Monday, October 20, 2014
An evening’s work deciding on the class schedule for her scrapbooking shop has put Carmela in the mood to kick up her heels. But after some strange noises draw her into Oddities, the neighboring antiques shop, Carmela’s night is abruptly put on hold when a bloody body falls out of a curio cabinet—and into her arms.
While shop owner Marcus Joubert was known for being an eccentric with a penchant for eclectic merchandise, Carmela never thought he was the kind of man who could inspire the passion required to kill. But when Marcus’s assistant—and fiancée—Mavis reveals that a priceless death mask was also stolen, it becomes clear that murder wasn’t the culprit’s sole intention.
Carmela can’t resist the urge to investigate the growing mystery, but as the list of suspects increases, she realizes it’ll take every trick in the book to unmask the killer thief before there’s another night of murderous mischief… -- Berkley Prime Crime
Halloween is quickly approaching and I have a great book that's sure to get you into the spirit of the season. It's a cozy mystery called GOSSAMER GHOST by Laura Childs, and it's the twelfth book in her Scrapbooking Mystery series. Fans of cozies and crafts will enjoy this fun new book.
GOSSAMER GHOST takes place in New Orleans and features scrapbook store owner (and part-time amateur sleuth) Carmela Bertrand. One day, Carmela hears a noise from the antique store next door, and she over to check things out. After a quick look around the store and in a curio cabinet, she is shocked to discover the owner Marcus Joubert's dead body!
Like many shop owners in New Orleans, Joubert and his store were a little unusual; however, Carmela would never have considered him a candidate for murder. Her boyfriend, who just happens to be a police officer, warns Carmela to stay out of the investigation, but it's almost as if she can't help herself from becoming involved... especially after she learns that a priceless death mask is also missing from the store.
The suspect list keep growing as Carmela begins asking questions about Joubert, his shop, and his relationships with buyers and other sellers. Can she find the murderer before he (or she) strikes again?
I found GOSSAMER GHOST to be a very cute murder mystery and it definitely set the mood for Halloween. Of course, one of my favorite things about this series is the setting -- a scrapbooking store in New Orleans; however, I also like the main characters and the dynamics between them. The murder had its fair share of twists and turns, but it wasn't too complicated to figure out. (I was able to figure out the who if not the why.) Overall, it was a very fun read!
Halloween in New Orleans might be a sight to behold! Or at least that's how I picture it after reading GOSSAMER GHOST. I loved the author's descriptions of the French Quarter with the various parades, fun runs, parties, and more. In addition, the costumes were described in great detail. I'm not the biggest fan of Halloween, but this book definitely captured my imagination with all of the holiday references.
I also really liked the characters in this story. Carmela is a wonderful amateur sleuth and I enjoy seeing how she interacts with her employee, fellow shop owners, and her boyfriend. Not only is she good at figuring out murder mysteries, but she also has some great craft ideas for her customers and for classes at her store. In this novel, she was particularly impressive at solving the mystery since it was pretty complicated.
And finally, I appreciated all of the crafty ideas and recipes that were in this novel. Naturally, there are a few scrapbooking suggestions, but I liked that this book gave examples of how to make ghosts as well as various costume ideas. The back of the book even included some craft tips -- like how to use old game tokens, how to make wine labels, how to make sachets, and how to design guest towels. In addition, there were a number of recipes for the various foods mentioned in the story including beignets!
GOSSAMER GHOST is the perfect book for October. Highly recommended to mystery/cozy fans and craft hobbyists!
Giveaway alert: I have two copies of GOSSAMER GHOST to share with two lucky readers. To enter, just fill out the form below before October 31st at 11:59 p.m. EST. I will randomly select and notify the winners the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. addresses only. Good luck!
Thanks to the author for providing a review copy of this novel.