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Weekend Reads: “A Nice Cup of Tea”

A Nice Cup of TeaA Nice Cup of Tea by Celia Imrie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Four ex-pat friends (Theresa, Sally, William, and Benjamin) are watching trade fall off in their Cote d’Azur restaurant, La Mosaique. When they discover that the mosaic that gives the establishment its name was created by Pablo Picasso, they figure their problems are solved; they’ll auction off the art work. Picasso’s estate steps in, and now they feel really stuck.

Numerous schemes to keep the restaurant afloat go awry, from a shore-to-ship delivery service to assisting the kitchens in other hotels. The owner of a neighboring brasserie wants to buy them out at an absurdly low price … and he’s not taking no for an answer.

In the mean time, Theresa’s got a secret admirer whose attentions are disconcerting … and her granddaughter has run away with an admirer of her own. Sally’s a former actress who has a gig land in her lap that will help them keep the restaurant going — but that means having to work with some awful people from her theatrical past.

All of the threads come together in unexpected ways, making for a delightful romp that, while not quite a fair play puzzle, still leaves the reader satisfied at the end. Highly recommended.

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