Author: Laura Childs
Series: A Scrapbooking Mystery, #12
Published: October 2014, Berkley
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Carmela Bertrand knows that Halloween in New Orleans means a week of rabble-rousing, costumed craziness—and she can’t wait to get the party started. But when a local antiques dealer turns up dead, Carmela suddenly finds herself in a real-life danse macabre…
An evening’s work deciding on the class schedule for her scrapbooking shop has put Carmela in the mood to kick up her heels. But after some strange noises draw her into Oddities, the neighboring antiques shop, Carmela’s night is abruptly put on hold when a bloody body falls out of a curio cabinet—and into her arms.
While shop owner Marcus Joubert was known for being an eccentric with a penchant for eclectic merchandise, Carmela never thought he was the kind of man who could inspire the passion required to kill. But when Marcus’s assistant—and fiancée—Mavis reveals that a priceless death mask was also stolen, it becomes clear that murder wasn’t the culprit’s sole intention.
Carmela can’t resist the urge to investigate the growing mystery, but as the list of suspects increases, she realizes it’ll take every trick in the book to unmask the killer thief before there’s another night of murderous mischief…
My thoughts: This is the 12th book in Laura Child's A Scrapbooking Mystery series and I just love this series. I love the setting and I love the characters and I loved that this one was set during Halloween - it just seemed to add an extra sense of spookiness to the story!
Finding a dead body in the store next to her scrapbooking store is the last thing Carmela expects to happen in the week leading up to Halloween and yet of course, she can't just walk away. I love, though, how her best friend Ava is just as willing to help out with the sleuthing this time as Carmela is. These two balance each other out quite nicely - Ava is quite spontaneous where Carmela is more methodical when it comes to her sleuthing - they definitely earn the nickname "Lucy and Ethel!"
It turns out that there is more than just a murder to be solved. There is also a rare mask missing from the antique store and that might have been the motive for the death. This adds a new layer to the mystery and provides some interesting history as well.
I love that these books are quick, fun reads. This time around I was quite shocked at the guilty party, never once having guessed they had done it, but that's half the fun in reading these types of books. I also love all the fun scrapbooking tips and recipes that are included both throughout the book and at the end.
Books in this series:
- Keepsake Crimes 9. Skeleton Letters
- Photo Finished 10. Postcards from the Dead
- Bound for Murder 11. Gilt Trip
- Motif for Murder 12. Gossamer Ghost
- Frill Kill 13. Parchment and Old Lace
- Death Swatch
- Tragic Magic
- Fiber & Brimstone