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Eggs Benedict Arnold: A Cackleberry Club Mystery    by Laura Childs order for
Eggs Benedict Arnold
by Laura Childs
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2009 (2009)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Eggs Benedict Arnold is Laura Childs' 19th (that's nineteen!!) novel. With three series, I don't know how she does it. Each and every one has been enjoyable with the bonus in the Cackleberry Series of some really great recipes thrown in for good measure - Chocolate Flapjacks, Brown Sugar Meatloaf, Frozen Lemonade Pie among others.

Suzanne, Toni, and Petra have all lost their husbands (by death, Alzheimer's, and incompatibility). They have all three decided to move on with their lives and together opened a tea room that is growing beyond their dreams. Things are humming along, with a lot of hard work, when their little community of Kindred is rocked by Suzanne's discovery of the local undertaker's body, drained of all its blood. In the first book of this new series, Eggs in Purgatory, Suzanne solved a murder, so everyone expects her to step up to the plate again.

As she does. Suzanne works with the local police chief, a bumbling character who seems to love to throw his considerable weight around and cadge free food. But he tries to do his job and rather resents Suzanne's what he calls interference. He is not, though, above using her help. When she and Tori find another body and suspicion and possible suspects escalate, Suzanne keeps her cool - at least on the surface.

The plot is well-thought out and the characters as delicious as the food served in the tea room. I especially like the several threads that are left hanging, which will lead to another book. The Teaberry Strangler is the title and it will be out in March 2010.

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