Death Swatch by Laura Childs
Let me preface this review by saying that this is not the type of book I normally review on this site. Death Swatch is a work of fiction. It is a fun mystery that is enjoyable throughout our heroine, Carmela's, many adventures after finding a body on a balcony at a party she is attending. Death Swatch is the newest in a series of Scrapbooking mysteries stories revolving around Carmela and her friends, dogs, and store. As an added bonus Laura Childs includes, as always, rubber stamping and scrapbooking tips and ideas, and recipes for the many wonderful things eaten and described in the books.
The story starts with Carmela and Ava attending a Mardi Gras party given by their friend Jekyl. They are introduced to his friend Archie. The men then both leave to get more drinks for the group, and while wandering through the crowded apartment Carmela walks out to the deserted balcony, only to find Archie dead. He had been strangled with a garrote made of barbed wire. As the police are busily trying to keep things under wraps as Mardi Gras unfolds around them, Carmela decides to take matters into her own hands.
As she investigates she finds that Archie collected rare coins and was looking for pirate John Lafitte's hidden treasure. As she follows the clues left after Archie's death she finds that the rumors of treasure may be true and that Archie was closer to finding that treasure that anyone thought.
Carmela meets a variety of interesting characters from coin dealers to Russian mafia kingpins. As always she comes through things with new friends, new business accounts, wonderful art designs, many adventures, and in spite of all the wonderful food eaten throughout the book, without gaining a pound! As I stated before, this IS a work of fiction.
After reading the book you can indulge in some of the wonderful recipes located in the back of the book. You will also find scrapbooking and rubbers stamping tips and techniques listed. I love the fact that you can actually enjoy some of the sumptuous foods the characters do, but that they are also just as delicious as described. For instance, the "Slap Yo Mamma Apple Fritter and the Gulf Shrimp Fettuccini are simply wonderful.
After you have overindulged you can then move on to scrapbooking. Death Swatch contains ideas about how to add punch to your old photos and layout ideas. You can also find out how to make your own trifold album.
While this book is fiction it is a fun read that gives you the added bonus of learning a few things along the way. If you are looking for a purely instructional book or an intense thriller, this book is not for you, but if you want a light romp through the streets of New Orleans you will definitely find this book very enjoyable.