Scrapbooking mystery series continues with 'Skeleton Letters'

Author Laura Childs continues the adventures of scrapbook shop owner Carmela Bertrand in "Skeleton Letters," the ninth book in her Scrapbooking mystery series, set in New Orleans.

Carmela, a part-time amateur investigator, and her best friend Ava are stunned when they witness a theft-gone-bad in the sanctuary of St. Tristan’s Church. Their shock turns to grief when they discover that the person killed was their friend Bryle Coppersmith, one of Carmela’s scrapbooking customers, who was trying to prevent the thief from taking a priceless crucifix.

As the NOPD investigation, headed by Carmela’s beau, Detective Babcock, slowly progresses, Carmela promises her scrapbooking friends that she will also look into the circumstances surrounding their friend’s death.

Carmela and Ava begin to sleuth around and soon find that there are secrets surrounding the crime. As they uncover them one by one, the list of suspects grows. It will take more than a few prayers to help Carmela catch this devoted criminal.

Childs, known for her Tea Shop series set in Charleston, S.C., delivers a fast-paced, all-encompassing mystery. Her cast of lively characters, including intelligent Carmela and footloose Ava, are always a delight, and the backdrop of gorgeous and recovering New Orleans gives the right amount of elegance and spooky intrigue.

As an added bonus, there are some great scrapbooking tips included at the end of the book, along with several recipes for dishes mentioned in the story. It is always a pleasure to read one of Childs’ stories and I highly recommend any of her books for those who enjoy the cozy mystery genre.