I’m a huge fan of women over forty. Not just because I hit that milepost myself, but because women this age generally possess a certain type of sassy smarts. Before I sold my marketing firm and took up mystery writing, I worked with a lot of high-test forty-plus women. These were women who ran companies, served as communications directors, and knew their way around the media. They were savvy business people and forward thinkers who didn’t get rattled by deadlines, details, and decisions.
Those are pretty much the same attributes I imbued in my characters, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, the major protagonists in Egg Drop Dead, my newest Cackleberry Club Mystery. This tale of female friendship entwined with a nasty murder takes place at the Cackleberry Club, a small café set in the fictional Midwestern town of Kindred. Eggs are the morning specialty – fluffy omelets, slumbering volcanoes, and foggy morning soufflés – but my entrepreneurial ladies also work a double shift as amateur sleuths.
Suzanne is the ringleader, a woman who lost her husband but found love again with the town doctor. She’s a hopeless romantic, yet level-headed businesswoman. Toni, one of her partners, is a self-proclaimed hottie-potottie who favors tight cowboy shirts, tighter jeans, and hot pink extensions in her hair. Petra, the third partner, is the café’s chef. She’s a big-boned, big hearted woman who’s the most spiritual of the bunch. (Think Eat Pray Love with a touch of Steel Magnolias).
Along with a gritty chapter one murder that jumpstarts a crazy investigation, I also made a special effort to intersperse pulse-pounding action scenes (chases, robberies, stolen horses, explosions) with some genteel moments that include knitting, tea, and scones. I figured we could all use a little comfort these days and that so many readers enjoy returning to old-fashioned basics, such as homemade breakfasts, cookie recipes, and neighbors who are quirky but pull together in a crisis.
Of course, I had great fun springing this murder mystery on my forty-plus Cackleberry Club ladies. With their entrepreneurial spirits and rich life experiences, you really can’t find a better model for an amateur sleuth!
All my best,
Laura Childs is the USA Today 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 a reality TV show. She is married to Dr. Bob, a professor of Chinese art history, enjoys travel, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.
Find out more at http://www.laurachilds.com
Egg Drop Dead
By LAURA CHILDS
Part of A Cackleberry Club Mystery
Category: Cozy Mysteries