Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: October 4th 2011 by Berkley Hardcover
Carmela Bertrand, owner of Memory Mine Scrapbooking Shop and her best friend, Ava Gruiex, owner of Juju Voodoo Shop, are both volunteering at St. Tristan's church one morning when they hear a blood-curdling scream and then spot a woman wrestling with a figure dressed in a brown robe complete with cowl. Carmela and Ava are not sure what is going on until the brown robed figure smashes a statue down on the head of the woman and then takes off.
Carmela and Ava are almost dumbstruck but quickly stir themselves into action, rushing toward the woman who is now slumped over on the floor. Despite Carmela's best resuscitation efforts, the woman is dead. Both Carmela and Ava are overcome with grief as they realize the victim is one of their good friends, Byrle Coopersmith. What a horrible way to go; killed by a statue of one saint in another saint's church. If you're not safe in church, where are you safe? Not only is her death a tragedy but a unique gold and silver crucifix is missing. Is it personal or was Byrle trying to stop a robbery and just in the wrong place at the wrong time?
Since the murdered woman was such a good friend of Carmela and Ava, they naturally want to help in the investigation. Of course, the police tell them to back off even though the unlikely pair has been instrumental in helping to solve some of the murders in their New Orleans neighborhood. But, they are determined to get justice for Byrle and let nothing get in their way. Well, almost nothing. Word gets out that they are poking around in the murder and their lives are in danger. If they could just figure out who has a vested interest in the antique crucifix and with a little help from an unexpected source. . . . they might be able to solve the case.
Laura Childs always writes a fun cozy mystery and she has been one of my favorite authors over the years whether it is her Tea Shop series, the Scrapbooking series or her Cackleberry Club series. I always get the feeling I am right in the scene. Sometimes I figure out whodunnit, other times I don't and sometimes like this time, it takes me almost to the end of the book. It's an entertaining journey to the crime's solution anyway. Scrapbooking tips and several recipes are included at the end of the book.
For more info on Laura Childs, please visit her website or Facebook page. The link to Berkley below will also give you a chronological list of Laura's books.
To celebrate today's release of Skeleton Letters, Berkley is allowing me to host a giveaway for one copy of the book. Open to US only and the deadline to enter is October 14th at 5 PM (est). Please be sure to leave an e mail address in your comment. Good Luck! Bonus entries available for this contest are as follows:
+1 for posting on your facebook page with link to giveaway
+2 for being a follower, old or new. Just remind me how you follow and under what name.
+3 for blogging (sidebar is fine) or tweeting about the giveaway. Leave me a link, please.
If you cannot comment you can still enter by sending me an e mail with Win Skeleton Letters in the subject line. Include your name and e mail and send to florida982002[at]yahoo.com
Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by Berkley in exchange for my honest opinion.