19 January 2012

Thursday Tea: Dead Low Tide by Bret Lott

The book: Charleston, South Carolina, is the seat of Southern charm, naval history, and the wealthy community of Landgrave Hall. The rags-to-riches Dillard family is having trouble fitting in with their new neighbors, and it doesn't help that Huger and his father are repeatedly caught on the links at 2:30 AM. They do this because Unc Dillard is too vain to let anyone see him hit the ball; it's not easy to play golf when you're blind.

One night as Huger and Unc moor their boat before teeing off, they discover the mutilated body of a woman floating in the water. With the help of the gated community's security guard, they report the murder to the proper authorities. But before the coroner can arrive on the scene, the Dillards are confronted by naval officers from a nearby base. Very soon, Huger and Unc are entangled in an investigation that involves friends and neighbors from both sides of the tracks as well as civilian, federal, and military law enforcement.

Although Dead Low Tide is a follow-up to an earlier Bret Lott novel (The Hunt Club), the book stands alone nicely. Readers are given enough background information to understand how the Dillards moved from a double-wide in the woods to their 4,200-square-foot "cottage" off the seventh green and how they wound up as people of interest.

The circumstances behind the murder are complex and have deep roots. As a consequence, the reader--like the Dillards--is unsure whom to trust, and Lott keeps us guessing all the way to the end. A consistent thread throughout the novel is Huger's personal growth, which has him shaking off long-held guilt and fear to clear the way to a satisfying future. His prospects leave Lott space to revisit the family again.

There's a lot going on in Dead Low Tide besides finding a solution to the murder, which makes this literary thriller a good choice for book clubs. Topics for discussion include family secrets, physical handicaps, social class differences, immigration, and the power of the military.

For my review of the audiobook, visit the Audiofile magazine's website.

The Tea: In November I told you about Adagio's Ginger Tea, and this week I gave it another try. I still love the spicy aroma of this flavored black tea. It's very warming on a wet winter afternoon. Here's how the company describes it: "ginger is renowned as one of our favorite teas, combining the fresh, warming heat of ginger with the rich tang of Ceylon black tea."

The Assessment: Although Dead Low Tide takes place in Charleston, tea isn't mention very often--or maybe I just didn't notice because I was caught up in the story. I'm sure some of the hoity-toity Landgrave Hall residents have fancy teas in their cupboards, but the Dillards likely stick with the grocery store brand. They may be living on the correct side of Broad, but their hearts aren't that far out of the woods.

What About You? You know the drill--here's where I ask you what you're drinking this week. Oh, and you know I also like to hear what you're reading.

Dead Low Tide at Powell's
Dead Low Tide at Book Depository
These links lead to affiliate programs.

Thursday Tea was the brainchild of Anastasia at Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog.

Published by Random House, 2011
ISBN-13: 9781400063758
Source: Review (see review policy)
Rating: B

Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)
FTC: I buy all teas myself, I am not a tea reviewer.


bermudaonion 1/19/12, 8:34 AM  

You had me at Charleston! This sounds like a book I'd enjoy.

Serena 1/19/12, 9:22 AM  

I like these kinds of books, especially if they can stand alone. Thanks for the review.

Daryl 1/19/12, 9:24 AM  

Is Bret Lott the son of Trent Lott? Not important. I finished State of Wonder .. loved it but have lots of questions. And it took me two days to decide to start A Clash of Kings (and its not easy to read now 'hearing' the actor's voices from Game of Thrones vs my own 'voice').

And I'm still in love with PGTips after many many months of flavored loose teas ..

Kaye 1/19/12, 9:43 AM  

Sounds fantastic! Love the setting.

Andi 1/19/12, 10:48 AM  

This genre is hit and miss for me. Thanks for bringing this one to my attention. It'd probably be one I'd snag from the library.

Beth Hoffman 1/19/12, 11:04 AM  

Murder in Charleston?!?! I'm soooo there. LOL

Zibilee 1/19/12, 11:19 AM  

I like the sound of this book, but would want to read the first one before diving in.

I am drinking a fruit tea that has fig, and sour cherry in it. It's good, but I don't like it with milk, which is usually the way I take it.

I just started Cinder, and am in the second section of Middlemarch, which I am reading with Aarti. I am also going to be reading a chapter of The People's History of the United States for the readalong today. Lots of books. I am in nerdy heaven!

Stacy at The Novel Life 1/19/12, 1:20 PM  

i'm with Kathy - you had me at Charleston!

i'm drinking a loose-leaf Irish Creamy Breakfast tea...my favorite

probably have a hot toddy this evening with pure black tea as i have strep throat

caite 1/19/12, 2:00 PM  

I love the smell of ginger...and I love Charleston as a setting!

Belle Wong 1/19/12, 3:39 PM  

This one sounds good - I'm adding it and The Hunt Club to my TBR. And for once, I'm actually sipping tea (with chocolate biscuits) while I'm reading one of your Thursday Tea posts! Creme Caramel Rooibos for me.

Anonymous,  1/19/12, 8:58 PM  

I'm trying to read The Storyteller of Marrakesh, but haven't gotten very far. They're drinking mint tea in the book. I should join them.

Julie P. 1/21/12, 9:34 AM  

I love ginger tea and with the black I'd probably like it even more. I bet it's awesome iced.

Robin M 1/21/12, 2:07 PM  

Oh I like. Definitely adding to my wishlist. Drinking tea bag earl grey. I tried loose leaf earl grey creme from teavana and discovered it have cornflowers in it which I'm allergic to. Oy!

Unknown 2/6/12, 2:14 PM  

Sounds like you found a very well written mystery, def. going on my wish list.

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