Monday, September 22, 2008

Death Swatch - Laura Childs

Death Swatch
A Scrapbooking Mystery
Laura Childs
Berkley Prime Crime


Mardi Gras time in New Orleans is one huge party. Carmela Bertrand, owner of local scrapbooking shop Memory Mine, and her friend, Ava Grieux, owner of the Juju Voodoo Shop, are both happy to be invited to a private party thrown by local celebrity and parade float designer Jekyl Hardy. He lives in what might be the most spectacular and coveted apartment house in New Orleans. While there, they meet Archie Baudier, newly hired as Jekyl’s assistant.

The party is in full swing and the drinks are flowing, but her customers expect her to open on time in the morning, so Carmela goes to find her host to say good night. Instead of Jekyl, she finds Archie out on the balcony, choking, a length of barbed wire wrapped around his neck. No one can help him in time, and the man dies in front of the shocked guests. Knowing her reputation as an amateur sleuth, Jekyl begs Carmela to look into Archie’s death.

The author makes great use of the New Orleans area and the Mardi Gras traditions – and traditional chaos – in this installment, following FRILL KILL and MOTIF FOR MURDER. Background, including local history and the process of assembling a Mardi Gras parade float adds a nice dash of realism. New readers won’t have any trouble jumping in at this point, and longtime fans will feel like they’ve reconnected with a friend. The characters are suitably eccentric, and the mystery very involving.

Rating: 7 ½
September 2008
ISBN# 978-0-425-22478-6


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