Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes by Karen Rose Smith

With its very interesting premise and believable characters, the first book in the Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery series is constantly captivating. Karen Rose Smith masterfully brings the storyline to life with much convincingness, as situations could easily occur just as described. I was instantly caught up in the happenings that took place, regardless of who was mixed up in an incident or what was transpiring. Ms. Smith cleverly turns an ordinary businesswoman into a capable amateur sleuth who shrewdly looks for the truth. MURDER WITH LEMON TEA CAKES is intriguing with carefully thought-out mysteries and realistic family issues.

Things are going well for Daisy Swanson and the shop that she co-owns in Willow Creek, Pennsylvania. With the help of her Aunt Iris and a longtime friend, they give residents plus tourists to the Amish country a place to relax and enjoy a light meal with teatime. Widowed for three years, she is raising two teenage daughters whom she closely watches over and tries to guide in the right direction. Daisy also feels responsible for her aunt, and is currently concerned about the intentions of the older woman’s new friend. Iris has become rather chummy with Harvey Fitz, although he is not yet officially divorced.

Since Daisy’s Tea Garden does some catering, they have been hired for an event observing a milestone in Harvey’s clothing business. During the celebration, Daisy hears some disturbing news related to him, causing her to wonder what it will mean for his future and possibly her relative as well. But when Harvey is later killed and his death takes place in the garden of her shop, she plans to make sure the responsible person is caught, and it definitely is not her aunt as the authorities are insinuating.

The tea garden theme in MURDER WITH LEMON TEA CAKES is refreshingly original, and I liked how it gave the main characters a good opportunity to interact with many other people in various locations. Daisy is a personable woman, and while she is devoted to her business, family members and friends come first. When Aunt Iris is suddenly in trouble, nothing will keep her niece from assisting and making certain her relative is treated fairly. Daisy’s actions caused admiration on many occasions, and I liked the way she stood up to others. When it comes to her family, I could tell there is much love between them. But like real life, there can be some disagreements along with a few upsetting developments, too. Ms. Smith always handled these moments with much believability.

When the focus was on any mystery, the number of unknowns mount up at first. Then the facts are gradually revealed, and I was often surprised by being caught completely off guard. Karen Rose Smith expertly keeps the reader in suspense as to what is exactly going on, giving a hint sprinkled here and there to keep the anticipation building. I have visited the Amish area numerous times, and the vivid descriptions by the author had me reliving some wonderful memories. The foods mentioned in the book all sounded so delicious, and the recipes for several favorites are listed at the end. One of the plots I really enjoyed was the two men with whom Daisy might perhaps get closer, and I am looking forward to seeing how these relationships progress in future stories.

I voluntarily reviewed the book and all comments are my honest opinion

Series: A Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery

Publisher:  Kensington

Releases:  December 26, 2017


Genre:  Mystery

Author website:

Rating:  4.5 Stars

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