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New Orleans scrapbooking shop owner Carmela Bertrand is hosting a late-night "Crop Till You Drop" session-when a neighboring antique-shop owner winds up murdered in the alley. Now, the scrapbooking expert must rearrange the jumble of clues and pick out the killer. New Orleans scrapbooking shop owner Carmela Bertrand is hosting a late-night "Crop Till You Drop" session-when a neighboring antique-shop owner winds up murdered in the alley. Now, the scrapbooking expert must rearrange the jumble of clues and pick out the killer.


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New Orleans scrapbooking shop owner Carmela Bertrand is hosting a late-night "Crop Till You Drop" session-when a neighboring antique-shop owner winds up murdered in the alley. Now, the scrapbooking expert must rearrange the jumble of clues and pick out the killer. New Orleans scrapbooking shop owner Carmela Bertrand is hosting a late-night "Crop Till You Drop" session-when a neighboring antique-shop owner winds up murdered in the alley. Now, the scrapbooking expert must rearrange the jumble of clues and pick out the killer.

30 review for Photo Finished

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bam cooks the books ;-)

    *3-3.5 stars. A cozy mystery set in New Orleans where Carmella Bertrand runs a scrapbook shop, which perhaps is a bit dated at this point, but it's still fun to read about her latest creative projects. One evening just before Halloween, she holds a 'crop till you drop' overnight event that ends when the antiques store owner next door is found dead in the dark alley behind their stores. Was the murderer his young assistant? One of the women at the class? Or perhaps his soon to ex-wife, who was in *3-3.5 stars. A cozy mystery set in New Orleans where Carmella Bertrand runs a scrapbook shop, which perhaps is a bit dated at this point, but it's still fun to read about her latest creative projects. One evening just before Halloween, she holds a 'crop till you drop' overnight event that ends when the antiques store owner next door is found dead in the dark alley behind their stores. Was the murderer his young assistant? One of the women at the class? Or perhaps his soon to ex-wife, who was in and out during the evening? Carmella can't help but want to stick her nose into the investigation since it happened on her doorstep! Interesting plot, fun New Orleans setting plus quirky characters make for a quick, enjoyable read. But I come here for the recipes, hehe. Can't wait to try 'Big Easy Shrimp!'

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lain

    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 chas 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??

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    I've been tearing up my TBR shelves. With almost 300 books I OWN that I HAVEN'T read, it's not like I don't have options and in the last month alone I read 8. This is my 9th from my TBR and I'm actually enjoying this catch-up. In Keepsake Crimes, I found the characters to be extremely flat, and the overdescription of Mardi Gras to be annoying. However, this book remedied both! With vivid characters and an absolutely wonderful setting, Photo Finished was a great, light read for a rainy day! As I sa I've been tearing up my TBR shelves. With almost 300 books I OWN that I HAVEN'T read, it's not like I don't have options and in the last month alone I read 8. This is my 9th from my TBR and I'm actually enjoying this catch-up. In Keepsake Crimes, I found the characters to be extremely flat, and the overdescription of Mardi Gras to be annoying. However, this book remedied both! With vivid characters and an absolutely wonderful setting, Photo Finished was a great, light read for a rainy day! As I said above, in the last book the characters were flat; however they all rounded out in this book. Carmela, Ava, Shamus, Baby, and Tandy were all wonderful and I hope they reappear in the next book. Gabby's husband, Stuart, was incredibly annoying, but he was supposed to be that way so it didn't hurt the book any. The setting and descriptions both make your mouth water and almost convince you to move to New Orleans now. They're both filled with local charm and I enjoyed reading about New Orleans live. The only thing that really fell flat for me was the mystery. It was okay but it really lacked the "wow" factor and the ending scene was so over the top with Carmela and the murderer that I almost found it humorous. Overall a very solid second book! I will not be waiting as long to read the third one as I did to read this one. Recommend!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Cozy mysteries are not for me, and the sooner I realize that the less time, I will spend with books that aren't my style. Here are the biggest mysteries in the book: How can Carmela afford a Scrapbooking Shop in the high rent French Quarter when she doesn't even show up for work half the time? Why does she spend so much time with stereotypical southern caricatures with names like Tandy, Quigg, Babe, JadeElla, Sweetmomma, Glory, and Ava. And why is she wandering around on a dark, rainy night in an Cozy mysteries are not for me, and the sooner I realize that the less time, I will spend with books that aren't my style. Here are the biggest mysteries in the book: How can Carmela afford a Scrapbooking Shop in the high rent French Quarter when she doesn't even show up for work half the time? Why does she spend so much time with stereotypical southern caricatures with names like Tandy, Quigg, Babe, JadeElla, Sweetmomma, Glory, and Ava. And why is she wandering around on a dark, rainy night in an old manufacturing plant by herself? Anyway, the recipes in the back of the book look pretty good, so I just need to read a cookbook instead of a mystery next time I get nostalgic about New Orleans. After all, there are plenty of cookbooks to choose from.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Eva

    Carmela's cranky antiques dealer neighbor is murdered while she is hosting an all night scrapbooking event in her shop, and the police seem to be running down dead end alleys looking for the murderer. Along with running Memory Mine, her scrapbooking store, Carmela has her hands full working on other projects in preparation for Halloween. Can she find the killer, too, before it is too late and an innocent man goes to jail for a crime he didn't commit? Another enjoyable cozy read! Carmela's cranky antiques dealer neighbor is murdered while she is hosting an all night scrapbooking event in her shop, and the police seem to be running down dead end alleys looking for the murderer. Along with running Memory Mine, her scrapbooking store, Carmela has her hands full working on other projects in preparation for Halloween. Can she find the killer, too, before it is too late and an innocent man goes to jail for a crime he didn't commit? Another enjoyable cozy read!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    The more I think about this book the more I wonder whether just because readers like light frothy entertainment, editors assume they can drop the ball. On page 32, our heroine and friend are having an expensive restaurant meal, (which in itself is odd fifteen hours after a murder outside her shop, but we'll let that go by in the spirit of cozy fantasy) and said heroine declines dessert "nothing for me", emphasised by an aside on how hard it is for the poor darling to stay a size eight. Turn the The more I think about this book the more I wonder whether just because readers like light frothy entertainment, editors assume they can drop the ball. On page 32, our heroine and friend are having an expensive restaurant meal, (which in itself is odd fifteen hours after a murder outside her shop, but we'll let that go by in the spirit of cozy fantasy) and said heroine declines dessert "nothing for me", emphasised by an aside on how hard it is for the poor darling to stay a size eight. Turn the page and "their bread pudding is delivered to their table", and "more than once she had to put down her fork and indulge in a good belly laugh". Did the editor think nobody would notice? There were also lots of loose ends, and suspicious characters whose very guilty behaviour is never explained away when we find out who the murderer actually was...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    I pegged the killer when "they" where first introduced! Lucky guess. I love these cozy mysteries. The setting in New Orleans along with the the setting details and all the food makes me want to jump on a plane and head for the Big EZ! Another reviewer had pointed out that after discovering the body of Barty Hayward in her back ally, with in hours Carmela and Ava were out at a fancy resturant. True. But there is no sex and violence in these series...(well, graphic violence. O'le Barty did get kill I pegged the killer when "they" where first introduced! Lucky guess. I love these cozy mysteries. The setting in New Orleans along with the the setting details and all the food makes me want to jump on a plane and head for the Big EZ! Another reviewer had pointed out that after discovering the body of Barty Hayward in her back ally, with in hours Carmela and Ava were out at a fancy resturant. True. But there is no sex and violence in these series...(well, graphic violence. O'le Barty did get killed)what else is there to do but scrapbook and eat. And anyone that has amassed more paper and rubberstamps that she has the overflow in her cartrunk, and goes to bed with glitter in her hair can atest, there is a lot of snacking and munching at these all night crops!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    I am enjoying this series very much! I like all the details specific to New Orleans! It gives you the feel of being there, especially with all of the details about food, events, various districts, and the creative aspect. As an "A-D-D" crafter (I have a shelf full of supplies for most crafting projects), I love all the various ideas that Carmela uses throughout the story. My one complaint, is that having accidently read a later book, I am a little irritated with her relationship with her estrange I am enjoying this series very much! I like all the details specific to New Orleans! It gives you the feel of being there, especially with all of the details about food, events, various districts, and the creative aspect. As an "A-D-D" crafter (I have a shelf full of supplies for most crafting projects), I love all the various ideas that Carmela uses throughout the story. My one complaint, is that having accidently read a later book, I am a little irritated with her relationship with her estranged husband... I keep waiting for something to happen! Over all- can't wait to start the next book- which is waiting at home!!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    The scrap booking aspects of the book made it fun but the rest was just so-so. It seemed very wordy, lots of name brands mentioned and a heroine who keeps being drawn back to her loser almost ex-husband for no apparent reason. It the story could be tightened up a bit & the heroine's IQ raised a few points Id give it 4 stars instead of 3. The scrap booking aspects of the book made it fun but the rest was just so-so. It seemed very wordy, lots of name brands mentioned and a heroine who keeps being drawn back to her loser almost ex-husband for no apparent reason. It the story could be tightened up a bit & the heroine's IQ raised a few points Id give it 4 stars instead of 3.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

    I do not like this series nearly as much as the Tea Shop series.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cresta McGowan

    Photo Finished by Laura Childs is book two in the scrapbook mysteries. This is a fun series about a woman named Carmela who owns a scrapbooking supply store - and just happens to dabble in some side sleuthing. When her business neighbor Barty is murdered one night in the alley behind the shop, Carmela starts the hunt to find the killer. Weaving through red tape, lost romance, and possible new beginnings, she seeks to find the guilty party and put them in their place. The Scrapbook Mysteries is e Photo Finished by Laura Childs is book two in the scrapbook mysteries. This is a fun series about a woman named Carmela who owns a scrapbooking supply store - and just happens to dabble in some side sleuthing. When her business neighbor Barty is murdered one night in the alley behind the shop, Carmela starts the hunt to find the killer. Weaving through red tape, lost romance, and possible new beginnings, she seeks to find the guilty party and put them in their place. The Scrapbook Mysteries is entertaining and delightful - an easy read, especially if you find yourself immersed in something pretty serious. There's just enough suspense balanced with humor against the beautiful setting of New Orleans to bring a smile to any mystery lover's face. ☕☕☕☕

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sara Jane

    I don't like this series as well as I like Childs' Tea Shop mysteries, but this is a nice, easy read. Carmela does have a nice scrapbook store. I often wish we had one in my town, but I have to drive to a major craft store or plan a gathering with a demonstrater. If I ate like Carmela and Ava do, I'd be fat as a little pig, but the food they eat sounds wonderful. If only I could put my hands on a beignet just now, I'd be happy. Nice story. Having just given Family Tree by Susan Wiggs only four s I don't like this series as well as I like Childs' Tea Shop mysteries, but this is a nice, easy read. Carmela does have a nice scrapbook store. I often wish we had one in my town, but I have to drive to a major craft store or plan a gathering with a demonstrater. If I ate like Carmela and Ava do, I'd be fat as a little pig, but the food they eat sounds wonderful. If only I could put my hands on a beignet just now, I'd be happy. Nice story. Having just given Family Tree by Susan Wiggs only four stars, it's difficult to give this book more than three stars, but it's probably better than just 3, maybe 3 1/2.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Genevieve Bomes

    I like this series and love hearing about scrapbooking. I really like Carmela and Ava. I hope Carmela just gets rid of her ex once and for all. I am really hoping there are not getting back together. As for her other love interest Quinn I am not warming up to him. I think I will go for the Lieutenant. The story line was quick moving and kept me glued to the book even though I kind of guessed who had done it a while before the end. A very good read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Beeman

    Enjoyable but is Carmela the only adult in the room? Everyone comes to her to handle everything? From Billy going to Carmela instead of his relative which really didn’t add anything to the plot. To Carmela having to handle Glory when she drinks while taking medication. While Gabby goes to Carmela to handle her husband’s low blood sugar. It also made no sense when all those men jumped in Carmela’s car. Only the chef added something to the story. But I continue to read the series.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Gisela

    Book read for #BookSpinBingo & #20in4 (Litsy) Second book in the Keepsake Crimes. An okey story but I like to do scrapbook and the plot is around Carmela‘s scrapbook store which is in the French Quarter, New Orleans😍Again Carmela will help to resolve a murder that occurred in a store next to her. This story is during Halloween season which was fun. But it is a slow read. I don‘t like much the co-dependent relationship between Carmela and Shamus. Let‘s see how it ends. I have already book 3⭐️

  16. 5 out of 5

    Crystal Toller

    Carmela Bertrand, owner of a Scrapbooking Shop, Memory Mine, is hosting a late-night "Crop Till You Drop" session at her shop when her neighbor Bartholomew Hayward, is discovered by her assistant murdered in the alley behind her shop. How Carmela discovers the murderer while trying to help a friend and customer's nephew makes for a great story. The ending was a complete surprise and a really good ending to the book. Carmela Bertrand, owner of a Scrapbooking Shop, Memory Mine, is hosting a late-night "Crop Till You Drop" session at her shop when her neighbor Bartholomew Hayward, is discovered by her assistant murdered in the alley behind her shop. How Carmela discovers the murderer while trying to help a friend and customer's nephew makes for a great story. The ending was a complete surprise and a really good ending to the book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    I haven't read the first book so didn't have all the facts. Based on their dialog etc, I assumed these ladies were middle aged...not nearly thirtyish. Book has FAR too many descriptive details, so muchvthat it gets boring. Main character seems a bit of a doormat to estranged husband and family. Soom scenes lend nothing to the story and seem pointless. I haven't read the first book so didn't have all the facts. Based on their dialog etc, I assumed these ladies were middle aged...not nearly thirtyish. Book has FAR too many descriptive details, so muchvthat it gets boring. Main character seems a bit of a doormat to estranged husband and family. Soom scenes lend nothing to the story and seem pointless.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Quite enjoying the series now. guess just have to get into the characters.... On to the next.... New Orleans scrapbooking shop owner Carmela Bertrand is hosting a late-night "Crop Till You Drop" session-when a neighboring antique-shop owner winds up murdered in the alley. Now, the scrapbooking expert must rearrange the jumble of clues and pick out the killer. Quite enjoying the series now. guess just have to get into the characters.... On to the next.... New Orleans scrapbooking shop owner Carmela Bertrand is hosting a late-night "Crop Till You Drop" session-when a neighboring antique-shop owner winds up murdered in the alley. Now, the scrapbooking expert must rearrange the jumble of clues and pick out the killer.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn (in SC) C234D

    Thought this was just okay, not really a serious mystery. Carmela, owner of a scrapbooking shop, apparently likes to investigate crimes, but some of her actions are questionable. She doesn’t inform police of a potentially important clue she found, and she goes alone into a dark warehouse at night. Not too smart. Rated a 6 out of 10.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tommie Nicholas

    A nice read. I am double reading with this series by Laura Childs, who is best known for her Tea Shop mysteries. This series is set in New Orleans and is based on a scrapbook and ephemera crafts. I am reading The Great Deluge about hurricane Katrina. This book is over 600 pages. So, I read a chapter of it, then read a chapter of the Childs book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kimberley Cornwell

    I am so glad that I found this series, in addition to the Tea shop series. Carmela is a very appealing main protagonist and her surrounding cast of interesting characters. I do hope that the author provides resolution soon about her martial status.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    A clever little cozy mystery. The real fun in this series are the characters and their development through the stories. The setting of New Orleans and its environs adds to the fun. It certainly was a pleasant interlude.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Evelyn

    I very good cosy read. I only wish there was a few photo plates at the end to show the scrapbooking that was being done. It kept you hooked to the end and the murderer was someone I never would have guessed.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    The overall mystery is okay, but I can’t get over these characters. All these “southern ladies” seem exactly the same with the same mannerism and speech (and also seem a bit racist at times?). Everyone also just seems too touristy- it’s hard to take these people as locals.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lyn Soulia-Smith

    Had rough time staying into this book. Hoping the next with keep me going as the others have.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alise HARRIS

    Well, I'm 0-3 this year. This book was set at Halloween, but still not very Halloweeny. I guess time to give up and work on Thanksgiving. Well, I'm 0-3 this year. This book was set at Halloween, but still not very Halloweeny. I guess time to give up and work on Thanksgiving.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ann

    Quick and fun mystery with quirky characters and the delightful setting of New Orleans.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Does she or doesn't she? Will Carmela ever finally divorce Shamus? We still don't know. But the murder of Carmela's neighbor is solved almost by accident. Does she or doesn't she? Will Carmela ever finally divorce Shamus? We still don't know. But the murder of Carmela's neighbor is solved almost by accident.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tricia Maloney

    Fun read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    NANCY M. WADE

    Art and murder Fast moving plot, vivid New Orleans locale but with too many characters to keep track of and ending with some loose ends and untidy story line.

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