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 lurching 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 restaurateur Quigg Brevard—who was seen giving the critic a tongue-lashing minutes before someone stuck a fork in him. An old flame of Carmela’s, 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…
“The plot is detailed with layers of mysteries...The rich descriptions and dialog bring this story to life.”—Open Book Society
SCRAPBOOKING TIPS INCLUDED!
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Red rockets arced into an indigo-blue sky and exploded in a thousand points of incandescent light. The crowd at the Winter Market (already lubricated from tossing back multiple geaux cups of fine liquor) murmured a collective, appreciative "ooh" as the flat waters of the Mississippi River reflected mirror images of the colorful bursts.
"This is my favorite time of year," Carmela Bertrand said. "Right before we head into the holidays, when the weather's cooled down and you can feel the French Quarter literally pulsing with electricity."
"You sure you're not just having a hot flash?" Ava asked.
Carmela grinned and shook her head. "How old do you think I am, anyway?"
"A year younger than me," Ava sighed. "Isn't it amazing how the old tempus can fugit? It's like living in a game show with a permanent lightning round."
Carmela had cool blue eyes, hair that was short, choppy, and streaked with honey, and a radiant complexion that was due in part to the industrial-strength humidity of New Orleans. She was smart, practical, and possessed a nimble mind that fairly burned with curiosity. (Yes, the kind of curiosity that killed the proverbial cat.)
Ava, on the other hand, was her dark twin. Masses of raven hair, lush lips, heart-shaped face, and eyes slightly canted to give her an almost catlike appearance. Tonight, her leather slacks appeared to be airbrushed on and her red silk top was cut so low that her generous dcollet seemed like an offering to the gods. Even though she was a few ticks over the age of thirty herself, she dressed the same as when she was a perky, eighteen-year-old beauty queen candidate from Wetumpka, Alabama.
"This turned out to be fun," Ava said as she stopped at a jewelry booth to admire a small gold skull necklace. "I'm glad we came."
"Instead of sitting at home, watching Netflix, and eating ourselves into a fudge-and-kettle-corn stupor?"
"Speak for yourself," Ava said. "You're the one with the tough cop, nose-to-the-grindstone boyfriend who toils nonstop for all us sinners and ungrateful taxpayers. Whereas I could have been swanning around some exotic five-star restaurant with my dear sweet Roman Numeral if I'd crooked my little finger at him." Roman Numeral was Ava's pet name for Harrison Harper Wilkes III, her latest conquest in a long list of conquests that practically rivaled those of Alexander the Great.
It was early December and Carmela and Ava were taking in the excitement and raucous fun of the Winter Market. This outdoor celebration of art, jewelry, crafts, foods, and vintage clothing had been set up adjacent to the French Market, its string of flapping canvas booths and gaudy electric lights backing up directly to the dark Mississippi. Hordes of bead-wearing, hard-drinking revelers streamed through the marketplace, while Christmas carolers, stilt-walkers, fortune-tellers, and the occasional fire-eater also mingled in to enliven the celebration.
"Mmn," Ava said. Eyes open wide, she gestured frantically with her glass of wine, looking as if she'd just swallowed a bug. "Wine. More."
"Why are you suddenly talking as if you just deplaned from a foreign country?" Carmela asked.
Ava tilted her cup back and gulped a final hit. "Because my throat was caught in drink-swallow-belch mode," she explained. She fluttered a hand against her chest, let loose a genteel burp, and said, "There. Better."
"Maybe for you," Carmela said. "So . . . what? You want another glass of wine? Maybe something spiced?" She steered her friend toward one of a dozen wine vendors.
"Whatcha got?" Carmela asked the wine vendor, a middle-aged man with a heroic handlebar mustache and a red sweatshirt that said KISS ME I'M CAJUN.
"Spiced wine, mulled wine, and chilled red wine," the vendor told her.
"Two spiced wines, please," Carmela said.
"What's the difference between mulled and spiced?" Ava asked.
The vendor shrugged. "The spiced wine has spices and the mulled wine has mulls."
"Clearly you're not the vintner," Carmela said. "Or if you are, we're in big trouble."
"Nah, I just work here," the guy said. He shrugged again. "Hey, what are you gonna do?"
"How about pouring us a couple of geaux cups?" Carmela said.
Ava held up a hand. "Just plain red wine for me. Merlot if you've got it."
As Carmela and Ava sipped their wine, they wandered past booths selling pottery, photographs, beaded bracelets, hand-tooled leather belts, and T-shirts emblazoned with the words BIG EASY.
"Quigg's gumbo booth should be down here somewhere," Carmela said.
"He's here?" Ava said. "Why's that?" They continued to push through the crowd, past a row of food booths that offered po-boys, roast beef sandwiches, fried oysters, and shaved ice.
"Probably because selling food always proves to be lucrative at these events, as well as incredibly popular."
"You sure about that?" Ava asked. "Because I think I see one of Quigg's customers right now and the guy looks like he's ready to pop a blood vessel."
Carmela frowned. "What?" Across the way, a booth selling antique music boxes and bronze dogs had caught her eye. Then she turned her attention back to Ava.
"You see," Ava said, pointing, "Quigg's really throwing shade at that guy. Giving him a piece of his mind."
Carmela switched her attention to the mini drama that was being played out some twenty feet away from them.
"Are you serious?" Quigg's voice rang out. "You actually think you're doing the public a favor?" Quigg Brevard, the owner of Mumbo Gumbo, Bon Tiempe Restaurant, and St. Tammany Vineyard, was in the middle of a shouting match. A serious shouting match. His normally handsome face was pulled into a snarl, his olive complexion darkened to reflect his anger. Two of his employees cowered behind him in a booth strung with lights and papered with colorful menus.
The closer Carmela and Ava got to the turmoil, the more aggressive both parties got.
"You're a hack," Quigg screamed. "You have zero credibility in this town."
"And you're a fool," the man shouted back at him. "A pretender. An insult to decent restaurateurs." The man was forty-something, around Quigg's age, but completely opposite in stature. This verbal opponent, who darted in to deliver insults, was thin and wiry compared to Quigg's broad-shouldered, athletic build.
"You wouldn't know a decent eggs Sardou if it jumped up and bit you in the ass," Quigg shouted at him.
At that, the man snatched up a large bowl of steaming shrimp gumbo, cocked back his arm, and hurled it into the booth. Quigg ducked just in the nick of time, but the gumbo smacked hard against the back wall. Whap! Gumbo spattered the entire booth, dripping globs of roux, okra, and shrimp, and obliterating the red and green sign that listed the various kinds of gumbo. Crab, shrimp, and oyster, to be exact.
"Ouch," Ava said. "This is takin' on the appearance of a street brawl."
Quick as a snapping turtle, Quigg leaned across the counter and grabbed the man by his collar. "Get out of here!" he thundered. "Before I rip your fool head off."
The man windmilled his arms and jerked himself out of reach. "You'll be sorry," he snarled, waving a clenched fist at Quigg. "You're gonna pay for this."
"I hope you choke on a chicken bone!" Quigg yelled as the guy spun away.
"Quigg," Carmela called out. She wore a tentative, hopefully soothing smile on her face. They were friends, after all. They'd even dated a couple of years ago.
"What!" Quigg screamed, not even bothering to look at her.
"Whoa. Quigg." Carmela walked up to the counter of his booth and held up a hand as if to create an invisible force field against his anger and bad vibes. "Take it down a notch. It's me, Carmela."
"And me, too," Ava said, managing a lopsided smile.
"What's going on?" Carmela asked. "Why were you banging away on that guy? Did he wreck your car? Embezzle money from you?"
"Ach." Quigg snorted and flapped a hand derisively, still looking sublimely upset. "That was Martin Lash."
Ava glanced in the direction of the departed Lash, who had since melted into the crowd. "Who dat?" she asked.
"You girls know who he is," Quigg said in a dispirited tone. "He's the jerk who writes for that stupid food website, Glutton for Punishment."
"Oh, him," Ava said. "Yeah, I have heard of him. Vieux Carr Magazine called him 'the spicy new voice of foodies everywhere.'"
"And let me guess . . ." Carmela lifted a perfectly waxed brow. The pieces were tumbling into place for her. "Martin Lash gave one of your restaurants a very bad review."
Quigg's swarthy complexion darkened another couple of shades. "I wouldn't call it a review so much as he excoriated me."
"Say what?" Ava said.
"He wrote a nasty review," Carmela explained.
Ava frowned. "Well, that's uncharitable. Especially for a guy who gets to feed his face for free all over town."
"Lash is a blowhard with an ego bigger than a Macy's Thanksgiving Day balloon," Quigg said. "Which is exactly what I was trying to drill into his pea brain when you ladies came along and broke my concentration."
"It sounded more like you were threatening him," Ava said.
"So what was the upshot of all your hostilities?" Carmela asked. "Will Lash change his review? Maybe give you another chance?"
"He laughed in my face when I suggested that," Quigg said. "He told me that Mumbo Gumbo deserved a negative two stars." Mumbo Gumbo was Quigg's pride and joy French Quarter restaurant. So Carmela could understand why Quigg was upset. Correction: change upset to infuriated.
"There's nothing you can do?" Carmela asked. "There's no recourse at all?"
"Short of blasting him off the Internet I don't know what I can possibly do," Quigg sighed.
"Apologize?" Carmela said.
"Never," Quigg said.
"So the bad review just stays there forever?" Ava asked. "Swirling through cyberspace along with Kim Kardashian's selfies?"
"I suppose so," Quigg said. Now he just looked depressed.
"Maybe it's not that bad," Carmela said. She was trying to find an upside to this, a silver lining. "People don't pay all that much attention to reviews, do they?"
"Tourists do," Quigg said.
Carmela grimaced. New Orleans was a tourist town. Nine and a half million people flocked to New Orleans each year to partake of fine food, grand architecture, free-flowing booze, outlandish behavior, and haunted cemeteries.
"And whenever we hand out comment cards in the restaurants," Quigg said, "customers always mention the reviews they've read."
Carmela decided to quit while she was ahead. Aside from hacking the Glutton for Punishment website, she didn't have any sparkling ideas to offer Quigg.
"We certainly wouldn't mind a couple bowls of your gumbo," Ava said. "We know how delicious it is."
"You're very sweet," Quigg said, but he was smiling at Carmela as he said it, looking a little wistful. "How you doin'?" he asked, leaning toward her, dropping his voice to a conspiratorial tone. "You still dating that cop?"
"Detective first grade," Carmela said. When she and Quigg had dated, nothing seemed to spark. Their relationship had been lukewarm at best. Now, every time Quigg saw her, he seemed to salivate over what he couldn't have. Carmela didn't know if all men were like that or just Quigg. Well, clearly her ex-husband, Shamus, wasn't. Whenever they crossed paths Shamus acted like a vampire fleeing a bouquet of garlic.
"We'll tell everyone to come to your booth," Ava said. "So they can taste for themselves how good your food is." She looked at the backdrop that was splotched and still dripping with gumbo. "That's if they can read your menu."
"Sure," Quigg said. "Whatever." He turned to one of his employees and sighed. "Mario, see what you can do about this mess."
ÒIs Quigg always such a hothead?Ó Ava asked.
"I don't think I've ever seen him that angry before," Carmela said.
"New Orleans does that to you. After a while it messes with your mind and brings out your inner crazy. This city should come with a warning label." Ava held up her plastic cup. "Hang on a minute. I want to top off my Merlot." She wiggled her way to another wine booth and let them pour a stream of Chablis into her half-full cup.
"Really?" Carmela said. "And what does that get you?"
Ava gazed into her drink. "Pink stuff." She took a sip. "And it's pretty dang good, too. Mixed with the Merlot it tastes like . . . Chablot."
"Just don't spill that gunk on your suede boots. Or get sick and oopsy all over them. Remember what happened last time you mixed your liquor?"
"That was an extremely rare and isolated case of Wild Turkey not seeing eye to eye with French champagne," Ava said. "That wouldn't happen again in a million years."
"Say now," Ava purred, her eyes locking on to another booth, where candles flickered and black leather and silver chains gleamed. "What delicious little goodies do we have here?"
Carmela glanced into the booth. It was filled with leather corsets, garter belts, and lace-up boots. And was that a whip she saw dangling overhead? Oh my.
"A bondage lover's dream," Ava declared, fingering a leather garment. "I wonder if they have this corset in my size?"
The frizzy-haired woman working the booth smiled at Ava. "What are you, about a six or eight?"
"On a good day, yes," Ava said.
"This corset would fit you beautifully, then," the woman said. "And we also have it in red leather with gold studs."
Ava held up the black corset for Carmela to see. "What do you think?"
"For me, personally, I would go with the red," Carmela said.
"Okay. For me, personally, I would skip the whole thing. Who wants all that leather cinched tight around your waist? I prefer to suck in my fat the old-fashioned way. By holding my breath."
"I'm going to try it on," Ava said.
"Of course you are."
"Just duck behind this curtain," the woman said, shoving a purple paisley shawl aside. "Maybe try it on right over your blouse."
Ava disappeared inside while Carmela waited. Candles flickered, leather gleamed, and Carmela felt more and more uncomfortable. "You almost ready?" she called out.
Suddenly, the entire booth began to shift and shake. Carmela wondered what on earth was going on back there? It couldn't be that tough to squeeze into a corset, could it? "Ava?" she called out.
Ava and the booth's owner peeped out from behind the curtain just as another enormous vibration rocked the booth.
"Ava, get out here!" Carmela called. Something felt very wrong.
Ava popped out, looking frightened. "What?" she yelped. She had the corset on around her. "Was somebody trying to rip open the back flap and get a peek at my chichis?"
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ms. Childs and Ms. Moran continue their collaboration in a charming mystery featuring the death by fork of a food critic (stick a fork in me, I'm done, anyone?) practically right in front of Carmela and Ava, sleuthing duo extraordinaire. Carmela's previous relationship with the #1 suspect makes sticking her nose in a little dicey and her current boyfriend, police detective Edgar Babcock really wants her to stay out of his investigation but she and Ava can't resist. A nifty whodunnit and characters that feel like old friends, not to mention a few recipes and scrapbooking tips round out this entertaining entry in the series. I always enjoy these two, especially the slightly loony Ava, and for a few hours while I'm reading one of these books, I can't help wishing I had the patience and dedication to get into scrapbooking...but the urge passes until the next book ;-)
Charming and delightful. Just the cover speaks charming to me. I was drawn into the little shop and fictitious events and shops of the French Quarter in New Orleans. I wanted to go for a visit! This is only the second opportunity I have had the chance to read the books by Laura Childs. I really enjoyed Pekoe Most Poison from the Tea Shop Mysteries Series. I knew that Crepe Factory would be just as good. And it was! The characters in this series are charming, delightful and quirky. Even though it is #14 in the series I wasn't lost or left confused with the story. Each of the characters are introduced into the story smoothly making Crepe Factor a very enjoyable read. Much to the chagrin of Carmela's current boyfriend Babcock (the police detective) Carmela the main character gets caught up in trying to clear her ex-boyfriend Quigley's name when he becomes the primary suspect in a murder. The reader is taken on a tour of the quaint restaurants and events associated with the holiday season as she parties with her best friend Ava. And while they enjoy the festivities they do a little sleuthing. Since the victim isn't a very friendly guy there is no shortage of suspects. Eventually with the help of some goofy Cajun characters all the pieces of the puzzle fit together and the real killer(s) are revealed and Quigley is exonerated. Babcock finally shares his real feelings with Carmela and all ends well. At least until the next crime. I enjoyed Crepe Factory and give it my hard to get 5 stars rating. I received a complimentary copy from Great Escape Tours.
Another wonderfully crafted installment in the Scrapbooking Mystery series! While still semi-new to the Scrapbooking Mysteries, I’ve really enjoyed the few I have read. CREPE FACTOR is a brilliant addition to this wonderful series! I was glued to my chair the entire time I was reading, finishing the book in one setting! Author Laura Childs is a superb writer and is now joined in writing this series with another of my favorite authors, Terrie Farley Moran! They make a perfect fit for sure. Reading the books, you’d never know two writers were contributing. The quality storytelling in CREPE FACTOR is of a standard that many authors can only hope to achieve. The murder in this story happens early into the book. With a twist you don’t often see, the victim was still alive when discovered . . . but not for long. And when protagonist Carmela agrees to help the accused murderer, it puts a strain on her relationship with her beau, Detective Edgar Babcock, because the accused is Camela’s former flame. From the first page all the way through to the reveal, CREPE FACTOR was packed with all the elements readers look for in a stellar mystery. Returning fans are going to love this latest book. Grab your own copy and be prepared for quite a ride! When you’re done reading the story, don’t stop reading the book or you’ll miss out on crafting tips, recipes, and an excerpt from Laura Childs’ Cackleberry Club Mystery, EGG DROP DEAD, coming in December 2016!
Crepe Factor is the 14th book in Laura Childs Scrapbooking Mystery series and for someone who hasn't read any in that series, it felt like I was reading the first book. I started reading and I was into the story immediately !! I was worried there might be too much going on for me to follow let alone keep up with.... But my worry was for not.... Carmela owns a scrapbooking store in the heart of New Orleans and her best friend owns a voo doo store. Luckily the murder in this story doesn't happen in either of these places. But it does occur at the Winter Market and the murdered victim falls to his death right in front of them !! And Carmela's friend, Quigg, is the top suspect !! Quigg begs Carmela to clear his name and even though she should say no, she is pulled in to the excitement. But before anyone can solve the first murder, a second murder occurs and Carmela is right smack in the middle of everything. This does not make her boyfriend happy at all....considering he's the top detective on the case !! If you pick up Crepe Factor by Laura Childs, plan to go on a trip.... From window shopping in the French Quarter, to sipping wine and eating cavier at a charity event to cruising around the swamplands to checking out the street vendors.....There is never a dull moment !! So grab yourself a mimosa, put some comfy clothes on and take a little trip with Carmela......
We had just vacationed in New Orleans, so this book was very interesting for me. Very good storyline too. Quite funny too!
The sights, sounds, and smells of New Orleans come alive in the latest installment in the Scrapbooking Mystery series by Laura Childs with Terrie Farley Moran. The book features a core cast of characters that are well-developed, realistic, and steeped in New Orleans tradition The bonds of friendship among the group enhances the story. The New Orleans setting is perfect, especially with the festive activities going on. Through rich descriptions and vivid details readers are placed in the middle of the action. One doesn’t have to enjoy scrapbooking to appreciate this murder mystery. But there are crafting tips and delicious New Orleans recipes included in the back as an added bonus. Tension mounts right from the beginning and holds your attention until the very end. There are twists and turns along the way to keep you guessing. There’s a good mix of mystery, mayhem, friendship, humor, history, and romance to make this a well-balanced story. CREPE FACTOR can be read on its own, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting to know more background on these intriguing characters. This is a delightful read that will keep you entertained for hours and may just make you want to visit New Orleans (minus the murder, of course). FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the author and publisher. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.
This scrapbooking mystery series is located in New Orleans, the city of love, danger and a whole lot of drinking. The protagonist, Carmela Bertrand, owns Memory Mine, a scrapbooking store in the French Quarter. Her boyfriend, Edgar Babcock, is a police detective for the city. Her best friend, Ava, loves to dress in as skimpily and as tightly as possible. This story takes place just before Christmas. Carmela and Ava attend an outdoor fair where you can buy different things from vendors and some of the local restaurants are serving tasty treats and tasty wine. Needless to say, there is a murder there. Carmela is asked by a friend, Quinn Brevard, to help solve the murder because he is their prime suspect. Of course, Babcock forbids her to become involved at all. She, of course, doesn’t listen to him. That causes them to argue, like always. It is interesting to see how the plot twists and turns until you don’t know or can’t figure out who the bad guys really are! It was a fun read.
Crepe Factor by Laura Childs with Terrie Farley Moran is the fourteenth book in the Scrapbooking Mysteries. Carmela Bertrand owns Memory Mine in New Orleans, Louisiana. Carmela is at the Winter Market in the French Quarter with her friend, Ava Gruiex (who owns Juju Voodoo). They are enjoying the various booths (especially the ones with wine) when they hear a fight. The fight is between Martin Lash, who writes Glutton for Punishment blog, and Quigg Brevard, owner of Mumbo Gumbo. Martin had written a bad review about Mumbo Gumbo, and Quigg is upset about it. Later, Ava and Carmela are at a booth that sells corsets (Ava cannot resist and is busy trying on a leather one) when a man stumbles towards them with a serving fork sticking out of his neck. It is Martin Lash. Unfortunately, Quigg ends up being the number one suspect. Quigg asks Carmela to investigate and prove his innocence. Carmela is torn about this request. She dated Quigg at one time, and, while she is not interested in him in that way any longer, it will upset her boyfriend, Edgar Babcock. Edgar is a detective with the New Orleans Police Department and is working the murder case. But Carmela cannot turn down Quigg’s request (even after Edgar warns her off from investigating again). Carmela starts investigating with the help of her friend, Ava. Will Carmela be able to find the culprit before the killer strikes again? Carmela has an added difficulty of Shamus. Her ex-husband is wanting time with Boo and Poobah, the dogs. Carmela does not wish to be away from her babies (or deal with Shamus and his drama). Join Carmela and her friends in Crepe Factor! Crepe Factor was just a delight to read. I enjoyed returning to the world of Carmela (and friends) and seeing what she was up to this time. I enjoyed the mystery in the book. It was interesting how Laura Childs set it up. I could see where it was heading (very clever), but I enjoyed following through to the end. The novel is well-crafted and enjoyable to read. Ms. Childs brings her characters to life. The only thing that troubled me was Edgar. I did not like how he treated Carmela sometimes and, personally, I do not know what she sees in him (she could do better). I would like Carmela to find someone that understands her curiosity and need to investigate. Crepe Factor has great characters, lovely setting, fast pace, humor, friendship, and an interesting concept. I love the description of Memory Mine and would love to visit it. There are instructions on how to use crepe paper in various projects at the end of the book (some clever ideas). Crepe Factor can be enjoyed alone, but why would you want to! I highly recommend reading the previous novels in the series. I give Crepe Factor 5 out of 5 stars. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book (as you can tell). I just wish we did not have to wait a year for another visit with Carmela and her friends.
Childs brings the fun and excitement of New Orleans to readers . CREPE FACTOR by Laura Childs with Terrie Farley Moran The Fourteenth Scrapbooking Mystery Carmela is making the rounds of more New Orleans events with gal pal Ava in their 14th outing. They get more than they bargained for at the Winter Market when they witness an ugly fight between Quigg Brevard, restaurateur and recent vintner, and Martin Lash, food critic and environmentalist. While exploring other tents they are surprised by Lash staggering in, throwing items into disarray, as he falls to his death-a huge serving fork protruding from his neck! The testosterone gets flowing when Detective Edgar Babcock, Carmela's boyfriend, arrives on the scene and other vendors share information about the fight between the victim and Quigg, who happens to have dated Carmela. Quigg, of course, asks Carmela to investigate while Babcock warns her off. Carmela has to deal with an ex who may want more than just her sleuthing skills, an overworked and unhappy boyfriend, the antics of her party friend, running her scrapbooking store as well as teaching crafting classes, and a murder! At least she has Boo and Poobah. It's always fun to be back in New Orleans, especially with Carmela and Ava. CREPE FACTOR brings us New Orleans and all of the fun activities of Winter Market. It also brings us relationship issues with a too busy, and worried, Babcock and a Quigg in trouble and perhaps wanting to rekindle his old romance. He certainly wants more than Carmela's investigative skills. In getting Quigg off the hook is Carmela risking the loss of Babcock? Ever one to help others, Carmela finds herself in a bind. There's an emotional tension which is released by bouts of comic relief from over the top Ava to my favorite scene which had me laughing out loud thanks to scene stealer Cooter! Childs brings the fun and excitement of New Orleans to readers in her latest Scrapbooking Mystery. A murder with plenty of possible motives, new characters on the scene as well as returning favorites, and scrapbooking hints and recipes make for a memorable chapter in this entertaining series. Scrapbook, Stamping, and Craft Tips along with Recipes are included. FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book in the hopes I would review it.
This cozy mystery starts out in New Orleans in the Winter Market with Carmela Bertrand and her friend Ava. While there a man, dies right in front of the ladies with a big fork sticking out of his neck. The man, Martin Lash is a food critic for an online website called Glutton for Punishment. Martin is a nasty little man who writes reviews of restaurants that do not put them in the best light. In fact, his reviews hurt the restaurants to the point of no having business and the future of these restaurants are pretty bleak. So who is the killer? There are numerous suspects, including a friend and previous beau of Carmela's, Quigg Brevard. Martin had written a scathing review of Quigg's restaurant. Carmela is asked by Quigg to use her investigative skills and find out who the killer is. Against the wishes of the man she is currently seeing, Detective Edgar Babcock, she does just that. She also puts herself in extreme danger as she starts digging around. Another man is murdered, is it the same killer or just a coincidence that this man is killed with a butcher knife? Who is the killer and what are his/her motives? Can Carmela stay out of danger? Cozy mysteries are fun to read. I love a good crime thriller but once in a while reading a book where the violence and sex are toned down a bit is nice. Plus the fact that these type of stories are usually in a small community where everyone virtually knows everyone else and the main characters have some type of small business. This is the first book I have read by Laura Childs and I really enjoyed it. The descriptions of this New Orleans community makes the reader feel like they are right there. I found that the business that Carmela has, a scrapbooking store, to be quite interesting. I have never done any scrapbooking but it sounds like a fun hobby. I digress but again, I did enjoy the book, well written with a touch of humor. I may just read more by this author! "I received a free copy of this book and voluntarily chose to review"
I absolutely love this series. I have been a fan since the first book in the series and each one just keeps getting better. The holidays are keeping Carmela busy and her scrap booking store, Memory Mine is busier than ever. Carmela and her best pal Ava are enjoying the booths at the winter Market, but when they see someone fall and die in front of them, it shakes them both to the core. The victim is Martin Lash, a very mean and rude food critic. It seems that Mr. Lash is known for his belittling reviews and no one is sad to see him gone. Carmela knows she should stay out of this investigation, her love interest, Detective Edgar Babcock is not a fan of her sleuthing ways. Carmela had no desire to investigate the death of Mr. Lash until she finds out an old flame is at the top of the suspect list. How far will Carmela go to help her old flame and will her investigation into the mess mean the end for her and Babcock? Tune in October 4th and grab your copy of Crepe Factor, a deliciously, cozy mystery. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my fair and honest review.