Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Steeped to Death by Gretchen Rue

About the Book:

Phoebe Winchester’s beloved aunt Eudora has a taste for adventure—and a knack for making magical tea. It’s even rumored that she just might be a witch. So when Eudora passes away and leaves everything to her niece—her Victorian mansion, her bookshop/tea store, The Earl’s Study, and one very chubby orange cat named Bob—Phoebe gets more than she bargained for. And she knows she’s in deep when a dead man is found on the shop’s back step, apparently killed while trying to break in.

Two suspects immediately emerge among the townspeople of Raven Creek, Washington. There’s village busybody Dierdre Miller, who seems desperate to buy Eudora’s house, and handsome PI Rich, one of Phoebe’s childhood friends—but how well does she really know him after all these years apart?

Phoebe knows she should leave it to the professionals, but as she starts to dig into the underbelly of Raven Creek, she begins to uncover the truth about Eudora. What’s more, her aunt might not have been the only witch in the family, as Phoebe soon discovers she has unique and unexpected gifts of her own.

Now it's just a matter of putting her new found power to thee test and cast a spell that could catch a killer.

My Review:

This is a fun novel for cozy mystery readers who also love all things about tea. I found the tea blends interesting. I was surprised when Phoebe made cookies and scones with tea in them. And the effect of the special blend of tea, as Phoebe said, was an herbal truth serum. And then even stranger things begin to happen.

There is a good mystery and I didn't figure out the villain ahead of time. There were plenty of suspects. I liked friendly community and the supportive business owners. There's even an interesting cat involved.

The magic was a fun element, especially when Phoebe knows she is only to use it for good. This is a good debut effort and I think the series has good potential. I appreciated several yummy recipes included too.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Gretchen Rue
 lives in the Canadian prairies, which affords her ample time to read during six months of winter. She plays cat mom to four mostly indifferent fur children, and plant mom to roughly 100 very demanding flora. When she isn’t sipping tea and working on her next novel, she enjoys swimming, hiking, and watching baseball. Photo credit: Jessica Branscombe.

Crooked Lane Books, 304 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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