A tea shop mystery

I’m a fan of a series of cozy mystery novels called the Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs. They are about a tea shop owner and amateur sleuth named Theodosia Browning who has a curious streak that gets her involved in solving murders and mysteries.

The author set Theodosia’s tea shop (called the Indigo Tea Shop) on Church Street in the historic district of Charleston, South Carolina, and writes a lot about the historic downtown and how charming it is.

So, on a recent visit to Charleston, I wanted to experience Church Street and see if I could find where Laura Childs may have chosen to locate her fictitious shop.

This turned out to be a mystery in itself, since most of Church Street is very narrow and is filled with early 19th century residential houses. It was only near the northern end of the street that there were any possibilities for retail stores. I looked for a historic building with a double window, as well as a second story (where Theodosia lived in the first several books). I thought I found two possibilities (see top of post), but who knows? Although some authors use real places in their fiction, others come up with their own inventions.

But whatever Laura Childs may have done, it was great to see Charleston’s historic downtown for myself and to picture the street where Theodosia and her friends spend their days serving tea and solving mysteries. I’ll definitely have an enhanced perspective when I read the 15th Tea Shop Mystery, call Steeped in Evil, coming out this month.

Find out more about the Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs.