Steeped in Evil (A Tea Shop Mystery)

Steeped in Evil (A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs

Book: Steeped in Evil (A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs Read Free Book Online
Authors: Laura Childs
family seems to be having. Maybe I dragged you into something that’s just a little too convoluted.” He paused. “A little too dangerous.”
    “I hear what you’re saying, but I don’t
think
I’m in any danger. It doesn’t feel that way. Besides . . .”
    “Besides what?” said Drayton.
    “I have to admit my curiosity is piqued.”
    Drayton nodded. “Mine, too. The people at Knighthall are turning out to be—”
    “Fairly strange ducks,” finished Theodosia. “Like characters in a B movie.”
    “I was going to say practically Shakespearian,” said Drayton.
    Theodosia wondered if she should mention green alien to Drayton, dismissed the idea, then thought, why not? What did she have to lose?
    “Does green alien mean anything to you?”
    “Green what?” said Drayton. Now he seemed preoccupied with deciding on one of his morning tea choices. Harney & Son’s Uva Highlands or Adagio’s Fujian Baroque.
    “Alien,” said Theodosia.
    “Alien,”
said Haley, coming up behind them. “I’ve always been crazy about that movie!” She struck a quick kung-fu pose. “Sigourney Weaver and her cat Jonesy fighting off the slivering, slavering monster.”
    Theodosia and Drayton just stared at her. They’d never seen a Haley action figure before.
    “Actually,” Haley continued, “I pretty much love anything that smacks of sci-fi.”
    “Ghastly,” said Drayton, offering a disapproving look.
    “Not just alien,” Theodosia said to Haley now. “
Green
alien. Does that particular phrase strike a chord with you?”
    Haley gave a bright smile. “Maybe Ridley Scott’s been tapped to direct a new movie? Another sequel?”
    “Somehow,” said Theodosia, “I don’t think that’s it.”
    “Do you want me to kind of ask around?” said Haley.
    “It’s probably some new musical group,” said Drayton.
    “Techno punk,” said Haley as Drayton rolled his eyes.
    “Okay,” said Theodosia. She’d just checked her watch and decided she had enough time to restock the shelves with some of her T-Bath products.
    A couple of years ago, Theodosia had put on her entrepreneur’s cap and developed an entire line of bath and skin care products infused with various blends of tea. Now her T-Bath line included such delicious-sounding fare as Oolong Bubble Bath, Ginger and Chamomile Facial Mist, Lemon Verbena Hand Lotion, and Chamomile Calming Lotion. And she was currently working with her manufacturer on a recipe that included hibiscus and honey. So probably a body lotion called Hibiscus and Honey Butter.
    She stacked the bottles and jars on the antique highboy, tucked a few gingham tea cozies next to them, and finished off her display area by adding a few more jars of DuBose Bees Honey. There, it was looking very presentable.
    “Excuse me,” said Drayton. “But before we open our door and get inundated with customers, could we please take these last five minutes to run through our plans for tomorrow’s Downton Abbey tea?”
    “Fine with me,” said Theodosia. She dusted her hands together and went over to the celadon green velvet curtains that separated the tea room from the kitchen and back office. Parting the curtains, she called out, “Haley?”
    “You presence is required,” Drayton called out loudly.
    Two seconds later, Haley popped out, wiping her hands on a red-checkered towel.
    “You’re using your Heritage Society orator’s voice,” said Haley. “This must be important.”
    “Everything we do here is important,” said Drayton.
    “Well . . . sure, dude,” said Haley, sounding more Valley Girl than South Carolina native.
    “Drayton wants to review the menu for the Downton Abbey tea,” said Theodosia.
    “Oh that,” said Haley, waving a hand, satisfied that nothing major was amiss. “Nothing’s changed since I shared my menu ideas with him.”
    “Then kindly share them with Theodosia, as well,” said Drayton.
    “Okay,” said Haley. “We’ll be serving Mrs. Patmore’s Smoked Salmon Tea

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