Eggs on Ice
By Laura Childs
Cackleberry Club #8
Some say that casting crusty attorney Allen Sharpe as Scrooge in the Kindred Players production of “A Christmas Carol” is just playing to type. He’s not the most beloved man in town. In fact, you’d have a dickens of a time finding someone who liked him. Still it’s a shock when the Ghost of Christmas Past stabs him during the first rehearsal. Suzanne, co-owner of the Cackleberry Club café, Kindred’s favorite combination diner, craft store and bookshop, chases the murderer out of the building but loses him in the alley.
As the days pass the list of suspects grows longer. Is it the disgruntled partner? The former secretary whom Sharpe sexually harrassed? Or is it fellow owner of the Cackleberry Club, Toni’s almost ex-husband, Junior? The women of the Cackleberry Club are determined to find the killer before he can add another victim to his Christmas list.
The enjoyable Cackleberry Club series continues with this newest release, Eggs on Ice. Laura Childs is a prolific and talented author, gifted at blending setting and memorable characters together – the fictional Midwestern town of Kindred in this book. Eggs on Ice may be eighth in the series, but enough background is provided that it easily stands alone.
For me, the strength of this story is the friendship between Suzanne, Toni, and Petra – with Suzanne being the ringleader when it comes to detecting. Another strength is the Cackleberry Club Café itself, a place I’d love to visit. With all the customers that come to dine, it provides a great backdrop for conversations, listening, and the asking of questions.
The first murder occurs in the opening pages, and its haunting image stayed with me throughout the book. During a rehearsal for the local theater group’s production of A Christmas Carol, one of the ghosts glides in, envelops and stabs Scrooge, then effortlessly escapes in the same way. Thought to be part of the play at first, Suzanne quickly realizes that all is not as it should be.
Childs did a great job at keeping me guessing, because I was almost sure I had this one figured out, only to discover at the last minute that I was wrong. The murder’s rationale wasn’t as clearly communicated as I would have liked, but everything came together for an enjoyable read. The only thing I didn’t care for was the occasional use of profanity.
Perfect for the Christmas season, Eggs on Ice is a story that cozy mystery fans should enjoy, as well as other series by Laura Childs.
I received a copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are: