Bedeviled Eggs by Laura Childs is a cozy that revolves around a restaurant/book and craft store (yeah, I don't get it either) run by three women. Suzanne, Toni and Petra are friends of a similar age and background. I'm not a big fan of cozies but, being a Cancer, I am drawn to stories that revolve around food. It is unfortunate that, with many of these stories, the recipes are more interesting than the plot. This one is one of those.
A man running for mayor is killed with a crossbow outside the restaurant. A little later a deputy is killed with his own gun. Suzanne does a little snooping to find out if the two are connected. She ends up coming face to face with a killer she never suspected. That is the BIG problem with this novel. NO ONE could have expected the killer because he came out of nowhere. There are no clues leading to him. There are lots of red herrings in the plot but no clues as to who the real killer is. Suzanne is shocked and so are the readers. I call FOUL!
At one point in the novel they make a point of finding out who owns a crossbow and who could have the talent to use one (the victim is shot between the eyes on the first shot) this leads to a red herring. It's never explained where the killer gets a crossbow. One possibility is the museum he works at. This is a stretch because I can't think of a reason for a crossbow to be in any local history museum in the US. They were never used as weapons in North American history. Even if we stipulate that one was in the collection, what are the chances that the head of the museum is a crack shot?
My other problem with this book is the three women. While they have some characteristics that make them unique, I found it hard to tell them apart in scenes full of dialogue between the three of them. Their voices just weren't distinctive enough.