Winter Market along the banks of the Mississippi River in New Orleans is a grand social event, with row upon row of booths offering everything from jewelry and art to fine wine and tasty offerings from many of New Orleans best restaurants.
Carmela Bertrand and her BFF Ava Gruiex are strolling through the Market, stopping to taste a treat at one booth, or sipping a glass of Chablis at another when they run into Carmela’s former beau, restaurant owner Quigg Brevard in the midst of a shouting match with food critic Martin Lash.
After he quiets down, Quigg spends a minute or two flirting with Carmela, and then the ladies move along. Ava spots a booth selling sexy outfits, and just has to try on a few things. Then they hear a yell and the booth collapses and a dead body tumbles to the ground. Where else would Martin Lash die but right at Carmela’s and Ava’s feet? And die he did with a kitchen fork stuck in his neck.
You can bet Carmela’s current steady, Detective Edgar Babcock is none too happy to find Carmela at the crime scene and even less happy to find Quigg Brevard in the vicinity. Babcock would be happy to lock Quigg up for murder if only to stop him from sniffing around Carmela.
As always, Carmela solemnly promises the handsome detective that she will not go anywhere near the investigation but then Quigg begs for her help and there is a moonlight kiss involved. What’s a girl to do?
Given the season, Carmela’s scrapbooking shop, Memory Mine, is chock full of customers wanting to create gorgeous holiday cards and decorations. Busy as she is, Carmela feels obligated to use the magnificent holiday season festivities that are ongoing in grand New Orleans spirit as sources of information to try to clear Quigg’s name without damaging her relationship with Babcock.
Carmela and Ava not only traipse along the charming streets of New Orleans but they motor along the waterways of the bayou. And when the mystery is resolved you will have recipes and craft ideas to try!
CREPE FACTOR: A Scrapbooking Mystery by Laura Childs with Terrie Farley Moran, Berkley Prime Crime Original, Hardcover, 310 pages. October 4, 2016.