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Eggs Benedict Arnold: 04/03/19

Eggs Benedict Arnold

Eggs Benedict Arnold by Laura Childs is the second of the Cackleberry Club mystery series. Suzanne takes a pie to the mortuary and finds its owner dead on the embalming table! Before she can do anything, she's knocked out, presumably by the murderer.

This volume does a better job of introducing the main characters and the set up of the Cackleberry Club. It does, however, still jump right to the murder without much in the way leading to the murder.

There are two extremes for setting up a mystery. The first extreme is the one that Child's is using: jump right into the event for the most surprise. The other is to show the murder from the murderer's point of view before switching to that of the sleuth's, a method used successfully by Columbo. Most mysteries fall into the middle, taking about fifty pages or so to introduce the relevant characters, the situation that will lead to a murder, and then the discovery of the body.

For Eggs Benedict Arnold there are so few characters, that the obvious murderer was obvious from their first introduction. Knowing who did it but still being inundated with extraneous information, red herrings, and wild goose chases, made this book read like one of those hidden items mystery games I play on my phone. Will Suzanne find the clues before the timer runs out?

That said, the book was more fun to read than Eggs in Purgatory. It was good enough to make me willing to try the third: Bedeviled Eggs (2010)

Three stars

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