By: Rose 'Nana' Freemont
Title: The Grim Steeper
Series: Teapot Collector Mysteries
Author: Amanda Cooper (aka Victoria Hamilton)
I love my town, Gracious Grove; my beautiful Birman kitty Pearl; my tearoom, Auntie Rose's Victorian Tea House; and I can't imagine life without my best friend, Laverne Hodge. I have a good life, full of love and purpose.
Above it all, though, my grandchildren are the light of my life. My lovely, smart, perfect gem of a granddaughter, Sophie, has come back to live here, in Gracious Grove, and help me with the tearoom. I'm getting on, and some days it's a huge effort to do everything I need to do. Her coming back has made me realize how much of an effort it was, and what a relief her decision is.
But I've got two other grandkids... grandsons, Andrew and Samuel; handsome, successful, smart, and, I hope, happy. They used to visit a couple of times a year when they were kids, mostly because their mother - my daughter - made them. But there wasn't much for rambunctious boys to do in a tearoom. So I guess I understand why I don't see them very often anymore.
I'm considering a change, of sorts. Sophie and Laverne are more than capable of taking care of the tearoom, and Laverne's lovely niece, Cindy, can step in to help when needed. I'm thinking I need a journey to reacquaint myself with those two boys now that they're all grown up. I know they're busy with their own lives, and there is distance between us, but as the elder, I think maybe it's up to me to bridge it.
So I'm going to make a journey of rediscovery. I'm going to foist myself off on those two boys, two weeks each, and get to know them, what makes them tick, what makes them happy, so I won't have any regrets. It'll be awkward at first, and they may not know what to do with me, but I don't need to see their city, or do touristy things... I just want to talk to them, tell them all about their grandpa, who they never knew, and their uncle, my brother who disappeared. And I want them to know me.
What about you, out there? Is there anyone you need to reconnect with? Do you think maybe you need to force it sometimes, be a little uncomfortable, knowing in the end it will be worth it? That's what I'm going to do. Wish me luck!
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Mid-October in the charming Finger Lakes town of Gracious Grove means it’s time for the annual Fall Fling Townwide Tea Party. The highlight of the festivities is a roaming tea-tasting, which includes a stop at Auntie Rose’s Victorian Tea House. Sophie Taylor would like to share her enjoyment of the event with her sort-of boyfriend, English teacher Jason Murphy, but Jason’s dean has accused him of falsifying grades to help an athlete at the local college. Steamed and stressed, Jason shows up the night of the party with bags under his eyes.
But the dean shows up under Sophie’s Japanese Maple later that night, murdered, and now Jason is suspected of far worse than fudging grade reports. It’s up to Sophie, her Nana, and their friends the Silver Spouts to pore over the clues to find out who really decided to teach the dean a lesson.