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  • Carmela has a new case to solve!

    Mumbo Gumbo Murder by Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran is the 16th A Scrapbooking Mystery. Carmela Bertrand and Ava Gruiex finished watching the kick-off parade for Jazz Fest and went to Royal Street where a street fair is taking place. They hear glass breaking along with shouting and rush to investigate. At Dulcimers Antiques owned by Devon Dowling, they find the shop is a mess with Devon dead on the Persian carpet. Carmela wants to know what happened to her friend and sets out to get answers despite the warning from her fiancé, Detective Edgar Babcock. Mumbo Gumbo Murder is a delightfully entertaining cozy mystery. It can be read as a standalone for those new to the series, but you would be missing out on some charming cozy mysteries. I thought Mumbo Gumbo Murder was well-written with developed characters and a wonderful setting (New Orleans). The descriptions brought the city alive for me. Carmela Bertrand owns Memory Mine Scrapbooking Shop in the French Quarter which she runs with the assistance of Gabby Mercer-Morris. Carmela is a creative and clever woman who has two dogs (maybe three now), divorced, and has a penchant for getting into fixes. Ava Gruiex is Carmela’s best friend who owns Juju Voodoo and likes to wear tight, revealing clothing plus she is outrageous (never met a man she wouldn’t flirt with). I enjoy the dialogue between Carmela and Ava. They are a fun duo whose antics will have you laughing. Ava decides to consult a matchmaker so she can find a good man. Carmela finds herself roped into Quigg Brevard’s new venture. She likes the idea and so does everyone else except Edgar Babcock. Edgar wants Carmela to set the wedding date and begin planning their nuptials. Carmela wants to marry Edgar, but something (like her disastrous first marriage) is holding her back. I had to laugh when Edgar mentioned getting bow ties for the two dogs (they need to be appropriately attired for the wedding). Carmela works on some creative projects at Memory Mine including a paper theater and I was drooling over the descriptions of the items in Memory Mine (hundreds of papers, stamps, Paperclay, ribbon, and so much more). There is even a mention of one of my favorite magazine companies, Somerset Studio. The murder of Devon Dowling has Carmela asking questions, digging up clues, and prying information out of Edgar. There is misdirection along with direct clues. I wish, though, that I had not been able to identify the killer so early in the story plus there were unanswered questions at the end. I hope we hear wedding bells for Carmela soon. She just needs to figure out where she wishes to get married and when. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Mumbo Gumbo Murder and I look forward to Cadmium Red Dead next year. There are New Orleans recipes at the end along with Scrapbook, Stamping and Craft Tips. Two of my favorite lines from Mumbo Gumbo Murder were “Nothing like a good exorcism to set you straight again” and “I swear, this is the last time I buy Louboutin knockoffs!”. 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.

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  • Love this series.

    Can't get enough of this series and #16 is just as good as the rest. From page one I was engaged and turning the pages with great abandon. It is after all New Orleans. Carmela and Ava are besties and great characters. Actually all the characters are fun and colorful but why wouldn't they be it is after all New Orleans. Carmela and Ava are determined sleuths who turn over every rock and stir a few pots to figure out just who dun it which is not so simple with so many suspects. The team of Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran give readers mystery and suspense with a whole lot of fun mixed in. If you enjoy a good cozy mystery check out this series. I was pleased to receive a complimentary print copy to add to my book shelf. I have enjoyed a few in this series the others are on my TBR list.

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