Louisiana businessman Jerry Earl Leland served only a fraction of his five-year sentence for white-collar crime, thanks to some political connections and a few greased palms. But he won’t have long to enjoy his freedom…
After Jerry Earl’s early release, his wife, Margo—a much-married Garden District doyenne—throws an extravagant Get Out of Jail Free Party, complete with a Zydeco band, champagne ice luge, and waiters in ties and tails. The guest list includes many prominent New Orleans socialites, as well as scrapbook shop owner Carmela Bertrand and her best friend, Ava Gruiex. But sometime during the swirl of partying and drinking, Jerry Earl is brutally murdered—then stuffed inside a clothes dryer.
Carmela has earned a reputation around town for solving murders, and when the grieving widow turns to her for help, she can’t say no. But Jerry Earl took a lot of people to the cleaners with his underhanded business tactics, so Carmela’s going to be hard-pressed to identify which of his enemies was steamed enough to kill him. As she sorts through Jerry Earl’s dirty laundry, she needs to collar the killer before another victim is set to tumble dry…
Recently I was asked if I’d like to check out the new book Gilt Trip by Laura Childs. Now I’ve never read this series and to be honest I was hesitant – but I think I’ve made a terrible mistake in not starting these books sooner! Right from the first page I felt drawn into this story, and I really liked the characters. Better yet? I’ve never read this series before and yet I could pick up right from here. Enough information was given to help me along (or refresh a reader’s memory if it had been a while!) which I appreciated. I really like the quality of this writer’s voice and I am enjoying the rich world of New Orleans that she is painting.
If my recent posts haven’t been a clue – I’ve been pretty darn busy around here!! I’ve not yet finished this book – but I am really loving it and am into the second half. The story telling is amazing and the sense of place (New Orleans) is so vivid I can almost taste those beignets! I was concerned when I first picked this book up that I would find the scrapbooking aspect cheesy or dated. Now teaching a class on how to make “shaker boxes” does feels rather dated (I recall making teaching a class on those around 2003 when they were all the rage…) but overall I really got the sense that Carmela is a paper crafter and lover of all things memory keeping at heart. She didn’t seem like a caricature of a scrapbooker or someone I’d roll my eyes at. The character comes across as genuine, interesting, and she’s definitely a character I want to spend more time with. Carmela likes making shadow boxes, scrapbook layouts, cards, you name it! That, combined with the mystery, intrigue, and cast of colorful characters has me spending my precious few minutes of my lunch break each day picking this story back up and reading. If you like cozy mysteries and want to test out a series featuring a scrapbook store owner, then I think you might want to check this out.
What could be better? I’ve got a signed copy of Gilt Trip to give away to one of you lovely readers!! Simply leave a comment here on my blog (if you’re reading via email hop over to my blog and comment on this post!) for your chance to win. I will draw one winner next Monday and post the name here on this post as well as contacting the winner via email. This is open to ANY person, any place, so long as it is legal to do so wherever you may reside.
Good luck – and happy reading!