Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Review: Eggs in a Casket by Laura Childs

Description (from cover):

'The ladies of the Cackleberry Club are always ready to serve--whether they're cooking up breakfast or sniffing out a bad egg.

While Petra handles the breakfast rush at the Cackleberry Club, the cafe's other two owners, Suzanne and Toni, head to Memorial Cemetery to help prepare for its 150th anniversary celebration. But as they search the winding paths for the Historical Society tent, they discover something else out of place: the body of ex-prison warden Lester Drummond lying facedown in someone else's freshly dug grave.

In the small town of Kindred, everyone knows everyone, and Lester was no exception. Suzanne knew him as the creepy guy who made unwanted advances on her friend Missy Langston. But now it appears the man was hiding a few secrets...and at least one of them was worth killing for.

As the case cracks open, there are plenty of suspects to consider--from recent parolees to Missy herself, who Suzanne and Toni saw speeding away just before they found the body. Now, with a cemetery celebration in the offing, and the local authorities in over their heads, it's up to the Cackleberry Club to unscramble the clues and clear their friend's name...'

My thoughts:

This series is really the only Laura Child's series that I have read. I have been interested in the tea shop series, but there are so many and I hate to read books out of order. So I started reading this series, maybe about two years ago, and have loved it ever since. I love the way Child's writes and her characters are so well-developed. She always has enough suspects to keep the reader guessing and you can't help but connect with the characters and hope that everything turns out for the best. Suzanne's character is the typical girl-next-door who lives in a small town and who everyone knows and knows her as the town's amateur sleuth. She is smart and genuinely has a good heart and wants to help people in troubled times. So when someone turns up murdered and her friend gets blamed for it, Suzanne takes the case with her usual gusto.

I will say that I was disappointed in the ending of this one and it really felt rush. I felt that a lot of things were left open and didn't feel like they were explained. For example, Suzanne's friend, Missy, is seen speeding away from the murder scene, but it really wasn't explained as to why she was there in the first place. Sure it could have been happenstance, but I felt that there should have been more of a reason provided. The murderer is completely someone unexpected, which I loved by the way, but it just didn't seem like it flowed all that well. The reasoning seemed so commonplace, which I don't really expect from this author, and it left me disappointed overall.

If you love this series, you will appreciate the usual banter between the characters and their own personal quirks. It's hard not to love these characters and they really do make the story. From Suzanne being the town sleuth and Petra being the motherly-type and Toni being, just well, Toni, this book really feels like returning to a bunch of old friends. That says a lot about this series, but the mystery in this one really fell short. Here's to hoping that the next one brings its normal punch and the series is back to its previous brilliance.

Overall Rating: 3

Title:  Eggs in a Casket
Author:  Laura Childs
Series:  Cackleberry Club Mystery #5
Publisher:  Berkley Hardcover
Publication Date:  January 7, 2014
Pages:  336
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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