Monday, May 2, 2011

Mystery Mondays: Laura Childs' Cackleberry Club Mystery Series

The newest offering by Laura Childs (author of the Tea Shop mysteries) is the Cackleberry Club mystery series, set in the small midwestern town of Kindred.  Three suddenly-single women, Suzanne Dietz (widowed), Toni (divorced), and Petra (husband in nursing home with Alzheimer's), decide to open a business together called the Cackleberry Club.  Part restaurant, part bookshop, and part knitting store, the mainstay of the business is the restaurant, which specializes in serving an amazing variety of egg dishes (recipes included at the end of each book!).  Petra is the cook and knitter while Toni is the waitress and book club leader, but Suzanne is the business manager and CEO who put up most of the money to start the Cackleberry Club.

The three friends are making a success of their enterprise, but every once in a while murder will rear its ugly head, forcing Suzanne in particular to investigate and solve each homicide to keep their business running smoothly.  A bit of rivalry with Carmen Copeland, a romance novelist in the next town over, and a possible romance with a local doctor keep Suzanne on her toes as well.  There are three novels in the series so far, and while I personally prefer the Tea Shop mysteries, the camaraderie of the three women in these books as well as the delicious recipes makes them worth reading.  Check this site for an excerpt from the first novel as well as all of the recipes in the book (the Cherry Pie Muffins and Bodacious Bacon Quiche sound especially delicious!).  And here is a super easy recipe from Bedeviled Eggs, the third installment in the series:

Eggs in a Basket

1 can refrigerated biscuits
8 eggs

Separate biscuits into eight portions and press into greased muffin tin cups.  Break one egg into each biscuit basket.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10-20 minutes until eggs are set.  Garnish with shredded cheese, crumbled bacon, Hollandaise sauce, and/or any other topping if desired.  Serves 8.  (I told you it was super easy!)

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