Parchment and Old Lace

A Scrapbook Mystery

By Laura Childs

Berkley Prime Crime, October 6, 2015

Hardcover, 323 pages


In Lara Child’s “Parchment and Old Lace” a murderer stops a wedding before a couple can even walk to the altar.

What began as a romantic dinner for two, for Detective Edgar Babcock and Carmela Bertrand ends up with a serving of death for dessert. A stroll through the garden district after dinner toward the detective’s car leads them to someone screaming on the grounds of Lafayette Cemetery. Not far from a stone angel, Carmela learns who did the screaming and that she will never scream again. A bride-to-be, that Carmela knows, appears to have been strangled by lace. The question is why would anyone want to kill a bride-to-be? Why would she leave her cake testing and wander into a cemetery? Did she have have second thoughts about getting married? Was she meeting someone at the cemetery? Did someone want her out of the way so they could have the groom?

The sister of the recently deceased bride-to-be asks Carmela to help her learn the truth about who killed her sister and why. Carmela knows her boyfriend doesn’t want her to investigate this murder or any other murder. He wants her out of danger’s way and in his arms, not a coffin, but she still agrees to do a little digging.

The list of suspects begins with the wedding party. There’s the groom who seems terribly upset, but is always accompanied by another woman, the future-mother-in-law who doesn’t think the bride is good enough for her son, the wedding planner who just might have made a few plans of her own, and you even consider the best man. Makes you think twice about who to have in the wedding party.

This one will catch you off guard. I loved it, in fact, I’m finding that I love all of Laura Child’s books. The characters and storyline always keep my interest and make me want to find out who did the bad deed. Hardest part is reading the last page.

four and a half scrapbooks out of five

Denise Fleischer


January 3, 2016