Scrapbook Mysteries is a series of cozy mystery novels written by Laura Childs. The books follow the exploits of a scrapbooking enthusiast from New Orleans who solves murders in her spare time.
Order of Scrapbook Mysteries Series
|1||Keepsake Crimes||2003||Description / Buy|
|2||Photo Finished||2004||Description / Buy|
|3||Bound for Murder||2004||Description / Buy|
|4||Motif for Murder||2006||Description / Buy|
|5||Frill Kill||2007||Description / Buy|
|6||Death Swatch||2008||Description / Buy|
|7||Tragic Magic||2009||Description / Buy|
|8||Fiber and Brimstone||2010||Description / Buy|
|9||Skeleton Letters||2011||Description / Buy|
|10||Postcards from the Dead||2012||Description / Buy|
|11||Gilt Trip||2013||Description / Buy|
|12||Gossamer Ghost||2014||Description / Buy|
|13||Parchment and Old Lace||2015||Description / Buy|
|14||Crepe Factor||2016||Description / Buy|
Carmela was married to Shamus, the son of a banker. But by the time the Scrapbook Mysteries Series begins with Keepsake Crimes, the first novel, things have gone sour between them.
Shamus abandoned Carmela for six months. He apparently wanted to find himself, to discover peace by removing Carmela from the picture and to also pursue his photography.
Shamus did little to help Carmela make sense of his departure. And by the time he returned, she was done with him. Carmela knew her decision would hurt her in the short term. But she did not expect Shamus’ family to abandon her, essentially throwing her out of the couple’s home and leaving her to fend for herself.
But Carmela bounced back just fine, and by the time readers meet her, Carmela has a relatively successful shop that she runs when she isn’t too busy pursuing her scrapbooking.
The heroine’s foray into amateur sleuthing begins when a crime is committed and all eyes turn to Shamus. Carmela would have loved nothing better than to let him fend for himself. But their history compelled her to step up for him, helping Shamus maneuver the murky waters of investigative work.
The case and Carmela’s ability to resolve it gives her a taste for detective work, and it isn’t long before her friends and family start turning to her for assistance in times of crisis.
The Scrapbook mysteries series is spent following Carmela around as she skips from murder to murder.
These Laura Childs novels are pretty standard cozy mysteries. They feature a relatively ordinary protagonist pursuing an ordinary profession who decides that she has what it takes to chase down demented killers.
As with most cozy mystery protagonists, Carmela has plenty of quirks. Chief amongst them is the odd characters that surround her. Then there’s her scrapbooking which she takes very seriously.
In fact, it is for the scrapbooking that the Scrapbook Mysteries series is most commonly criticized. Laura Childs spends so much time exploring the scrapbooking world, the processes involved and the tips that one might need to pursue the hobby that her mysteries tend to suffer.
When the author isn’t gushing over the world of scrapbooking, a considerable portion of her novels are spent digging into Carmela’s relationships with her friends and family; in particular, Shamus, the estranged husband with whom she doesn’t know how to deal.
The mysteries generally skirt Laura’s stories, making appearances at the fringes of the novels but never playing a critical role. Because of this approach, the Scrapbook Mysteries novels always end abruptly, or so some readers complain.
Laura Childs doesn’t provide enough clues along the way for her readers to feel like the mystery has engaged them.
Fans of the author believe she does a great job of immersing them in the world and culture of New Orleans.
Scrapbook Mysteries Awards
Laura Childs won the RT Reviewers Choice Award in 2012 for Postcards from the Dead.
Best Scrapbook Mysteries Books
The Scrapbook Mysteries get a lot of flak because they frequently sacrifice the mystery for the sake of their heroine’s interpersonal relationship; but fans seem to enjoy Carmela’s spunky, independent attitude, with some of the best titles in the series including:
Frill Kill: Carmela might be a scrapbook enthusiast but that has never kept her from solving murders. And she’s done such a great job over her short career that, when a young model dies, everyone begins looking to her to solve the case.
Carmela might have thought twice about it but the assault that was perpetrated against her when she found the dead girl’s body emboldens Carmela to find her killer.
Death Swatch: Mardi Gras is here and Jekyl Hardy cannot wait to party. By the time scrapbook enthusiast Carmela Bertrand gets to Hardy’s apartment in the French Quarter, the party is already in full swing. Everyone is having a great time. So no one is particularly enthused when Jekly’s neighbor is found choked to death on the balcony.
Luckily, no one does murders quite as well as Carmela.
Other Book Series You May Like
The “Farmer’s Daughter Mystery” Series by Peg Cochran is another good read. Shelby McDonald is a food and lifestyle blogger. When she isn’t too busy writing or running errands on her picturesque Michigan farm, she can be found solving local murders.
You may also like the “Writer’s Apprentice Mystery” Series by Julia Buckley. Lena London is an aspiring writer who thought she had landed her dream job working for a popular suspense novelist. But then the bodies began to drop and Lena realized that she was pretty good at solving murders.
What Is The Next Book in The Scrapbook Mysteries Series?
There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Scrapbook Mysteries Series. The newest book is Crepe Factor and was released on October, 4th 2016.