Shades of Earl Grey

Delaine’s pleading eyes bore into Theodosia. “Oh please, you’re so terribly good at this kind of thing.”

I have to start out by saying that whenever I mentioned what I was reading, people would respond with “oh, that book…” and I’d have to tell them it was a different Shades of Grey!

You come to expect that a dead bodies will crop up in a mystery, but some cases are sadder than others. In this book, Theodosia and company are at the engagement party for her friend Delaine’s niece Camille. Unfortunately, the storm raging outside causes the roof of the glass-enclosed room to collapse, killing the young groom-to-be. To top it off, the couple’s priceless heirloom wedding disappeared from its display in the aftermath of the accident. Theodosia has a hunch that the collapsing roof could be the symptom of a theft gone wrong, and Delaine begs her to do a little investigating.

Since a cat burglar would likely strike again, Theodosia and Drayton urge their friend Timothy to take extra precautions at the Heritage Society’s upcoming display of antique European jewels. Unfortunately, their simple security system is not enough. Soon shops and homes all over the Historic District are victimized. The case is out of Burt Tidwell’s hands because it is not officially murder, but Theodosia and her friends will need all the help they can get to trap a cat.

I don’t know why I never thought of it before, but maybe one of the reasons I love these books so much is Theodosia’s uncanny similarity to Nancy Drew. She’s fairly tall, with blue eyes and curly auburn hair. She lost her mother at a young age (eight), and her father was a lawyer. She has a pair of trusted friends always ready to help with the case, and a loyal boyfriend who stays offstage unless needed. She even has a brave and intelligent dog (and Earl Grey helps plenty with this case especially).

Beyond outward similarities, Theo has both a strong desire to help people and a true talent for investigating, just like Nancy. Her mind tends to pick up on clues and see all possible hidden meanings in ordinary scenarios. She is calm and collected at all times, even when in dangerous situations. And if at thirty-five she’s a little bit older than the teen sleuth, we can overlook that difference. Laura Childs is a self-professed Nancy Drew fan, so I wonder if that really was part of the inspiration behind Theodosia’s character.

Published in: on April 2, 2012 at 1:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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