Review 1608: Tea Is So Intoxicating

Tea Is So Intoxicating is a froth of a novel with silly characters but comments to make about marriage, snobbery, and class. No one here is very likable, but quite a bit is funny.

Retired Commander David Tompkins has purchased a picturesque but inconvenient thatched cottage and decides to run a tea shop from it. His wife Germayne thinks it’s a terrible idea, but nothing can dissuade him. He thinks he is a wonderful cook and has visions of a first-class tea shop; however, his pilot meal, meant to induce an investment from his friend George, is a disaster. In fact, David can’t cook, but he is convinced that he can produce his estimated 240 delicious teas a day.

There is some hope for the cooking, because a friend at his previous job sends along Mimi, a Viennese cake baker. Mimi does know how to bake a delicious cake, but she is the type of woman whom all men want to protect and all woman distrust on sight, apparently with cause.

Mrs. Arbroath used to run the village in 1910 and thinks it is still 1910, not 1950. She is determined to keep the tea shop from opening, claiming it will attract lots of riffraff. In addition, the owner of the local pub, who has opened a small tea garden (also opposed by Mrs. Arbroath), thinks they’ll be too much competition so has barred the Tompkins from his pub.

As all this becomes (I can’t help it) a tempest in a teapot, Charmayne begins to wonder if she shouldn’t have stayed with her first husband, Nigel.

I received a copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for a free and fair review.

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14 thoughts on “Review 1608: Tea Is So Intoxicating

  1. Davida Chazan February 1, 2021 / 11:59 pm

    This sounds so sweet… I really need to get to the British Library the next time I’m in London!

    • whatmeread February 2, 2021 / 12:41 am

      You probably just need to go to a bookstore.

      • Davida Chazan February 2, 2021 / 5:23 am

        Um… don’t I wish! There is no way that any bookstore in my country would have a copy of this, or any of these novels from the British Library. The few English books they carry are usually just the big name, popular authors publishing today.

      • whatmeread February 2, 2021 / 10:45 am

        Oh, that’s too bad. I just order them from Amazon.

      • Davida Chazan February 3, 2021 / 1:11 am

        I buy most of my physical books from The Book Depository, since shipping books here from even Amazon UK is prohibitive!

      • whatmeread February 3, 2021 / 11:33 am

        Oh, that’s too bad. Where are you, if you don’t mind my asking.

      • Davida Chazan February 3, 2021 / 11:33 pm

        I live in Israel. You’d think that the “people of the book” would have more tolerance for non-Hebrew books, but that’s not the case. We used to have good English language libraries, but the low demand got them all closed down. Shame, really.

      • whatmeread February 4, 2021 / 12:45 am

        That’s too bad. Maybe you’ll eventually be able to get the British Library books from Book Depository.

      • Davida Chazan February 4, 2021 / 4:25 am

        I can get them via Book Depository, but they’re more expensive there. Anyway, we get to the UK almost once a year, so… after the virus, we shall see… (We are trying to get to Scotland…)

      • whatmeread February 4, 2021 / 11:03 am

        Good luck!

  2. Liz Dexter February 6, 2021 / 10:44 am

    This was a funny one, wasn’t it, with all those exclamation marks, then you get drawn in and see different sides of the characters.

  3. Ian March 9, 2021 / 3:52 am

    Mary Essex was a pen name of the prolific bestselling author Ursula Bloom. She wrote over 560 books which at one point earned her a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. I have recently produced a five episode podcast based on her autobiographies which I hope you will find interesting – https://www.ursulabloom.com/ursula-bloom-a-life-in-words-podcast/

    • whatmeread March 9, 2021 / 9:27 am

      I didn’t know that. I have reviewed a book by Ursula Bloom, too.

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