New York Times best-selling author Laura Childs’ cozy Scrapbooking mysteries continue to win fans with each compelling entry. In Skeleton Letters, New Orleans scrapbook shop owner Carmela Bertrand and her friend Ava witness a heinous crime at St. Tristan’s Church that leaves a dear friend dead and an antique crucifix missing. Together, Carmela and Ava search the French Quarter for the crucifix in hopes of finding the killer.
©2011 Gerry Schmitt & Associates, Inc. (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC
So the story is okay -- I think. I had a hard time getting past how awful the narration is. Why, oh why, oh why, would you get a Valley Girl to read a New Orleans story? (FYI, "New Orleans" has 2 syllables, not 3.) I can excuse anyone from "outside" for not knowing how to procounce "Tchoupitoulas" (it's "chop-uh-two-liss", by the way), but "crawfish"? Excuse me. No matter how you spell it, it's "craw-rhymes-with-claw", not "cray-rhymes-with-clay".
Other than that, nice little story, some fairly decent local color. Main character is a little too goody-goody, the sidekick is a little tedius, but the snotty society dame is fun, and I really do know an 80-something woman named "Baby".
Won't listen to another Laura Childs unless they change narrators.
Easy cozy mystery
Ava Greux since she exudes attitude with a capital A
The narrator gave a minimal 'performance' with little variation in the characters' voices. Also she seriously needs to learn how to pronounce New Orleans phrases and locale names. It broke the mood of the book every time she mispronounced something and she lost the opportunity to give individual character to the characters by making them all sund the same.
I enjoyed SKELETON LETTERS very much. I was rather surprised at all the subplots woven into the main storyline. Some were quite important and some were not. I didn’t know until the end which were window dressing and which really mattered. As busy as this made the entire story, nothing seemed out of place or contrived. Carmela has the unique opportunity to be involved in the business world via her scrapbook shop as well as the crème of society via her home ownership in the Garden District of New Orleans. Her circle of friends is large and varied via both venues.
There were several scrapbook and craft ideas presented by Carmela at Memory Mine. They were good tips and integrated well into the story. Several were also presented at the end of the book. The recipes that Carmela made were also given at the end. I find this approach much more likable than a list of ingredients smack in the middle of the story!
Carmela’s employee, Gabby, sums up the character Carmela when she says, “That’s what kills me about you. You’re fearless to the core and outspoken without being a diva. … And you have a keen sense of justice.” I’d say she said it just right!
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