Author: Laura Childs
Series: Scrapbooking Mystery series, #11
Published: October 2013 Berkley Hardcover
Format: ARC Paperback, 320 pages
Louisiana businessman Jerry Earl Leland served only a fraction of his five-year sentence for white-collar crime, thanks to some political connections and a few greased palms. But he won’t have long to enjoy his freedom
After Jerry Earl’s early release, his wife, Margo—a much-married Garden District doyenne—throws an extravagant Get Out of Jail Free Party, complete with a Zydeco band, champagne ice luge, and waiters in ties and tails. The guest list includes many prominent New Orleans socialites, as well as scrapbook shop owner Carmela Bertrand and her best friend, Ava Gruiex. But sometime during the swirl of partying and drinking, Jerry Earl is brutally murdered—then stuffed inside a clothes dryer.
Carmela has earned a reputation around town for solving murders, and when the grieving widow turns to her for help, she can’t say no. But Jerry Earl took a lot of people to the cleaners with his underhanded business tactics, so Carmela’s going to be hard-pressed to identify which of his enemies was steamed enough to kill him. As she sorts through Jerry Earl’s dirty laundry, she needs to collar the killer before another victim is set to tumble dry ...
My thoughts: The first book in this series, Keepsake Crimes, was my first foray into cozy mysteries and I have been a huge fan ever since. It's been so much fun following this series, and finding other cozy mysteries to read. I love how these books are not gruesome or bogged down in police procedures - don't get me wrong as I do enjoy reading those types of books, but when I pick up a cozy mystery, I'm looking for a fun, light book with a little mystery and a lot of interesting characters and cozy mysteries definitely fit that bill.
In this latest installment of the Scrapbooking Mysteries, Carmela finds herself once again approached to help solve a murder. It seems she has made quite a reputation for herself for not only being able to solve murders faster than the police, but for not being able to say no to someone asking for help. This time, she is the one to find the body and her interest is already peaked, so it's not that much of a stretch for her to start investigating. I will say that I was completely stumped in this one - sometimes I'm able to figure it out, but this one was good - had me guessing the whole time!
While wearing her sleuthing hat, Camela also has her scrapbooking shop to run and I love the different class ideas she comes up with. In this book, they are making shaker boxes and shadow boxes. As a scrapbooker myself, I love the ideas that are included in this book - both throughout the story and all the tips at the back of the book. There are also some really good recipes included, too - all New Orleans inspired!
I love the relationships that have developed in this series. First, there's Carmela's BFF and partner-in-crime, Ava, who owns her own shop, Juju Voodoo, just across the way from Carmela's store. She seems like a real pip - from her actions to her clothing and I would love to have a friend like that! Then there are the regular customers who have become close friends - Baby and Tandy. They seem like interesting gals as well.
But, most important are the two men in Carmela's life - her ex-husband Shamus, who always seems to make at least one appearance in each of the books, and her current beau, Edgar Babcock, who just happens to be a detective. Babcock had what is probably the funniest line in the whole book. They were talking about the murder case and she was trying to reassure him, however false it was, that she wouldn't get involved when he says: "You realize, my dear, and I'm quite positive we've had this conversation before, that when someone gets killed in New Orleans, it isn't up to you to solve the crime." How funny is that, knowing full well that not only is Carmela going to find herself smack in the middle of things, but that she will most likely end up solving it before the police are able to get the facts straight!
I really enjoy this series and am hoping it continues for a good long while!
Books in this series:
- Keepsake Crimes 7. Tragic Magic
- Photo Finished 8. Fiber & Brimstone
- Bound for Murder 9. Skeleton Letters
- Motif for Murder 10. Postcards from the Dead
- Frill Kill 11. Gilt Trip
- Death Swatch
GIVEAWAY DETAILS (CLOSED) - (International) Thanks to Laura Child, I have two copies of Gilt Trip to give away to my readers.
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- Please include email address so I can contact you if you win.