Monday, October 31, 2016
The holidays are a busy time for scrapbook shop owner Carmela Bertrand—but not so hectic that she doesn’t have time to enjoy browsing the booths at the Winter Market with her best friend Ava. The last thing the ladies expect to see is a lurching man stabbed by a serving fork, dying in front of them.
The victim is loathed restaurant critic Martin Lash, who posted his scathing reviews on the Glutton for Punishment website. And the prime suspect is New Orleans restauranteur Quigg Brevard—who was seen giving the critic a tongue-lashing minutes before someone stuck a fork in him. An old flame of Carmela, Quigg asks for her help, which does not please her current beau, Detective Edgar Babcock, to say the least.
Before her relationship is the next victim, Carmela needs to find a murderer who had no reservations about punishing the culinary curmudgeon… Berkley
It's been quite awhile since I've reviewed a cozy mystery by Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran, but I thought Halloween would be the perfect time to feature one. Ms. Childs' latest is CREPE FACTOR, and it's part of her Scrapbooking Mystery series. I thought this book was a lot of fun! The characters are likable, the mystery was interesting, and the book takes place in New Orleans. What more could you ask for in a cozy?
CREPE FACTOR's beginning scene takes place at the Winter Market in the French Quarter, and it's only a matter of minutes before the murder takes place. And it's a gruesome one that involves a serving fork and a man's neck! See why I wanted to feature this book on Halloween even though it actually takes place near the holidays?
Carmela Bertrand, part-time sleuth and owner of a cute scrapbooking store in New Orleans, and her friend Ava are walking around the Winter Market when they hear a disagreement break out between two men. Just minutes later, one of the men involved staggers up to them with a serving fork coming out of his neck (think Frankenstein type walk); and Carmela finds herself once again right smack dab in the middle of a murder mystery.
The victim is Martin Lash, a local restaurant critic. His reviews aren't exactly nice or tactful, and he's definitely made his fair share of enemies... including restaurant owner and winemaker Quigg Brevard. Quigg was the man last seen arguing with Martin... and he also happens to be an ex beau of Carmela's. Martin immediately asks Carmela for help even though she is currently dating a detective with the New Orleans police force.
Carmela is reluctant to get involved... well kind of, but she can't really help herself even if that means upsetting her boyfriend. Can Carmela save her ex while also holding on to her current guy?
CREPE FACTOR was a really entertaining mystery. I loved Carmela and her wacky friend Ava, and the setting of New Orleans also added to my enjoyment. The mystery was intriguing as well; and while I didn't figure out all of the specifics, I had a pretty good idea that one of the side stories was involved. All in all, Ms. Childs' has to be one of the best at writing novels in the cozy genre!
Besides being a truly enjoyable story, CREPE FACTOR also has some fun sections in the back of the book. Because Carmela is the owner of a scrapbooking store, there are some easy-to-follow scrapbooking, stamping, and craft tips. In addition, there are some terrific recipes for cranberry muffins, barbecued ribs, dog cookies, pork roast, lemon chicken, and more!
I highly recommend CREPE FACTOR to fans of cozy mysteries! It's a smart mystery with terrific characters and a perfect setting!
Giveaway alert: Ms. Childs has agreed to send one very lucky Booking Mama reader a copy of CREPE FACTOR. To enter, just fill out the form below before November 13th at 11:59 p.m. EST. I will randomly select and notify the winner 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.
Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.