by Sandra Murphy
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Bird, Bath, and Beyond, a link to purchase it from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.
It’s Mardi Gras time in New Orleans. Carmela and Ava are ready to sell tons of merchandise in their shops (scrapbooking and voodoo) and dance the nights away as Fat Tuesday nears. Party time includes parades with the fabulous floats manned by the competitive krewes.
When one of those floats crashes and explodes, krewe members, including Shamus, Carmela’s ex-husband, are thrown into the street, resulting in one fatality. Hugh Wilder, CEO of a hedge fund, is the victim. After major losses, a number of clients would love to get their revenge. There’s also a reporter who lost his job and a hardly mourning wife.
Shamus is a suspect because he invested, and lost, sixteen million dollars for the family bank. He begs Carmela to come to his rescue and get her detective boyfriend to stop quizzing him about motive and opportunity.
Carmela’s life is chaotic. Business is brisk as customers decide on last minute invitations, place cards, and decorations. Her social life is booked solid. Babcock, her boyfriend, near fiancé (just lacking a ring and a wedding date), really wants her to stop asking questions to clear Shamus. Is it just curiosity or does Carmela still have feelings for her ex?
This is the fifteenth book in the popular series. Carmela and Babcock are a good match, but he’ll have to reconcile himself to her need to investigate. I hope by the next book, they’ll have set a date. Ava continues to be the biggest flirt in New Orleans. The parties are over the top, the food beyond compare, and the city, rich in history. Carmela does take risks that are potentially life-threatening. It will be interesting to see if marriage tones down her impulses.
Childs also writes two other series—the Tea Shop mysteries featuring Theodosia, Drayton, and Haley, with nineteen books so far. Seven Cackleberry books make up the third. Writing under her own name, Gerry Schmitt, she’s also penned two thrillers, both excellent reads but far from cozy.
At the back of the book, find scrapbook, stamping, and craft tips from Childs, recipes for oven chicken jambalaya, bayou crab chowder, crawfish beignets, mango shrimp in endive, surprise biscuits, peach pie, spoon bread, microwave fudge, and dog treats. There’s an excerpt from Eggs on Ice, the next Cackleberry Club book, launching in December, available for pre-order now. Broken Bone China and Mumbo Jumbo Murder will be the next tea shop and scrapbooking mysteries.
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