Daisy Swanson and her Aunt Iris run a delightful shop in Pennsylvania’s Amish country with an emphasis on tasty teas and treats—but murder is not so sweet . . .
As local merchants unite to attract tourists for a much anticipated weekend quilting event, business is sure to spill over into eateries like Daisy’s Tea Garden. Gorgeous craftwork is hanging everywhere—but among the quilts, potholders, and placemats, one gallery owner is wrapped up in some dangerous affairs . . .
Reese Masemer had been dating one of Daisy’s employees, Tessa, an artist, though their last interaction was as strained as a cup of loose leaf tea. Now Reese has been found dead near a covered bridge where Tessa’s been practicing her sketches. She’s the obvious suspect, but Daisy’s learning that there were some major secrets in Reese’s background, and several of his relationships were infused with resentment. To save Tessa, she’ll have to find out who’s tainted this quaint little town with murder . . .
Includes delicious recipes!
About the Author
Karen Rose Smith is the author of seven Caprice De Luca home-staging mysteries. Married to her college sweetheart, Karen has convinced her husband that felines can make purr-fect housemates. They share their home in the Susquehanna Valley of Pennsylvania with their three rescued cats. For more about Karen, please visit her website www.karenrosesmithmysteries.com.
Read an Excerpt
The Victorian house with its gray siding and white gingerbread trim loomed in front of Daisy Swanson as she and Tessa Miller approached it. The January darkness had wrapped around the town of Willow Creek, Pennsylvania, early tonight with a cloudy pewter sky before sunset and the prediction of snow later. Daisy wasn't sure she should have let Tessa talk her into coming here to Revelations Art Gallery with her after hours. But Tessa was the chef and kitchen manager at Daisy's Tea Garden and Daisy's best friend. They'd been confidantes since high school. Still ...
Daisy voiced her concern as a gust of wind blew her wavy shoulder-length blond hair across her cheek. She brushed it behind her ear, thinking she should have worn her hat. The temperature was below freezing. "I don't know if I should have come with you."
Walking along the side of the house to the back door of Revelations, Tessa assured her, "I'm just going to pick up my sketchbook and leave your cinnamon scones on Reese's desk."
Tessa had been dating Reese Masemer, the owner of Revelations Art Gallery, since her show in October. She'd left her sketchbook there when she'd stopped in to have lunch with him.
Tessa went on, "You know you want to see the quilt display Reese set up. Quilt Lovers Weekend is coming up in a little over three weeks. I'm sure Reese won't mind you being in the gallery with me. He knows you and I are close friends."
Without hesitation, Tessa turned the key in the lock, stepped inside, and pressed in a security code. The long braid that kept her caramel-colored hair relatively confined swished across the back of her purple down jacket as she switched on a light. "He trusts me with the key and the code now."
And Daisy knew why. Often Tessa spent the night with Reese in his apartment upstairs.
Even in the dim light, Daisy could see Tessa blush a little. Her friend's relationship with Reese was fairly new, and Daisy wasn't sure what to think about it yet.
She stepped inside with Tessa and looked around at the office. It was business-messy with a few paintings positioned on easels and art books spread across a large maple desk. Papers — invoices and such — were scattered over the surface of the desk too. A computer station sat at the far wall and the computer was off. At least it looked as if it was off but it could have just been sleeping, Daisy supposed. Tessa's sketchbook rested on the corner.
"I'm surprised you and Reese aren't out on a date tonight," Daisy said. Reese and Tessa had been spending most evenings together.
Approaching the desk, Tessa set the foil-wrapped package of cinnamon scones there and picked up her sketchbook. "He has a meeting with a client tonight in York and he said he won't be back until late."
Willow Creek, in the heart of Lancaster County, was close to Lancaster as well as York, making it an ideal small town with other accessible services close by.
"I am interested in the quilts display." Daisy unzipped the first few inches of her fleece jacket patterned with cats. "Especially if Reese has any Album quilts. But then I want to get home."
"Vi only has a few more days at home before returning to college, doesn't she?" Tessa asked.
Her friend knew how much Daisy had missed her older daughter. "Yes, and I want to spend as much time with her as I can. And Jazzi —"
Her fifteen-year-old had had a lot on her plate the past six months. Not only had she missed her sister, Violet, who had gone off to college, but as an adoptee, Jazzi had decided to search for her birth parents. After weeks of silent secretive behavior in the fall, Jazzi had finally confided in Daisy. She knew her girls missed their father, who had died three years ago, and Jazzi particularly had been close to Ryan. Putting her own feelings about the search aside, she'd aided Jazzi's efforts to find her birth mother. Now Daisy wanted to be available to her younger daughter because Jazzi had an upcoming visit planned for this Sunday with Portia Smith Harding. Jazzi might want to talk about it. Although her daughter had spoken with Portia on the phone, she hadn't seen her face-to-face since their first meeting in October.
"Come on," Tessa said, disrupting Daisy's thoughts. Crossing to the doorway that led into the other rooms of the gallery, Tessa paused.
When Reese had bought the old Victorian to use for the art gallery, he'd kept its charm and only done renovations that would help show off work in the gallery. Now Tessa guided Daisy through a dark room into a larger one where ambient light glowed from a track along the ceiling.
"I have to find the light switch," Tessa said.
Daisy stayed perfectly still so she didn't inadvertently knock an elbow into an art piece. Most of the work Reese carried was from new artists, but some of it was still valuable.
There was an eerie quality about the Victorian that manifested in several ways. A light mustiness always floated in the air. Did that come from the house being over a hundred-fifty years old? Possibly. Or perhaps from the antiques that Reese used for display tables. The floorboards, although they had been refinished to their original character, creaked. It was hard to find one that didn't.
She and Tessa stood in one of the rooms toward the back of the house. As she peered through the duskiness to the front room, it looked as if shadows appeared to be waving in the streetlights. Those were tree branches swaying in front of the huge bay window.
When there was a bump and swish as if a branch had brushed against the side of the house, Daisy jumped. She wasn't a nervous person, only anxious when she had concerns for her daughters. But this gallery, devoid of patrons, was giving her the creeps.
Finally Tessa found the light switch. An overhead light glowed mildly over the room. Daisy knew Reese didn't want glaring illumination to disturb the atmosphere of his displays or damage any of the works.
"Over there." Tessa pointed to a corner where Daisy could see quilt stands and several quilts folded over chairs. Another was spread across a table. The array drew her to it as she forgot all about the eeriness of the Victorian house. She went straight for one of the quilt stands where she recognized an Album quilt. It was beautiful. The tag on the quilt read BALTIMORE ALBUM QUILT.
"Isn't this gorgeous?" she whispered.
Tessa came up beside her. "Reese said that one's worth about fourteen thousand dollars."
"Just look at this fine needlework."
"It's hard to believe it's from the nineteenth century. I can't imagine anyone sewing so evenly with those tiny stitches."
"This is appliqué and reverse appliqué, embroidery, and more padded appliqué that makes up the three-dimensional blocks. I really should learn to quilt. Rachel Fisher teaches it." Rachel and Levi Fisher, friends of Daisy's, owned Quilts and Notions. They not only sold quilts but cloth and sewing supplies, too.
"Reese believes the Quilt Lovers Weekend will bring in the most business for Rachel and Levi."
Daisy knew the Amish family well. Although she'd moved away from Willow Creek after college, she remembered her childhood as if it was yesterday. Rachel's parents had grown shrubs and trees for Daisy's mom and dad to sell at their nursery, Gallagher's Garden Corner. So Daisy had spent time on that farm. She admired the family and their Amish way of life.
Reluctantly, she moved away from the Baltimore Album quilt to study another.
Suddenly she heard a noise coming from another room. It didn't emanate from the office or the front gallery. If she remembered the downstairs layout correctly, it was coming from the stairs that led to the second floor.
"Someone else can't be here," Tessa murmured, stepping toward a sculpture of an old man sitting on a tree stump. She picked it up as if she intended to hit someone with it.
Daisy held her breath, unsure what Tessa would do next. Tessa hadn't yet taken a step when Reese appeared in the doorway!
They were as surprised as he was.
Reese Masemer wasn't quite six feet tall, but he was fit and lean. At forty-something, his hair was sandy brown, thick, and long. It shaggily splayed over his denim shirt collar. His dark brown eyes landed on Daisy and Tessa. His face, which had seemed too pale, showed a little more color.
Tessa spoke first. "What are you doing here? I thought you had dinner and a meeting with a client."
Appearing a bit shaken, Reese shrugged. Then he smiled. "I thought I had intruders. I'm glad to see it's the two of you. I was worried I might have to invest in a new alarm system."
Crossing to Tessa, he wrapped his arm around her waist. "My client cancelled so I was spending the evening working on my laptop upstairs. I have a lot to catch up on — invoices to input from the sales over the holidays." He wiggled his brows at Tessa. "Including two of your paintings that sold. I'm ready for you to bring more to the gallery."
Daisy's woman's intuition told her that Reese was trying to distract Tessa from the fact that he was still here and hadn't told her.
Her friend, a bit besotted by her relationship with him, let him do it. "I came over to bring some of those cinnamon scones you like so much and pick up my sketchbook. The scones are on your desk. I asked Daisy along because I knew she'd like to see the quilts before we had to scramble through people to view them. They're going to be a big draw."
"I suspect they will be," he agreed. "Those Album quilts are a real find. But that's another reason I'm concerned about security."
He did seem troubled, Daisy thought. But did his concern really have to do with the Album quilts?
Reese gave Tessa another squeeze. "Remember, we're going to have a candlelit dinner in York on Saturday evening. Is that still good for you?"
"It is. But I hope we can spend some time together before that. Are we still on for dinner tomorrow evening?"
With Reese and Tessa gazing into each other's eyes, Daisy felt like the proverbial fifth wheel. This was Wednesday. She imagined Tessa would be staying overnight again before Saturday. "I'll let you and Tessa say a proper good-night." Crossing the room, she headed for the office and the outside back door.
It wasn't long before Tessa joined her, rosy-cheeked and looking just-kissed. However, she was quiet as they left the gallery and closed the door. Once outside, she glanced up at the apartment on the second floor where all the blinds were drawn. No light escaped. Had Reese really been working up there?
A cold wind buffeted them. Daisy pulled the zipper on her jacket up to her neck and turned toward the tea garden where her car was parked.
Tessa took a few quick steps to keep up and asked, "Do you think Reese rushed us out?"
In spite of the wind, Daisy stopped. "What's on your mind?" "Reese's assistant, Chloie Laird, flirts with him constantly. What if she's been doing more than flirting? What if she was upstairs with him?"
Daisy watched as Tessa took another look up at the second floor. "Are you saying you don't trust Reese?"
"You know it's hard for me to trust anyone."
Daisy did know that. But before they could delve into that subject, Tessa changed it. "We're going to be passing Woods. We could stop in and say hi to Jonas."
Tessa was aware that Daisy and Jonas Groft had spent time together. Daisy enjoyed his company and, if she had to admit it, more than enjoyed it. However, Jonas had closed his shop from Christmas to New Year's and gone to Philadelphia to spend the holidays with good friends. They'd spent New Year's Eve together, though, with her girls. That was a few days ago. Since then, she hadn't heard from him. She wasn't sure she should visit Woods because she didn't want to push.
Because of his background as a former Philadelphia detective, Jonas had gotten pulled into her life to help Jazzi search for her birth mother. It was quite possible he didn't want a serious relationship. To be honest, she wasn't sure she did.
Still, Tessa caught her arm and pulled her along, saying, "Come on. You've got to take risks in your life. You don't very often."
"Opening the tea garden with my aunt was a risk." After her husband had died, she'd returned to her hometown to start over. She and her aunt Iris had bought a house to establish Daisy's Tea Garden, and Daisy had also renovated an old barn where she and the girls now lived.
"Your aunt knows more about tea than Wikipedia. And the two of you created a place where everybody comes to chat and relax, eat good food, and drink the best tea. How could it have missed?"
"It still could. You know the track record with small businesses."
"I do. But we're growing. We hired more help."
"When you become a rich and famous artist, you won't want to be my kitchen manager."
With a frown, Tessa studied Daisy. "If I ever do become rich and famous, I'll still be your best friend. And if I have to quit my job, I would find you the best kitchen manager on the face of the earth."
"Now that reassures me," Daisy said wryly as they stood in front of Woods.
"Come on," Tessa urged again, opening the door and pulling Daisy inside. "At least we'll get warm for a few minutes."
Daisy just shook her head and gave in to the inevitable enthusiasm Tessa usually exhibited. However, to her relief, Jonas was nowhere in sight within the store. Elijah Beiler was. He was an Amish woodworker who sold furniture through Jonas's shop. In his forties, Elijah wore black pants with suspenders and a dark blue shirt. His beard signified he was married.
"Good evening, ladies," Elijah said with a broad, welcoming smile.
"Evening, Elijah. Is Jonas around?" Daisy asked.
"No. He went searching for reclaimed wood. He's thinking about adding a line of furniture created from it."
"I've seen furniture crafted from reclaimed wood on those building shows on the Home & Garden channel," Daisy recalled. "They're beautiful."
Elijah went to the counter in the back of the store and reached underneath. After he brought out a few sketches, he carried them to Daisy and Tessa. "Would you like to look at these? They're what Jonas has in mind."
When Daisy had renovated the old barn that she now called home, she'd included an island in her kitchen. She'd examined many in her search for the best one for her use and was familiar with the styles. She admired the plans for islands that Jonas had designed, as well as those for a sideboard table and a practical desk.
"You and Jonas are both very talented," Daisy said, meaning it.
A humble man like most Amish, Elijah reddened at her praise. "Like me, Jonas takes pleasure in bringing the real nature of wood to life."
"I'm looking forward to seeing what the two of you come up with," Daisy assured him. She glanced at Tessa. "We'd better go. I want to get home to the girls."
"I'll tell Jonas you stopped in," Elijah assured them.
Daisy wasn't certain she wanted him to do that, but she kept silent. After a round of good-byes, she and Tessa left Woods.
They walked briskly up the street. In front of Daisy's Tea Garden, they paused and glanced at their Victorian. The tea garden took up the first floor. Tessa lived in the second-floor apartment and used the attic for painting.
A light that came on at dusk and went off at dawn glowed on the front porch. It illuminated the pale green exterior with its white and yellow trim. On the first floor Daisy and her aunt had furnished the be-served or buy-it-to-go room with oak, glass-top tables. She'd painted the walls the palest green. A second tea room on the first floor was a spillover area. It was also the room they used when they took reservations and served afternoon tea by appointment. That room's walls were the palest yellow.
Daisy's office was located to the rear of the tea room and the kitchen spread behind the walk-in room. They also had a side patio where they served customers outside, weather permitting. A private parking area for Daisy's, her aunt's, and Tessa's vehicles ran in back of the Victorian.
"Business is still good," Tessa reminded her. "Even though it's early January and the tourist season has slowed down. That means the community is embracing Daisy's and the tea garden is an integral part of the area."
"I hope that's what it means. The uptick in business could still be from the notoriety of the murder that happened here."
Daisy's Tea Garden had been the scene of a murder in the fall, and there had been publicity from that with local TV coverage as well as discussions on online blogs.
"Foster has really helped to spread the word about Daisy's Tea Garden on social media too," Tessa added. "You have to give him credit for that."
Excerpted from "Murder with Cinnamon Scones"
Copyright © 2018 Karen Rose Smith.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Love the charecters and plot line, another surprise ending. I also enjoy the family in her books. Can't wait for the next one.
“Murder with Cinnamon Scones” by Karen Rose Smith is the 2nd book in the Daisy's Tea Garden Mystery series. It’s the story of Daisy Swanson, who owns Daisy’s Tea Garden with her Aunt Iris in Willow Creek, a Pennsylvania – Amish community. Daisy is a widow raising two daughters, Violet, a college student home on some weekends who is dating one of Daisy’s employees, Foster Cranshaw, and Jazzi, who has recently looked for and found her biological mother. One of her employees, Tessa, is her best friend as well who also rents the second and third story of the Victorian home the tea garden is in. Tessa has been dating Reese Masemer, owner of the local business Revelations Art Gallery, for a short time. Love seems to have bloomed and they have been spending a lot of time together including some nights. The whole town is preparing for the Quilt Lover’s Weekend in hopes of building up the towns tourist traffic and increase business is this small quaint town. Both Reese and Daisy are on the committee to promote the event. Before the start of the event, Reese is found murdered and Tessa seems to be the prime suspect. Daisy knows she is innocent and determined to clear her name while not tarnishing the upcoming event or getting in harm’s way herself. She’s not having much luck with the latter after being pushed down a flight of stair, getting grazed by a bullet in the arm or looking down the barrel of a gun. Along the way to finding the murderer, she gets assistance from former Philadelphia detective turned woodworking business owner, Jonas Groft, who she has a major attraction for, as well as from Foster, who turns out to be a big help in information gathering and a respectful young man. You hear some words of wisdom from her childhood Amish friend, Rachel. You will also get irritated at Detective Rappaport who seems determined to pin the murder on Tessa every time you turn around. Loved the way the author played the story out keeping you turning the pages guessing who the murdered might have been and what possible motive they may have had while showing how a small town like Willow Creek looks out for one another pulling together in a crisis to help in any way they can. She shows what real community should be like and a place you would love to live. The book is exciting and page turning keeping you guessing to the very end. Then she wraps it up so nicely that you sigh with contentment and wonder how you couldn’t have seen that one coming. I definitely recommend this book to anyone that loves a great cozy mystery!
I enjoy the author's other cozy series but this series is just not catching my interest. I read the first one and I was hoping this 2nd book would be better but I was disappointed. The mystery is almost the same and the writing is lazy. The romances are forced. I just do not find myself warming up to the characters. The main character is more annoying than endearing. The mystery was easy to solve. I hope the author improves the third book in the series.
Dollycas’s Thoughts Willow Creek has a big event planned. A Quilt Lover’s Weekend that they hope will bring plenty of tourists to town. Reese Masemer owns the local art gallery and he will be displaying some beautiful antique quilts. Tessa, an artist and Daisy’s BFF has been dating him and helping him set up for the big event. There will be a tea at Daisy’s Tea Garden to wrap up the event and announce the raffle winners. After their last meeting, Tessa feels there is something off about Reese but he has been busy and she has been working on a project herself too. She spends her early morning sketching the covered bridge just outside of town. She is hoping that after the weekend and things settle down she will be able to find out what is going on with Reese. But before she has the chance, Reese is found dead, right by the covered bridge and Tessa is the police’s prime suspect. Knowing her friend is innocent she is going to do her best to find the real killer. Daisy has a way with tea and cinnamon scones but catching the real culprit will take more than 5 minutes to steep the clues all together and pour out her findings for the police. The characters in this story have a strong bond whether related by blood or friendship. The group looks out for each other. That is clear not only by the way they try to save Tessa but also when Daisy’s helps out one of her employees. A young man on a different path that his father thinks he should be on. I loved the way they all come together several times in this story to handle normal daily life, business, the murder investigation and its aftermath. The word compassion comes to mind when I think of these characters. All the relationships feel true to life. Karen Rose Smith has written a complex mystery with some corkscrew twists. More suspects are uncovered as the story reveals more of the victim’s past. Detective Morris Rappaport really started rubbing me the wrong way but a few exciting moments finally put him in his place. I liked that Daisy had help from a retired police detective, Jonas Groft and a high school friend, Cade Bankert but I am not entirely sold yet on a romantic relationship between Jonah and Daisy. This story is well written and plotted. The characters are well developed as well with plenty of backstory if you missed the first book in this series. I am not a tea drinker but I love the theme of this series. As a former quilter, I also loved the theme of this story. Willow Creek is a wonderful place to virtually visit. I could almost taste the cinnamon scones. This is another perfect escape from this author. A delightful cozy mystery. I am excited to see what happens next!
Great second book. I hope there are more. Well written with a little romance and a lot of suspense.
Murder with Cinnamon Scones by Karen Rose Smith is the second book in A Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery series. Daisy Swanson co-owns Daisy’s Tea Garden with her Aunt Iris in Willow Creek, Pennsylvania. The town is getting ready for Quilt Lovers Weekend in three weeks. Daisy has been working with Reese Masemer, owner of Revelations Art Gallery and Tessa’s boyfriend, on the preparations. Unfortunately, Reese will not get to enjoy the fruits of his labors. He is found dead in the woods near the covered bridge and Tessa finds herself at the top of the suspect list. Matters are not helped when Chloie Laird, Reese’s attractive assistant, openly accuses Tessa of the crime at the tea shop. Knowing that Tessa did not commit the crime, Daisy takes a deep dive into Reese’s life. It seems that Reese had some secrets and one of them could have gotten him killed. Murder with Cinnamon Scones is well-written and has steady pacing. There is a lovely cast of characters and a charming town. Daisy is friendly, smart main character who is moving on with her life after the death of her husband. I think she is handling her adopted daughter’s (Jazzi) search for her biological mother very well. It is sensitive issue that the author handled thoughtfully. Daisy has starting dating Jonas Graft, but their path is bumpy. I could have done with less romance and more mystery. I prefer a romance that plays out slowly in the background. There are beautiful quilt descriptions in the book especially of the Baltimore Album Quilt. There are many cozy moments with cooking, baking, eating, tea events, family time, town events, quilting plus more. I especially like that Daisy and her kids live in a converted barn. Foster Crenshaw’s father is worried about him working at the tea garden and his relationship with Daisy’s daughter, Violet. Mr. Crenshaw does not want Foster’s college plans derailed. The mystery had some good components, a couple of suspects and misdirection. I am not a fan of Detective Morris Rappaport who is a cliché cozy mystery detective. Murder with Cinnamon Scones can be read alone if you have not had the opportunity to pick up Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes. I am rating Murder with Cinnamon Scones 4 out of 5 stars. I thought Murder with Cinnamon Scones was an engaging cozy mystery that will delight readers of this genre and Karen Rose Smith.
Daisy Swanson has her hands full getting ready for the big quilting weekend event that is expected to bring lots of tourists to town. Her life is complicated by her older daughters boyfriends' family, her younger daughters birth mothers visit and the murder investigation that is centered around her best friend/employee Tessa. Reese Masemer, the art gallery owner, and also Tessa's boyfriend is killed and the detective in charge has his sights set on Tessa. Daisy must step up and help out her best friend by finding the real killer while juggling her very busy life. I love the tea room setting in this series. I feel like I can stop by any time to visit and grab a bakes good and a large variety of tea. Each character is unique and their personalities blend so naturally that the reader feels like they are real. I look forward to the next book in this series.
Daisy Swanson is looking forward to the Quilt Lover's Weekend. She hopes it will bring lots of people to Willow Creek. She just doesn't expect that the murder of Reese Masemer will start the event or that her good friend, Tessa, will be the main suspect. Can she help solve the crime? I'm glad to be back at Daisy's Tea Room. I love hearing about the special teas and the bakery. I also enjoy the recipes that are included. Daisy is a compelling character. I admire her courage and determination. Her understanding and compassion draw me to this character. She won't stop her investigation. Tessa stands strong against the accusations that she killed her boyfriend, but she's very afraid. I felt sorry that she had go through this. I was glad that Daisy was there for her. I felt that Daisy has grown as a person. I was happy to see that she and Jonas had a heartfelt talk and cleared the air. I think they would make a perfect couple. There is definite chemistry between them. I enjoyed the other characters. Each one was well written. The dialogue is realistic and the setting is perfect. I loved the kitties. The both have strong personalities. The story is suspenseful and filled with surprises. I didn't expect the ending. I never saw it coming. I enjoy the writing of Karen Rose Smith. She always pulls me. I can't wait for Daisy's next adventure.
I think that the best quality a cozy mystery can have is to make the reader feel they are sitting right at the table along with the main characters. Karen Rose Smith accomplishes that and more with this series. The characters are well developed and have depth in their relationships, which do not always flow smoothly. Such is the reality in real families and friendships. I especially like how Daisy remains friends with Rachel, an Amish woman she's known since childhood, even though their lives are very different. And how Daisy shares her worries about meeting her adopted daughter's birth mother and about her elder daughter becoming an independent woman. I could relate! When best friend and coworker Tessa is in the spotlight as a murder suspect, you find out who in town is a true friend. Secrets are revealed about Tessa's male friend and we learn more about Daisy's romantic interest, Jonas. A lot of underlying emotions influence the storyline. An all around wonderful read. While the ending is satisfying, it also leaves me wanting more to come. I want to visit Willow Creek again! I accepted a copy of this book via Netgalley to review. The rating and opinions expressed are my own.
This is the second book in Daisy's Tea Garden mysteries. Daisy again finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation when Tessa, her friend and employee, is accused of killing her boyfriend, Reese. Daisy's list of suspects grows and includes a deli owner, Reese's assistant who is jealous of Tessa, his ex-wife and son, and a former patient of his. Along with the murder mystery, there are family conflicts and issues with Jonas, Daisy's friend and possible romantic interest. The story line held my interest from beginning to end. There are also recipes to try, including one for Cinnamon Scones.
It's January, and Daisy Swanson and her fellow merchants in the lovely town of Willow Creek, Pennsylvania are preparing for the Quilt Lovers Weekend. Reese, the boyfriend of Daisy's best friend Tessa, is found murdered in his art gallery and Daisy must work to uncover who did it and why, as secrets come to light and relationships are discovered to not be what they'd seemed. Warm and fuzzy and cozy all at once, this delightful mystery will keep the reader entranced from the first page to the last. Murder with Cinnamon Scones by Karen Rose Smith is very highly endorsed by this very satisfied reader!
Second in the Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery series, the author shares a cheery setting, well-drawn characters, and mounting suspense that crests to quite a surprise! I really enjoy the characters at tea garden who work together as if part of a finely-choreographed dance. They are warm and welcoming in an atmosphere where one is content to have a cup of tea or coffee and scone and relax. I love this new series, perhaps because of the setting and the leading ladies – Daisy, Iris, and Tessa. Daisy Swanson grew up in Walnut Creek, PA, then she and her late husband, Ryan, moved away. After his death, Daisy formulated a plan, packed up her delightful daughters Vi, now 18, and Jazzi, now 15, returning to Walnut Creek. Daisy and her Aunt Iris purchased a Victorian home for Daisy’s Tea Garden. Daisy’s best friend Tessa is the kitchen manager, who lives on the second floor of the Tea Garden, and uses the attic for her painting. Daisy and three other business owners are on the committee planning a Quilt Lover’s Weekend, which will hopefully provide a needed boost to the local economy for the winter weekend. They want to draw in people from nearby towns for year-round returns. There will be a drawing for two quilts, quilted kitchen goods for sale, and a demonstration at the local Quilts & Notions shop owned by an Amish woman, one of Daisy’s childhood friends, Rachel. All is going well until Reese, Tessa’s boyfriend who she has become very serious about, was found dead by the covered bridge, where Tessa has been working on a series of paintings. Reese, owner of the local gallery where Tessa had a showing last fall, was murdered. Tessa is the only suspect. Readers are treated to complex characters who we learn about through realistic dialog, actions, and revealing some of their backstories. Iris and Daisy are my favorites. Daisy reflects wisdom learned because of being a mother and, in recent years, a single mother. Each of the ladies, plus Foster, who work at Daisy’s Tea Garden are hard-working and personable. Daisy’s loyalty to Tessa and Foster through the challenges faced is exemplary, although it seemed at times that her words were challenging to a concerned parent and to Jonah when he tried to help her after she was attacked. Yes, Daisy was attacked on the stairs to Tessa’s apartment. She was injured, but thankfully not as bad as it could have been. Her computer searching skills are still excellent, finding that Reese had a few secrets he hadn’t shared with Tessa. This is a well-planned and executed multi-tiered mystery. Even though coffee is my preferred beverage, I appreciated learning more about the flavors of tea, how to prepare it, and seeing that I must try a white tea. Learning more about quilts, even though I can’t sew a stitch, was also enjoyable. Plot twists and turns brought electrifying changes about the potential suspects. I was stymied by the mystery, and stunned when finding out who the bad guy or gal is! There are no loose ends, and the story is well wrapped up. I highly recommend Murder with Cinnamon Scones, as well as the first in series, Murder with Lemon Tarts. From a grateful heart: I received a copy of this e-Arc from the publisher and NetGalley, and this is my honest review.
Daisy and Tessa are looking forward to the upcoming Quilt Lovers Weekend, an event that is being sponsored by several of the town businesses, including Daisy's Tea Garden. But when Tessa becomes the main suspect in the death of artist Reese Masemer, Daisy knows she has to investigate to clear Tessa's name. With a host of possible alternatives, including Reese's ex-wife, his teenaged son, and a mysterious figure from his past, Daisy has her work cut out for her. Of course, her own personal problems aren't helping her get to the bottom of this mystery, including the confused state with possible boyfriend, Jonas. This was an enjoyable mystery, full of clues and twists. I also enjoy the family centered perspectives found in this story, including dealing with your first child off to college, dealing with an adopted child seeking to find their biological mother, dealing with a contentious relationship with your own mother, or just dealing with emotional insecurity in dating relationships. This is the second book in this series, and I look forward to more adventures with Daisy and Jonas. BTW: recipes including that for cinnamon scones are included at the end of the book. Disclosure: I am voluntarily reviewing an advance reading copy of this book.
I received a free copy of Murder with Cinnamon Scones (A Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery) by Karen Rose Smith in exchange for an honest review. This book is the sequel to Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes; however, it can be read independently with no trouble. Daisy Swanson is working together with other local merchants to promote an upcoming quilting event expected to bring much needed revenue into town. Reese Masemer, who owns the local art gallery and who has been heavily involved in the planning of the upcoming event, is murdered. Daisy becomes embroiled in finding the murderer when law enforcement focuses on Daisy’s friend Tessa as the prime suspect. Can the crime be solved without sabotaging the upcoming promotional event and without anyone else getting hurt? The characters were likeable and the story progressed smoothly. This is a nice story for whiling away a quiet weekend. #MurderWithCinnamonScones #NetGalle
Murder with Cinnamon Scones by Karen Rose Smith (A Daisy's Tea Garden Mystery #2)by Karen Rose Smith Daisy Swanson and her Aunt Iris run a delightful shop in Pennsylvania’s Amish country with an emphasis on tasty teas and treats—but murder is not so sweet . . . As local merchants unite to attract tourists for a much anticipated weekend quilting event, business is sure to spill over into eateries like Daisy’s Tea Garden. Gorgeous craftwork is hanging everywhere—but among the quilts, potholders, and placemats, one gallery owner is wrapped up in some dangerous affairs . . . Reese Masemer had been dating one of Daisy’s employees, Tessa, an artist, though their last interaction was as strained as a cup of loose leaf tea. Now Reese has been found dead near a covered bridge where Tessa’s been practicing her sketches. She’s the obvious suspect, but Daisy’s learning that there were some major secrets in Reese’s background, and several of his relationships were infused with resentment. To save Tessa, she’ll have to find out who’s tainted this quaint little town with murder . . . This is Daisy Swanson and Aunt Iris's story. wonderful characters in this story. Tessa and Reese Masemer Jonas and Daisy Daisy has two teenage daughters. and other characters in this story. Daisy daughters; Jasmine, who’s in high school.Violet, who’s away at college. Daisy Swason and her Aunt Iris run a delightful shop in Pennsylvania’s Amish country called Daisy’s Tea Garden. Daisy Swanson is working together with other local merchants to promote an upcoming quilting event expected to bring much needed revenue into town. Reese Masemer is the owner of the art gallery. Reese has been involved in the planning of the upcoming event, is murdered. Daisy becomes embroiled in finding the murderer when law enforcement focuses on Daisy’s friend Tessa as the prime suspect. Can the crime be solved without sabotaging the upcoming promotional event and without anyone else getting hurt? Daisy finds herself searching for clues to the murder of her employee Tessa’s boyfriend. Includes delicious recipes! I highly recommend reading. I am looking forward to reading more books by Karen Rose Smith. Murder with Cinnamon Scones by Karen Rose Smith is a wonderful well written 5 star book. more books by Karen Rose Smith. Mystery #1 Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes by Karen Rose Smith Murder with Cinnamon Scones by Karen Rose Smith series A Daisy's Tea Garden Mystery #2 Fortune's Family Secrets (Fortunes of Texas : The Rulebreakers) Cut to the Chaise (Caprice De Luca Mystery book 8) Mommy Club 1. Wanted: A Real Family 2. A Match Made by Baby 3. The Cowboy's Secret Baby Caprice De Luca Mystery 1. Staged to Death 2. Deadly Decor 3. Gilt by Association 4. Drape Expectations 5. Silence of the Lamps 6. Shades of Wrath 7. Slay Bells Ring 8. Cut to the Chaise
In this next book of the series Daisy is getting ready for the upcoming Quilt Lovers Weekend. Her friend Tessa is dating the local gallery owner who will be displaying some of the quilts in his gallery. When Reese, Tessa's boyfriend, is found dead she becomes the main suspect. Who would want to kill Reese and why? Daisy jumps right in to help her friend, she knows Tessa isn't a killer but who out there is? When secrets that Reese were hiding come to light Tessa wonders just how well she knew the man she was in love with. Follow along as Daisy wades through the people who could have wanted to kill Reese in her quest for the truth. This was a fantastic read filled with wonderful characters and a well written whodunit. I would love to visit a tea garden like the one in the book, and enjoyed the lovely recipes included at the end. I like where the characters are going and look forward to seeing where the author takes them next.