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Photo Finished (A Scrapbooking Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – January 6, 2004
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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.
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.
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??
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Much better than the first book in this series! More like the tea shop series.Published 6 days ago by Kindle Customer
I absolutely loved this book and I love Carmela!! She is one of my favorite characters...next to Theodosia Browning from The Tea Shoppe Mysteries...also by Laura Childs. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Brian T. Frauenknecht
I have been reading Laura Childs for years and she is as good as ever. Really enjoy all her books.Published 10 months ago by Jeanne V
Coming from Louisiana I appreciate and associate with New Orleans -the food,culture and history. Amazing character Im Carmela and AvaPublished 14 months ago by marilyn mow
If you liked Nancy Drew mysteries as a child, then you will have as much fun with Carmela and her gang. Nicely plotted and captures the flavor of New Orleans perfectly.Published 19 months ago by Sucker for a mystery