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Keepsake Crimes (A Scrapbooking Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – May 6, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Just the right blend of cozy fun and clever plotting." -Susan Wittig Albert



"Murder suits [Laura Childs] to a Tea." -St. Paul Pioneer Press

About the Author

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Cackleberry Club, Tea Shop, and Scrapbooking mysteries. In her past life she was a Clio Award–winning advertising writer and CEO of her own marketing firm. She lives in Plymouth, Minnesota.
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Product Details

  • Series: A Scrapbooking Mystery (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (May 6, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425190749
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425190746
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.7 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #486,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fund raising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries - set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She's also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn't rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries - a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans' spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries - set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe's undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Customer Reviews

The supporting characters, except for Ava, blended together and weren't particularly likable.
Patricia Bird
It feels like the author didn't really have a good plot in mind or know how to work it up....it was a disappointing read for my first try of this author.
The Doll Lady
Laura Childs, the author of the Teashop mysteries, has written the first book in what looks to be a great new series.
Harriet Klausner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Chelle on June 1, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Cozy mysteries are great. They're light and quick and enjoyable. However, when the word "mystery" is attatched to the "cozy" bit the author really should follow through.
Childs' budding new series has many of the same characteristics as her Tea Shop Mystery series. The setting is strong and definite. She knows the area(s) she's dealing with and seems to delight in describing them to the reader. There are numerous quirky secondary characters that are loyal and supportive and always there at the right times. But there is also the same repetition, the same breeziness, the same lame inner dialogue that makes you go a little crazy because, really, I think we're all just a little more intelligent than that. And then there's the "mystery" part. Right.
There really is no mystery. There is a crime, granted. But it's either too easily solved (with little detection work on the part of the protagonist) or just not all that interesting. In other words, you don't care much either way. And the crime and resolution in *Keepsake Crimes* is almost silly. It's very obvious that it's a new series start and it seems like Laura Childs' is more concerned with her character interaction than her crime.
It's not that this novel was bad or unreadable, but even those of us who like the occasional "cozy mystery" needs a little mystery there.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 30, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm an avid scrapbooker, and a fan of Laura Child's tea shop mysteries - I've read them all. The tea shop books are cozy and fun - and you quickly come to idetify with and like at least 5 of the recurring characters without having to make a list to keep straight who they are.
I was anxious to read the new series. For me, there was just way too much information about New Orleans and mardi gras. I just wasn't that interested in all that detail. Also, I really didn't come to care much about the characters in this book, other than Carmella and Ava. There's no strong male character, as in her tea shop books. Ms. Child's mentions many different characters on several occasions, but we're never given enough information on them to allow us to know them or to know why or how they may be connected to the story.
As for the scrapbooking aspect, I really could have used more intersting tips and techniques. There were a couple unique ideas wound into the story, but many things mentioned would be old hat to serious scrapbookers.
Normally, I finish the tea shop books in a day or so. They're so fun and cozy that I can't put them down. This one took me a while to read because I just couldn't get interested in it due to the excessive detail on New Orleans. However, I like the tea shop mysteries enough that I will give this new serious another try. I'll pick up the next book and see if things improve.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Bird on November 4, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I like the Tea Shop books and was looking forward to a new series. I love New Orleans; a series set there could be so intriguing, and Carmela is a spunky, clever heroine. There is a "but."
There was too much detail on scrapbooking for a reader not interested in that hobby. Also, I didn't really care who committed the murder. The supporting characters, except for Ava, blended together and weren't particularly likable.
Carmela was also too forgiving for my taste. I thought that her support of a husband who had deserted her made her seem weak. The series needs a strong male character, and I'm hoping it won't be that husband!
I will read the next book in the series, if there is one, for I like Laura Child's writing style. This just wasn't one of her better efforts.
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28 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Mark Baker HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 11, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Carmela's life is having its ups and downs. Her scrapbooking shop is doing well, but she's been separated from her husband for six months. She's trying to put that behind her and enjoy Mardi Gras, however.
While attending a parade with her friend Ava, she is shocked to see the body of a friend lowered from a float, dead. She's even more surprised to learn that Shamus, her husband, is the chief suspect. She doesn't believe he could really be the killer, so she sets out to see what she can learn.
I've read two of Ms. Childs' Tea Shop Mysteries and enjoyed them. This book disappointed me, however. My problem was that it felt like it was a first draft, not a finished book. Hardly anything happens in the first half of the book. Instead, we get lots of talk on scrapbooking. Things do get more interesting in the second half, but the last chapter is pretty bad with lots of things suddenly being thrown at us to tie up potential loose ends. I didn't get a good feel for the place like I did in her other series. And her attempts to add local color only slowed the story down as she had to explain what a character had just said.
I don't think the author is ready to have two series or release three books in one year. I hope she slows down, because I did enjoy the other books of her's that I've read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A. Hennington on August 4, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really liked this first book in her new series. It was wonderful to learn so much about Mardi Gras and New Orleans. I have been curious about scrap booking, so I must say that I was impressed how she combined instructions for doing it with a mystery in the mix. I think she has found a combination that works. I just bought the next book in the series tonite and can't wait to read it.
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