An amateur sleuth seeks answers in the death of a friend.
Although Carmela Bertrand still owns a scrapbooking store in New Orleans, she and her friend Ava are getting quite a reputation as crime solvers. So who better to look into the murder of their friend in St. Tristan’s Church? Since a valuable antique cross has gone missing and Carmela and Ava actually witnessed the mysterious hooded figure who took it, they quickly begin to search for answers despite dire warnings from Carmela’s boyfriend, Detective Edgar Babcock. Their hunt leads through weirdly varied strata of New Orleans: a soup kitchen run by Brother Paul, who might just be the hooded figure; a quirky religious group hidden in the bayous, who give the daring duo a very cold welcome when they brave the swamps to check them out; and the high-society Garden District, where Carmela has an unused home, the spoils of her divorce, that she’s talked into using for part of a Christmas tour. When they find a second body, they begin to wonder if this most recent outbreak of homicide is more than just bad luck. Despite the danger, however, they continue to search for a cold and clever killer.
Prolific Childs’ seventh scrapbooking mystery (Fiber & Brimstone, 2010, etc.) is packed with fashion tips, appended scrapbook and cooking ideas—and a meandering tale of crime and detection as well.