Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am thrilled to have Laura Childs drop by today!
I am delighted to be spending Cozy Wednesday here at Escape with Dollycas. EGG DROP DEAD is book seven of my New York Times best-selling Cackleberry Club mysteries set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. Have you already met Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, owners of the Cackleberry Club, a farm-to-table café? If so, you know eggs are the morning specialty and the cozy cafe offers a Book Nook, loaded with interesting reads, and a Knitting Nest filled with colorful skeins of yarn along with piles of quilt squares. If the yarn beckons, all are welcome to join Petra’s Hooked on Knitting class to learn how to create soft and warm shawls, afghans and the like. It is a homey place but trouble sometimes has a way of finding the ladies, even as they plan their gala Halloween celebration.
After picking up her elegant witch costume made of smooth black silk and scalloped black lace, Suzanne was looking forward to a nice visit with her dairy supplier, mild-mannered Mike Mullen. His quiet farm is always a nice break from the hectic kitchen at the Cackleberry Club. But when Suzanne arrived at the dairy farm to pick up wheels of cheese, she heard urgent moaning coming from the barn. With barely a foot inside the door, she instantly realizes that, late as it is, the cows are moaning because they haven’t been milked. Then she discovers the reason why. Mike’s mangled body is lying dead on the barn floor.
As word of the murder spreads through Kindred, Petra and Toni urge Suzanne to try to find out who killed poor Mike, known to everyone as a kind and well-liked man. And as Petra reminds Suzanne, “Next to Sheriff Doogie, you’re the one with all the smarts in this town.” And Toni chimes in, “… she means investigational smarts.”
With business booming at the Cackleberry Club, investigating Mike’s murder might lead to more trouble than Suzanne can handle. In a brief space of time, she is juggling multiple suspects, a busy restaurant, tea parties, and a raucous Halloween celebration. All the while Suzanne maintains her good humor and manages to keep her romance with the town doctor sizzling. With so much going on, it’s loads of fun to hang around the Cackleberry Club. And when you reach the end of the story, I promise that you will want to make the recipes in the back of EGG DROP DEAD again and again.
Egg Drop Dead (A Cackleberry Club Mystery)
7th in Series
Setting – Midwest (Minnesota)
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (December 6, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 336 pages
E-Book ASIN: B01CZCW4MW
In Laura Childs’s New York Times bestselling mystery series, Suzanne, Petra, and Toni—co-owners of the Cackleberry Club café—are back to track down another bad egg…
Maintaining good personal relationships with their suppliers is one of the secrets of the Cackleberry Club café’s success, so Suzanne doesn’t mind going out to Mike Mullen’s dairy farm to pick up some wheels of cheese. She’s looking forward to a nice visit with the mild-mannered farmer before heading back to their hectic kitchen.
But when she arrives, Mike’s nowhere to be found. The moaning of his cows leads her to look in the barn, where she discovers a bloodcurdling sight—the farmer’s dead body. Apparently not everyone was as fond of Mike Mullen as the Cackleberry Club.
Churning with grief and outrage, Suzanne, Petra, and Toni vow to find the farmer’s murderer—but as they get closer to the truth, the desperate killer gets whipped into a frenzy and plans to put the squeeze on them…
“Welcome to Kindred and The Cackleberry Club. You hosts are Suzanne, Petra and Toni. Pull up a stool, check out today’s specials, feel free to visit the Book Nook and the Knitting Nest. We hope you enjoy your visit.” That’s the friendly greeting I would expect to receive from these three fantastic characters. Business partners, friends, family. These ladies are part of a tight knit community. It is almost Halloween when the town is shocked by another murder. Suzanne finds dairy farmer Mike Mullen killed in a very brutal way and she is not going to rest until she finds the killer. The sheriff tries to keep her from butting in but he knows she is going to do it anyway. Oh and I can’t forget to mention, she is supposed to be planning her wedding…
I love this series. I love these characters. I love this town. Laura Childs has created such a treat for cozy readers. This is the 7th book in the series and each time I start one it feels like I am visiting a bunch of good friends. It really has the small town feeling that I am very familiar with. Everyone seems to genuinely care about their friends and neighbors, making it very difficult to pinpoint the suspects and the guilty party. With her signature twists, that I know now to expect, she scrambled my theories more than once. The main plot is clever and creative. All the subplots blend in nicely. There are moments of uncertainty and anticipation tempered by some humor and romance.
Junior’s wild ideas always make me chuckle but I feel bad for Toni at the same time. She loves the guy but no matter how old he is, he is never going to be the strong, dependable man she is looking for. Petra continues to amaze me with her kitchen creations and how she keeps up with everything going on around her. Sam is ready for his big wedding day but Suzanne has way too much going on around her to concentrate on any plans. She always seems to be going a mile a minute in different directions. He loves her for the way she is and is happy for any time they get to spend together.
This is a truly entertaining read. It’s not too late for anyone to “drop” in on this series. Start with this one, the first one or any in between. They are all egg-cellent cozies! And yes, there are recipes!
About The Author
Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, the Scrapbooking Mysteries, and 7 Cackleberry Club Mysteries. On July 5 she released Little Girl Gone, the first book in her Afton Tangler Thriller Series written as Gerry Schmitt. In her previous life she was CEO of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to Dr. Bob, a professor of Chinese art history, enjoys travel, and has two Shar-Pei dogs.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”