Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Publisher/Format: Berkley, Paperback, 336 pages
Year of publication: 2009
Subject: small town amateur sleuths
Setting: Kindred North Carolina
Series: Cackleberry Club #2
Genre: cozy mystery
Source: borrowed from my sister
This past summer, I was engaged in a "cozy-thon" reading several mysteries from various authors that presented the reader with pain-free, enjoyable stories in a variety of settings. Laura Childs was one of my favorite authors to emerge from that reading stint. Her Cackleberry Club series delights me, and I intend to continue reading in that series throughout the year. I actually finished this one in late August, but just never got the chance to close out my records and post a short review.
Like the first one, this story centers around the friendship and crime solving abilities of the three amigas who run the cafe known as the Cackleberry Club. In this adventure, the local undertaker is found duct taped and embalmed on his own embalming table by Suzanne, who almost ends up in the same situation but who passes out before she can see who is doing the pre-mortem rites. Sheriff Roy Doogie (don't you just love that name?) gets more "help" than he can use from Suzanne, Toni and Petra as they all have various motives for proving who didn't do it. Again, we have several suspects, a plot that progresses nicely down several literary dark alleys and an ending that (for me at least) is totally unexpected. I loved it!
The books are fun and easy to read; the plots are basically believable, the characters just quirky enough to be fun without being outrageous. They're brain candy with some nutritional value in the form of the recipes and menus sprinkled throughout the story. The fact that several of the recipes are actually included is a huge bonus and almost worth the price of the book. If you've never tried a cozy, these would be a good place to start. If you're a cozy fan, I probably don't have to tell you about Laura Childs. It was a relaxing way to end the summer.