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Frill Kill: A Scrapbooking Mystery (Scrapbooking Mysteries) by Laura Childs
Review by Beth Slater
Berkley Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780425217306
Date: 02 October 2007 List Price $22.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

We return to post-Katrina New Orleans to join Carmela Bertrand and her friends preparing for Halloween in the Big Easy. Carmela owns the Memory Mine, a scrapbooking store, and her friend Ava is throwing a huge open-house bash in her voodoo shop in hopes of spicing things up the French Quarter before the ever popular holiday. When Carmela arrives at Juju Voodoo, she notices Ava's newest employee Giovanni is attracting more than just business – Trouble with a capital T. As Carmela crosses a dark alley to get to her parked car, she stumbles over the body of a girl who she had just seen with Giovanni in the store. But she doesn't get the chance to unmask the killer before she becomes a victim herself!

Carmela was bringing a box of skulls – parade props - to her car when she found the dead model Amber Lalique in the alleyway. Suffering injuries from an unknown assailant, Carmela is determined to find out who would do such heinous activities right underneath the noses of the revelers. And, if she can aggravate her soon-to-be ex-husband and his family in the process, it'll be a bonus! Prime suspect to Carmela and to the police is Ava's employee Giovanni, who was last seen leading Amber to a room for a private tarot card reading. After more digging it is discovered that Giovanni's brother Santino is Amber's ex – and the two sexy, gypsy-like brothers compound the suspicions by disappearing deep into the eerie bayou with their trained wolves.

Amidst the parties and parades (recipes included) Carmela and Ava have been hired to decorate the fashion designer Moda Chadron's store for the upcoming Halloween fashion show – and wind up decorating the runway as well since Chadron is now short a model for his designs. Carmela discovers that there is much more to the fashion world than she could imagine, and between scrapbooking classes and high heels decides that she'll stick to what she knows – Memory Mine – or else she'll be scrapbooking her obituary and funeral from the other side!

This is Childs' 5th in the scrapbooking series, and is holding strong, to my surprise. I think that it is the New Orleans setting that helps keep the books going, because the reputation and crime rate in the area are well-known, so finding dead bodies isn't as much of a surprise as it would be in a small town. The book stands on its own well, but reading the previous installments helps fill in a lot of the background. The recipes that are included will have your mouth watering, and the crafting tips and projects are a plus. After reading this, I really want to return to New Orleans for a visit – even if I was only able to get the beignets and coffee.

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