Childs' latest Scrapbooking mystery is a fun novel that brings the excitement of Mardi Gras to life. She uses the history and lore of New Orleans to create a fascinating tale that moves quickly and is filled with quirky characters and detailed descriptions. The backstory for the series, including Carmela's divorce, is handled deftly, and her relationship with Det. Babcock is charming. Although Babcock benefits from Carmela's help, his discomfort with a civilian getting involved in police business lends a realistic tone. This well-crafted mystery has an intense, suspenseful ending.
Scrapbook shop owner Carmela Bertrand is again at the scene of a French Quarter crime. When a parade float designer is murdered during a Mardi Gras party, she notices a number of odd clues. While rumors circulate about a Russian mob hit or a ritualistic killing, Carmela and her friend Ava search for the real motive. As Carmela gets closer to the truth, she is in jeopardy of becoming the next victim. (BERKLEY PRIME CRIME, Sep., 320 pp., $23.95)