Crepe Factor (A Scrapbooking Mystery #14) by Laura Childs with Terrie Farley Moran (Amazon)
Source: Blog Tour
Description: 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 thrashing 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...
Genre: Mystery - Cozy
Why I Picked This Book: This is probably one of the first cozy series I read and I really loved it. I'm excited to check back in and see what I've missed!
My Impression: This Scrapbooking mystery series is probably one of the first cozy series I ever read and I remember searching through all the local bookstores - new and used- hoping to find the newest one. But somewhere over the years the series fell off my radar and I think the last book I read was #4. I was so pleased to have the chance to read the newest release though I was curious if I'd be able to keep up with who everyone was in the story and how Memory Mine, Carmela's scrapbook store would be updated.
I found this book a delight! I had no problem keeping up with the characters which was good because other than Carmela I remembered very little about them. I think anyone would be able to jump right into the series with this book without any problems. There are definitely backstories but who everyone is is clearly explained and flows well with the story. And the scrapbook store is just as gorgeous as I remember. Since scrapbooking seems to be more digital now I was worried it would feel a little dated but all it really did was make me want to go and collect gorgeous papers and make luminaries and cards. And can someone please teach that bookbinding class that Carmela was teaching? It sounded like so much fun!
I really liked Carmela and her friend Ava. They're so different but I really did believe they were friends. I loved how this book really felt like it takes place in New Orleans. So often a great setting is only just mentioned but it really felt like Carmela was in New Orleans and taking part in New Orleans society. Of course the parts about the food (and there were lots!) were my favorite parts. I do question how Carmela and Ava manage to run their separate stores when they're spending so much time investigating but there was enough scrapbook talk from Carmela that it didn't bother me.
The mystery was lots of fun. It's hard to find someone who didn't want to kill the victim and I really didn't have an idea of who the actual killer was until towards the end. Why Carmela is most clearly an amateur detective her nosiness didn't annoy me like it sometimes does and I really enjoyed being along for the ride. I also loved the occasional mentions of Carmela ordering tea from a little shop in Charleston in what is clearly a mention of one of Childs other series. It made me smile every time and made me want to go back and check out that series again as well!
I'm glad I revisited this old favorite and the next one will definitely be on my TBR list!
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Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Absolutely! I'm looking forward to catching up on this series and I have another book in her Cackleberry Club series that I'm excited to start.
Would I Recommend this Book?: Definitely! If you enjoy a cozy (and especially a craft-y cozy) this is a series you should definitely try. You can also jump in anywhere in the series which is an added bonus.