Two hard-partying New Orleans businesswomen dive into another murder investigation.
Carmela Bertrand is the savvy owner of Memory Mine Scrapbooking Shop. Her bestie, Ava Gruiex, owns Juju Voodoo. Though she’s engaged to Detective Edgar Babcock, Carmela still loves to party with Ava, who’s dated hundreds of men without finding a single keeper. While picking up drinks at a street fair booth, they’re rocked by a crash from the smashed window of an antiques store owned by Carmela’s pal Devon Dowling. Fighting her way inside, Carmela finds Devon in a pool of blood. She’s soon followed by Babcock and T.J., Devon’s assistant. Realizing that Devon’s terrorized pug is the only witness to the crime, Carmela takes Mimi home with her. Of course, Carmela and Ava (Glitter Bomb, 2018, etc.) can’t resist the urge to sleuth while dealing with the usual personal problems. To Babcock’s horror, a former boyfriend of Carmela’s opens a shop right next to hers and solicits her as a possible partner. Devon’s landlord presses to convert the building into condos; Devon’s brother just wants to sell out and move on. When Carmela convinces T.J. to open Devon’s safe in search of diamonds, jewelry, and a snippet of cloth reputed to be from the coat Abraham Lincoln was wearing when he was assassinated, they find it empty. Devon may have amassed a long list of enemies, beginning with a wealthy collector who was angry over a painting authentication. But that doesn’t discourage Carmela and Ava as they saunter through a series of highflying parties, luncheons, and dinners trolling for gossip. Their adventures include high-speed car chases, another murder, and a climactic surprise.
The Big Easy is the real star of this lighthearted gastrophile’s delight.