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Photo Finished (A Scrapbooking Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – January 6, 2004

4.0 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Just the right blend of cozy fun and clever plotting."

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 2)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (January 6, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425194345
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425194348
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
After a year of marriage, her husband quits his job at the bank and moves to his family place in the Bayou. Although Shamus comes from old world money he wants to be free and get his photographs into a high class gallery. The bond that ties Carmela to her husband is still strong so that neither has filed for a divorce. Still Carmela has moved on with her life in a professional capacity, opening a store in the French Quarter. Memory Mine sells scrapbooks and gives lessons to customers who want to turn them into art.
Next door to Memory Mine is Menagerie Antiques owned by Bartholomew, a man who Carmela believes works on the wrong side of the law. One night while giving a craft lesson, Carmela?s assistant finds Bart dead in the alley, a scissors in his chest. Everyone from her assistant to her best friend expects Carmela to uncover the identity of the killer and she does her best to accommodate their expectations.
PHOTO FINISHED is an exciting amateur sleuth mystery starring a heroine that is impossible to not like. She moves at supersonic speed which means a fast plot, plenty of action and a lot at hair-raising adventure though why involvement in a homicide investigation seems stretched. Laura Childs takes the reader on a tour of New Orleans that seems so realistic that the audience will believe they are there. One should not read this novel on an empty stomach because the mouth watering descriptions of foods will make the reader visit the nearest five star restaurant.
Harriet Klausner
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Laura Childs' books drive me just a little bit crazy. Sure, they're great for a couple of hours of enjoyment, but...why do I keep coming back, reading each book the woman writes? There is certainly no mental stimulation to be had and after you've finished one you don't get that rush of pleasure and satisfaction that follows a fabulous book. But it just seems to come down to the fact that, even though the books are silly, you are still entertained on some level.
My complaint about all of Childs' novels, and *Photo Finished* is no exception, is that her characters are very light and lacking dimension. Their motivations and thought processes often seem suspect. And silly. Have I mentioned the silliness factor? And, another complaint, the mystery is really no mystery at all. Just a crime that gets resolved (and in this case not very efficiently) at the end. The reader is still left in the dark to an extent regarding what actually happened to prompt the crime. Now that I think about it, some aspects of the book are downright aggravating. Like Carmela's husband, Shamus, and everything that goes along with their relationship. (But to go into that would be just too much.)
I must say, though, that it is worth it to read this particular title in the Scrapbooking mystery series simply for one of the last scenes, which had me laughing out loud quite unexpectedly. A scene that will no doubt prompt me to read the next book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
One problem I've noticed with prolific, successful writers is it seems like their editors take a break. No one is catching the little errors (and the big plot boo-boos) because they're not giving the same level of scrutiny they would to a greener writer's work. And that is the case in "Photo Finished."

I really enjoy Carmela and her friends. But hearing about her "tawny hair" multiple times in the first few pages was a little annoying. And the absolutely inane things she does in the name of chasing down the murderer are just too much (going to an abandoned warehouse at night? messing around the dead man's store, unaccompanied??). And why in the heck did Bobby, the police's number-one suspect, drop in on Carmela? He says nothing of real import, then drops out of sight once again. It was merely a way of furthering the plot that made absolutely no sense. The same with the way Shamus is urging Carmela to attend "family" functions when the entire Meechum clan -- including Shamus himself -- has made it clear that she's no longer "one of them."

One final thing -- the yo-yoing with Shamus is getting old. And he is such a cad (flirting with other women in front of her, giving her a hard time about keeping her company when she was afraid, etc.), that if Carmela actually gets together with him, I am DONE with this series. Or should I say, "photo finished" with it??
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Ms. Childs writes a lot of different series and I'm most interested in the scrapbooking one. I scrap and have found not only an interesting mystery, but lots of fun ideas to use in my crafting. I would call her books 'cozies'. Easy to read in one sitting or take your time and savor them.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't believe the author has ever really done much scrapbooking, but I enjoyed that angle anyway. The protagonist is always in a rush, and so is the story - not a style of writing I care for. Nonetheless, it was a mystery, and it was about scrapbooking (or about using a few specialty papers, anyway), so I appreciated the effort.

I took it along for a train trip to New Orleans, not realizing that was the book's setting! That made it more fun, especially on the way back, after I'd been to the places she talked about!

Don't expect much if you're an ardent scrapbooker.. On the other hand, we ardent scrapbookers love anything scrapbooking, so we'll take what we can get!
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