Laura Childs has a new one due out in March and it is, in fact, entitled Scones & Bones. An entry in her popular tea shoppe series, set in Charleston (South Carolina), this cozy features Theodosia Browning, tea shop owner, and her trusty side kicks (including the dapper Drayton). There is, again, some tea information, and as always some commentary on fashion, southern history, and Theodosia's romantic dilemmas. In this case, the major sub-theme, hinted at in the title is bones: skulls and bones in particular. And if that is not specific enough for you, think PIRATES. No, not Johnny Depp (though his name is mentioned) -- in this case, Blackbeard. While not a big pirate kinda person myself, some of the information that seems to startle Theodosia and her side kicks -- like his name Edmund -- or is it Edward -- Teach, even I knew. But other bits are, well, fun. Not to mention the tiny insight into Childs' views of academia offered in her characterization of the one professorial character and the College of Charleston which gets a mention.
On the foodie theme, the main issue is a tea and cheese evening, which seems like a set of odd pairings. The suggestions made are, possibly, great, but I could not swear to it. Not my cuppa. (Though there are sites that look at the possibility such as this one or this one.) And yes, there are a few scone recipes (lemon in this case) not to mention an occasional remark about chess pie. The end of the book includes the requisite tea information -- ranging from web sites to books. I do once in a while get tempted into investigating the history Childs alludes to -- there are a few possible sites to investigate if you're interested including this one and this one and this one.
While not my favorite in the series, in part because some of the characters are getting almost as tiresome to read about as the eye-rolling implied that accompanies Theodosia's comments on them and in part because the mystery itself seemed a bit forced, the book was still -- fun. And, I keep thinking -- I should visit Charleston.
Have you read it? What do you think? About the book? About tea and . . . cheese?