Sharing Books and Authors, with an emphasis on Mysteries.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Bedeviled Eggs by Laura Childs
Laura Childs' latest Cackleberry Club mystery, Bedeviled Eggs, should come with a warning label. Do not read this book when you're hungry. Most of the book is set in the small café, owned by three friends, and it's easy to understand why the people of Kindred hang out there. And, a murder outside the back door brings in the curious, as well as the regulars.
It's fall in Kindred, and the owners of the Cackleberry Club are preparing for quilting events, Halloween, and the local election. It was Suzanne Dietz' idea to open the café, after her husband died. Her friend, Petra, whose husband has Alzheimer's, is the chef, while Toni, in an off-again/on-again marriage, helps in the restaurant. Over time, they've built up a great reputation for their egg specialities. And, the business is flourishing, even in the bad economy, thanks to good food, and the addition of the Book Nook and Knitting Nest. But, Suzanne is always looking for added attractions, and a "read dating" event attracts a number of people who hope to date someone with similar reading tastes. But, Petra's friend, Jane, and mayoral candidate Chuck Peebler have an argument that disrupts the evening. When Suzanne walks Chuck out the back door, he's killed instantly by an arrow from a crossbow. As the killer continues to shoot, Suzanne drags her dog and herself back inside the Cackleberry Club.
Although Suzanne has been involved in murder investigations in the past, this time, it's Petra who begs her to help Jane, Sheriff Doogie's number one suspect. At least she's the number one suspect until Suzanne stumbles across another body while driving the historical society's Quilt Trail. Suzanne saw one murder, and found the second victim. And, she wants to help Sheriff Doogie, who might lose the election if he doesn't arrest a killer. When she's threatened a couple times, it doesn't scare her off. Now, it's personal. Suzanne is determined to help Doogie find that killer.
Childs' combination of well-written mystery, good friends, good food, a little humor, and, now, a little romance, makes for a holiday treat. And, it's a mystery with a pitch-perfect ending, dramatic and funny at the same time. It may be set in the fall, but don't hesitate to pick it up now. What cozy mystery fan can resist a book that includes great food on almost every page, a few recipes, and terrific characters? Laura Childs' Bedeviled Eggs offers a little of everything for those of us who appreciate cozy mysteries.