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Motif for Murder
Scrapbooking mysteries #4

by Laura Childs

New Orleans scrapbook store owner, Carmela Bertrand, is busy getting her store back up to full speed after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. In her personal life, she is reveling in her recent reconciliation with ex-husband, Shamus Meechum, and hopeful he has outgrown his narcissistic ways. All of this is upset when Shamus is kidnapped from their home in the upscale Garden District. After a call to 911, Carmela runs to the nearby home of Shamus’s Uncle Henry, only to find him dead of a gunshot wound to the head. Shamus’s snobbish and ill-mannered sister uses the situation to promptly toss Carmela out of the family owned home, forcing Carmela to return to her French Quarter apartment.

As the police begin their investigation, Carmela is contacted by the kidnappers with a demand for a five million dollar ransom, Carmela decides to go on the offensive and starts digging for clues herself. With the help of best friend, Ava Grieux, proprietor of a French Quarter voodoo souvenir shop, Carmela begins to look into the business dealings of the Meechum family. She finds herself in the backwoods New Orleans swamps searching for Shamus.

Readers who prefer their mysteries on the cozy side will enjoy this offering from Laura Childs. The mayhem surrounding the kidnapping and Shamus and the murder of Uncle Henry is on the soft side and the profanity is very limited, unlike some of the more hard-boiled mysteries. Even the bad guys seem to be on the light end of the menacing scale.

While Motif for Murder is the fourth installment in Laura Childs’ scrap booking mystery series, first-time readers will easily be able to follow the storyline and acquaint themselves with the regular cast of characters. Along with several red herrings, the mystery is interspersed with both scrapbooking tips and descriptions of Carmela’s culinary fare, with recipes included in the back of the book. This is a fun, enjoyable read for fans of the cozy mystery.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Bound for Murder #3  [review]
Motif for Murder
#4  [review]

Death Swatch, #6 [ review]

Skeleton Letters, # 9 [review]
Postcards from the Dead, #10 [review]
Gossamer Ghost #12 [review]

The Book

September 5, 2006

The Reviewer

Tanya Atkinson
Reviewed 2006
© 2006