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by Laura Childs
Berkley Hardcover, October 2012
336 pages
ISBN: 0425252752

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Mardi Gras has finally arrived in New Orleans and everyone is celebrating, especially Carmela Bertrand, owner of the scrapbooking shop Memory Lane. She's going to be interviewed by television news anchor Kimber Breeze during the big festivities and knows that the interview will help promote her shop. The fact that she and Kimber know each other but never got along will not ruin the day for her. But just before she's about to go to the hotel room for the interview Kimber stops broadcasting and can't be found. Carmela rushes into the room and finds Kimber hanging from the balcony railing.

With everyone rushing in and out of the room someone has to take charge and Carmela is that person. Being an amateur sleuth Carmela loves trying to solve murders almost as much as she loves running her scrapbook shop. But when Detective Edgar Babcock, who also happens to be Carmela's boyfriend, shows up, he tells Carmela not to investigate this murder and to leave it all to him and the rest of the police department.

The last thing Carmela plans to do is to listen to Detective Babcock especially when she's somehow dragged into the murder. She starts to find postcards of cemeteries with cryptic warnings on them. She and Ava, her friend and fellow amateur sleuth, start digging into Kimber's life. But Carmela just might also be digging her own grave as she starts questioning all the suspects.

Like practically all of author Laura Child's books, POSTCARDS FROM THE DEAD is terrific. Carmela and Ava make a good team. Even though Carmela's relationship with her detective boyfriend is similar to the relationships between other female sleuths and their detective boyfriends, it's still fun to watch how their love life advances.

And what better place than New Orleans during Mardi Gras can a book be set? Readers get a grand tour of this awesome city as Carmela and Ava go to restaurants and attend lots of parties to help in their investigation of Kimber's death.

Reading about all the food the two eat will definitely get you hungry. Ms. Childs has done everyone a favor by putting in lots of recipes that will make you put the book down, head to the kitchen, and try some out. The Salty-Sweet Kettle Corn is a personal favorite. Very yummy.

A good cozy isn't so much about who was murdered, why they were murdered, or even who the murderer was but it's about going along with the characters as they figure everything out.

POSTCARDS FROM THE DEAD is a fun book with terrific characters in the best setting ever. Laura Childs writes great cozies and this novel shows off her talent.

Cozy lovers won't be disappointed by this newest scrapbooking mystery. And try out some of the recipes. The Salty-Sweet Kettle Corn is a tasty treat to munch on as you read.

Sharon Katz has been reviewing books for RTE for many years. She lives in Brooklyn.

Reviewed by Sharon Katz, October 2012

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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