As the evening drew to a close after The Cackleberry Club café held its first and very successful “read dating” for singles, co-owner Suzanne Dietz and mayoral candidate Chuck Peebler were leaving the club by the back door when Peebler crumbled to the ground. He had been hit between the eyes by an arrow from a crossbow. As more arrows continued to fly, Suzanne quickly and safely made her way back into the café.
Soon after the shooting Sheriff Roy Doogie and Deputy Wilbur Halpern arrived to investigate the murder. With the mayoral election just two weeks away, it was assumed that someone did not want front-runner Peebler as Kindred’s next mayor.
The Cackleberry Club had quickly become known for serving a variety of egg-related dishes for breakfast. Suzanne and her partners Toni and Petra also added a Book Nook and Knitting Nest to the former Spur station where the cozy café resided. The three businesses in one were enjoying a healthy increase in traffic.
The gals were in the midst of preparing for their big Halloween party when the shocking murder occurred rocking their cozy world. Shortly after, Suzanne discovered another murder during a drive through the historical society’s Quilt Trail.
Several people encouraged Suzanne to engage in her own sleuthing in order to find the murderer. Although she began to receive threats due to her snooping, local physician Sam Hazelet stood strongly by her side providing much needed support. An unexpected encounter brought the murder mystery to a quick conclusion.
Bedeviled Eggs by prolific author Laura Childs is the third in the Cackleberry Club mystery series. While Laura Childs is well known for her engaging cozies, which also include the Tea Shop Mysteries and the Scrapbooking Mysteries, I was a bit disappointed in this particular story for two reasons. The amount of extraneous detail and side commentary unrelated to the murder greatly slowed down the pace of the novel.
And for some reason Childs decided to make Sheriff Doogie look rather foolish, which I have seen lately in several other mystery novels. There seems to be a need on an author’s part to make law enforcement look bumbling and weak so that their heroine can rise to the occasion and save the day. Childs is not the only one who has used that technique, but for some reason it seemed particularly blatant early in this novel. As this was an uncorrected proof, hopefully the wording was changed.
The story line itself was interesting and the identity of the murderer was a surprise. Fans of the series will no doubt welcome revisiting the relationship between the three Cackleberry Club owners, and enjoying the variety of recipes included at the back of the book.
A special thank you goes to Berkley Prime Crime for providing a complimentary copy of Bedeviled Eggs for our review. If you are interested in purchasing this or any other Laura Childs mystery, you can go to Amazon.com.