and putting the pieces together. Overall, I enjoyed this one, the plot was a real page turner, with lots of suspects and some very surprising twists and turns. Even the ending was a shock I didn't see coming! I'm not sure if this will be the last book in the series or not (I sure hope not!) but there were a lot of endings in this story. If it does come back (I hope!) I can't wait to see where it goes next!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bea

    3.5 stars This was my first by this author and while I didn't love it, I did like it. I might read more in this series. "In Cold Chamomile" was not fast paced, it had a more leisurely and realistic pacing, but there was always something happening. Callie and her great-aunt Iphy are running an event at a local historical house. As happens, not everything goes smoothly. Unfortunately, that includes a murder. Callie gets drawn into the investigation because the prime suspects are, respectively, a lo 3.5 stars This was my first by this author and while I didn't love it, I did like it. I might read more in this series. "In Cold Chamomile" was not fast paced, it had a more leisurely and realistic pacing, but there was always something happening. Callie and her great-aunt Iphy are running an event at a local historical house. As happens, not everything goes smoothly. Unfortunately, that includes a murder. Callie gets drawn into the investigation because the prime suspects are, respectively, a local acquaintance and an old friend of Iphy's. But her investigation annoys her boyfriend, a local police officer. In fact, her investigation causes problems with her great aunt, as well as her boyfriend. Much of the book centers around relationships - Callie and Ace, Callie and her friend Peggy, Peggy and Ace (they're siblings), Peggy and Quinn, Callie and Iphy, Iphy and Sean. All of the relationship drama, and there was a LOT, dragged down the story at times. I was glad to see the characters have lives, and to see Callie's actions have consequences, but the drama was overwhelming at times. Sometimes I thought I was reading a soap opera. The mystery itself was interesting, with a few minor twists. Despite Ace's complaints, neither Callie nor Iphy did a lot of sleuthing. The focus was on the intertwined relationships and some, okay a lot, of whining on Callie's part. Honestly, both she and Ace needed to do a much better job of communicating. Callie, partly because of all her whining, came off as a weak character. She was reactive, not proactive, and she just let herself be dragged into doing things. The tea room setting was underutilized and I hope future books will feature it more. I liked that the mystery wasn't neatly wrapped in just a few days but took time. It was more believable, although it did contribute to the story dragging at times. Although Callie was often weak and Iphy was mopey, I liked the cast. They felt like the people next door, like real small town characters. Too many cozies these days emphasize quirkiness over character development or place setting and I appreciated the lack of quirkiness. Overall, "In Cold Chamomile" wasn't unputdownable, but it did keep me engaged. I probably won't reread it but I will probably read more in the series. If only to see how the various soap operas play out.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jerri Cachero

    September became February as I read In Cold Chamomile! Valentine's Day is the setting for this new to me series and it was a fun read! When Callie's Aunt Iphy becomes involved in the murder of a book expert attending a charity event, Callie has to clear her name! There was so much going on in the book and I enjoyed all the backstories, they made the mystery even better. Callie is a wonderfully written character and the supporting characters are lovable. The mystery had twists and turns that kept September became February as I read In Cold Chamomile! Valentine's Day is the setting for this new to me series and it was a fun read! When Callie's Aunt Iphy becomes involved in the murder of a book expert attending a charity event, Callie has to clear her name! There was so much going on in the book and I enjoyed all the backstories, they made the mystery even better. Callie is a wonderfully written character and the supporting characters are lovable. The mystery had twists and turns that kept me reading. A book you'll love to read, regardless of the season! I received an ARC from NetGalley for a fair and honest review of this book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

    Who wouldn’t be inclined to read 'In Cold Chamomile' with its alluring and eye-catching cover and fascinating premise? This is Joy Avon’s very enjoyable third novel in the ‘A Tea and a Read’ mystery series. The first book was ‘In Peppermint Peril’, followed by 'Sweet Tea and Secrets'. Callie Aspen helps out at ‘Book Tea,’ her great-aunt’s vintage tearoom, where each treat has a bookish clue. Callie's is busy organising the Valentine’s Day Event at historic Haywood Hall, where townspeople Who wouldn’t be inclined to read 'In Cold Chamomile' with its alluring and eye-catching cover and fascinating premise? This is Joy Avon’s very enjoyable third novel in the ‘A Tea and a Read’ mystery series. The first book was ‘In Peppermint Peril’, followed by 'Sweet Tea and Secrets'. Callie Aspen helps out at ‘Book Tea,’ her great-aunt’s vintage tearoom, where each treat has a bookish clue. Callie's is busy organising the Valentine’s Day Event at historic Haywood Hall, where townspeople will fall in love with sweet treats, heartwarming music, and delightful books. But love is definitely not in the air for everyone... When a book expert attending the event in Heart’s Harbor, Maine, is found murdered, the visiting tenor, Sean Strong, who sang with the orchestra, was seen arguing with the dead man shortly before the discovery of the body. The tenor is subsequently arrested, and Callie learns that Sean was once the love of her Great Aunt Iphy’s life. Even though Callie promised acting sheriff Ace Falk (who is also her boyfriend) she won’t investigate, she can’t let Aunt Iphy handle the situation on her own. But will crossing this line be too much for Ace and Callie to deal with, this time? Bringing the killer to justice may also endanger her own life. I was thrilled to be returning to Heart’s Harbor, as Callie and her Great-Aunt Iphy have become two of my favourite cozy characters. In Great-Aunt Iphy, Joy Avon has really worked her magic, creating a character who is wonderfully astute and wise, and my fondness of her grows with every story. I liked that the opening chapters drew me into the story and captured my attention immediately. There was never a dull moment with such a lot going on. The mystery itself was well thought-out with plenty of twists and turns as I puzzled over the clues. The book had a natural, steady pace and I was kept guessing until the surprising reveal. Delightful and entertaining, In Cold Chamomile is a highly recommended, delectable read for all cozy mystery fans. I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley at my request, and this review is my own unbiased opinion.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    4.5 Stars This is the third book in the Tea and Read Mystery series by Joy Avon. I really enjoyed this book. The suspense was good, the mystery complex but the ending was not my favorite. I am more of a happily ever after reader. I want it all to work out in the end. And in a way it did, but just not for a certain character. Crestfallen and disappointed were the words that came to mind when finishing this. I hope they can tie it all up nicely in the next installment. I really want my happily ever 4.5 Stars This is the third book in the Tea and Read Mystery series by Joy Avon. I really enjoyed this book. The suspense was good, the mystery complex but the ending was not my favorite. I am more of a happily ever after reader. I want it all to work out in the end. And in a way it did, but just not for a certain character. Crestfallen and disappointed were the words that came to mind when finishing this. I hope they can tie it all up nicely in the next installment. I really want my happily ever after scenario fulfilled. Basic premise: A man comes to town to judge antiques brought in by locals as part of a charity event hosted at Haywood Hall. Also, a stunningly handsome older gentleman, a baritone, comes to town in place of a different man, who has ties to Callie’s Aunt Iphy. Then the antique’s guy is murdered and now Iphy is trying to prove that her old flame, the sweet singing man, is not a murderer. The mystery and whodunit was dead on. I had no clue who the suspects could have been. Every time I decided I had the killer in sight, the person would be cleared. By the end I still hadn’t fingered the correct person and even Iphy, who had come to her own conclusion wasn’t completely correct in her theory which made me feel somewhat better. The twist at the end in that respect was very nice. The ending I didn’t like was concerning relationships and connections. I don’t want to give away too much here. Just read this and be entertained. Maybe we can lament our character concerns over a beverage at Book Tea once you get to the end. If you love a good cozy mystery check this one out. You won’t be disappointed. 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.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

    Rating 4.5/5* This is another intriguing, highly entertaining cosy murder mystery by this talented author - complete with a second chance romance for added interest! This is the third book in the Tea and Read series and involves many characters from the previous books but I suspect it could still be enjoyed as a standalone. Callie Aspen has helped organise a special Valentine's event at Haywood Hall, complete with live music, lots of books, an expert book valuer as well as tasty drinks and food. T Rating 4.5/5* This is another intriguing, highly entertaining cosy murder mystery by this talented author - complete with a second chance romance for added interest! This is the third book in the Tea and Read series and involves many characters from the previous books but I suspect it could still be enjoyed as a standalone. Callie Aspen has helped organise a special Valentine's event at Haywood Hall, complete with live music, lots of books, an expert book valuer as well as tasty drinks and food. They're even helping encourage people to consider adopting a dog from the local rescue centre. However, what no one had anticipated is the murder of one of the attendees. Callie has helped solve two murders in the past and certainly wasn't expecting to be involved in any more. However, when the man Iphy loved more than 50 years ago is accused of murder, Iphy is determined to clear his name and Callie can't resist trying to help her - even though her boyfriend, Deputy Ace Falk, is adamant she should stay out of this investigation. Can the killer be brought to justice? What will happen to Callie and Ace's relationship? With great characters, plenty of twists and turns and added love interests, this is a real page turner that kept me guessing. I definitely didn't immediately identify the perpetrator, there were a plethora of red herrings to misdirect you. The story is a great addition to this series and  I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I have no hesitation in highly recommending it to anyone who enjoys reading cosy murder mysteries set in a delightful community with fantastic characters. I suspect the added information in the ending will be like marmite - loved by some and hated by others . . . but you need to read it for yourself to discover what I mean! I requested and was gifted a copy of this book via NetGalley and this is my honest review after choosing to read it and finding it a fantastic, engaging, intriguing story.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Michelle

    After reading the first two book in prep for this release, I was looking forward to reading this book ad seeing where everything was going. Unfortunately, I found this book to be disappointing. Very disappointing actually. The characters fell very flat for me - it was like she was writing all new characters and none of them resembled the characters from the previous books. It was like reading a completely different series], and I found I did not really like them [or at least as much as I liked After reading the first two book in prep for this release, I was looking forward to reading this book ad seeing where everything was going. Unfortunately, I found this book to be disappointing. Very disappointing actually. The characters fell very flat for me - it was like she was writing all new characters and none of them resembled the characters from the previous books. It was like reading a completely different series], and I found I did not really like them [or at least as much as I liked them before. Though the relationship between Ace and Callie still and continues to frustrate the HECK out of me]. I also thought the main character came off as weak in this book - she was wishy-washy, unsupportive and again, the relationship between her and Ace is beyond frustrating. I was not a fan of most of the characters this time around. And I am all for love [well, not really. In reality I am a horrible cynic who was burned so bad that I don't really believe in love, much less the "LOVE" that happens in books], but the end of this book is just absolutely RIDICULOUS. I may have sprained my eyes from rolling them so hard. I have to believe that the author was just having an off day when she wrote this - I wasn't totally crazy about the first two, but they were a sight better than this one was. If she writes a fourth, I would be willing to give her one more try, but if it ended up being like this, I would be giving up this series easily. So disappointing and frustrating. Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    Callie and Iphy agree to be part of a Valentine's Day event at Haywood Hall, bringing together music, books and sweet treats. When someone from Iphy's past turns up unexpectedly, and then becomes the primary suspect of a suspicious death, Iphy refuses to leave the investigation to the police. Callie, hesitant to leave Iphy to her own machinations, reluctantly gets involved as well. This is the third book in the Tea & Read series, which I found a little disappointing compared to the previous inst Callie and Iphy agree to be part of a Valentine's Day event at Haywood Hall, bringing together music, books and sweet treats. When someone from Iphy's past turns up unexpectedly, and then becomes the primary suspect of a suspicious death, Iphy refuses to leave the investigation to the police. Callie, hesitant to leave Iphy to her own machinations, reluctantly gets involved as well. This is the third book in the Tea & Read series, which I found a little disappointing compared to the previous installment. I loved getting to know a bit about Iphy's backstory, and I would jump at the chance to explore Haywood Hall, but Callie's character has become annoying. I got tired of all of her internal dialogue, arguing with herself over whether she should do this or that, but even worse was the way she jumped to conclusions so often, usually with no more than a few words from another character to support her conclusions. I wasn't surprised when the identity of the killer was revealed, but I wasn't expecting the motive. Given the opportunity, I will read the next book in this series, and hope that Callie spends more time talking to the other characters and less time talking to herself. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    ☆☆Hannah☆☆

    Overall I liked it. There sadly was a time in this book that everyone was unlikable. Like many people this was my least favorite one so far. I did enjoy the mystery part though and I was surprised by the why more than the who. I just hope if there is another book that things will be better with everyone.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Callie is helping her aunt with her book and tea. A joint effort with singing and a book appraiser offering people money for their books. A substitute singer from overseas shows up and it is her aunt’s old boyfriend. While wondering about that she has to find out who killed the singers and get her aunt’s boyfriend off the suspect list. A little romance trouble for herself and her employee adds to the store.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    In Cold Chamomile has an engaging plot, a few red herrings and a bunch of suspects. I'm a bit torn about the ending though. It ends good for a couple of the characters, but not so much for a couple of others (I will not say who, in order not to spoil the ending for anyone). I also wished a few of the characters were a bit more developed.

  19. 5 out of 5

    JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book)

    Callie Aspen is looking forward to the Valentine's Day event that is being held at Haywood Hall, an historical mansion in Heart's Harbor, Maine. Everything is going well and she's excited about the way it's turned out. However, it seems that the town's librarian, Miss Forrester, has persuaded a television antiques appraiser to appraise books at the event, and he seems pretentious to her. Then, the baritone who was scheduled to appear has been replaced by another man - Sean Strong - and her Aunt I Callie Aspen is looking forward to the Valentine's Day event that is being held at Haywood Hall, an historical mansion in Heart's Harbor, Maine. Everything is going well and she's excited about the way it's turned out. However, it seems that the town's librarian, Miss Forrester, has persuaded a television antiques appraiser to appraise books at the event, and he seems pretentious to her. Then, the baritone who was scheduled to appear has been replaced by another man - Sean Strong - and her Aunt Iphy seems shaken by this fact, but won't tell her why. Everything else seems to be going along swimmingly, until the librarian's assistant comes to her and asks her to call the police, stating as how the appraiser is dead. What Callie doesn't know is that Mr. Strong and her aunt have a history, Deputy Falk's sister is having issues of her own, and now it's all beginning to cause problems for Callie herself. Will she be able to find the truth or will her questions put herself or someone else in danger from a killer?... I was looking forward to reading this third book in the series, but I'm left wondering exactly what was going through the author's mind when she wrote it. The reason I state that is the fact that this book is nothing like the first two in the series, and it seems as if an attempt is being made to create an entirely new series after only two others have been written. Why, you ask? However, I have hidden the entire thing in a spoiler due to the fact that not only has this book not as yet been published, but there are people who probably have not read the first two in the series and so will have not noticed the changes. I have, and I did. Please be aware that this spoiler not only contains major plot points, but major points regarding the ending (although not of the murderer or the reason why the victim was killed.) So please do not read unless you don't mind the ending exposed. (view spoiler)[First, there are the little things (which really don't need to be in a spoiler, but I added them anyway:) For the people who had their books appraised - in this day and age it's so easy to get to a computer (and I'm sure local libraries have them even if you don't), why didn't any of these people check beforehand to get an idea of what their books were worth? Even if they didn't exactly know for sure, they would have gotten a rough estimate. Sorry, but they deserve to be cheated. NEVER would I sell a book without checking its worth online. Plus, anyone who worries about what other people will think really are morons. The police hear from several people that they were cheated out of their books and they just shrug their shoulders and say, 'Oh, well, not our problem?' They don't look into it to see if they're telling the truth or what kind of history this guy might have had? I'm sorry, but if there was a con man out there with the history this guy had, the FBI would have been all over it. Is the author attempting to make police officers look inept? Chances are the police would have already been following everything he'd been doing and would welcome these people to give their stories so they could catch him. Ace is a complete ass in this book, but maybe he was meant to be so we'd be glad to get rid of him. In the first two books, he was nice, and was obviously attracted to Callie and it didn't make him crazy that she was doing her own 'side investigating' because well, that's the way she's wired and who wants to change someone, anyway? Why would Ace believe the worst of Callie without listening to her side of the story regarding Peggy instead of jumping to conclusions? Why didn't Peggy tell him the truth instead of allowing him to treat Callie that way? Well, thanks a lot. You invest two books in teasing us about the relationship between Callie and Ace, but then Ace, who's supposedly an intelligent police officer, now all of a sudden decides he "can't handle" the fact that his girlfriend reluctantly involves herself in the investigations? What kind of wimp is he? Has he no emotional intelligence at all? He also doesn't know if he can handle everything thrown at him because the sheriff has been ill? Seriously? He needs to retire from the force right now...and Callie needs to find herself a real man. Ace needs to disappear altogether (which the author seems to want him to do, anyway) and bring in a man who can handle whatever the world throws at him and doesn't resent a woman for being who she is. Who wants a police officer boyfriend who has a meltdown if he has an 'emotional crisis?' Then, what the hell is up with Peggy? She practically chased Quinn in the last book, almost begging Callie to talk to Ace and keep Quinn from leaving town and didn't want him to go. Now she's trying to convince us that she only wants 'friendship?' What. A. Crock. She suddenly decides she doesn't want to get involved after she's already sort of involved with him and introduced her kids to him - and even left her kids with him while she ran off somewhere? What kind of mother is she, anyway? Allows her kids to get close and then decides to change her mind? Then she decides to get a job out of town to get away from the man she wanted to be around in the last book? We're supposed to buy this stuff? To top it off, what's wrong with Iphy? She spends her life building her business and just walks away without a care in the world to run off with an old boyfriend for three months. She doesn't even ask Callie if she wants to stay and run the tearoom. How is Callie supposed to order supplies and pay bills? And since Iphy was the one who was doing the cooking and baking all of the pastries, what is Callie going to serve? One can only assume that the tearoom will close shortly and Iphy will have lost everything, since there is no alternate baker in place, Callie more than likely isn't on Iphy's bank account or supplier list, etc. Little things like this add up. I didn't like the ending at all. Why? Well, here's a recap: Iphy runs off and her business more than likely will shut down due to just leaving and not having a contingency plan in place. Peggy runs off and leaves after letting everyone know that she wanted Quinn in her life. Ace runs off and leaves when he decides (after two books) that he can't handle his job and can't handle the fact that Callie is who she is. Why didn't the author just put Callie back on the road again as a tour guide if she was going to eliminate the other major characters in the series? What's next? Callie and Quinn fall in love and decide they were meant for each other all along? Because they're really the only two people left in the book that matter at all. You can't write two books establishing characters and relationships and then just get rid of everyone except Callie in the third book and expect people to be pleased (I seriously have no idea how it got any five star ratings). Needless to say, this book completely disappointed me. The ending was bizarre for the reasons I've named above. If this is the way the series is going to go, then I won't be reading any more of these. (hide spoiler)] Having enjoyed the first two in the series, I really wanted to like this book. However, with the way it was, this was not possible. Sorry.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    This is the third book in the tea and read series. Callie Aspen is decorating Haywood Hall for a Valentine's event. An expert that is in town to appraise volumes is found murdered. The main suspect becomes the fill in baritone who has a connection to Callie's aunt Iphy. Iphy knows her old friend isn't a killer so she asks Callie to help investigate. I enjoyed the mystery aspect of this book. However, I didn't like the spot it put Callie in. She spent the last half of the book fighting with eithe This is the third book in the tea and read series. Callie Aspen is decorating Haywood Hall for a Valentine's event. An expert that is in town to appraise volumes is found murdered. The main suspect becomes the fill in baritone who has a connection to Callie's aunt Iphy. Iphy knows her old friend isn't a killer so she asks Callie to help investigate. I enjoyed the mystery aspect of this book. However, I didn't like the spot it put Callie in. She spent the last half of the book fighting with either her aunt, her boyfriend or his sister. It got a little repetitive at a certain point. It was an okay book but definitely not the best in the series.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    This wasn't as enjoyable as the previous books in the series. In this book, everyone is petty and dramatic. They were different in the previous books. It was distracting me from the story. The way the story ended for a couple of characters wasn't surprising, but I hoped it would have gone a bit differently. The mystery was interesting, though. The story should have focused more on that and left out all the drama.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Patty

    In Cold Chamomile by Joy Avon is the 3rd book in A Tea and Read Mystery series, and another fun addition. Callie Aspen lives in Heart's Harbor, Maine and is working for her great aunt Iphy who runs Book Tea. Book Tea is a vintage tearoom that includes a clue from a book in ever sweet treat sold. Callie and Iphy are busy getting ready for Valentines day funraiser for Haywood Hall. When the volunter librarian aranges for a professional to praise books, people want to sell, he is not a plesant man. In Cold Chamomile by Joy Avon is the 3rd book in A Tea and Read Mystery series, and another fun addition. Callie Aspen lives in Heart's Harbor, Maine and is working for her great aunt Iphy who runs Book Tea. Book Tea is a vintage tearoom that includes a clue from a book in ever sweet treat sold. Callie and Iphy are busy getting ready for Valentines day funraiser for Haywood Hall. When the volunter librarian aranges for a professional to praise books, people want to sell, he is not a plesant man. Iphy is also shocked when she sees the baritone for the Orchestra, it's a man from her past. And of course someone is murdered. This book kept me reading through all the twists and turns of the book. I can't wait for the next book in the series. If you love cozy mysteries, give this book/series a try, I highly recommend it. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    These characters are just so annoying! They’re almost unbelievable as people. The story itself was not very long but could have been even shorter if it didn’t have the unnecessary relationship issues of Peggy and Quinn. I think I’m done with these.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Davalt

    I received this book as an Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC) through NetGalley. It will be published February 11, 2020. This is the third book in the A Tea and Read Mystery Series, I have not read the first 2. This is set around Valentines day and Callie Aspen and her Great Aunt Iphy Aspen have organized an event to raise money for Haywood Hall. However, instead of love there is a murder. As I have not read the previous 2 books, I was not attached to the characters, in fact I hated most of them. I fe I received this book as an Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC) through NetGalley. It will be published February 11, 2020. This is the third book in the A Tea and Read Mystery Series, I have not read the first 2. This is set around Valentines day and Callie Aspen and her Great Aunt Iphy Aspen have organized an event to raise money for Haywood Hall. However, instead of love there is a murder. As I have not read the previous 2 books, I was not attached to the characters, in fact I hated most of them. I felt as people they were shallow, and selfish, and dumb, they made a lot of poor choices based on dumb reasons. Callie spent all her time moaning about her maybe boyfriend Ace, and seems like a weak pathetic woman. I expected as one of the lead sleuths that she would have a backbone and it was very much, "oh no! I didn't do what my boyfriend told me to do, oh is he breaking up with me?" Iphy should also have been a spunky 70 year old sleuth who at her age didn't care about what people thought, instead her character came across as a lovestruck 16 year old who didn't know how to use logic at all. Ace was a controlling jerk, who just wanted his girlfriend to "do as he said" and not disrespect him. Peggy was a whinny pathetic woman, who caused a lot of dram for no reason at all, besides to get Callie further "in trouble" with Ace. I knew it was a cozy mystery and I was hoping for something light and fun, but the characters were a little too light for me. Joy Avon's writing was good, the story moved at a nice place, there was just the right amount of death for a cozy mystery. But I didn't like a single character in this book. I hope that for fans of the series this was just a one-off, and that I am missing a great series because I won't pick up the others. For additional reviews please see my blog at www.adventuresofabibliophile.blogspot...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Jones

    In cold chamomile is the third book in A Tea and A Read Mystery series by Joy Avon. Our heroine, Callie Aspen, is helping her aunt Iphy host a Valentines Day fun raiser for an historic building in Hearts Harbor, Maine that ends in murder. Ace Falk, the acting sheriff and Callie’s boyfriend is on the case with the unwelcome assistance of Callie and Iphy. One of the surprise guest performers at the event is an old boyfriend of Iphy’s that she hasn’t seen or talked to in 50 years. When he is arrest In cold chamomile is the third book in A Tea and A Read Mystery series by Joy Avon. Our heroine, Callie Aspen, is helping her aunt Iphy host a Valentines Day fun raiser for an historic building in Hearts Harbor, Maine that ends in murder. Ace Falk, the acting sheriff and Callie’s boyfriend is on the case with the unwelcome assistance of Callie and Iphy. One of the surprise guest performers at the event is an old boyfriend of Iphy’s that she hasn’t seen or talked to in 50 years. When he is arrested for the murder of a prominent antique book appraiser volunteering his services at the fundraising event, Iphy and Callie try to clear his name. In the meantime, Ace’s sister Peggy is having a meltdown and he blames Callie. Not having read the first two books in this series, I felt like there was a lot of history that I was missing. The main problem I had with the book is that none of the characters were likable. I would have liked for Callie to have more backbone but instead she lets everyone boss her around and walk all over her. Iphy comes across as obstinate and irrational as well as very selfish and like she’s gone off the deep end. It doesn’t make sense that she would go to such great lengths to defend someone she has had no contact with in half a century. Peggy is a basket case and Ace is a wimp. The one thing I did like about the conclusion of each characters saga is that it leaves room for a completely different direction for each one of them in a future book. Thanks to Crooked Lane Publishing for the Advanced Reader Copy of this book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Claire Lyons

    Another lovely foray into the murky world of small town living, I really enjoy these carefully crafted and interesting stories based around a tea shop. This is the third book and there was much more 'backstory' about some of the characters which adds depth. The crimes are always intriguing and well planned which keeps your interest until the last page. I'm hoping that someone is made a Deputy in book four...

  27. 4 out of 5

    The Kawaii Slartibartfast

    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I honestly wanted to like this one more than I did. Don't get me wrong, it's a solid mystery but the characters didn't seem to spark and in particular Ace. He'd always seemed charmingly gruff but he was awful in this book!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. Just in time for the holidays, In Cold Chamomile is sure to be a cupid's arrow aimed straight for your bookshelf. Tea party organizer Callie Aspen learns that Cupid's arrows can be deadly when a Valentine's Day I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. Just in time for the holidays, In Cold Chamomile is sure to be a cupid's arrow aimed straight for your bookshelf. Tea party organizer Callie Aspen learns that Cupid's arrows can be deadly when a Valentine's Day soiree ends in murder. Callie Aspen can't think of a more appropriate place to spend Valentine's Day than her adopted hometown of Heart's Harbor, Maine. When she's not helping out at Book Tea, her great-aunt Iphy's vintage tearoom, Callie's adorning Haywood Hall with hearts and roses for the big Valentine's event, where townspeople will fall in love with sweet treats, heartwarming music, and delightful books. But tension is brewing: The librarian argues with the expert who is on hand to appraise precious volumes. And Iphy is shocked to recognize the baritone who's slated to sing at the event as an old acquaintance--one she'd hoped she'd never meet again. And then, when a dead body is discovered, the stirring spoon of suspicion points at the many people who had reasons to want the victim dead. When Iphy's old acquaintance draws the attention of Deputy Ace Falk, Callie finds herself in a spot. Ace, as usual, doesn't want Callie involved, but how can she ignore Iphy's anguish over the fate of a man she cares for more than she will admit? Bringing the killer to justice may endanger Callie's budding relationship with Ace--and, quite possibly, her own life. Callie and the Book Tea crew may think they have this case in the bag, but un-kettling truths are yet to be decanted. Okay, I have a question about the use of the word "Holidays" - I know in the USA Thanksgiving and Christmas are considered "the holidays" but stating in the description "just in time for the holidays" for a book coming out in February for Valentine's Day kind of baffles me. So, that pondering aside, this was a nice book to read: I was delighted that this was a cute little cosy mystery with no 50 shades of any colour! This is the 3rd book in the series but you don't have to have read the first two to enjoy the book: in fact, you might want to go back and read the first two as I assume you can enjoy them as much as I enjoyed this one. The characters were interesting and the mystery well crafted and it will keep you guessing until the end. Enjoy with a cup of tea - but maybe not chamomile. As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it ☕☕☕☕

  29. 4 out of 5

    Faythe Shattuck

    Tea party organizer Callie Aspen learns that Cupid's arrows can be deadly when a Valentine's Day soiree ends in murder. Callie Aspen can't think of a more appropriate place to spend Valentine's Day than her adopted hometown of Heart's Harbor, Maine. When she's not helping out at Book Tea, her great-aunt Iphy's vintage tearoom, Callie's adorning Haywood Hall with hearts and roses for the big Valentine's event, where townspeople will fall in love with sweet treats, heartwarming music, and delightfu Tea party organizer Callie Aspen learns that Cupid's arrows can be deadly when a Valentine's Day soiree ends in murder. Callie Aspen can't think of a more appropriate place to spend Valentine's Day than her adopted hometown of Heart's Harbor, Maine. When she's not helping out at Book Tea, her great-aunt Iphy's vintage tearoom, Callie's adorning Haywood Hall with hearts and roses for the big Valentine's event, where townspeople will fall in love with sweet treats, heartwarming music, and delightful books. But tension is brewing: The librarian argues with the expert who is on hand to appraise precious volumes. And Iphy is shocked to recognize the baritone who's slated to sing at the event as an old acquaintance one she'd hoped she'd never meet again. And then, when a dead body is discovered, the stirring spoon of suspicion points at the many people who had reasons to want the victim dead. When Iphy's old acquaintance draws the attention of Deputy Ace Falk, Callie finds herself in a spot. Ace, as usual, doesn't want Callie involved, but how can she ignore Iphy's anguish over the fate of a man she cares for more than she will admit? Bringing the killer to justice may endanger Callie's budding relationship with Ace and, quite possibly, her own life. Callie and the Book Tea crew may think they have this case in the bag, but unsettling truths are yet to be decanted. The mystery has a few red herrings, lots of suspects, and an engaging plot, that will have you guessing who the killer is right up to the life and death conclusion. I liked the first two books in the series but this one had a few inconsistencies with the series story lines and some issues with the characters. I won't list the inconsistencies but if you have read the other two books you will spot them throughout the book. It seemed to me that the characters didn't do any growing or developing from book two and their development seems to be going backwards. An example of this is how in books one and two Callie was turning into a strong independent woman who didn't let people take control of her life, in this book she seems to be turning wimpy and is letting people walk all over her. I also did not like what happened in the relationships of two of the couples, there seemed to be so much promise for two happy endings but all they get is sadness and pain. If the series continues I'll read the next book to see if the couples finally get their happy endings and to see if the character development gets any better. I received an arc of this book from Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for my honest review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne Locke

    Fans of Antique Roadshow will enjoy the plot of this mystery which features an expert Book Appraiser famed for his TV appearances who is stabbed during the Valentine's Day fete at a local mansion. And as the mystery deepens and more suspects come to light the Valentine's theme is turned upside down, and instead of roses and romance, its a story of missed chances, and romances ending in the worst possible ways, and its the other side of happy ever afters that color this cozy not the red of roses Fans of Antique Roadshow will enjoy the plot of this mystery which features an expert Book Appraiser famed for his TV appearances who is stabbed during the Valentine's Day fete at a local mansion. And as the mystery deepens and more suspects come to light the Valentine's theme is turned upside down, and instead of roses and romance, its a story of missed chances, and romances ending in the worst possible ways, and its the other side of happy ever afters that color this cozy not the red of roses but of revenge. The heart of the book is the relationship between Aunt Iphy who owns and is active in ther business Book Tea and her niece Cassie who also works there, they are very close and since Callie organized the Valentine's Day event she gets involved with the aftermath of the murder. The primary suspect is the domineering, peevish town library volunteer who is upset with the arrogant and rude appraiser and her fingerprints are on the murder weapon. She is replaced by another performer at the event, a handome, older baritone also seen arguing with the victim, and more suspects gradually appear as more is discovered about the past of the appraiser. Aunt Iphy and Callie lose no time in talking with the put upon appraiser's assistant, a meek and long suffering employee which in turn leads to meeting with various women who attended the festival specifically to see the appraiser but not to get books appraised! The story moves fairly quickly and the daring determination of Iphy who is partially acting out of regret and longing is proof that romance and dreams don't go away with youth and vitality but are still powerful emotions. I enjoyed the mystery and the characters and would read another one in the sequel. The only caveat is perhaps because I read too many cozy mysteries, the boyfriend who is also a policeman and an investigator is getting to be very stale and predictable. The book covers is adorable and perfectly illustates the mood of broken hers Valentine's Day and the series name "A Tea and a Read Mystery'.

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