Publication Date: 10/01/2013
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Laura Childs on the WEB: Website, Facebook, Goodreads
Books in the series:
Keepsake Crimes (2003), Photo Finished (2004), Bound for Murder (2004), Motif for Murder (2006), Frill Kill (2007), Death Swatch (2008), Tragic Magic (2009), Fiber & Brimstone (2010), Skeleton Letters (2011), Postcards from the Dead (2012) Hardcover release dates
Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.
Excerpt from Postcards from the Dead, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.
New Orleans is in the throes of another fantastic Mardi Gras celebration when the party gets crashed by a murderer…
Kimber Breeze of KBEZ-TV is broadcasting live from a hotel balcony in the French Quarter, interviewing locals and capturing the spectacle in the streets. But as Carmela Bertrand, owner of Memory Mine scrapbooking shop, waits to be interviewed next, someone sneaks onto the balcony and strangles Kimber with a cord, leaving her body dangling above the parade.
Soon after the murder, Carmela begins receiving strange postcards at her shop—signed by the late reporter. Now she and her friend Ava must risk their own necks to find out who’s posing as a ghost and expose a killer…
Prolific writer Laura Childs once again draws readers into the magical atmosphere of New Orleans and Mardi Gras season, in her 10th book in the Scrapbooking Mystery series, Postcards from the Dead. Childs' heroine, Carmela Bertrand was recently named "Best Amateur Sleuth" by The Romantic Times Book Review and it's easy to see why in this latest paperback release in the series. Childs' sense of history and time and place is excellent and she brings New Orleans to life for her audience. Her characters are well developed and their chemistry is worth reading about. Another great release from Laura Childs!
The Scrapbooking mysteries have always been among my favorites by Laura Childs. There is just something about the atmosphere of these books that is very attractive. Set in New Orleans, there is a sense of mystery and magic in air as the reader begins each journey with Carmela and Ava. Childs is able to impart a little bit more New Orleans history and lore in each book. I have always wanted to visit New Orleans for the Mardi Gras celebration but nevermore so then after reading one of Laura Childs Scrapbooking mysteries.
Postcards from the Dead is no exception to that rule. Childs starts the reader out in the middle of Mardi Gras where the celebrating has already begun, with large floats, costumes and parties and everything that goes along with it. It's a feast for the senses as Childs describes the wild sense of abandonment and recklessness, the fantastic food and elaborate costuming. Readers are automatically swept up in the story. If you've been following the series you will know that Hurricane Katrina has done some damage and many are still recovering from the aftermath, including our intrepid heroine, Carmela. I liked the fact that Childs doesn't gloss over the traumatic events and how the have reshaped New Orleans society from the rich to those less fortunate.
Carmela finds herself getting ready to an interview with a local reporter, known to be annoying and down right ruthless at times. When she goes to the balcony interview spot, the reporter is dead, hanging by a cord over the crowd. Childs is able to grab the interest of the reader quickly and start to hash out some of the details of the mystery. I liked the fact that Carmela was willing to take a step back and let the police do their job, until the postcards from the dead woman start to arrive... This was such a great idea. I liked the fact that Childs allows Carmela and sidekick Ava to stay neutral for a little while before sliding them into the search for the killer.
One of the other things that is always so interesting about this series is the fact that Scrapbooking really does take center stage right along with the mystery. Often times in cozy mysteries the day job of the heroine or hero is basically fluff. You hear a little about it here and there but nothing substantial. Not so, with Laura Childs. Carmela's scrapbook shop, Memory Mine is a very important part of the series and the scrapbooking tidbits and tips are interesting and generally add to the overall atmosphere of the book. Childs is very good at making what is important to the heroine become important to the reader.
I enjoyed this one a lot. We learn a little more about Carmela and Ava and the rest of the cast in each book and I'm always looking forward to those bits and pieces of their lives. I think that is one of the things that draws readers back time and again to a series, they want to see what their favorite characters are up to. And that's a quality I think Childs really takes into account and it certainly adds to the allure of the series.
The mystery aspect was very well done as always in this book. I did figure it out, but I definitely wasn't sure I was right. It was more of a guess than a concrete decision on my part. I thought Child did a fantastic job of taking a character from previous books and making them the center of this one. There is also a side mystery in this one that's almost as exciting as the main one. I liked solving them both right along with the characters. This is a great book, you won't be disappointed!
Postcards from the Dead is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In 10 years of writing she has produced 24 mysteries and has many more in the pipeline. Her Tea Shop Mysteries are under consideration for a television series and Childs is currrently executive producer for 2 reality TV shows.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Postcards from the Dead by Laura Childs.
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