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Mumbo Gumbo Murder

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A shocking murder strikes a sour note during Jazz Fest in the latest New Orleans Scrapbooking Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs. It's Jazz Fest in New Orleans, and the giant puppets from the Beastmaster Puppet Theatre are parading through the French Quarter. Some are very spooky and veiled, others are tall and gangly, like strange aliens. As the A shocking murder strikes a sour note during Jazz Fest in the latest New Orleans Scrapbooking Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs. It's Jazz Fest in New Orleans, and the giant puppets from the Beastmaster Puppet Theatre are parading through the French Quarter. Some are very spooky and veiled, others are tall and gangly, like strange aliens. As the parade proceeds, Carmela Bertrand and her best friend, Ava, follow behind, down Royal Street and past the food booths. Suddenly, they hear a terrible crash from Devon Dowling's antiques shop. They rush inside to find Devon collapsed with blood streaming down the side of his face. Has he been shot? Stabbed? 911 is hastily called, and the police and EMTs show up. After the police examine Devon's body, they tell Carmela and Ava that their friend was murdered with an icepick. They're shocked beyond belief--and now Mimi, Devon's little pug, is left homeless. Carmela and Ava are determined to catch the murderer, but the list of suspects is long. How long do they have before they find themselves on the killer's list?


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A shocking murder strikes a sour note during Jazz Fest in the latest New Orleans Scrapbooking Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs. It's Jazz Fest in New Orleans, and the giant puppets from the Beastmaster Puppet Theatre are parading through the French Quarter. Some are very spooky and veiled, others are tall and gangly, like strange aliens. As the A shocking murder strikes a sour note during Jazz Fest in the latest New Orleans Scrapbooking Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs. It's Jazz Fest in New Orleans, and the giant puppets from the Beastmaster Puppet Theatre are parading through the French Quarter. Some are very spooky and veiled, others are tall and gangly, like strange aliens. As the parade proceeds, Carmela Bertrand and her best friend, Ava, follow behind, down Royal Street and past the food booths. Suddenly, they hear a terrible crash from Devon Dowling's antiques shop. They rush inside to find Devon collapsed with blood streaming down the side of his face. Has he been shot? Stabbed? 911 is hastily called, and the police and EMTs show up. After the police examine Devon's body, they tell Carmela and Ava that their friend was murdered with an icepick. They're shocked beyond belief--and now Mimi, Devon's little pug, is left homeless. Carmela and Ava are determined to catch the murderer, but the list of suspects is long. How long do they have before they find themselves on the killer's list?

30 review for Mumbo Gumbo Murder

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    I jumped in to this series “late” but I still had so much fun with Mumbo Gumbo Murder for a cozy change of pace. A New Orleans setting and scrapbooking? What’s not to love? I was intrigued by how the author would incorporate scrapbooking into a murder mystery, and I like the way she carried it out. Carmela and Ava are fun characters with a great dynamic between them. This was a solidly entertaining cozy, and I would definitely read more from Laura Childs and this series in the future. I received I jumped in to this series “late” but I still had so much fun with Mumbo Gumbo Murder for a cozy change of pace. A New Orleans setting and scrapbooking? What’s not to love? I was intrigued by how the author would incorporate scrapbooking into a murder mystery, and I like the way she carried it out. Carmela and Ava are fun characters with a great dynamic between them. This was a solidly entertaining cozy, and I would definitely read more from Laura Childs and this series in the future. I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bam cooks the books ;-)

    Carmela Bertrand is 'the French Quarter's very own Nancy Drew.' lol This cozy mystery is set in New Orleans where Carmela owns a scrapbooking shop and is engaged to police officer, Edgar Babcock. She and her sidekick Ava are enjoying Jazz Fest and looking for something good to eat on Royal Street when they pass the antiques shop belonging to their friend, Devon Dowling. Suddenly the front window explodes. Rushing inside, they find Devon on the floor in a pool of blood. Who would want to murder t Carmela Bertrand is 'the French Quarter's very own Nancy Drew.' lol This cozy mystery is set in New Orleans where Carmela owns a scrapbooking shop and is engaged to police officer, Edgar Babcock. She and her sidekick Ava are enjoying Jazz Fest and looking for something good to eat on Royal Street when they pass the antiques shop belonging to their friend, Devon Dowling. Suddenly the front window explodes. Rushing inside, they find Devon on the floor in a pool of blood. Who would want to murder the mild-mannered entrepreneur? Could it be his assistant? Or the building's owner who wants to turn it into condos? The wealthy man whose latest art acquisition Devon found to be stolen goods? Or was it just a robbery gone very wrong? Carmela and Ava are determined to learn the truth...but Officer Babcock is just as determined to keep them from sticking their cute little noses where they don't belong. (Note: To me, Babcock is just too controlling, possessive and jealous--I couldn't stand that if I were Carmela.) Laura Childs is a very entertaining writer. Filled with lots of humor and intriguing developments in the mystery, the plot moves along quickly. If you are a craft lover, you'll also enjoy all the descriptions of projects. Bonus: a few scrapbook, stamping and craft tips are included at the end of the book, along with some scrumptious-sounding New Orleans recipes. Having just visited New Orleans in December. I nabbed this book from my library's new book shelf when I saw that it is set in New Orleans. Even though it's #16 in the series, I had no trouble reading it as a stand-alone and thoroughly enjoyed walking through the French Quarter and the Garden District once again in the pages of this book. I will definitely check out the rest of the series now. Some zydeco music for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZiGO...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Linda 📚

    Get set for a creepy romp through the French Quarter with Carmella Bertrand and her best friend, Ava Gruiex in Book 16 of the Scrapbooking Mysteries. Vampires, beastly puppets, wild party crashing, and two ghastly Murder scenes surround these friends as they roam the streets of New Orleans during Jazz Fest. The plot is top-notch, and the action is non-stop. Scrapbooking tips and recipes follow the story. (Note: Contains mild cursing).

  4. 5 out of 5

    LORI (Dollycas) CASWELL

    Dollycas’s Thoughts I have to start this review by saying I started reading this series several years ago and I am usually a stickler for reading series in order so I was putting off jumping back in before I could read the books I missed. But I saw this cover and said the heck with it and took the plunge. I am so glad I did. This book was easy to read all on its own. Readers are given plenty of background and I never felt lost or like I was missing something. I really appreciate it when authors o Dollycas’s Thoughts I have to start this review by saying I started reading this series several years ago and I am usually a stickler for reading series in order so I was putting off jumping back in before I could read the books I missed. But I saw this cover and said the heck with it and took the plunge. I am so glad I did. This book was easy to read all on its own. Readers are given plenty of background and I never felt lost or like I was missing something. I really appreciate it when authors of long-running series think of new readers as well of their long-time fans. Thank you, Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran. We arrive in New Orleans just in time for Jazz Fest featuring the giant puppets from the Beastmaster Puppet Theatre. Carmela and Eva are enjoying the festivities when a loud crash halts the progress down Royal street. Something happened at Devon Dowling’s antique shop and Carmela and Eva push through the chaos and into the store. There they find their friend Devon unconscious on the floor amidst a mess of his wares and a scared pug. When the police arrive Devon is declared dead, murdered with an icepick. Carmela and Ava are sent on their way by Carmela’s fiancé, Detective Edgar Babcock and they take Devon’s pub, Mimi, with them. Carmela thinks the dog will help them find the killer but it may end up putting them right in the killer’sights. Carmela Bertrand owns Memory Mine Scrapbooking Shop and her best friend, Ava Gruiex owns Juju Voodoo, think Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz set loose in New Orleans. Carmela is supposed to be setting a wedding date and teaching classes in her shop, but now she is wrapped up trying to solve a murder and Quigg Brevard has come back around setting up shop in the building next door to Memory Mine. He has decided he and Carmela would make great partners without any input from her. This does not make Babcock happy at all, in fact he is pretty livid. These characters are expertly crafted. They practically leap off the page. We also meet some rather shady, alright, creepy characters like members of the Vampire Society and who knows who may be in those crazy puppet costumes. The friendship between Carmela and Eva is strong. Carmela’s employee Gabby tries to keep her boss honest, pointing out things Carmela should but doesn’t realize. She also mans the shop so Carmela is free to snoop. Edgar wants Carmela to stay out of his case but knows she will keep pushing the boundaries right to the end. All the interactions are realistic and the dialogue rings true. Some of it will have you laughing out loud. The mystery itself is pretty complex and takes our amateur sleuths into some of New Orleans dicier places. They do tend to leap before they think in their quest to find Devon’s killer. It is truly a crazy ride of twists and turns filled with some dangerous antics before the exciting ending. I was totally surprised by whodunit thanks to the red herrings liberally placed throughout the story. I really enjoyed the way the story unfolded. I always get a little nervous when two really strong authors combine their talents but Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran have figured it out masterfully. The story has a nice flow and it is perfected paced. The descriptions painted vivid pictures in my mind. Mumbo Gumbo Murder is a fun crime caper that held my interest and had me doing a bit of armchair sleuthing from the beginning to the end. I was totally entertained and I am looking forward to Book 17 – Cadmium Red Dead. Be sure to check out the Craft Tips and Recipes at the end of the book too!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog)

    Oh man, Laura Childs really knows how to write a good Cozy Mystery series. I’ve been reading her other series, the Teashop Mystery series, and have really fallen in love with her writing style. So when I jumped back into this world, I realized just how much I enjoy her ability to change styles so easily. This series is a lot more crazy and fun but still contains so much great conflict and mystery. I absolutely love the New Orleans backdrop of this series because it brings a totally fresh vib Oh man, Laura Childs really knows how to write a good Cozy Mystery series. I’ve been reading her other series, the Teashop Mystery series, and have really fallen in love with her writing style. So when I jumped back into this world, I realized just how much I enjoy her ability to change styles so easily. This series is a lot more crazy and fun but still contains so much great conflict and mystery. I absolutely love the New Orleans backdrop of this series because it brings a totally fresh vibe and when you pair that with Childs’s writing, you really get something special. I really don’t know how to express how much I enjoyed MUMBO GUMBO MURDER but it’s definitely one of my favorite books of the year! Packed with intrigue and mystery, this book has so amazing things in it. I would highly recommend this series to anyone who likes bright characters and mysterious settings because it truly is different from the other Cozy Mystery series I’ve read. In fact, out of all of Childs’s series, this one just might be my favorite. MUMBO GUMBO MURDER is definitely a home run and I’ll be keeping this baby on my keeper shelf for the next years to come!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    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 answe 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.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Noriko

    Let me tell you – I was a bit skeptic whether I would ended up liking this book or not – at first. The 16th book in A Scrapbooking Mystery series and I haven’t read any of the previous books. This surely warrant my concerns about this book. Regarding my first concern that I might feel missing out, I must say it turned out a needless fear. I literally dove right into the series but the list of characters are not so long and its dynamics are relatively easy to catch up, I never had a moment when I f Let me tell you – I was a bit skeptic whether I would ended up liking this book or not – at first. The 16th book in A Scrapbooking Mystery series and I haven’t read any of the previous books. This surely warrant my concerns about this book. Regarding my first concern that I might feel missing out, I must say it turned out a needless fear. I literally dove right into the series but the list of characters are not so long and its dynamics are relatively easy to catch up, I never had a moment when I felt lost or confused. This book can totally be read as a standalone. You don’t really need to read the previous books, which is a quality I am grateful for. The pacing is nice and steady and the writing is strong and descriptive. The laid-back vibe of New Orleans has a lot of charm to offer. I enjoyed reading about all the festivals and events take place in this book, and the vibrant dialogues between the characters added a nice, uplifting vibe to the story and made it a very delightful, fun read. The murder cases, especially the second one is a tad more graphic to my liking compared to other cozies, but the aforementioned uplifting, fun banter and exchanges among the characters maintained the overall atmosphere of the story casual and cozy. Nevertheless, my biggest issue with this book happened to be the main two characters – Carmela and Ava. I didn’t find either of the characters particularly relatable where I probably should have been empathetic with them. I didn’t connect with Carmela for being TOO NOSY and HEADSTRONG (I honestly didn’t understand what was her drive to meddle in the investigation despite all the protests and pleading from her fiance, Edgar) and also awfully being wishy-washy toward her prep for her own nuptials for God’s sake! I know where she’s coming from given it was her friend who fell victim to a brutal murder, but I just couldn’t understand how she could put her marriage on a back burner and run around investigating when she is specifically told NOT TO. I didn’t appreciate Ava for being so shallow and keeps talking about men and dating ALL THE TIME either. I was like, “What, are those everything on your mind?” They both bothered me to the extent that I felt a bit concerned if I could even finish the book, but rest assured, this issue got resolved as I got deeper into the book. I ended up liking this book a lot. The mystery plot proceeds rather slowly in this book. The first murder happens quite early in the book yet the progression of the investigation is rather slow with a long list of suspects and red-herrings. However, it really picks up the pace in the latter part of the book and the vibe and texture of the book shifts accordingly. Although I said I didn’t appreciate the main two characters – Carmela and Ava, I must give credit to Carmela for being smart and quite observant. She might be nosy and meddlesome, yes, yet it was HER who sniffs out the clues and it was actually them that livened up the overall story. The slapstick surrounding the culprit reveal turns out oh-so hysterical and unexpected, and I must say the mystery development is executed cleverly and nicely. The mad rush toward the end also added to the excitement, it was quite an exhilarating, entertaining ride! Despite my issue with the main two characters, another reviewer said Carmela is not like this in the previous books and given how much this book kept me glued to the pages and entertained me, I am game for continuing this series for sure! Mumbo Gumbo Murder is a strong, fun, glorious cozy-mystery chock full of lures of New Orleans and vibrant characters that keeps you engaged down to the very last page. 4.5 stars go to this book and I thank the author and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for my honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    K.A. Davis

    MUMBO GUMBO MURDER, the sixteenth book in the popular Scrapbooking Mystery series by Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran, is a fun romp through the streets of New Orleans during Jazz Fest. The author duo brings the French Quarter to life and the reader is treated to the sights, sounds, and tastes of this vibrant city. And oh the tastes… New Orleans is a foodie-lovers’ paradise and the protagonist, Carmela Bertrand, and her sidekick, Ava, eat and drink their way through the festival making me wi MUMBO GUMBO MURDER, the sixteenth book in the popular Scrapbooking Mystery series by Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran, is a fun romp through the streets of New Orleans during Jazz Fest. The author duo brings the French Quarter to life and the reader is treated to the sights, sounds, and tastes of this vibrant city. And oh the tastes… New Orleans is a foodie-lovers’ paradise and the protagonist, Carmela Bertrand, and her sidekick, Ava, eat and drink their way through the festival making me wish I could be there with them. I also enjoyed the parade scenes with the Beastmaster Puppets. The tidbits of information the authors provide on how the puppeteers manipulate them, especially the jumbo-sized puppets, was quite interesting. The reader is also treated to the creepy side of New Orleans through the vampire society and the voodoo shops. Ava, owner of one of the voodoo shops, adds zing to the antics she gets into with scrapbook shop owner Carmela. As a team their capers spice up the pages of this entertaining read and while it’s a mystery with murder, they often reminded me of a younger Lucy and Ethel. While the settings, tastes, and zany antics contribute lighthearted fun, the authors still deliver a solid mystery for Carmela and Ava to solve. The action starts with a literal bang from the very beginning and continues with page-turning intrigue. Even though Carmela is engaged to Detective Edgar Babcock, who begs her not to get involved, she still manages to insert herself into the thick of the investigation. This time it’s her antiques dealing friend who is murdered and after rescuing the dead man’s adorable pug, she can’t help but want to find out who ended his life. Could his death be related to the rumors swirling around that he owned a piece of President Lincoln’s coat, worn on the night of his assassination? Or was there something of value hidden away in his shop that was worth killing for? As Carmela asks questions and listens to gossip, while eating her way through town, the suspect lists grows. With an action-packed conclusion, Ms. Childs and Ms. Moran provide a satisfactory end to a highly entertaining read. Like I mentioned before, New Orleans is a food-lovers’ paradise. Fortunate for the reader, the authors include several recipes at the back of the book along with scrapbooking tips and craft ideas. I was provided an advance copy via Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Terry Ambrose

    Mumbo Gumbo Murder is classic Laura Childs. Lots of food, antics, and fun. This cozy is filled with plenty of atmosphere from New Orleans and the Jazz Festival. The descriptions are lively and the setting takes on a life of its own. The best news is the mystery part of the story remains a puzzler to the end. Fans of the Scrapbooking Mysteries will love to lose themselves in the chase as Carmela and Ava go on their quest to find the killer despite the stern cautions from Carmela’s hot detective b Mumbo Gumbo Murder is classic Laura Childs. Lots of food, antics, and fun. This cozy is filled with plenty of atmosphere from New Orleans and the Jazz Festival. The descriptions are lively and the setting takes on a life of its own. The best news is the mystery part of the story remains a puzzler to the end. Fans of the Scrapbooking Mysteries will love to lose themselves in the chase as Carmela and Ava go on their quest to find the killer despite the stern cautions from Carmela’s hot detective boyfriend Edgar who, of course, warns her to steer clear of his murder investigation or face his wrath.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Toni (T.C.) LoTempio

    Another stellar entry in this series. It's always a treat to watch Carmela and Ava conduct their own "Nancy Drew" investigations while trying to escape Babcock's ire. Stalwart fans will love it and new readers will want to read the entire series.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    The ending was very jumbled and there wasn’t answers to a lot of the puzzles otherwise the book itself was good, and what happened to the dog? Maybe “Mumbo jumbled “

  12. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne

    Carmela Bertrand and her friend, Ava, are excited to be celebrating Jazz Fest in the French Quarter of New Orleans. They are amazed at all the huge puppets in the parade. Then, the festivities are interrupted when they hear a loud crash from Carmela’s friend’s antique shop. They rush over to help, but it’s too late. Carmela’s friend Devon Dowling has been murdered. Carmela vows to find the killer, much to her fiance’s dismay. After all, he’s the lead detective on the case and doesn’t want her to Carmela Bertrand and her friend, Ava, are excited to be celebrating Jazz Fest in the French Quarter of New Orleans. They are amazed at all the huge puppets in the parade. Then, the festivities are interrupted when they hear a loud crash from Carmela’s friend’s antique shop. They rush over to help, but it’s too late. Carmela’s friend Devon Dowling has been murdered. Carmela vows to find the killer, much to her fiance’s dismay. After all, he’s the lead detective on the case and doesn’t want her to get involved. However, she’s sure the police are looking for the culprit in all the wrong places and people would be more willing to talk to her than the police. It doesn’t take long before she discovers the victim had many enemies. This case won’t be as easy as she hoped it would be, but that doesn’t make her any less determined. Fortunately, her best friend is by her side but are they getting too close to the killer and in danger of falling to the same fate of Devon Dowling? I’m always excited to see a new Laura Childs’ book and I especially adore this series which she writes with Terrie Farley Moran. This writing duo always puts together an exciting new adventure for Carmela Bertrand. I practically devour these books as soon as they are released. The characters are lively, fun, and quirky. The Scrapbook Mystery series brings New Orleans to life on each page. I’m easily transported into the story and the location. The plot moves at a fast pace. I had no clue as to who the killer was until the end. There were so many possibilities. I came into this series halfway through it. I still need to read the first few books to catch up, but I was easily able to fall right into this series. The authors do give you some tidbits from Carmela’s past, but as with most cozy mystery series, I always feel starting at the beginning is the best way to go so you can see the character’s growth along the way. The good thing is each mystery is contained within a book. There is no cliff hanger - so you do get a complete mystery with each edition of this series. I’m anxiously awaiting the next Scrapbooking Mystery. FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Becky Tatar

    Could not even finish this book. A store owner across from Carmela and Gabby's shop is killed. Carmela is drawn in, her fiance, Edgar, the investigating detective, doesn't want her involved, and old boyfriend cons her into managing his new restaurant next to her shop, and she can't figure out how to say no. I could not get to a point where I cared about her, her people or the murder, or how it was done, or by whom. Fairly terrible, and I have read a couple of Child's tea shop mysteries, which we Could not even finish this book. A store owner across from Carmela and Gabby's shop is killed. Carmela is drawn in, her fiance, Edgar, the investigating detective, doesn't want her involved, and old boyfriend cons her into managing his new restaurant next to her shop, and she can't figure out how to say no. I could not get to a point where I cared about her, her people or the murder, or how it was done, or by whom. Fairly terrible, and I have read a couple of Child's tea shop mysteries, which weren't so bad. Not recommended.

  14. 4 out of 5

    OpenBookSociety.com

    https://openbooksociety.com/article/m... Mumbo Gumbo Murder A Scrapbooking Mystery, Book #16 By Laura Child & Terrie Farley Moran ISBN13: 9780451489579 Author websites: laurachilds(.)com, facebook(.)com(/)terriefarleymoran Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt Synopsis: A shocking murder strikes a sour note during Jazz Fest in the latest New Orleans Scrapbooking Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs. It’s Jazz Fest in New Orleans, and the giant puppets from the Beastmaster Puppet The https://openbooksociety.com/article/m... Mumbo Gumbo Murder A Scrapbooking Mystery, Book #16 By Laura Child & Terrie Farley Moran ISBN13: 9780451489579 Author websites: laurachilds(.)com, facebook(.)com(/)terriefarleymoran Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt Synopsis: A shocking murder strikes a sour note during Jazz Fest in the latest New Orleans Scrapbooking Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs. It’s Jazz Fest in New Orleans, and the giant puppets from the Beastmaster Puppet Theatre are parading through the French Quarter. Some are very spooky and veiled, others are tall and gangly, like strange aliens. As the parade proceeds, Carmela Bertrand and her best friend, Ava, follow behind, down Royal Street and past the food booths. Suddenly, they hear a terrible crash from Devon Dowling’s antiques shop. They rush inside to find Devon collapsed with blood streaming down the side of his face. Has he been shot? Stabbed? 911 is hastily called, and the police and EMTs show up. After the police examine Devon’s body, they tell Carmela and Ava that their friend was murdered with an icepick. They’re shocked beyond belief–and now Mimi, Devon’s little pug, is left homeless. Carmela and Ava are determined to catch the murderer, but the list of suspects is long. How long do they have before they find themselves on the killer’s list? Review I am a huge fan of all of the series that author Laura Child writes. When you add in Terrie Farley Moran, you have such an amazing winning team. I love the combination, the witty writing style that the two combine to produce. Mumbo Gumbo Murder is the 16th installment of A Scrapbooking Murder series. Wow a long running series that is still fresh and wonderfully written. Not something you see a lot of these days, unless you are talking about author Laura Child. If you are a fan of NOLA and all the fun, food, parties and entertainment it provides, you will feel right at home in this awesome read. In the 16th installment, it is Jazz Fest in New Orleans. And every festival in New Orleans is one huge party. The giant Beastmaster Puppet Theatre puppets are everywhere. I had never heard of them, but with the descriptive writing these two authors produce, I felt like I could see them and they were quite something to behold. Carmela Bertrand and her best friend Ava Gruiex are of course enjoying the festivities. They are surprised by a horrible crash at their friend’s antique shop. As they and the crowd run to Devon Dowling’s shop they hear another crash and when they get there they see the window burst out. As usual Carmela rushes in to check on their friend. She is blasted with a loud explosive flash and the sound of someone running out the back door. Devon’s poor pug Mimi is left alone as he is dead with an icepick through his ear. It does not matter about the warning from her fiancé Detective Edgar Babcock, Carmela and Ava are going to find out what happened. They have to search for answers, despite the possible harm and danger. Even as they search for answers, there are shops to run, wedding plans to make, fun to be had. I love how the authors bring the reader right into the midst of the colorful world of New Orleans and all it holds. Love being in the shops, the bars, the streets with these two ladies. Two ladies that are quite different, yet have a fabulous friendship. The authors weave such a wonderful tale of mystery, so colorful and descriptive. Mixed in with the search for answers, it is like a guided tour of the best and brightest of the city. I love the interaction between all the characters. The wit and humor that are interwoven throughout this mystery are the sweet spots for me. That is not to say, the mystery is not intricately written to take the reader on a journey of discovering the answers. It is. Mumbo Gumbo Murder may be the 16th installment in the fun scrapbooking series, but it can be read as a stand alone. And believe me, you do not have to be a scrapbooker to enjoy it either. I love the way these two authors combine to speak as one. The characters are as vivid as the city of New Orleans itself. I was transported to the city itself, the sights, smells, emotions. Wonderful writing, great storytelling, and a fun mystery combine to make a delightful read. *OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review as part of their ongoing blog tour*

  15. 4 out of 5

    Angela Holland

    I enjoyed this newest installment to this series. Although I have to say that Ava really annoyed me this time. I just wanted to tell her to grow up and be quiet for a minute. To me she acted like a snot at times. Of course I still love Carmela and her dogs. I hope that Carmela and Edgar get the wedding things figured out sooner rather than later. I just want them to have a happy ending. I thought Quigg was a little pushy but when is he not. I was very surprised at who committed the murder in thi I enjoyed this newest installment to this series. Although I have to say that Ava really annoyed me this time. I just wanted to tell her to grow up and be quiet for a minute. To me she acted like a snot at times. Of course I still love Carmela and her dogs. I hope that Carmela and Edgar get the wedding things figured out sooner rather than later. I just want them to have a happy ending. I thought Quigg was a little pushy but when is he not. I was very surprised at who committed the murder in this book. I would have never guessed this person. I had my eye on a couple of others but that did not pan out. This has been a long time favorite series of mine and I have enjoyed watching these characters grow. I also like hearing about the crafts that Carmela has lined up. I love the stores ideas. It would be fun to shop there.

  16. 4 out of 5

    April

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I’ve looked at a few other reviews and while I dislike being a downer this just isn’t the best scrapbook mystery in the series. I liked the book okay but there are some parts where Carmela acts in really stupid ways. The book is nearly 300 pages. I get that if you go hardcover the book may need to be longer but give the reader some substance rather than filler. Normally, I enjoy visiting New Orleans through the guise of a mystery involving Carmela and Ava. This time things felt forced not flowing I’ve looked at a few other reviews and while I dislike being a downer this just isn’t the best scrapbook mystery in the series. I liked the book okay but there are some parts where Carmela acts in really stupid ways. The book is nearly 300 pages. I get that if you go hardcover the book may need to be longer but give the reader some substance rather than filler. Normally, I enjoy visiting New Orleans through the guise of a mystery involving Carmela and Ava. This time things felt forced not flowing. Spoilers and reasons I was less than thrilled with the story: Carmela is a very reluctant fiancé. There is this build up to romance with Babcock in previous books but she drags her feet in this one. I don’t necessarily think that Babcock is right for Carmela because she is becoming more erratic in each book. There was no relationship in this installment of the series. There was just worry because Babcock wouldn’t like what she was doing with the wine bar and Quigg or with the investigation. The big issue for me was near the end when Carmela finds drugs and instead of getting them to Babcock or getting Babcock to come to the store she goes off to find the location where the drugs were meant to be. She totally messes up evidence in the case against the real killer. Then Babcock just hugs her. So while I liked it, I also raged at the story and all the dumb things Carmela did. I nearly threw the book across the room.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This might be the last one in this series for me. Maybe I am getting pickier or maybe Carmen is getting dumber. I don't know. But several of the choices she made were just beyond stupid. On top of that, the timeline for what happened each day just didn't make any sense.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tamara

    Review to come. Quick thoughts: After reading a Laura Childs book, I always want to head down to NOLA, eat some beignets, listen to some jazz and find the best poboys! This read was no exception. Ava and Carmela are best friend goals. I love them. The mystery... not bad. I kinda loved who the bad person was :)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mary Jo

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really used to be into this series l, mainly because I love scrapbooking. I have missed the last few and jumped back in with this one, but now I remember why I stopped reading them. I do not like the main character Carmela at all, and her sidekick Ava is not much better to me. There is zero chemistry for me between the Carmela and her police detective fiancée Babcock. If I were him, I would actually call off the wedding that she is dragging her feet on ASAP. She lies to him, sneaks around, avoi I really used to be into this series l, mainly because I love scrapbooking. I have missed the last few and jumped back in with this one, but now I remember why I stopped reading them. I do not like the main character Carmela at all, and her sidekick Ava is not much better to me. There is zero chemistry for me between the Carmela and her police detective fiancée Babcock. If I were him, I would actually call off the wedding that she is dragging her feet on ASAP. She lies to him, sneaks around, avoids serious topics like that fact that an old “boyfriend” wants to go into business with her and on top of that she makes crazy, dangerous extremely stupid decisions trying to solve murder investigations which she is horribly inept at. She is continuously tampering with and in this case removing evidence from crime scenes that should have been given to the police (block of cocaine!) to pursue her own angle. The stupidity of it all had me shaking my head. I did give this two stars instead of one because I believe the writer does a decent job of actually writing when the dialogue doesn’t feel stilted like an informercial for a tourist attraction website geared towards New Orleans. But I just can’t get past how awful Carmela is and how toxic her relationships are with everyone! Even Ava her supposed best friends that she continually puts in danger. Just no on this one for me. I may try one of the authors other series to see if the characters will be more like able so I can give a better review of her writing.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Toni

    4.5 Stars This is my first foray into the world of Laura Childs and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. This is the sixteenth book in the A Scrapbooking Mystery series. I really enjoy the more crafty cozy mysteries like this one. I learn so much about design by just listening to the characters speak. This book has all the familiar cozy aspects you would expect. One police officer, Edgar, who has a connection to the main character. Check. One quirky sidekick, Ava, that gets into just about as 4.5 Stars This is my first foray into the world of Laura Childs and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. This is the sixteenth book in the A Scrapbooking Mystery series. I really enjoy the more crafty cozy mysteries like this one. I learn so much about design by just listening to the characters speak. This book has all the familiar cozy aspects you would expect. One police officer, Edgar, who has a connection to the main character. Check. One quirky sidekick, Ava, that gets into just about as much trouble as the POV character, Carmela. Check. And then dabble in enough suspects to make your head spin including the enigma who is Drake. Check. I have to say I fell in head first into this story and never got my footing until Carmella ran down the parade route in a bat costume. All the personal interactions Carmela has with so many of the periphery characters is what makes this book sing. The world building on this must have been a nightmare in the beginning. There are so many places you can go with a book like this set in such a colorful city as New Orleans. I will definitely be checking out more of Ms. Child’s book in this series. I may not be a scrapbooker, but I appreciate the design aspects thrown into the mystery. If you love a good crafting cozy, definitely check this one out. One more name to put on my must read list, for sure! I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Helen Drake

    Nothing like plenty of action in New Orleans for Jazz Fest. Carmela and Ava find the dead body of their friend. Of course Carmela and Ava are trying to solve the crime. There are so many possible suspects, including the head of a Vampire crew. To add even more drama, a restauranteur who has been after Carmella opens a wine and paint store next door to Carmela’s scrapbook store and wants Carmela to be in charge of what is painted. Her detective fiancé is not too thrilled with that. There were plent Nothing like plenty of action in New Orleans for Jazz Fest. Carmela and Ava find the dead body of their friend. Of course Carmela and Ava are trying to solve the crime. There are so many possible suspects, including the head of a Vampire crew. To add even more drama, a restauranteur who has been after Carmella opens a wine and paint store next door to Carmela’s scrapbook store and wants Carmela to be in charge of what is painted. Her detective fiancé is not too thrilled with that. There were plenty of red herrings and I was surprised when the murderer was revealed and the reason for the murders.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Penny

    It's not necessary to read this series in order. For two reason: each one explains itself pretty well and nothing really carries over to the next one and they're all pretty silly/lightweight. I have a really bad cold right now and couldn't concentrate on anything heavy so I picked this one up. It's entertaining. It has some scrapbooking ideas and some recipes at the back. But don't go looking for a gumbo recipe. There isn't one.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jeannine

    I enjoy a good cozy, especially when I need a break from the sometimes gruesome detective novels I like to read. I gave up on the tea shop mysteries by this author because they were too cute and unrealistic but thought I would give this series a try. What could go wrong? They are set in New Orleans, my favorite city, and this one takes place during the Jazz Fest, a wonderful and fun event everyone should experience. The first clue should have been that it's a scrapbooking mystery. I'm not a fan I enjoy a good cozy, especially when I need a break from the sometimes gruesome detective novels I like to read. I gave up on the tea shop mysteries by this author because they were too cute and unrealistic but thought I would give this series a try. What could go wrong? They are set in New Orleans, my favorite city, and this one takes place during the Jazz Fest, a wonderful and fun event everyone should experience. The first clue should have been that it's a scrapbooking mystery. I'm not a fan or a crafter of any kind. The second is the main character, Carmela Bertrand. This is someone who owns her own business and is engaged to a NOPD detective. She should have at least a thread of common sense. I resent the bimbosity (my creation) of the author's female characters. And while some of the dialogue and plot had some promise, the ending was contrived and completely undeveloped.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Another winner from Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran!!! Awesome series by one of the very best author out there!! So much fun!!!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    This takes place in New Orleans during Jazz Fest. The story involves art, drugs, wine, food, a gumbo cook-off, a bachelor auction, a turtle, a dog, and murder. There is also scrapbooking, but that wasn't as interesting as the mystery. I liked the main character and her friends, but I don't like her fiance.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mayda

    It’s Jazz Fest in New Orleans, but the fun times turn serious when an antique shop owner is killed. Carmela and Ava are hot on the trail, putting their own lives in danger. Carmela’s fiancé Detective Edgar Babcock tries unsuccessfully to get her to cease and desist, but his displeasure just makes Carmela more secretive. Add in some side stories about Carmela’s friend Quigg and Ava’s pursuit of the perfect date, and you have a perfect recipe for an exciting tale of murder, southern style.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Carmela and Ava are in it again... Carmela just can't stay out of it! I love the vivid descriptions Laura Childs puts in her books- the sights, the smells, the sounds of NOLA, all so inviting (most of the time!). I really enjoy the continuation of Carmela and Ava's friendship, but I have to say, What were you thinking Carmela? Ava, dig in a bit more! This last addition to the saga made me want to yell (ok, I did yell) at Carmela. Think woman, think!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    I enjoy this series and have read all of them. Unfortunately I am getting more annoyed by the antics of Carmela and Ava. Who would meet a wanted criminal in a graveyard after midnight? Or break into someone’s office? I feel that Carmela and Ava act very selfish with little consideration for the results of their actions. I did like the story and was surprised by the ending, but feel that many of the hijinks are unnecessary.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lori Gronewold

    The book's ending seemed rushed. Also, the addition of Drake to the characters didn't make sense. Unless he is going to be in more books, this presence wasn't needed.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Val Rheinheimer

    It's makes me sad to give this one star because I usually like these books a lot! (I've read them all.) But in this one Carmella does way too many ridiculously stupid and dangerous things, not to mention seriously tampering with evidence! And what was up with Babcock? He was getting over the top angry about little things that didn't really make sense and incredibly forgiving about Carmella completely ruining the chain of evidence in his murder case. Ugh.

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