Monday, April 4, 2011

Cozy Mystery Novel: Eggs Benedict Arnold, Series: Cackleberry Club, Author: Laura Childs

 Danger, Deadpan Humor and Foodie Porn, What More Could You Want?

“So pretty out here,” she murmured.
“Better without lights,” said Toni. Without warning she flipped off her headlights. And, suddenly, they were hurtling through the darkness at sixty miles an hour!
“What are you doing?” Suzanne demanded, frightened out of her wits.
“It’s like flying isn’t it?” Toni said, focusing intently on the straightaway ahead. “Like we’re in some kind of rocket ship piercing a black membrane.”

As you can read, the ladies of the Cackleberry Club, a series by Laura Childs, are just a little crazy. And yet, one of them voiced an important part of my philosophy of life clearly and succinctly:

“Now I don’t wait for anything,” said Suzanne in a quiet voice. “No more waiting for planets to align, the economy to rebound, or someone to hand me a blank check. And I particularly try not to worry about what others think. To be perfectly honest, I don’t much care what they’re thinking. Now I just try to push ahead and do my best to be optimistic, hopeful and fearless.”

Of course it’s easy to be positive when you’re out on a date with a handsome, attentive man in a restaurant that serves yummy food, dressed up in your favorite clothes and feeling good. Also, for the first eighteen years of my life, my mom tried unsuccessfully to drill into my head the notion that I should care what other people think of me.

These quotes are from Eggs Benedict Arnold, #2 of the Cackleberry Club series written by Laura Childs. The main characters are 3 ladies, Suzanne and Petra, widowed, and Toni, divorced, all over 40 who own a business together. The business is a restaurant that has a book nook and a knitting-crocheting-quilting room. Doesn’t that sound like a great place to hang out?

It’s a cozy mystery series so naturally, these ladies stumble upon murders and end up solving them. Along the way, they are witty, fun and supportive of each other. They have charming rituals like this:

“Whenever the ladies of the Cackleberry Club came across a quote, a saying or a Bible verse they liked, they scribbled it on a piece of paper and tossed it into a Red Wing crock. Now they were in the habit of drawing a slip each day from their so-called affirmation jar and sharing it with each other.”

I’d have to leave out the verses and substitute something for the RW crock but it’s a good idea.

The crock must be full of witticisms like these cause there are many in the book:

“The more you chase money,” said Petra, “the harder it is to catch it.”

“The nice thing about living in a small town,” muttered Doogie, “is that when you don’t know what you’re doing, somebody else does.”

And there is DEADPAN HUMOR. I so love DEADPAN HUMOR.

“You see,” murmured Suzanne, “that’s one of the reasons your relationship doesn’t work.”
“Incompatibility?” asked Toni.
“Inequality,” said Suzanne.

For those of us who like foodie porn, all of Child’s series are ripe with it; menu boards filled out; menus for events discussed; recipes in the back and lots of great information on teas in the teashop series.

I plan on trying these recipes from Eggs Benedict Arnold: Lemonade Freezer Pie, Cackleberry Club Brown Sugar Meatloaf, Chicken Croquettes, Blueberry Breakfast Squares.


Laura Childs writes 3 series of cozy mysteries. There is the Cackleberry Club series; 1 Eggs In Purgatory / 2 Eggs Benedict Arnold / 3 Bedeviled Eggs.

There are the teashop mysteries. There are 12 of them and I’ve read them all except Scones and Bones, the latest, which just came out in March of this year. I’m expecting it this week.

She also writes a scrap booking series which doesn’t call to me. Maybe because I don’t like scrap booking. I know that’s blasphemous to some of you but if you read the above philosophy of life you’ll know - I don’t care what you think I’m not worried about that.

Do you like foodie porn? Recipes in books? Do you skip the passages describing food or do you devour them?

Childs has a user-friendly website where you can access booklists of her series in order:
www.laurachilds.com . All y'all check that out. I’m going to go and see if I have all the ingredients to make that pie.

Judy, Judy, Judy

 

5 comments:

  1. I'd like a piece of pie, too! Do you think it would ship well?

    Also, I don't like scrapbooking, either. We can be blasphemous together.

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  2. I kept WANTING to like scrapbooking, but I sucked at the ... well, all of it. So I'll be with you both on that topic.

    Great post! I love to find new series, will be jotting these down. (Maybe I should start with the scrapbooking one, just to make sure I'm still no good.)

    Julie

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  3. Dee - It's a freezer pie. I think shipping might involve dry ice which probably upsets the post office these days.

    Julie - My favorite is the Cackleberry one just cause I like the camaraderie of the 3 women.

    Yeah - maybe we should have a secret we-hate-scrap-booking club.

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  4. I tried commenting on this yesterday but ti didn't work for me so now i'm going to try again :-)
    I would like to be a member of the we-hate-scrapbooking club.
    and I love foodie porn so I will definitely be checking out these books.

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