is always a lot of activity in the French Quarter, but the
holiday season is especially busy. The Winter Market features
a wide variety of booths, but the food booths are among the
most popular. Scrapbook shop owner Carmela Bertrand and her
best friend Ava are out for an evening, enjoying the market,
when nasty restaurant critic, Martin Lash dies right before
their very eyes. It wasn’t a natural death, either.
Lash was stabbed by a serving fork, and now restaurateur Quigg
Brevard is the chief suspect. Lash and Brevard had a public
altercation not long before the murder because of a particularly
bad review Lash wrote about Brevard’s restaurant, Mumbo
Gumbo, claiming it deserved a two-star negative review.
was once, briefly, Carmela’s boyfriend and he now pleads
with her to do some independent investigating for him. After
all, she’s been able to solve several other murders
before the police could. Carmela is torn, though, as her serious
flame is Detective Edgar Babcock, and he has made no bones
about how he feels about her investigating crimes when it
is his job to do so and she has put herself in grave danger
in the past.
read any of the previous books in this series, you can see
where this is going; Carmela snoops, Babcock is furious, Quigg
begs her to keep helping him, and she puts her life on the
line in order to solve the crime.
always love anything Laura Childs writes. Crepe Factor wasn’t
my favorite, though. It felt too familiar and predictable
for my tastes. The characters seemed out of character compared
to previous books. Carmela was always smart and didn’t
rush headlong into danger and then become terrified. Ava has
always been a free-spirit, but in this book, she seems to
just want to wear cheap looking clothes and drink all the
time. The plotting was clear enough that I knew from the beginning
who the killer would be and why, but to a novice mystery reader,
it might not be that way.
are many good things about the book. I love the New Orleans
setting, and the vivid descriptions of life there, from the
French Quarter to the bayous. I enjoy the scrapbooking and
craft ideas throughout the story and the special sections
with instructions and also specialty food recipes at the back
of the book.
if the series continues, the main characters will turn back
into themselves, and perhaps even grow a little and show some
maturity. If you are a fan who has followed the scrapbooking
mysteries from the beginning, you won’t want to miss
this one because there is a special surprise awaiting you!