Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

In honor of Mardi Gras, here's a quick little review about Keepsake Crimes, the first of Laura Childs delightful scrapbook mysteries set in New Orleans. This cozy was a fun read for me. We've been in Slidell, across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans, for a few years now and I've fallen in love with the area, especially New Orleans, warts and all. I've been searching out books, especially mysteries, set in and around my new home.

In this book, the protagonist Carmela Bertrand, owner of Memory Mine, a French Quarter scrapbooking shop, comes face to face with murder. As she and her friends are watching the Pluvius parade, a float stops right in front of them and a body is handed down. An autopsy subsequently shows that the well-known and powerful Jimmy Early Clayton was poisoned and Carmela's ex, who dumped her just a few months before, is now looking to her to help prove he did not do this dastardly deed.

I really enjoyed this book, especially its descriptions of New Orleans, the French Quarter, the people, restaurants, food, sights and sounds of a great American city. Carmela is someone I think I'd enjoy knowing and if she really had a shop in the French Quarter, I'd be one of her customers. She's suffering from the loss of the great love of her life and being so cruelly dumped, but manages to find the inner strength to create a good life for herself. I like women who are strong enough to let their vulnerabilities show, so I'll be reading the rest of the books in this series. I am especially looking forward to the later books in the series which deal with New Orleans post-K (that's post-Katrina for those who don't know the local shorthand).

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