As I fuss about my writing studio, stumbling over sleeping dogs and gazing at Christmas presents I’m trying to keep hidden, my thoughts seem to naturally drift back to Christmases past.
I have a hazy memory of a Christmas party I attended when I was three years old. This was back when moms didn’t work, but baked cookies and fudge and congregated with their toddlers in each other’s homes. While us kids played with train sets and fuzzy bears under a twinkling Christmas tree, our moms sipped coffee and talked. As the day slipped into a blue-black winter evening, fathers would arrive from work, stomping snow and wearing hats and long coats, ready to gather up wives and children. It was magical and lent a feeling that all was safe and right with the world. And I miss that feeling terribly.
When I began writing my Cackleberry Club Mysteries, I tried to capture that magical, innocent, fifties-feeling. Though the mysteries are set in contemporary times, they offer a raft of small-town characters that make you yearn for simpler times. At the top of the list are Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, the wise-cracking entrepreneurial ladies of the Cackleberry Club café. Mornings they whip up Egg Strata and Slumbering Volcanoes, then work a double shift as amateur sleuths.
In my most recent book, SCORCHED EGGS, a fire engulfs the downtown area of their convivial little Midwestern town and puts the ladies on high alert. A dear friend has been killed and all signs point to arson. Could it be a vengeful husband, ex-fireman, or expert in explosives? The ladies try to track down the killer and still keep all their plates in the air (horse show, vintage wedding, county fair, tea parties, and a dinner theatre). Of course, all this is told in very sassy dialogue with lots of action and romance thrown in for good measure. And it wouldn’t be a Cackleberry Club Mystery if I didn’t include recipes for Sour Cream Coffee Cake, Cheese Popovers, Scorched Eggs, and lots more. Yes, I think you’d like this, particularly if you were curled up in front of a crackling fire enjoying cocoa and cookies.
I wish you peace and contentment this holiday season. And I pray you also find a little touch of bygone magic.
About the Author
Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Cackleberry Club Mysteries, Tea Shop Mysteries, and Scrapbook Mysteries, and a recent recipient of the Romantic Times Book Review’s Award for Best Amateur Sleuth. In her previous life, she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.