Books

by Laura Childs
Berkley Prime Crime, October 2010, $24.95

It’s all trick, and no treat, when the owner of the scrapbooking store Memory Mine, Carmela Bertrand, and her best friend Ava Gruiex stumble upon the dead body of Brett Fowler, one of New Orleans’ most notorious float krewe captains. Soon the friends are “in a jam” when their good friend Jekyl Hardy becomes the number one suspect and asks for help—Carmela’s boyfriend is the lead homicide detective on the case, after all. Turns out plenty of people had reason to hate Fowler. He was running a Ponzi scheme that left a lot of people high and dry, including Carmela’s mean-spirited ex-sister-in-law who hired a thuggish private detective to investigate the fraud. Fowler’s widow isn’t exactly upset about his demise either, in the face of evidence of his philandering.

Readers of previous Scrapbooking Mystery titles will enjoy seeing Carmela continue to move on from ex-husband Shamus Meechum—even if her current relationship with Lt. Edgar Babcock isn’t always smooth sailing. That said, for being eight books along, the other characters in the series are largely two-dimensional. They’re fun to read about but hard to connect to.

The strong story in Fiber & Brimstone kept me reading despite the book’s shortcomings, and readers of hobby mysteries will enjoy untangling the myriad suspects and plot strands. And while the whodunnit won’t be too hard to figure out for veteran sleuths, the why is a bit more challenging.

Dori Cocuz

childs_fiberbrimstoneScrapbooking sleuth Carmela Bertrand is back on the case to clear a friend's name.

Teri Duerr
1641

by Laura Childs
Berkley Prime Crime, October 2010, $24.95

Childs
October 2010
fiber-a-brimstone
24.95
Berkley Prime Crime

A celebration of one of mysterydom’s favorite writers.

Bill Crider is a man with three cats, many books, even more friends, and few regrets.

The widely published 76-year-old author informed his blog followers recently tha

Bill Crider is a man with three cats, many books, even more friends, and few regrets. The author told blog followers recently that he has a few months – or even weeks – to live.

bill-crider

I’ve been binging a lot lately on British mystery series that are just now being made available to U.S. audiences.

These series are distributed by Acorn with DVD and Blu-ray sets available from select ret

gripping-dramas-on-acorn

Tom Straw may be the best-known unknown writer.

He’s had seven novels that went straight to the New York Times Best Seller list, with one landing in the No. 1 slot. The books were hugely popular and the ch

tom-straw-the-author-behind-castle