For me, there’s nothing better than cozying up in bed and cracking open a brand new spooky, scary mystery. Okay, yes, I’ll admit that I even love to read thrillers, dystopian novels, and the occasional vampire story. Reason being, I’m hooked on being scared. Ever since my very first Nancy Drew Mystery – the Inn of the Twisted Candles, I think it was – I’ve been addicted to that little blip of adrenaline that courses through my veins when the plot shifts. You know what I’m talking about – when the story suddenly lurches from bad to worse, when the threat level rises, or some sort of specter, human or otherwise, suddenly appears.
And that, of course, is why I love to write mysteries as well. For one thing, I have a long history of dabbling in the mysterious. I was the kid who slipped into the cemetery Halloween night on a dare. I told hair-raising ghost stories around the campfire at Girl Scout camp. And in college I snuck a Ouija board into the dorm and scared the pants off everybody with my otherworldly predictions.
It only stands to reason then that the New Orleans setting in my new book Mumbo Gumbo Murder is near and dear to my heart. The Big Easy is an amazingly spooky place. It’s old, slightly tawdry, and loaded with history. The pirate Jean Lafitte tipped back flagons of rum here and, more recently, so did a whole slew of writers that included Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner. There are above-ground cemeteries, haunted hotels, and bayous iridescent with swamp gas. The Mississippi snakes through the city while, a few blocks away, Bourbon Street beckons with all manner of drink and exotic entertainment. And then there’s Mardi Gras, that raucous celebration where just about everyone loses their mind, and Jazz Fest, which serves as one of the main events in Mumbo Gumbo Murder.
In fact, here’s a quick synopsis for you: It’s Jazz Fest in New Orleans and the giant puppets from the Beastmaster Theater are parading through the French Quarter. But as Carmela Bertrand and her best friend, Ava, enjoy the parade, a terrible crash echoes from Devon Dowling’s antique shop. Rushing inside they find Devon collapsed with the only witness his small dog Mimi. Has he been shot? Stabbed? When the police arrive they realize he was stabbed with an ice pick. Running her own shadow investigation, Carmela works behind the scenes to catch Devon’s killer. Was it the greedy landlord, young assistant, fat cat art collector, or mysterious president of the Vampire Society? Mumbo Gumbo Murder offers drama, outrageous humor, mischief, fun craft tips, and delicious recipes. And because New Orleans is a top go-to spot, you’ll also enjoy the descriptions of food and landmarks.
Best of all, Mumbo Gumbo Murder was published on October 1, just in time for you to get your ghost on!
About the author
Laura Childs is the author of the Scrapbook Mysteries, Tea Shop Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. All have been on the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestseller lists. Recently, Book Riot named her mysteries to their list of “25 of the All Time Best Cozy Mystery Series.” In her previous life Laura was CEO of her own marketing firm, authored several screenplays, and produced a reality TV show. She is married to Dr. Bob, a professor of Chinese art history, and has a new Chinese Shar-Pei puppy.
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