It's Halloween in New Orleans-and the festivities are going to be killer.
With the help of her best friend Ava, Carmela Bertrand is building a giant monster puppet for the Halloween Monsters & Mayhem parade. Things get terrifying earlier than expected when they overhear an argument between Jekyl Hardy and Brett Fowler- and just minutes later they find Fowler's dead body.
Carmela has known Jekyl for years and can't believe he'd ever resort to murder, despite the fact that Fowler owed him money. But when another victim is discovered-who also had an unfriendly relationship with Jekyl-Carmela is convinced someone is framing her friend and now must find a way to unmask the real killer.
Halloween season in a revitalized, post-Katrina New Orleans provides the backdrop for Childs's colorful, briskly plotted eighth scrapbooking mystery (after 2009's Tragic Magic). When Brett Fowler, a Big Easy Ponzi schemer, gets fatally gored by the horns of a Minotaur head for the French Quarter's Monsters and Mayhem Torchlight Parade, suspicion falls on art appraiser Jekyl Hardy, the float designer who created the mythical beast's head. Jekyl's old friends and fellow float designers, Carmela Bertrand, the proprietor of Memory Mine, "a cozy little scrapbook shop," and Ava Gruiex, of Juju Voodoo, determine to clear his name. Catching the real killer is a job, of course, for NOPD Lt. Edgar Babcock, Carmela's main squeeze, but the detecting chops of artsy Carmela and her saucy sidekick, Ava, totally steal his thunder. Scrapbooking tips and recipes for dishes like candied fruit banana bread and Dr. Pepper tickle-your-ribs spareribs round out a volume sure to please cozy fans. (Oct.)