Mumbo Gumbo Murder
(A Scrapbooking Mystery)
by Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran
About Mumbo Gumbo Murder
Mumbo Gumbo Murder (A Scrapbooking Mystery)
16th in Series
Setting – Louisiana
Berkley (October 1, 2019)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Digital ASIN: B07M75KVSB
A shocking murder strikes a sour note during Jazz Fest in the latest New Orleans Scrapbooking Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.
It’s Jazz Fest in New Orleans, and the giant puppets from the Beastmaster Puppet Theatre are parading through the French Quarter. Some are very spooky and veiled, others are tall and gangly, like strange aliens.
As the parade proceeds, Carmela Bertrand and her best friend, Ava, follow behind, down Royal Street and past the food booths. Suddenly, they hear a terrible crash from Devon Dowling’s antiques shop. They rush inside to find Devon collapsed with blood streaming down the side of his face. Has he been shot? Stabbed? 911 is hastily called, and the police and EMTs show up. After the police examine Devon’s body, they tell Carmela and Ava that their friend was murdered with an icepick. They’re shocked beyond belief—and now Mimi, Devon’s little pug, is left homeless.
Carmela and Ava are determined to catch the murderer, but the list of suspects is long. How long do they have before they find themselves on the killer’s list?
I have to start this review by saying I started reading this series several years ago and I am usually a stickler for reading series in order so I was putting off jumping back in before I could read the books I missed. But I saw this cover and said the heck with it and took the plunge. I am so glad I did. This book was easy to read all on its own. Readers are given plenty of background and I never felt lost or like I was missing something. I really appreciate it when authors of long-running series think of new readers as well of their long-time fans. Thank you, Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran.
We arrive in New Orleans just in time for Jazz Fest featuring the giant puppets from the Beastmaster Puppet Theatre. Carmela and Eva are enjoying the festivities when a loud crash halts the progress down Royal street. Something happened at Devon Dowling’s antique shop and Carmela and Eva push through the chaos and into the store. There they find their friend Devon unconscious on the floor amidst a mess of his wares and a scared pug. When the police arrive Devon is declared dead, murdered with an icepick. Carmela and Ava are sent on their way by Carmela’s fiancé, Detective Edgar Babcock and they take Devon’s pub, Mimi, with them. Carmela thinks the dog will help them find the killer but it may end up putting them right in the killer’sights.
Carmela Bertrand owns Memory Mine Scrapbooking Shop and her best friend, Ava Gruiex owns Juju Voodoo, think Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz set loose in New Orleans. Carmela is supposed to be setting a wedding date and teaching classes in her shop, but now she is wrapped up trying to solve a murder and Quigg Brevard has come back around setting up shop in the building next door to Memory Mine. He has decided he and Carmela would make great partners without any input from her. This does not make Babcock happy at all, in fact he is pretty livid.
These characters are expertly crafted. They practically leap off the page. We also meet some rather shady, alright, creepy characters like members of the Vampire Society and who knows who may be in those crazy puppet costumes. The friendship between Carmela and Eva is strong. Carmela’s employee Gabby tries to keep her boss honest, pointing out things Carmela should but doesn’t realize. She also mans the shop so Carmela is free to snoop. Edgar wants Carmela to stay out of his case but knows she will keep pushing the boundaries right to the end. All the interactions are realistic and the dialogue rings true. Some of it will have you laughing out loud.
The mystery itself is pretty complex and takes our amateur sleuths into some of New Orleans dicier places. They do tend to leap before they think in their quest to find Devon’s killer. It is truly a crazy ride of twists and turns filled with some dangerous antics before the exciting ending. I was totally surprised by whodunit thanks to the red herrings liberally placed throughout the story.
I really enjoyed the way the story unfolded. I always get a little nervous when two really strong authors combine their talents but Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran have figured it out masterfully. The story has a nice flow and it is perfected paced. The descriptions painted vivid pictures in my mind.
Mumbo Gumbo Murder is a fun crime caper that held my interest and had me doing a bit of armchair sleuthing from the beginning to the end. I was totally entertained and I am looking forward to Book 17 – Cadmium Red Dead.
Be sure to check out the Craft Tips and Recipes at the end of the book too!
Praise for Mumbo Gumbo Murder
(A Scrapbooking Mystery)
by Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran
The action starts with a literal bang from the very beginning and continues with page-turning intrigue . . . With an action-packed conclusion, Ms. Childs and Ms. Moran provide a satisfactory end to a highly entertaining read.
~Cinnamon, Sugar, and a little bit of Murder
Mumbo Gumbo Murder is a pleasing cozy mystery with paper projects, wedding woes, a bowwow bystander, a mystified matchmaker, a bothersome ex-beau, and a frustrated fiancé.
~The Avid Reader
Two of our favorite cozy authors once again team up for an explosive mystery in New Orleans . . . Nonstop action and plenty of devious twists come into play.
MUMBO GUMBO MURDER is packed cover to cover with excitement, fun, mystery and more, all set in the liveliest, and deadliest city in the USA.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews
Childs is a fantastic go-to author when comes to looking for a good cozy to read and the addition of Moran just makes it that much better . . . a light fun read that is perfect for fans of cozies.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews
. . . the characters, the location, and the atmosphere are all a little wilder, but it is a lot of fun. I enjoyed the fast pace, the colorful characters, and the great story.
~The Book’s the Thing
The suspense and the chase kept me engrossed to the story . . .. Thrown in some scrapbooking ideas and mouth-watering recipes in a cozy story, and what you get is a Mumbo Gumbo Murder. 😀
~The Book Decoder
About The Authors
Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.
Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:
The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.
The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!
The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.
Recipient of both the Agatha and the Derringer awards, Terrie Farley Moran is the author of the beachside Read ‘Em and Eat cozy mystery series; co-author of Laura Childs’ New Orleans scrapbooking mystery series; and has published numerous short stories in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Mystery Weekly Magazine and numerous anthologies.
The only thing Terrie enjoys more than wrangling mystery plots into submission is hanging out with any or all of her seven grandchildren who reside in New York and Florida.
October 1 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW
October 1 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT – unable to post
October 2 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT – Sapphyria’s Books
October 2 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
October 2 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
October 3 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
October 3 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 4 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
October 4 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
October 5 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 5 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW
October 6 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 6 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
October 7 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW *
October 7 – Reading Is My SuperPower – GUEST POST
October 8 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
October 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
October 9 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
October 9 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW *
October 10 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
October 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
October 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW *
October 11 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST *
October 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 12 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
October 13 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT
October 13 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT
October 14 – Diary of a Book Fiend – REVIEW
October 14 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW *
October 15 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
October 15 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 15 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”