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Posts Tagged ‘Laura Childs’

Fiber & Brimstone by Laura Childs

Laura Childs has placed her Scrapbooking Mysteries series in atmospheric New Orleans. Carmela Bertrand, the owner of Memory Mine scrapbook shop in the French Quarter, is also a part time sleuth and even more part time girlfriend of NOPD detective, Edgar Babcock. Her best friend is Ava Grieux, proprietress of Juju Voodoo, the biggest voodoo shop in New Orleans. They are volunteering to help make a giant puppet for the Monsters and Mayhem Torchlight Parade to be held Halloween night– only while they are busy making the costume at one of the Mardi Gras crew dens, the crew den head honcho is murdered. Carmela and Ava are the first on the scene after the murderer has made his escape.

We’re introduced to a dizzying number of characters who may or may not be involved in the murder. The reader accompanies Ava and Carmela through so many Halloween celebrations, special dinners and receptions, parties with both friends and enemies, and scrapbooking demonstrations that it is hard to keep all the potential culprits straight. One wonders how Carmela and Ava ever have any time for either sleep or work.

I have a hard time with the affectations of the crowd of people that inhabit this particular series, but I am always fascinated with New Orleans locations and lore. I read Child’s Scrapbook series mostly to learn more about NO and its crazy events and lifestyle. I admit to liking better both the characters and the setting of her tea shop series set in Charleston. Still, I’m glad that Childs is working on her next books in both series and, no doubt, I’ll read them both.

Liz Nichols

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Review of The Teaberry Strangler by Laura Childs

The setting of “The Teaberry Strangler” by Laura Childs is one of my favorite cities, Charleston, SC. The book simply wreaks of atmosphere as Childs describes the daily activities that go on in Charleston’s historic Church St. I can picture every move made in that area which makes for a particularly enjoyable read.

The main character, Theodosia Browning, owns the Indigo Tea Shop, and is ably assisted in all things having to do with running the shop by master tea brewer, Drayton, and master baker, Haley. These are all delightful characters with personalities and interests that make reading the book like walking into the lives of old friends.

In this particular mystery Theodosia must figure out who killed the owner of the Antiquarian Map Shop next door to the tea shop. A side issue is about the origin of the human bones found in the back yard of the cottage a few blocks from the shop that Theodosia is in the process of buying. The Historical Society archeologists wind up digging up her back yard in order to discover whether the bones are related to an old graveyard for pirates who were hung nearby in colonial times.

Lovers of the cosy mystery will enjoy this book. The mystery keeps you guessing to the end.

Liz Nichols

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