Genre: cozy mystery with recipes
Petra, Suzanne and Toni may have lost their husbands, but they’ve found new life operation the Cackleberry Club cafe. It’s where the locals head for an amazing breakfast, the good company of friends, and a puzzling mystery or two...
This killer is toast.
Suzanne and Toni are off to Memorial Cemetery to help prepare for its 150th anniversary celebration. The ladies expect to find the Historical Society’s tent, but instead they discover the body of ex-prison warden Lester Drummond lying facedown in a freshly dug grave. Now, with the town peppered with suspects and the local authorities in over their heads, it’s up to the Cackleberry Club to unscramble the clues and sniff out a bad egg.
Another nice addition to this cozy mystery series. Laura Childs writes three very different series, but all with strong female characters, and I love them all. This series features three friends, middle aged, and single. They have started a restaurant together, serving breakfast and lunch, with eggs as the main ingredient. And they do whatever they can think of to diversify. There is a Book Nook, a Knitting Corner, they sell fresh produce that is home made by different people. And they manage to prosper in this bleak economical situation. They are very busy running things but also take time to have a personal life. Petra, the cook, still has her husband but he is living in a nursery home as he has very severe Alzheimer. Toni is often behaving like she is still a teenager, and still hangs out with her no-good ex-husband Junior. He is a schemer, doesn’t want to work a real job, always looking for a quick buck. She is the waitress. And Suzanne is more the manager, the planner. She lost her husband a few years ago to an illness, but is now dating the town doctor. She is financially well off.
They are good friends and work well together. But it is Suzanne who is the sleuth, often helped or encouraged by Toni, who will do whatever she thinks off.
When Toni and Suzanne stumble upon a body in the graveyard in the early morning, the trouble starts for Missy, a good friend of them. The victim is former prison warden Lester Drummond, a man hated by many, and always bothering women, as he thought he was irresistible. And he has been harassing Missy a lot lately. And as they both saw Missy leaving the graveyard in her distinctive little yellow car, she instantly becomes the prime suspect in the murder case. Suzanne is convinced her friend Missy could never have murdered a big strong man like Drummond, and is determined to prove her innocence to Doogie, the local sheriff.
And the more she is investigating, the more people with a grudge against Drummond surface. What about his ex-wife, who is living in his expensive house? Or the man living next to the graveyard? But Missy is acting suspiciously as well, and when the murder weapon is found in her house, all the clues seem to lead directly to her. Was Suzanne wrong after all?
A murderer I did not see coming at all, nor the why of it all. And it certainly ended with a great action scene, go Suzanne! And one of the stranger characters, and a possible suspect, suddenly became a hero (again), and I enjoyed that as well. Of course Carmen, the local famous author, who is a big snob, has a part in this book as well, and I really dislike her. Missy works for her in her boutique, and she ruthlessly fires her when she become a murder suspect, as she has to think of her reputation.
I liked reading about those three friends. Even though Suzanne really thinks Toni should stop seeing Junior, and hang out with him, she supports Toni, and even goes with her to a demolition derby where Junior will be racing. They get into a lot of scrapes together. Doogie is a great secondary character as well. He often comes to the Cackleberry Club for something to eat, and I can’t figure him out. Does he have a crush on Suzanne, or not? He does appreciate her help though. I look forward to the next book, in any of the three series Laura Childs writes.
© 2014 Reviews by Aurian