When autumn lingers and the oaks and maples are still brazenly showing fall foliage, it’s a fine time to take a drive in the country and pick up some wheels of Cheddar cheese at Mike Mullen’s dairy farm. That sounds easy enough, right? But a couple of days ago, it all blew up into a huge crisis. Walking into Mike’s barn, I was greeted by the urgent, upturned faces of four dozen cows that hadn’t been milked. Thinking something must have happened to Mike, I hurried back to his cheese workshop where all the magic happens. But when I went in, there was poor Mike, laying on the floor, blood spattered all over the place, and his clothes ripped to shreds as if he was some sort of desert island castaway.
And, yes, he was dead.
I’m no scaredy cat, so I stayed as calm as possible and called Sheriff Doogie. And then I called my fiancé Sam, who happens to be the town doctor. They came rip-roaring in, took a look at the scene of the crime, and sort of scratched their heads. They couldn’t imagine who would commit a terrible crime on such a mild-mannered farmer.
Well, the upshot of the whole thing is that now I’m embroiled in the murder investigation. And of course I’ve got the Cackleberry Club to run as well. Besides Sam, the Cackleberry Club, along with my partners Toni and Petra, are the loves of my life. We’re a homey little restaurant that makes everything from scratch (especially all manner of egg dishes!) and stages a ton of events such as our Knitter’s Tea and Friday night pizza party.
But back to the murder. I’ve got a few suspects on my short list. A shunned neighbor boy who may or may not be a witness. A strange, taciturn man who’s transporting horses to Canada. Mike’s unhappy wife Claudia. And a pushy corporate vendor who’s forever bulling his way into the Cackleberry Club.
Somehow, I manage to keep my good humor and my romance with Sam sizzling, all the while dealing with Junior’s broken leg, a wild chase through the woods, prowlers in my backyard, and stolen horses. Sound like my plate is full? It surely is. So please please stop by the Cackleberry Club and let us fill your plate, too. Or as least share a few of our delicious recipes. Because Egg Drop Dead is outrageous and downright fun. It’s a new kind of thriller-cozy (a thrillzy!) that’s liberally sprinkled with humor and packed with twists and turns you’ll never see coming!
Bonus recipe! Warm up your winter days with Egg Drop Dead Soup
Egg Drop Dead Soup
2 cups Chicken Broth
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 eggs, beaten
2 small green onions, chopped finely
Salt and pepper to taste
In a saucepan, bring chicken broth, ground ginger, and soy sauce to a simmer. Slowly stream in the beaten eggs while stirring the soup in one direction. Add chopped green onions. Add salt and pepper to taste. Yields 4 servings.
Egg Drop Dead is the seventh book in the Cackleberry Club mystery series, published by Penguin Random House, December 2016.
In Laura Childs’s New York Times bestselling mystery series, Suzanne, Petra, and Toni—co-owners of the Cackleberry Club café—are back to track down another bad egg. . .
Maintaining good personal relationships with their suppliers is one of the secrets of the Cackleberry Club café’s success, so Suzanne doesn’t mind going out to Mike Mullen’s dairy farm to pick up some wheels of cheese. She’s looking forward to a nice visit with the mild-mannered farmer before heading back to their hectic kitchen.
But when she arrives, Mike’s nowhere to be found. The moaning of his cows leads her to look in the barn, where she discovers a bloodcurdling sight—the farmer’s dead body. Apparently not everyone was as fond of Mike Mullen as the Cackleberry Club.
Churning with grief and outrage, Suzanne, Petra, and Toni vow to find the farmer’s murderer—but as they get closer to the truth, the desperate killer gets whipped into a frenzy and plans to put the squeeze on them. . .
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About the author
Laura Childs is the USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbooking Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO of her own marketing firm, authored several screenplays, and produced two reality TV shows. She is married to Dr. Bob, a professor of Chinese art history, enjoys travel, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs. Visit Laura at laurachilds.com.
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Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Egg Drop Dead. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends December 11, 2016. Good luck everyone!