Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Silver Needle Murder by Laura Childs

Published: 2008
Pages: 260
Genre: Mystery
Series: Tea Shop Mystery book 9
Theodosia browning and the Indigo Tea Shop staff are chosen to cater the town's biggest event yet - the Charleston Film Festival. Busy as ever, there's almost no time to relax! But, on opening night, when a famous film director is shot in from of the whole crowd, things start to go downhill. Now, Theo helps solve the case while discovering juicy secrets and shocking information that will help catch the criminal.
Honestly, how could you not love this series? They're cute, comforting, and relaxing books to read. I'll be the first to admit that the quality of the mystery might not be the highest, but The Silver Needle Murder will draw you in simply with its charm. It was a quick and straightforward book that wasn't necessarily suspenseful, but I loved it all the same.

Take a simple mystery, add a tea shop into the mix, throw in a few lovely characters, a generous dose of small town charm, and what do you get? As lame as that sounds, the result is The Silver Needle Murder. How could you not fall in love with a book that revolves around the comforts of tea? I found it hard not to. Child's writing is dainty, sarcastic when it needs to be, and couldn't be more well-suited for this type of book. Her characters, while not exactly deep and complex, are perfectly simple and entertaining to read about with their witty remarks and strong sense of community. This is what I adore about this series - the honesty, the comfort, and the feeling of belonging.

The Silver Needle Murder, like the majority of books out there, isn't perfect. Laura Childs is a master when it comes to creating the environment and atmosphere, but has room for improvement in the mystery department. I realise that, as a cozy mystery, we won't be finding a brutal and detailed account of the murder, constant violence, and action on every page. But I do expect to be invested in the plot and have my own suspicions. Rather, that wasn't at all possible in this book. There weren't a lot of twists in The Silver Needle Murder, other than the occasional discovery of a small piece of evidence or a morsel of information that comes to light. It felt like the detectives of the book were sleuthing around behind the scenes, while us, the readers, were being entertaining and occupied until the ending when all was revealed. And even then it didn't shock me. The identity of the murderer had little relevance to the book, had next to no motive, and did not fit with most of the clues that were previously presented. Why, oh why?

Even though I clearly wasn't impressed plot-wise, I'm still going to continue with this series. An overly complex mystery would feel out of place in this type of book, to tell you the truth. But even so, the sheer fuzziness you feel while picking up a Tea Shop Mystery is worth the mediocrity. The Silver Needle Murder is the perfect book to read in the evening, while curled up in your favourite chair, sipping a mug of calming tea. When it all comes down to it, the feeling you get while reading is, for me, one of the reasons why I love it so much.

Recommendation: This book wouldn't suit someone who is looking for a fast-paced, thrilling and engaging mystery. However, it would be perfect for someone who is an avid cozy reader, enjoys tea, or is looking for a toned-down mystery that is relaxing and gentle.


Darlyn said...

This will be definitely my read! I love mystery and suspense so much than other genres.Thanks for the recommendation Emidy!

Elle said...

I think what this series is to you is what Nancy Drew was to me - I love comfort reading! :) I will definitely check this series out...I love tea!

Aths said...

Cozy mysteries are something I always hear about, but never get to read. I'll have to look at this series, even if the quality of the mysteries aren't too great.

miss cindy :) said...

I've heard this author is great so I might pick this one up because I love toned-down mysteries :)

Kristin said...

I love this series and am glad that you liked it. Have you read any of her Scrapbooking mysteries?

Alison said...

It's funny...I've never read a cozy mystery but I actually feel kind of relaxed and cozy just reading your review. It would be a good way to wind down.
Alison Can Read

Linna (21 ♡ pages) said...

This looks like a lovely, simple read. I've been looking for a nice mystery to read. And I loved your review! Very detailed and informative.

Jan von Harz said...

What a lovely review. I have not read a cozy mystery in a while, but this one sound pretty cool despite the flaws.

Emidy said...

Darlyn - That's great, then you'd love this one. Hope you get to read it!

Elle - If you love tea, you'll fall in love with this series!

Aths - You should definitely try reading a cozy. You might end up loving them!

miss cindy - This would be perfect for you, then. Try it out!

Kristin - Glad you like them too! No, I haven't tried those. Next time I go to the library I'll pick one up to see what they're like.

Alison - Aw, that's great! You should try a cozy.

Linna - Thank you! It was an enjoyable book for sure. Try it!

Jann - Why thank you! If you enjoyed the other cozies you've read, give this one a shot. Or, at least, this author.

Juju at Tales of said...

You have become quite the reviewer. This review was a joy to read :)