Hot Best Seller

Keepsake Crimes

Availability: Ready to download

New Orleans scrapbooking shop owner Carmela Bertrand delights her customers with the sophisticated looks she achieves with their scrapbooks.  But among her client's keepsakes she finds a tip of her own-about a murder... New Orleans scrapbooking shop owner Carmela Bertrand delights her customers with the sophisticated looks she achieves with their scrapbooks.  But among her client's keepsakes she finds a tip of her own-about a murder...


Compare

New Orleans scrapbooking shop owner Carmela Bertrand delights her customers with the sophisticated looks she achieves with their scrapbooks.  But among her client's keepsakes she finds a tip of her own-about a murder... New Orleans scrapbooking shop owner Carmela Bertrand delights her customers with the sophisticated looks she achieves with their scrapbooks.  But among her client's keepsakes she finds a tip of her own-about a murder...

30 review for Keepsake Crimes

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carly

    **Two and a half stars** The mystery part of the story was okay. I didn't really see it coming in the end which is always good, but then again, I don't think Childs leaves clues for you to possibly figure out who it is. The whole mystery part of the story is red herring. Which is a little deceitful, I think, for a mystery novel. The scrapbooking part of the story was also just okay. I am a scrapbooker and I keep up with the trends and the tips are just very old school. The book was published in 20 **Two and a half stars** The mystery part of the story was okay. I didn't really see it coming in the end which is always good, but then again, I don't think Childs leaves clues for you to possibly figure out who it is. The whole mystery part of the story is red herring. Which is a little deceitful, I think, for a mystery novel. The scrapbooking part of the story was also just okay. I am a scrapbooker and I keep up with the trends and the tips are just very old school. The book was published in 2003 and it is hard to fault the book for that...trends come and go, and I'm sure that the techniques talked about were popular at the time. Now for the New Orleans part...if I were one of the experts that Childs thanked at the beginning of the book, I would be really upset. I am from New Orleans and in the beginning of the book I thought that she might get it partly right, but then it started to go terribly down hill. Spelling the biggest parades that there are completely wrong is completely inexcusable. Saying that Metairie (which she spelled wrong too) is across the river from New Orleans when its on the same side of the river is shameful. Saying that someone drove down "the River Road" to take pictures of some of the old plantations, "the Destrehan, the Laura, the Houmas House" is mind boggling. You don't need to say "the" before each plantation. Its like saying you have the cancer. It might be grammatically correct, but you still wouldn't say it. No local would ever say that. And to repeatedly call a streetcar a trolley is complete blasphemy. I could excuse some of this stuff if the main characters weren't suppose to be born and raised locals, but they are. Chapters 20-23 basically have our Carmela, our main character, run from the French Quarter to the Garden District and then to the CBD and then back to her house in the French Quarter by 2...and you know because it was early yet, she ran down to Audubon park to help children learn how to paint. And she did all this by driving her own car...not taking a streetcar. Nice normal day, you would think, except that it happens on Bacchus Sunday and there is no way any of that is happening, could or would happen. At least 4 parades run through the Garden District on that day starting at 11:00am. These parades end in the CBD. Carmela would have had to fought through tons of street closures, obscene traffic, and would have spent 45 minutes looking for a place to park. Getting back to the CBD would have been just as hard if not worse. Then to leave her home to go back to Audubon Park which is in the Garden District to help teach a class is utterly ridiculous as that class would have been canceled because everything normal is canceled due to Mardi Gras. Now I know that I'm nit-picking here, cause sometimes allowances have to be made to tell your story and I get that. And if you had never been to New Orleans during Mardi Gras, then there is nothing wrong with this chunk of story. There are no outright errors, she doesn't mention these parades so that's all good. But as I was reading this part of the book, I kept thinking, "But its Bacchus Sunday, there is no way this could possibly happen." It was inwardly frustrating. The whole New Orleans part of the book just felt like Childs came to New Orleans for two days and walked away thinking that she knew everything. Childs also had a tendency to give characters names as if they came from Savannah, GA instead of New Orleans. We don't have a bunch of people running about called Buford Maple. Childs also would replace real places or real people with made up ones so those people and places aren't associated with certain things. And I totally understand that, but then she should completely change the names instead of weirdly mixing them up with other stuff. The famous restaurant Antoine's becomes Beltoine's. Blaine Kern (float builder extraordinaire) becomes Jekyl Hardy which would seem okay except famous local celebrity Mr. Mardi Gras is named Arthur Hardy and then it just becomes all confusing. Sorry about the rant, I just felt that this book was extraordinarily frustrating from a local's standpoint. I really liked the way Childs described Charleston in her Tea Shop Mysteries, to the point where I would love to take a vacation there. But now I'm left to wonder what she got wrong about Charleston.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    ⭐⭐ I knew nothing about scrap booking before reading this book and having started a reading journal this year I was interested to learn more about it. That’s one star for the book, the scrap booking details imparted along the way were informative. Add one star for the setting, the author really nailed New Orleans and the Mardi Gras. Take away one star for the characters, I didn’t like any of them. Carmela the main character seemed spoiled and most of the rest just not likable. Initially I liked ⭐⭐ I knew nothing about scrap booking before reading this book and having started a reading journal this year I was interested to learn more about it. That’s one star for the book, the scrap booking details imparted along the way were informative. Add one star for the setting, the author really nailed New Orleans and the Mardi Gras. Take away one star for the characters, I didn’t like any of them. Carmela the main character seemed spoiled and most of the rest just not likable. Initially I liked Gabby the most, until (view spoiler)[ she “quit” at her husbands directive, her reasoning that she swore to obey her husband. This book was written in 2003 not 1803 or 1903. (hide spoiler)] The mystery itself was OK but take away a star, (view spoiler)[Carmela was just plain dumb. She’s trying to solve a crime that she has taken photos of and never bothers to examine the photos even after some mysterious person shows an interest in them (hide spoiler)] Take away last star because I would never reread this, that’s how I came to my two star rating. Cozies Reading Challenge

  3. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    *sigh* I really wanted to like this one but, yeah...just no. I can't fault the book for lack of descriptions because there was TONS of detail about New Orleans, Mardi Gras and the various krewes, and all sorts of scrapbooking and paper craft ideas. What there was not a TON of (or even enough of) was the actual mystery. After slogging through the last 1/2 of the book, I was so annoyed when everything got wrapped up in about 1/2 a chapter. The killer is revealed at the very very end of the book an *sigh* I really wanted to like this one but, yeah...just no. I can't fault the book for lack of descriptions because there was TONS of detail about New Orleans, Mardi Gras and the various krewes, and all sorts of scrapbooking and paper craft ideas. What there was not a TON of (or even enough of) was the actual mystery. After slogging through the last 1/2 of the book, I was so annoyed when everything got wrapped up in about 1/2 a chapter. The killer is revealed at the very very end of the book and I can't say the who or why was even very satisfying. Then before I could really even blink - the book was over. As in, I have no idea what happened to the bad guy. Were the police involved? Are they in jail? And while I get that our heroine was knocked out, how does EVERYONE else know exactly what happened? Did this get explained? Was I sleep-reading by the end? Oh, who cares... this series is NOT for me.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sheila Samuelson (BookAddict30)

    Genre: Cozy Mystery Rating: 5 Stars (Wish i could rate it 10 Stars!!) Review: I picked up this book off the "FREE BOOKS" Table at my local Post Office so going into this one i was unsure what i'd rate it cause ive never read a book by Laura before. Cozy Mysteries are one of my fave Genre's so this one was enjoyable not just cause it's a Cozy but also cause Scrapbooking is one of my fave hobbies/crafts. The plot and setting were good, the characters were ok some were too annoying for me tho but o Genre: Cozy Mystery Rating: 5 Stars (Wish i could rate it 10 Stars!!) Review: I picked up this book off the "FREE BOOKS" Table at my local Post Office so going into this one i was unsure what i'd rate it cause ive never read a book by Laura before. Cozy Mysteries are one of my fave Genre's so this one was enjoyable not just cause it's a Cozy but also cause Scrapbooking is one of my fave hobbies/crafts. The plot and setting were good, the characters were ok some were too annoying for me tho but over all a good read. A MUST READ if your looking for a quick and easy book to finish for a Read a thon or a TBR Challenge!! I'll definately read more by her in the future!!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jessie

    This is the first in Laura Childs scrapbooking mystery series. I was interested to read it because it is set in New Orleans, Louisiana, and because I'm quite mystified by the popularity of scrapbooking. I had a scrap book as a girl and even then I found it boring to put together. The author's portrayal of Southern women and the Southern lifestyle struck me as a bit stereotypical from the outset. Her description of New Orleans reminds me of my description after a short vacation there, all about th This is the first in Laura Childs scrapbooking mystery series. I was interested to read it because it is set in New Orleans, Louisiana, and because I'm quite mystified by the popularity of scrapbooking. I had a scrap book as a girl and even then I found it boring to put together. The author's portrayal of Southern women and the Southern lifestyle struck me as a bit stereotypical from the outset. Her description of New Orleans reminds me of my description after a short vacation there, all about the charm and old world ambiance. This drastically changed after actually living there, as bugs, humidity, squalor, and poverty aren't on the tour. Gerry Schmidt, the author, is a marketing executive from Minnesota, I believe. Maybe she'll be more realistic and less like a travel brochure in the next books. The heroine does little sleuthing, mostly poking around while having scapbook parties with regular customors who have little to do but attend balls and spend time and money making scrapbooks. Mysteries where the author adds charactors and clues to the last chapter in order to have someone to hang the crime on are fairly unsatisfying. The author includes basic scrapbooking tips and generic cajun-ish recipes at the end of the book, a common marketing ploy these days.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bam cooks the books ;-)

    *2.5 stars rounded up. I jumped in on the 16th book in this series, Mumbo Gumbo Murder, at the beginning of the new year when I spotted it on the new book shelf at the library and saw it was set in New Orleans. I enjoyed that one so I decided I'd go back and start the series from the beginning--and take advantage of more of the recipes Laura Childs includes in these books. Not surprisingly, Childs starts off her new series during Mardi Gras. Her main character Carmela Bertrand owns a scrapbooking *2.5 stars rounded up. I jumped in on the 16th book in this series, Mumbo Gumbo Murder, at the beginning of the new year when I spotted it on the new book shelf at the library and saw it was set in New Orleans. I enjoyed that one so I decided I'd go back and start the series from the beginning--and take advantage of more of the recipes Laura Childs includes in these books. Not surprisingly, Childs starts off her new series during Mardi Gras. Her main character Carmela Bertrand owns a scrapbooking store called Memory Mine on the fringes of the French Quarter, while her best friend Ava Grieux owns a voodoo shop catering to the tourist trade. The two friends head off that evening to watch the Pluvius Parade. Suddenly a massive float decorated as a sea serpent comes to a halt in front of them and an unconscious man is lowered down. He is taken the hospital where he is pronounced dead of an overdose of ketamine. Carmela is shocked to learn that her soon-to-be ex-husband Shamus is wanted for questioning in the murder. Apparently he had been seen arguing with the victim earlier in the day. She feels Shamus might be a lot of bad things but he is not a murderer. There isn't much of a mystery here, just a lot of guess work and not much detecting. Carmela seems to dismiss any real clue that might have helped her solve the puzzle earlier. It's not till the last 15 pages or so that the truth is revealed. The characters seemed a little flat and stereotypical in this first outing, the scrapbooking dated, but it was fun to read about some of the Mardi Gras activities so I'll hang in there for more. Can't wait to try Carmela's Jambalaya recipe!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I have read many of Laura Childs' tea shop mysteries and have been meaning to try this other series for some time. The heroine is New Orleans scrapbooking shop owner Carmela Bertrand. She finds herself involved in clearing her soon to be ex-husband Shamus' name when he is wrongly accused of murder. All this unfolds during Mardi Gras. This was a fun read and a very quick read. In fact, I read most of it this afternoon in just under two hours. I loved reading about all of Carmela's paper crafts, for I have read many of Laura Childs' tea shop mysteries and have been meaning to try this other series for some time. The heroine is New Orleans scrapbooking shop owner Carmela Bertrand. She finds herself involved in clearing her soon to be ex-husband Shamus' name when he is wrongly accused of murder. All this unfolds during Mardi Gras. This was a fun read and a very quick read. In fact, I read most of it this afternoon in just under two hours. I loved reading about all of Carmela's paper crafts, for I love crafting with paper. There are some good tips at the end of the book if you are interested in achieving some of Carmela's creations that are described in the books. There are also recipes in the back of the book for some of the recipes that were mentioned in the book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Darlene

    Some interesting scrap booking ideas and a lot of charming characters. Not a lot of mystery - at least, not what I was looking for when I picked this book up. I will, with an open mind, read some more of Laura Childs (I think this is my first), because she has a pleasant style. In KEEPSAKE CRIMES, the setting is New Orleans during Mardi Gras and Ms Childs DID give a detailed view of this setting, which is okay because I‘ve always liked New Orleans. As a heroine, Carmella is a contradiction. At ti Some interesting scrap booking ideas and a lot of charming characters. Not a lot of mystery - at least, not what I was looking for when I picked this book up. I will, with an open mind, read some more of Laura Childs (I think this is my first), because she has a pleasant style. In KEEPSAKE CRIMES, the setting is New Orleans during Mardi Gras and Ms Childs DID give a detailed view of this setting, which is okay because I‘ve always liked New Orleans. As a heroine, Carmella is a contradiction. At times spunky, even carelessly so, then a bit wimpy to my mind, an invitation to being used. I will continue reading the series to see if it develops further. Right now, all I can say is that it is a quick, light read if that’s what you’re in the mood for.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This was a fairly entertaining cozy mystery with a quite interesting plot twist at the end. I liked some of the secondary characters in the story more than I liked the protagonist, however, which made it a bit more dull for me than it would have been otherwise. Overall, I liked it well enough, so it's a 3 star read for me. This was a fairly entertaining cozy mystery with a quite interesting plot twist at the end. I liked some of the secondary characters in the story more than I liked the protagonist, however, which made it a bit more dull for me than it would have been otherwise. Overall, I liked it well enough, so it's a 3 star read for me.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    Not a bad read, but a lot of details and not enough clues about the nurder. Did love the scrapbooking details and characters, also the vivid details about the Mardi Gras. Not sure if I will read the next. Howevere want to know if Shamus grows up.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    A fun cozy mystery with a likeable cast of characters, scrapbooking tips, New Orleans history and setting and Marti Gras. I enjoyed this much more than Childs’ Tea Shop series.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Judi Easley

    My Disclaimer: I was provided a free copy of this book by the author’s representative. I am voluntarily providing an honest review in which all opinions are fully my own. I am not being compensated in any way. ~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review My Review: ✰✰✰✰ This book has been around for quite awhile, but I just have never had a chance to read this series, so I decided this summer was the time to do it. I read several reviews on it and they tended to say that it was light on mystery, so I read i My Disclaimer: I was provided a free copy of this book by the author’s representative. I am voluntarily providing an honest review in which all opinions are fully my own. I am not being compensated in any way. ~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review My Review: ✰✰✰✰ This book has been around for quite awhile, but I just have never had a chance to read this series, so I decided this summer was the time to do it. I read several reviews on it and they tended to say that it was light on mystery, so I read it with that in mind. Well, the mystery happens in the beginning. At least the murder does. The accusations began right away, too. There are twenty-eight chapters in the book and the first seventeen are setting the stage for our heroine, Carmela, to get fired up enough to try to solve the case. I think this is why so many people say it’s light on mystery. For one thing, the only cop involved is one that you can tell is dirty from the first sight of him. For another, there’s a lot of partying and gossiping about it, but not much really happening about the actual murder. It seems frivolous even into chapter 18 when Carmela actually does something to try to find some information about people who might be involved. But Carmela has been written to be a stand-up, spunky character and she holds up under the accusations against her possibly soon-to-be ex-husband that she can’t locate. She also can’t decide if she still loves him or if she despises him for deserting her six months ago with no explanation other than he needs to work on his photography and have some space of his own. She convinces her sister-in-law, who is a VP at the family bank to let her look at her husband’s office at the bank to see if there might be some clue to why he has disappeared and whether or not he could possibly be involved in this mystery. Her sister-in-law grudgingly goes along with it. Carmela finds a file that doesn’t seem quite right to her and she tucks it into her handbag. From that file, she decides who might be involved and she starts poking around. She’s got good instincts, but she’s not quite on the right track. It’s like she’s sniffing up the right tree, just not the right branch. While taking some photos for a project, she’s attacked and ends up in the hospital with her errant husband at her side, who ties up all the loose ends that she hasn’t already figured out. But I call “foul play” when an author holds the cards so close to her chest that there’s no way you can figure out the mystery with what she’s given you. There was too much missing from the story for us to figure it out. Some good guessing brought me close to one part, but the other part was too concealed. A puzzle with missing pieces is frustrating. It won’t stop me from reading the next book in this series to see what the series as a whole is like. I recommend this book to cozy readers, especially if you enjoy scrapbooking as I do. If you have more insight into this series, please share it with me. Laura Childs is a prolific author keeping all three of her series current.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Joy Gerbode

    This book is a mixed delight. First, it's about scrapbooking, and there are lots of lovely ideas. However, I'm sure I'd LOVE to SEE these ideas, but just reading about them is difficult to picture just what they would be like. Second, it's about New Orleans, with some lovely descriptions of places and things surrounding Mardi Gras ... it's a part of the country I have NOT visited, so none of the references made a lot of sense to me, but sure did make me want to plan a trip down there. The myster This book is a mixed delight. First, it's about scrapbooking, and there are lots of lovely ideas. However, I'm sure I'd LOVE to SEE these ideas, but just reading about them is difficult to picture just what they would be like. Second, it's about New Orleans, with some lovely descriptions of places and things surrounding Mardi Gras ... it's a part of the country I have NOT visited, so none of the references made a lot of sense to me, but sure did make me want to plan a trip down there. The mystery itself was a little confusing, as there were too many other shady deals going on that had nothing to do with the mystery ... but then again, that made it all the more interesting and more difficult to figure out. So I enjoyed the book ... might want to re-read it after I've been to NO.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Eva

    Carmela has separated from her husband, Shamus, and been unceremoniously removed from their shared home (that belonged to his family). Then, Jimmy Earl, a prominent citizen of NOLA dies during Mardi Gras celebrations -- and the police think Shamus had something to do with his demise. Now, it's up to Carmela to figure out who REALLY killed Jimmy Earl before Shamus does time for a crime he didn't commit. The trick will be staying alive long enough to figure it all out. I really wanted to love this Carmela has separated from her husband, Shamus, and been unceremoniously removed from their shared home (that belonged to his family). Then, Jimmy Earl, a prominent citizen of NOLA dies during Mardi Gras celebrations -- and the police think Shamus had something to do with his demise. Now, it's up to Carmela to figure out who REALLY killed Jimmy Earl before Shamus does time for a crime he didn't commit. The trick will be staying alive long enough to figure it all out. I really wanted to love this book, but there were a lot of random characters, some of which just felt like space-fillers with no real purpose, and the story bogged down and plodded along from time to time. Hopefully the next book in the series will move along at a better pace.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    I have to say, I didn't really enjoy this. , the scrap-booking setting isn't one I really get. It also had the problem that it assumes a knowledge of how Mardi Gras works in New Orleans that I don't have, and yet repeated unnecessary details (I really don't need to be told ten times that the main character's car was called Samantha). But most of all, I didn't really warm to the main character. I prefer the Tea Shop books. I have to say, I didn't really enjoy this. , the scrap-booking setting isn't one I really get. It also had the problem that it assumes a knowledge of how Mardi Gras works in New Orleans that I don't have, and yet repeated unnecessary details (I really don't need to be told ten times that the main character's car was called Samantha). But most of all, I didn't really warm to the main character. I prefer the Tea Shop books.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Kelly

    As a writer of mysteries, I read and learn from all of the subgenres. I chose to read Keepsake Crimes (A Scrapbooking Mystery) because it is set in New Orleans, and the author, Laura Childs, is a prolific writer of cozy mysteries. The hero of the story, Carmela Bertrand, owns a scrapbooking store in the French Quarter, and the author does a brilliant job of weaving Carmela’s craft tips into the mystery without bogging down the story. The mystery begins when a friend of Carmela’s estranged husband As a writer of mysteries, I read and learn from all of the subgenres. I chose to read Keepsake Crimes (A Scrapbooking Mystery) because it is set in New Orleans, and the author, Laura Childs, is a prolific writer of cozy mysteries. The hero of the story, Carmela Bertrand, owns a scrapbooking store in the French Quarter, and the author does a brilliant job of weaving Carmela’s craft tips into the mystery without bogging down the story. The mystery begins when a friend of Carmela’s estranged husband is poisoned during a Mardi Gras parade. The estranged husband soon becomes suspect number one in the eyes of the police, and Carmela must solve the crime to get him off the hook. I found the setting quite enjoyable. I love NOLA. Though I’ve never attended Mardi Gras myself, this novel made me put it on my wish list. Lots of parties. Lots of eating and drinking. Great costumes. Carmela Bertrand makes an excellent amateur sleuth, and the author did a nice job of plausibly portraying Carmela’s need to solve the mystery. There is a nice bit of romance in the mystery as well. Carmela and her husband are estranged, but it is not clear that they will remain so forever. I’m not a scrapbooker, but if you are and you like to read cozy mysteries, you should definitely read Keepsake Crimes.

  17. 4 out of 5

    C. (friends, please call me by name)

    I appreciated Laura Child's / Gerry Schmitt's introduction to Louisiana, USA. She crammed-in a deluge of facts she obviously had lined-up for readers. Some scenes coloured-in this distinct culture very naturally within their fictional world and I enjoyed that. Too many pages went to the scrapbooking hobby in Carmela's shop. This is supposed to be the backdrop of this series. Any story wanting to present a mystery needs to prioritize the progress of its resolution and adventures relating to it. T I appreciated Laura Child's / Gerry Schmitt's introduction to Louisiana, USA. She crammed-in a deluge of facts she obviously had lined-up for readers. Some scenes coloured-in this distinct culture very naturally within their fictional world and I enjoyed that. Too many pages went to the scrapbooking hobby in Carmela's shop. This is supposed to be the backdrop of this series. Any story wanting to present a mystery needs to prioritize the progress of its resolution and adventures relating to it. There is room for acquainting the primary characters and their milieu, particularly in a first volume and I like Baby and Tandy. Ava is a stick figure. The premise is bizarre: Carmela married a banker's son. Her husband was keen on photography and disappeared. His sister ousted Carmela from the family-owned home under presumption of divorce, even though he calls his sojourn temporary. This is preposterous in every way. He could pursue photography married! In this novel, there is a suspicious death that Carmela is compelled to clear him of. The mystery would have to be good, to glom onto characters readers don't respect. Unfortunately it was poorly put-together. I'd best only say the motive was outrageously illogical. No one would kill for such a flimsy reason, no one need kill to obtain that superficial goal, and the hostage segment was pointless. My favourite part was being educated about a sellers' tradition, giving "a little extra" of their wares to customers as a gift, using the Cajun expression: "Lagniappe". I love that. A few lovely moments are why I give at least two stars. It is precious that Gerry dedicated this book to her Father, saying he passed away a little before her first was published. He was surely proud it was forthcoming. Gerry definitely has better work than this.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nani

    This was a cute mystery; light reading with a little action and an entertaining setting in New Orleans during Mardi Gras with most of the character development told in the main character’s scrapbooking shop. I liked the book. I haven’t decided if I like it enough to read the other books in the series. It was a sweet read, but it’s a little more fluff than I want a steady diet of in my books As a scrapbooker, Carmela, the main character, is just a little bit too much of a “miracle crafter.” While s This was a cute mystery; light reading with a little action and an entertaining setting in New Orleans during Mardi Gras with most of the character development told in the main character’s scrapbooking shop. I liked the book. I haven’t decided if I like it enough to read the other books in the series. It was a sweet read, but it’s a little more fluff than I want a steady diet of in my books As a scrapbooker, Carmela, the main character, is just a little bit too much of a “miracle crafter.” While she’s handles the business of owning the shop, she also does freelance craftwork and teaches techniques. She never makes a mistake with her crafts and always seems to amaze the people closest to her with the perfect things she whips up. If there had been a shops like hers in my paper scrapping days I’d have just lived there, but I didn’t read any evidence her shop could possibly sustain itself when the sole proprietor has so much time on her hands. Like I said, it was light reading, but the imagery was pretty and the characters cute and the plot was not really predictable, although in the end it was a little trite. It was still a good relax and escape book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    This book had been on my tbr shelf since January, so I decided to read it after I got burnt out on the other books I was reading. This was overalla good book with a strong mystery. The characters, however, were simply okay, they weren't really as realistic as I'd like them, and I found myself rolling my eyes at Gabby, Shamus, and Carmela more than once. However, I really liked Ava, Tandy, Jekyll, and Baby. I absolutely loved the setting, in New Orleans. It was so vivid that I could picture it perf This book had been on my tbr shelf since January, so I decided to read it after I got burnt out on the other books I was reading. This was overalla good book with a strong mystery. The characters, however, were simply okay, they weren't really as realistic as I'd like them, and I found myself rolling my eyes at Gabby, Shamus, and Carmela more than once. However, I really liked Ava, Tandy, Jekyll, and Baby. I absolutely loved the setting, in New Orleans. It was so vivid that I could picture it perfect. However, at the same time, I feel that the author spent a bit too much time on describing Mardi Gras, she repeated herself a few times and I found myself skimming over those parts. The mystery was very good, I didn't see the killer until the very end when the MC realized who it is. Overall an okay book. Pleasant, and it kept my attention, but yet the characters and overdescription of Mardi Gras had me cringing. I'll probably read the next one, however.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    This is the first in a series about the owner of a scrapbooking store. Like the Tea Shop books, it's all about the setting and this one is in New Orleans. Maybe because of the setting, it's bawdier than the Tea Shop books which are set in graceful Charleston. This one has more language which seemed to make the characters seem more earthy, although they are well-to-do and society ladies hanging out at expensive Mardi Gras parties. They didn't mesh well. The owner, Carmela, wants to help her no-go This is the first in a series about the owner of a scrapbooking store. Like the Tea Shop books, it's all about the setting and this one is in New Orleans. Maybe because of the setting, it's bawdier than the Tea Shop books which are set in graceful Charleston. This one has more language which seemed to make the characters seem more earthy, although they are well-to-do and society ladies hanging out at expensive Mardi Gras parties. They didn't mesh well. The owner, Carmela, wants to help her no-good husband while trying to hate him, and unfortunately, the scrapbooking stuff was dated which gave the book a dated feel. The mystery was fine and the murderer was unexpected, but you have to like the recurring characters to continue a series. Not sure if I will as the Tea Shop books are better.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mimi

    If you don't want to read another book about a wonderful competent women being an idiot about a guy who is a whiny self absorbed (except when he wants something) almost ex husband, don't read this book. She can run a business, solve mysteries and yet, doesn't have any brains when it comes to her ex? Pul--eeze. Why have her friends not had an intervention and explained that are better fish in the sea. I made the mistake of reading 3 of these and I'd like to save you all from this fate. I kept wai If you don't want to read another book about a wonderful competent women being an idiot about a guy who is a whiny self absorbed (except when he wants something) almost ex husband, don't read this book. She can run a business, solve mysteries and yet, doesn't have any brains when it comes to her ex? Pul--eeze. Why have her friends not had an intervention and explained that are better fish in the sea. I made the mistake of reading 3 of these and I'd like to save you all from this fate. I kept waiting for her to kick this guy to the curb and give him his comeuppance. Wait, was that not the mystery? Your brain will just go "Dump him, dump him" and not ever get to whatever the actual plot is. So dump this book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Carolynne

    This was the first of this series that I read, and I quite enjoyed it. I liked the New Orleans setting, especially the cemetery scenes where the main character, Carmela, takes pictures, and the details of the new Scrapbooking business Carmela has established after her husband Shamus, scion of a prominent New Orleans banking family, dumps her. The mystery was nothing special. I thought the solution was kind of random. What I liked most were the scrapbooking tips at the end and the temping recipes This was the first of this series that I read, and I quite enjoyed it. I liked the New Orleans setting, especially the cemetery scenes where the main character, Carmela, takes pictures, and the details of the new Scrapbooking business Carmela has established after her husband Shamus, scion of a prominent New Orleans banking family, dumps her. The mystery was nothing special. I thought the solution was kind of random. What I liked most were the scrapbooking tips at the end and the temping recipes.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Christa

    For some reason, I never continued this series after reading this one the first time. I read the author's other series and loved them. I decided that it was way past time to get going on this series, so I came back and reread this first book. I thought it was lots of fun. I loved the New Orleans setting and the back drop of the Scrapbooking shop. Carmela made a good main character, and I enjoyed some of the secondary characters. I'm looking forward to continuing on with the series now that I hav For some reason, I never continued this series after reading this one the first time. I read the author's other series and loved them. I decided that it was way past time to get going on this series, so I came back and reread this first book. I thought it was lots of fun. I loved the New Orleans setting and the back drop of the Scrapbooking shop. Carmela made a good main character, and I enjoyed some of the secondary characters. I'm looking forward to continuing on with the series now that I have this book back fresh on my mind.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Loraine

    Good cozy mystery with a great New Orleans Mardi Gras setting. Also includes scrapbooking tips and recipes.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    I enjoyed this book and loved the New Orleans setting. I will contine on with this series, and I have the first two Tea Shop mysteries by Laura Childs set to go.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Hope

    Good first in the series. I'm interested in more. Like the characters. Thought the mystery was solid. I actually didn't guess the culprit and I usually do. Good first in the series. I'm interested in more. Like the characters. Thought the mystery was solid. I actually didn't guess the culprit and I usually do.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Becky W.

    I really enjoyed this book. I loved the way the author incorporated scrapbooking into the. The tips, and the techniques as I’m a passionate scrapbooked.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    Not terrible, but not great. There are way too many characters for a first book in a series. Also, there was the classic mistake of making everyone too much of a caricature of a person, not a real character. Sure, people in the French Quarter have to have big personalities for the tourists, but not everyone is from a production of Gone with the Wind. I find that more often than not it's the Southern cities that people try to play up. You don't see as many New England novels in which the characte Not terrible, but not great. There are way too many characters for a first book in a series. Also, there was the classic mistake of making everyone too much of a caricature of a person, not a real character. Sure, people in the French Quarter have to have big personalities for the tourists, but not everyone is from a production of Gone with the Wind. I find that more often than not it's the Southern cities that people try to play up. You don't see as many New England novels in which the characters only order caw-fee and clam chowder and talk like they belong in a Good Will Hunting remake. It would also explain the amount of tell vs show in the novel. Carmela explains a lot of the New Orleans food and customs (sometimes too much. I think most people know what a po boy is) instead of describing them in scene. Both methods explain, but one is more patronizing, making it apparent that the author doesn't think their audience knows much while the other offers information naturally by describing the moment. Also, I didn't appreciate the line describing New Orleans outside the highway. It seemed negative just because there were more fast food restaurants and less nichy stores for the tourists. Lady, that's the real New Orleans. This isn't some small town like a normal cozy mystery. Lots of people live there, many in poor demographics where Popeyes is as good as it gets.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lagniappe

    An acceptable cozy and a quick read. I'm not "crafty" and, although I found the scrapbooking portions of the book interesting, there needed to be a bit less scrapbooking and a bit more mystery. The story moved along nicely and the characters were mostly likeable. So why only three stars? Because she got so many New Orleans details wrong. I realize this may not matter to most potential readers, but as a life-long New Orleanian, it bothers me when authors get the details wrong. Neighborhoods are p An acceptable cozy and a quick read. I'm not "crafty" and, although I found the scrapbooking portions of the book interesting, there needed to be a bit less scrapbooking and a bit more mystery. The story moved along nicely and the characters were mostly likeable. So why only three stars? Because she got so many New Orleans details wrong. I realize this may not matter to most potential readers, but as a life-long New Orleanian, it bothers me when authors get the details wrong. Neighborhoods are placed on the wrong side of the Mississippi river, parade names are spelled wrong, and locals do things that - well - locals would never do. And bastardizing the names, e.g., using Beltoine's for the restaurant Antoine's - either change the name or use the original, but don't use half of it with a wink and a nod. Phew! I feel better now. Despite the setting faux pas I'd still be willing to invest another couple of hours in installment #2 - just to see if things get corrected.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jeannette Hartman

    Carmela Bertrand, owner of the Memory Mine scrapbooking shop, was shocked to see the lifeless body of Jimmy Earl Clayton taken down from the ocean-themed Pluvius krewe float during Mardi Gras. She was even more shocked when fingers start pointing in the direction of her estranged husband Shamus Meechum. Shamus had abruptly walked out on their marriage and his career in his family's bank to "find himself" and develop his talents in photography. Even so, she doesn't believe that he would be capable Carmela Bertrand, owner of the Memory Mine scrapbooking shop, was shocked to see the lifeless body of Jimmy Earl Clayton taken down from the ocean-themed Pluvius krewe float during Mardi Gras. She was even more shocked when fingers start pointing in the direction of her estranged husband Shamus Meechum. Shamus had abruptly walked out on their marriage and his career in his family's bank to "find himself" and develop his talents in photography. Even so, she doesn't believe that he would be capable of murder. Carmela pokes and ponders about the events leading up to Jimmy Earl's death until she finds herself at the wrong end of a gun. I'm not a fan of cozy mysteries. They always seem light, shallow and cartoonish to me. That said author Laura Childs has created an enchanting world of New Orleans during Mardi Gras and entertaining characters and plot.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...