Mr. Tea and the Traveling Teacup
Madeline's Teahouse Mystery, Book 1
Leslie Matthews Stansfield
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Cozy Cat Press
Date of Publication: September 29, 2012
Number of pages: 234
After the death of their mother, sisters Terry and Karen Sutter, turn their childhood home into a teahouse. It’s a dream come true, but the dream begins to resemble a nightmare when teacups start crashing to the floor in the middle of the night. Could the teahouse be haunted? There’s a list of possible ghostly candidates: the prior owner who is rumored to have left behind a buried treasure, two spinster neighbors who disappeared without a trace over forty years ago, or perhaps it’s Terry and Karen’s own mother trying to communicate with them. Karen, the older sister, thinks running a haunted teahouse might be fun, until the sisters come home one night to find the attic stairs covered in a trail of what appears to be blood. Is it a ghost or a warning? The teahouse’s new mascot, a psychic macaw, may provide some unexpected clues, but the sisters will encounter many more surprises before they solve this mystery.
This is the first book in the Madeline's Teahouse Mystery series by Leslie Matthews Stanfield. The story opens on Terry Sutter waking from sleep to the sound of glass breaking downstairs. Specifically, a tea cup on the middle shelf falling to the floor. Just as it has over and over again, every night for weeks.
With the death of their mother just seven months prior, Terry and Karen Sutter have turned their mother's house into a Teahouse. This was their life long dream and the first step towards their ultimate goal of a Bed & Breakfast. Terry gave up her job as an art teacher and moved back to Connecticut to supervisor the renovations and get everything set up while Karen worked out notice at her job as an accountant in California. Karen is finally coming in that evening and will be seeing all of Terry's work for the first time. Terry is nervous and worried about Karen's reactions.
When Karen arrives, she is impressed at what her little sister has accomplished and feeling a little guilty about leaving all the work for her. Terry assures her that her job was much easier to leave and that Karen's contribution of money was very much needed. As Terry shows off all the changes, she lets Karen know about the issue of the teacup and lets Karen place one on the shelf. The next morning, Terry procrastinates getting up, waiting for Karen to discover the broken cup herself.
Later that day, Aunt Rose shows them a cup that she bought at the Goodwill that looks exactly like the one Terry and Karen's mother used since she was 10 years old and that went missing up on her death, one that has the same crack in the handle and same smudged ink in the flower design. Uncle Henry jokes about yet another mystery surrounding the house. When Karen asks about it being haunted, Henry tells them the stories surrounding the house and it's previous owners. Tales of bank robbery, treasure, 2 missing women and a mysterious death surround the house and it's former owners. Once they start looking into these tales and trying to solve the mysteries surrounding the house's former owners, secrets are revealed.
I must admit, I wasn't really expecting much with this book. It doesn't have a fancy smancy cover, or a compelling blurb full of escapades and excitement. It is about 2 sisters in their early 40's turning their childhood home into a Teahouse in Connecticut. Connecticut for heaven's sake. Not exactly a hot spot for criminal activity. Boy, wasn't I surprised at how much I enjoyed it!
This book is about connections and family and faith. Normally I like action packed stories, chock full of fast moving adventures and mystery. Not that there isn't adventure and mystery, but its done more at the level of a sedate walk then a flat out run. And when you are taking that sedate walk, you get to really enjoy the scenery around you and really enjoy the nuances. The dialogue was fantastic and the characters where wonderful and so very true to life. Personally if you don't have an Uncle Henry in your life, you need to go get one! I really liked this book and can't wait for book 2, Mr. Tea and the Bobbin' Body.
I am giving this book 4 stars on Goodreads. It was such a pleasant contradiction, my contrary soul fell in love. This book has faith mixed with the paranormal, southern-style grace and charm set in a New England backdrop, and sweet innocent romance 20 years in the making. What's not to love?
THREE (3) Kindle copies of Mr. Tea and the Traveling Teacup by Leslie Matthews Stansfield to three random commenters during the tour.
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Book Tour Info:
Don't forget to check out the other stops on the Book Tour:
May 20th - The Self Taught Cook & A Blue Million Books
May 21st - A Chick Who Reads
May 22nd - Melina's Book Blog
May 23rd - Brooke Blogs
May 25th - Melissa's Mochas, Mysteries & More
May 26th - Cozy Up with Kathy
May 27th - Shelley's Book Case
May 28th - Griperang's Bookmarks
May 29th - Musings and Ramblings
May 30th - Chloe Gets a Clue
June 1st - Omnimystery
LESLIE MATTHEWS STANSFIELD is the author of MR. TEA AND THE TRAVELING TEACUP, the first book in the Madeline’s Teahouse series. She is the author of a previous book, Windsor Locks, on the town she lives in. She grew up in Delmar, New York, and credits her friends with developing her imagination. Leslie is a graduate of University of Hartford and recently received her Masters’ degree from the University of Phoenix in Educational Leadership. She is a math tutor in a public school as well as the Christian Education Director of her church. She is currently working on her second book in the Madeline’s Teahouse series. She has four children and eight grandchildren and lives in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.
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