The Christmas season at the Cackleberry Club café is marred by murder in the latest book in the New York Times bestselling series, now in paperback.
Some say that casting crusty attorney Allan Sharp 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 law 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.
At the start of bestseller Childs's enjoyable eighth Cackleberry Club mystery (after 2016's Egg Drop Dead), Scrooge-like lawyer Allan Sharp is playing Ebenezer Scrooge in a dress rehearsal of A Christmas Carol, held at a theater in the Midwestern town of Kindred, when someone in the costume of the ghost of Christmas Past embraces him as he sits at a desk on stage. When Allan remains slumped over the desk, those watching the performance, including Suzanne Dietz, owner of egg-themed diner the Cackleberry Club Caf , realize something's wrong. In fact, Allan has been stabbed to death. Suzanne chases the ghost backstage, but the culprit escapes. Suzanne later learns that many people had cause to wish Sharp dead, from the play's director to the town's mayor. Amateur sleuth Suzanne can't resist assisting Sheriff Doogie in the hunt for the killer. The plot unfolds along predictable lines, but cozy fans will find plenty to savor, such as recipes from the Cackleberry Club, in this seasonal outing.
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Laura Childs’ Eggs on Ice
The local town production of the Christmas Carol
is in rehearsal in Kindred, Minnesota.
Suzanne, co-owner of the Cackleberry Club café
and her cohort, Toni are part of the stage crew.
Suzanne realizes that the huge Ghost from
Christmas Past is not the scripted ghost. She then
realizes that the man playing Scrooge, attorney
Allan Sharp has been murdered during the scene.
The story has intrigue, mystery, suspense. There
is quite a tangled web of clues, plenty of secrets
revealed with lies uncovered. The mystery has
been uniquely blended with a cast of complex,
well defined, some quirky and all very interesting
An enjoyable Christmas mystery.
This is book # 8 in the Cackleberry Club Mystery
series. It can be read as a stand alone as the
author weaves the past and present together
I volunteered to read Eggs on Ice. Thanks to the
Penguin’s First-to-Read Program for the opportunity.
My opinion is my own.
Eggs on Ice by Laura Childs is the eighth A Cackleberry Club Mystery. Suzanne Dietz along with her partners, Toni and Petra own The Cackleberry Club in Kindred. It is a combination café, bookstore and craft corner. Suzanne and Toni have volunteered to work backstage at the Oakhurst Theatre where the Kindred Players it is putting on a production of A Christmas Carol. Allan Sharpe, the town curmudgeon and a local lawyer, was cast perfectly as Scrooge. Suzanne and Toni are learning how to operate the curtains and lighting board while watching the scene between Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Past. Both actors play their parts beautifully, but Scrooge fails to get up when the act finishes. Suzanne approaches Allan and discovers he was stabbed. She gives chase to the ghost until he threatens her with his knife. The next day Amber Payson comes into the café to speak with Suzanne. Amber is the police’s prime suspect and she needs Suzanne’s help in clearing her name. As the days go by, the evidence mounts against Amber, but there are many people who disliked Allan including the play’s director. Then someone sets fire to Junior’s trailer and he needs a new place to live (oh, dear). Is the fire connected to the murder? Suzanne and Toni are searching for clues and find another victim. The Cackleberry Club ladies needs to find the murderer before he strikes again. Can they find the nefarious killer or will one of them end of a Ghost of Christmas Present?
Eggs on Ice contains good writing along with gentle pacing. Eggs on Ice is a cozy mystery that is best not read as a standalone. Details that readers need are not included in the eighth A Cackleberry Club Mystery (some information is imparted as the book progresses). I recommend beginning with Eggs in Purgatory. The Cackleberry Club is a unique restaurant with a Book Nook and the Knitting Nest. It sounds like my type of café. We get wonderful descriptions of the unique yarns they carry. I have never heard of the some of the yard blends Petra works with and has ordered for the shop (though, I am eager to find and create objects with them). The main characters are likeable and relatable. The three women are best friends despite their diverse personalities. Suzanne is the main voice of the story. She is engaged to Dr. Sam Hazelet and they have a warm, loving relationship. Toni is unique with her beliefs and her husband. There are a variety of off-beat characters in the story with Junior Garrett, Toni’s wacky sort-of husband, being the quirkiest. He constantly finds himself in trouble thanks to his bad choices and lack of intelligence. The murder occurs in the first chapter of the book. We then follow Suzanne as she does her daily activities (working, spending time with friends and her fiancé) and she asks questions of interested parties she encounters. Suzanne along with Toni do break into one interested parties’ home to look for clues. There is little action in the book until the end. I like Suzanne’s style of questioning. She is not intrusive or demanding which I appreciate. I kept hoping Suzanne would put together the clues and identify the killer (whom I identified before the body left the theater). It was interesting how Suzanne subdued the killer, but it seemed unrealistic (the item has a safety feature that prevents it from being used in that manner). The ending was abrupt and felt incomplete. It needed another chapter to wrap up the whodunit satisfactorily (answer questions about the crime and the killer’s reasoning) and give readers a happy ending (see them celebrating Christmas would have been nice). I did not feel that Eggs on Ice is on the same level as the authors other works (A Tea Shop Mystery series and A Scrapbooking Mystery series). There are details missing from the story such as the main characters last names (Toni and Petra) and I am curious what state Kindred is in. There are recipes at the end for the items served in The Cackleberry Club. I wish there had been instruction for how to make the quilted tote mentioned in the book by Petra. Eggs on Ice is a cute and humorous cozy mystery set is a charming small town filled with off-beat individuals.