Parchment and Old Lace

Laura Childs, with Terrie Farley Moran. Berkley Prime Crime, $25.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-425-26668-7
At the start of Childs’s uneven 13th scrapbooking mystery (after 2014’s Gossamer Ghost), this one coauthored with Moran (Caught Red-Handed), Carmela Bertrand, proprietor of the scrapbook shop Memory Mine, and her detective boyfriend, Edgar Babcock, have a brief encounter with assistant DA Isabelle Black—the sister of Carmela’s tarot card–reader friend, Ellie—at a New Orleans restaurant. After dinner, the couple walk to Lafayette Cemetery, where they find Isabelle strangled with a piece of antique lace. Carmela sees a possible connection to the costume collection of Vesper Baudette, the disapproving mother of Isabelle’s fiancé, Edward. Also providing grist for Carmela’s investigating mill are the activities of Naomi Rattler, a fashion blogger; Julian Drake, an ambitious casino businessman; and Oliver Slade, Isabelle’s chef ex-boyfriend. Contradictory assertions, awkward plotting, and situations that stretch credulity and cause the reader to question Carmela’s judgment contribute to a less than satisfying read. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/2015
Release date: 10/06/2015
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 978-1-4104-8332-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 336 pages - 978-0-425-26669-4
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