Mumbo Gumbo Murder

A Scrapbooking Mystery, Book #16

By Laura Child & Terrie Farley Moran

ISBN13: 9780451489579

Author websites: laurachilds(.)com, facebook(.)com(/)terriefarleymoran

Brought to  you by OBS reviewer Kayt 


A shocking murder strikes a sour note during Jazz Fest in the latest New Orleans Scrapbooking Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

It’s Jazz Fest in New Orleans, and the giant puppets from the Beastmaster Puppet Theatre are parading through the French Quarter. Some are very spooky and veiled, others are tall and gangly, like strange aliens.

As the parade proceeds, Carmela Bertrand and her best friend, Ava, follow behind, down Royal Street and past the food booths. Suddenly, they hear a terrible crash from Devon Dowling’s antiques shop. They rush inside to find Devon collapsed with blood streaming down the side of his face. Has he been shot? Stabbed? 911 is hastily called, and the police and EMTs show up. After the police examine Devon’s body, they tell Carmela and Ava that their friend was murdered with an icepick. They’re shocked beyond belief–and now Mimi, Devon’s little pug, is left homeless.

Carmela and Ava are determined to catch the murderer, but the list of suspects is long. How long do they have before they find themselves on the killer’s list?


I am a huge fan of all of the series that author Laura Child writes. When you add in Terrie Farley Moran, you have such an amazing winning team. I love the combination, the witty writing style that the two combine to produce. Mumbo Gumbo Murder is the 16th installment of A Scrapbooking Murder series. Wow a long running series that is still fresh and wonderfully written. Not something you see a lot of these days, unless you are talking about author Laura Child. If you are a fan of NOLA and all the fun, food, parties and entertainment it provides, you will feel right at home in this awesome read.

In the 16th installment, it is Jazz Fest in New Orleans. And every festival in New Orleans is one huge party. The giant Beastmaster Puppet Theatre puppets are everywhere. I had never heard of them, but with the descriptive writing these two authors produce, I felt like I could see them and they were quite something to behold. Carmela Bertrand and her best friend Ava Gruiex are of course enjoying the festivities. They are surprised by a horrible crash at their friend’s antique shop. As they and the crowd run to Devon Dowling’s shop they hear another crash and when they get there they see the window burst out. As usual Carmela rushes in to check on their friend. She is blasted with a loud explosive flash and the sound of someone running out the back door. Devon’s poor pug Mimi is left alone as he is dead with an icepick through his ear.

It does not matter about the warning from her fiancé Detective Edgar Babcock, Carmela and Ava are going to find out what happened. They have to search for answers, despite the possible harm and danger. Even as they search for answers, there are shops to run, wedding plans to make, fun to be had. I love how the authors bring the reader right into the midst of the colorful world of New Orleans and all it holds. Love being in the shops, the bars, the streets with these two ladies. Two ladies that are quite different,  yet have a fabulous friendship.

The authors weave such a wonderful tale of mystery, so colorful and descriptive. Mixed in with the search for answers, it is like a guided tour of the best and brightest of the city. I love the interaction between all the characters. The wit and humor that are interwoven throughout this mystery are the sweet spots for me. That is not to say, the mystery is not intricately written to take the reader on a journey of discovering the answers. It is.

Mumbo Gumbo Murder may be the 16th installment in the fun scrapbooking series, but it can be read as a stand alone. And believe me, you do not have to be a scrapbooker to enjoy it either. I love the way these two authors combine to speak as one. The characters are as vivid as the city of New Orleans itself. I was transported to the city itself, the sights, smells, emotions. Wonderful writing, great storytelling, and a fun mystery combine to make a delightful read.

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review as part of their ongoing blog tour*