Tea Cups and Carnage (A Tourist Trap Mystery, #7)by Lynn Cahoon

Published June 7th 2016 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

5 Stars

Synopsis: The kettle’s about to boil over . . .

The quaint coastal town of South Cove, California, is all abuzz about the opening of a new specialty shop, Tea Hee. But as Coffee, Books, and More owner Jill Gardner is about to find out, there’s nothing cozy about murder . . .

Shop owner Kathi Corbin says she came to South Cove to get away from her estranged family. But is she telling the truth? And did a sinister someone from her past follow her to South Cove? When a woman claiming to be Kathi’s sister starts making waves and a dead body is found in a local motel, Jill must step in to clear Kathi’s name—without getting herself in hot water.

My Review: This is the seventh installment in the Tourist Trap Mystery Series. Jill Gardner owns the Coffee/Book Store in South Cove California and is also very involved in the Business Owners Group. This is the second book in this series that I have read, but there is no problem following or understanding the story. I am definitely going to go back to the beginning of this series to catch up on the lives of Jill, Aunt Jackie, Sadie and the rest of the characters we meet.

It’s summertime in South Cove, California and everyone is getting ready for the Summer Festival on the beach. This is a big deal to the tourist town and Jill is going to open her new Food Truck on the beach for the festival. As well as the festival, there is a new shop owner in town. Kathi Corbin, former beauty queen and belle from Texas, is opening a tea shop to sell tea sets and tea called “Tea Hee” across the street from the Coffee/Book Store. Sadie, Jill and Aunt Jackie are also working hard on a fundraiser for the school library so they have a lot on their plates to juggle. When the $3000.00 cheque from the town to cover the rental for the fundraiser turns up missing, Jill and Aunt Jackie are worried it could be one of their trusted employees with their hand in the till.

The problem with festivals, is they sometimes bring in the wrong type of people and unfortunately, a couple of guys on motorcycles show up in South Cove and cause problems with their dangerous driving. When Aunt Jackie gets hurt and one of the motorcycle guys ends up dead, the mystery begins. It’s not long before Jill realizes the mystery surrounds Kathi when her sister shows up looking for a job the evidence in the murder points towards Kathi.

Jill, is dating police detective Greg King, and he has asked her to keep her nose out of his investigations and they will get along just fine. In the past Jill has put herself in danger on more than one occassion. Can she keep her promise to Greg to stay out of his investigation? Will she end up putting herself of someone else in danger?

I have really enjoyed both books I have read in this series. I like how the relationships of the co-workers, friends, relatives and of course Jill and Greg, fit together. They are fun, respectful and love to help each other. The romance between Jill and Greg is nice and is not overpowering in the story. It is interesting to see them interact and I am looking forward to seeing their relationship progress at a steady pace. There are other romantic relationships in the story, but again, they are natural and normal, not sweep you off your feet.

The culprit in this story was very different than what I would expect in a cozy mystery, but it was interesting and fit nicely. The way all the ends were pulled together was a nice surprise. I am looking forward to my next visit to South Cove, California. I recommend this story to cozy mystery lovers as well as those who like to travel to small towns for that special ambience.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.