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Motif for Murder

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In the terrible wake of Hurricane Katrina, scrapbooking shop owner Carmela Bertrand has her hands full getting Memory Mine back in business- and her relationship with her ex-husband, Shamus, back on its feet. But the reconciliation is shattered when Shamus is kidnapped from their home. And when Carmela hurries to tell Shamus's Uncle Henry, she finds him sitting in his libr In the terrible wake of Hurricane Katrina, scrapbooking shop owner Carmela Bertrand has her hands full getting Memory Mine back in business- and her relationship with her ex-husband, Shamus, back on its feet. But the reconciliation is shattered when Shamus is kidnapped from their home. And when Carmela hurries to tell Shamus's Uncle Henry, she finds him sitting in his library-with a bullet through his forehead. As a memorial to Uncle Henry, Carmela puts together a sentimental scrapbook of memories and keepsakes. What she doesn't realize is that her book holds a clue that could identify the fiend behind the kidnapping and killing. And when the murderer finds out that she may be on to him, he's going to try to close the book on Carmela once and for all.


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In the terrible wake of Hurricane Katrina, scrapbooking shop owner Carmela Bertrand has her hands full getting Memory Mine back in business- and her relationship with her ex-husband, Shamus, back on its feet. But the reconciliation is shattered when Shamus is kidnapped from their home. And when Carmela hurries to tell Shamus's Uncle Henry, she finds him sitting in his libr In the terrible wake of Hurricane Katrina, scrapbooking shop owner Carmela Bertrand has her hands full getting Memory Mine back in business- and her relationship with her ex-husband, Shamus, back on its feet. But the reconciliation is shattered when Shamus is kidnapped from their home. And when Carmela hurries to tell Shamus's Uncle Henry, she finds him sitting in his library-with a bullet through his forehead. As a memorial to Uncle Henry, Carmela puts together a sentimental scrapbook of memories and keepsakes. What she doesn't realize is that her book holds a clue that could identify the fiend behind the kidnapping and killing. And when the murderer finds out that she may be on to him, he's going to try to close the book on Carmela once and for all.

30 review for Motif for Murder

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Probably the best one in this series yet, though Shamus played a large part in it, and I absolutely detest Shamus.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lain

    I keep reading these, hoping they'll get better... after all, they are about scrapbooking! But unfortunately I keep getting disappointed. If the editing errors ("summersault??")and sentence fragments don't get you, the ridiculous plot will. The biggest letdown? Laura Childs is a pretty good writer. Her prose flows and the descriptions are fun and colorful. I suggest she get a better editor, one who actually does his or her job. I keep reading these, hoping they'll get better... after all, they are about scrapbooking! But unfortunately I keep getting disappointed. If the editing errors ("summersault??")and sentence fragments don't get you, the ridiculous plot will. The biggest letdown? Laura Childs is a pretty good writer. Her prose flows and the descriptions are fun and colorful. I suggest she get a better editor, one who actually does his or her job.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jenni V.

    I understand that with "amateur sleuth" mysteries, the reader must suspend disbelief as the main character puts together clues the professionals missed and comes out of very dangerous situations relatively unscathed. However, this book reealllly tested the limits (can't say more to avoid spoilers). For example, if you rescue someone from kidnappers and must flee the scene at 120 mph because they're chasing you, you shouldn't stop at a diner down the road, sit down for biscuits and gravy, and let I understand that with "amateur sleuth" mysteries, the reader must suspend disbelief as the main character puts together clues the professionals missed and comes out of very dangerous situations relatively unscathed. However, this book reealllly tested the limits (can't say more to avoid spoilers). For example, if you rescue someone from kidnappers and must flee the scene at 120 mph because they're chasing you, you shouldn't stop at a diner down the road, sit down for biscuits and gravy, and let the person you just rescued step outside the diner to make phone calls. *face palm* It isn't a terrible book but since light mysteries are a huge genre with so many options, continuing this series won't be high on my priority list. Find all my reviews at: http://readingatrandom.blogspot.com/2...

  4. 4 out of 5

    JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book)

    Carmela Bertrand recently reconciled with her estranged husband, Shamus Meecham, and is living once again in their large home in the Garden District of New Orleans. She's lucky in that her scrapbooking shop, Memory Mine, survived Hurricane Katrina when so many other businesses did not. One morning Shamus announces he's going to make breakfast for her (with Carmela's misgivings, as Shamus is messy), and when she hears a crash downstairs she assumes it's him. But when she arrives in their kitchen, Carmela Bertrand recently reconciled with her estranged husband, Shamus Meecham, and is living once again in their large home in the Garden District of New Orleans. She's lucky in that her scrapbooking shop, Memory Mine, survived Hurricane Katrina when so many other businesses did not. One morning Shamus announces he's going to make breakfast for her (with Carmela's misgivings, as Shamus is messy), and when she hears a crash downstairs she assumes it's him. But when she arrives in their kitchen, the mess is much larger, and includes broken glass -- because Shamus has been kidnapped. After calling the police, she runs for help from Shamus's Uncle Henry, who lives a few doors down, she finds him in his study, shot through the head. When Carmela's dogs jump on the man, he falls over, revealing a book stuffed beneath the cushions of the chair, which Carmela puts on an end table. Then she calls for police for Henry, but they've arrived at her home, and before she can get a word in edgewise regarding Henry, Shamus's sister runs over screaming about him and passes out. Now there's both a kidnapping and a murder. And Glory -- who hates Carmela -- has just kicked her out of her home and given her five minutes to get out. So Carmela needs to find Shamus since it seems the police aren't making any headway, and she also wants to know who killed Henry. Even though she's warned to leave it alone, Carmela isn't willing to do that. Especially when she figures out there's more at stake than just the kidnapping. It could mean her own life as well... First I have to say that while I enjoyed this book, I'm pretty sure that Glory couldn't have just kicked Carmela out of the home she'd been living in without serving eviction papers, even if it did belong to Glory. Carmela was living there with her husband, who's missing, not dead, and if she could just walk up and tell her to leave, there'd be a whole lot of nervous people in this country whose relatives don't like them. Just sayin'. So that kind of threw me. (I'm pretty sure in Louisiana you have to give at least five days' notice, so the police following her around didn't make any sense at all. Other than that, since this is the fourth in the series, I've decided to go back and read them in order and this was the next on my list. I thought it was decent in the fact that Carmela is no dummy, and can hold her own in a war of wits, but she's not very smart when it comes to Shamus. I've always felt that he's been keeping her around as eye candy, and using her when it's convenient for him. Carmela, citing that "she loves him," puts up with his rude behavior toward her. Of the first four books, this is my least favorite so far. It didn't take her long to find Shamus, and when she did, she allowed him to call people outside by himself. What if the kidnappers had seen him and found him? Then they'd all be kidnapped. Also, it appears when it comes to business, neither Glory nor Shamus have any real knowledge of determining character. They seem to lend to people they like, regardless of whether it makes sense to have that person investigated further before parting with huge amounts of money. This also bothered me. The ending I didn't care for at all. While everything was resolved the way it normally would be, I didn't find it really believable, and it was less than satisfying. While I may read the next in the series, if it isn't up to the standards of the first, I probably won't continue. This book was heavily disappointing.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Patty

    I like this series. The scrapbooking doesn't really interest me but the characters are great and they mystery was a good one this time. Carmela is back with husband Shamus when he is kidnapped and his uncle is killed. The police are baffled and Carmela and her BFF head out to solve the crimes. I didn't see the ending coming as far as the mystery but I love the fact that Carmela is growing more sure of herself and more able to stand her ground against playboy Shamus. It will be interesting to see I like this series. The scrapbooking doesn't really interest me but the characters are great and they mystery was a good one this time. Carmela is back with husband Shamus when he is kidnapped and his uncle is killed. The police are baffled and Carmela and her BFF head out to solve the crimes. I didn't see the ending coming as far as the mystery but I love the fact that Carmela is growing more sure of herself and more able to stand her ground against playboy Shamus. It will be interesting to see where this storyline goes from here. I'm several books behind in the series, so will be able to catch up fast if I keep at it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    Love this series...love the other 2 she does, too. Can't wait to read the next ones...fun reads, no blood and gore, just a dead body is found but the description is just enough so you know there was a murder.....but not ALL the details! And, there is some fun involved....the characters are a hoot. Love this series...love the other 2 she does, too. Can't wait to read the next ones...fun reads, no blood and gore, just a dead body is found but the description is just enough so you know there was a murder.....but not ALL the details! And, there is some fun involved....the characters are a hoot.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    An interesting mystery, light read. Love the NewOrleans culture, great recipes, fun scrap booking tips!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    I really like Laura Child but her women do have trouble with their men. Think I like the Charleston series better, but New Orleans is growing on me.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Kelly

    Fun mysteries centered around New Orleans and Scrapbooking! It's hard to decide whether I like these or Childs' Tea Series more. Fun mysteries centered around New Orleans and Scrapbooking! It's hard to decide whether I like these or Childs' Tea Series more.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Deb Sharp

    Lots going on in this book, very busy and full of excitment.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    Not a bad cozy mystery but the ending was a little disappointing. The coarse language sprinkled throughout the book added nothing to the story and could have easily been omitted.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mardi D

    I did not enjoy this one. Lots of grammatical errors not related to dialogue, missing words in some sentences, random words in sentences in which they don't belong and spelling mistakes. Whose fault is that anyway? I'd say it reflects badly on both the author and the publisher. Babe goes looking for her kidnapped hubby, finds him, flees, stops for food, lets hubby GO OUTSIDE ALONE to make calls NOT knowing if the kidnappers are still searching for them. Really? Believable??? NOT! Also at the end I did not enjoy this one. Lots of grammatical errors not related to dialogue, missing words in some sentences, random words in sentences in which they don't belong and spelling mistakes. Whose fault is that anyway? I'd say it reflects badly on both the author and the publisher. Babe goes looking for her kidnapped hubby, finds him, flees, stops for food, lets hubby GO OUTSIDE ALONE to make calls NOT knowing if the kidnappers are still searching for them. Really? Believable??? NOT! Also at the end the babe and her friend are abducted by the bad guys and make a highly unbelievable escape. And poor Eduardo who eats a seriously bad diet composed largely of seeds the way it is mentioned throughout the book. Parrots require a carefully balanced diet with little or no seed component. If an author plans to talk about an exotic pet, it should be properly researched. Instead this book may well plant the seed of an idea in some reader's head that a parrot would make a wonderful pet and condemn it to a short unhealthy life eating a largely seed diet. As a long time parrot owner, this point is totally unforgivable. All I can say is this book is just bad. I kept reading thinking it would get better but sadly it did not. Most books I can read within a week, this one took much longer. I probably should have left it as "did not finish".

  13. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    I'm beginning to really understand these "Cozy Mystery" series. It's not the mysteries that are the true focus, but the relationships between the women friends or the main female protagonist and her ex-husband, boyfriend, or other significant other. Often times, it feels like the mysteries are the secondary focus which really felt true for this book. Most of the book was about a disintegrating marriage with a murder and kidnapping thrown in as an afterthought. I felt this way because the book's I'm beginning to really understand these "Cozy Mystery" series. It's not the mysteries that are the true focus, but the relationships between the women friends or the main female protagonist and her ex-husband, boyfriend, or other significant other. Often times, it feels like the mysteries are the secondary focus which really felt true for this book. Most of the book was about a disintegrating marriage with a murder and kidnapping thrown in as an afterthought. I felt this way because the book's last chapter just seemed to be a quick wrap up of the story. It felt abrupt with the reveal of who the murder was. It just came out of nowhere and, truth be told, the murder just felt like a random character picked rather than someone who was integral to the whole story. This was really driven home when the final sentences dealt with the disintegrating marriage rather than the aftermath of what the murderer did. I will read other books by this author as I have enjoyed the other books I've read and they are easy, relaxing reads. I just hope some changes are made to the formats of the books. I'm probably hoping for too much, but I will read the next one to see.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Another interesting plot. On to the next........... In the terrible wake of Hurricane Katrina, scrapbooking shop owner Carmela Bertrand has her hands full getting Memory Mine back in business- and her relationship with her ex-husband, Shamus, back on its feet. But the reconciliation is shattered when Shamus is kidnapped from their home. And when Carmela hurries to tell Shamus's Uncle Henry, she finds him sitting in his library-with a bullet through his forehead. As a memorial to Uncle Henry, Carme Another interesting plot. On to the next........... In the terrible wake of Hurricane Katrina, scrapbooking shop owner Carmela Bertrand has her hands full getting Memory Mine back in business- and her relationship with her ex-husband, Shamus, back on its feet. But the reconciliation is shattered when Shamus is kidnapped from their home. And when Carmela hurries to tell Shamus's Uncle Henry, she finds him sitting in his library-with a bullet through his forehead. As a memorial to Uncle Henry, Carmela puts together a sentimental scrapbook of memories and keepsakes. What she doesn't realize is that her book holds a clue that could identify the fiend behind the kidnapping and killing. And when the murderer finds out that she may be on to him, he's going to try to close the book on Carmela once and for all

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    Laura Childs is one of my favorite cozy mystery authors. Her work is at such a high level that I consider her writing the gold standard, the A+, and I compare any new author's work to hers. Few of them can compare. One of the techniques she uses often in her books is empowering her characters to solve their personal problems alone. Carmela separates herself from her friend Ava and her date and walks out onto a balcony by herself to think. Childs will describe how Carmela works through the proble Laura Childs is one of my favorite cozy mystery authors. Her work is at such a high level that I consider her writing the gold standard, the A+, and I compare any new author's work to hers. Few of them can compare. One of the techniques she uses often in her books is empowering her characters to solve their personal problems alone. Carmela separates herself from her friend Ava and her date and walks out onto a balcony by herself to think. Childs will describe how Carmela works through the problem of her failing marriage to Shamus in her mind while contemplating the beauty of her surroundings. Carmela thinks about how the outline of the factories at night are beautiful, gazing at fireworks from parties nearby, or thinking about the long history of the French Quarter. The elaborative detail combined with the character's enlightenment, make Child's work unique.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    I am a fan of Laura Childs' Tea Shop Mysteries, and this book was my introduction to her Scrapbooking Mystery series. I really enjoyed it! I had to smile when I read this reference to the other series: "A special blend that I ordered from a tea shop in Charleston." "The Indigo Tea Shop." Carmela Bertrand owns Memory Mine, a scrapbook shop in New Orleans that she created on her own. She has a shaky relationship with her husband Shamus. As the story begins, Shamus is kidnapped and Carmela discover I am a fan of Laura Childs' Tea Shop Mysteries, and this book was my introduction to her Scrapbooking Mystery series. I really enjoyed it! I had to smile when I read this reference to the other series: "A special blend that I ordered from a tea shop in Charleston." "The Indigo Tea Shop." Carmela Bertrand owns Memory Mine, a scrapbook shop in New Orleans that she created on her own. She has a shaky relationship with her husband Shamus. As the story begins, Shamus is kidnapped and Carmela discovers his Uncle Henry shot to dead in his home! The book has a good flow, interesting characters, lots of action, and kept me entertained. I look forward to reading other books in this series.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Eva

    Carmela is up to her ears in crime playing out on her husband and his family. Shamus gets kidnapped from their home while making breakfast and Carmela soon discovers Henry Mechum dead in his library. As the local police don't move fast enough for her, Carmela launches her own investigation and a search and rescue for Shamus. But she needs to proceed with caution or she will be swimming with the gators, because the criminals aren't playing games and she is getting too close for comfort. This was a Carmela is up to her ears in crime playing out on her husband and his family. Shamus gets kidnapped from their home while making breakfast and Carmela soon discovers Henry Mechum dead in his library. As the local police don't move fast enough for her, Carmela launches her own investigation and a search and rescue for Shamus. But she needs to proceed with caution or she will be swimming with the gators, because the criminals aren't playing games and she is getting too close for comfort. This was among the better books in this series, but that may be because maybe Carmela is finally coming to her senses where her wishy-washy husband Shamus is concerned.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    New Orleans scrapbook shop owner Carmela Bertrand has recently reunited with her husband Shamus. Things quickly get crazy, however, when Shamus is kidnapped from their home, and his Uncle Henry is murdered. Although Carmela still has doubts about her relationship with Shamus, she is determined to rescue him and solve sweet Uncle Henry's murder, which leads to some wild chases and risky investigating by Carmela and her best friend Ava Grieux, who owns Juju Voodoo Shop in the French Quarter, acros New Orleans scrapbook shop owner Carmela Bertrand has recently reunited with her husband Shamus. Things quickly get crazy, however, when Shamus is kidnapped from their home, and his Uncle Henry is murdered. Although Carmela still has doubts about her relationship with Shamus, she is determined to rescue him and solve sweet Uncle Henry's murder, which leads to some wild chases and risky investigating by Carmela and her best friend Ava Grieux, who owns Juju Voodoo Shop in the French Quarter, across the way from Carmela's scrapbook shop.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Challenge: RRRCs October 2018- Bosses Day, takes place in a workplace (7). A scrapbook shop, bank, and New Orleans French Quarter celebration of business-sponsored krewes, this mystery is embedded in the creative talent of Carmela as she inspires and supports her customers for various events and memory-keeping projects. I read this series as an aspiring art journaler, as many of the supplies and techniques used in scrapbooking are also used for mixed media and collage in journals. A better wrap- Challenge: RRRCs October 2018- Bosses Day, takes place in a workplace (7). A scrapbook shop, bank, and New Orleans French Quarter celebration of business-sponsored krewes, this mystery is embedded in the creative talent of Carmela as she inspires and supports her customers for various events and memory-keeping projects. I read this series as an aspiring art journaler, as many of the supplies and techniques used in scrapbooking are also used for mixed media and collage in journals. A better wrap-up of clues in this book than in former books.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    The Scrapbooking Mysteries take place in New Orleans where Carmela Bertrand own a scrap-booking store. She's very creative and helps her customers be creative as well. When she has time and isn't trying to solve murders, that is. When Carmela runs to tell her uncle-in-law that her husband has been kidnapped, she finds him dead - shot in the head. Are the two incidents related? Who would want Uncle Henry dead and why would they kidnap Shamus. Carmela and her best friend Ava are on the case! The c The Scrapbooking Mysteries take place in New Orleans where Carmela Bertrand own a scrap-booking store. She's very creative and helps her customers be creative as well. When she has time and isn't trying to solve murders, that is. When Carmela runs to tell her uncle-in-law that her husband has been kidnapped, she finds him dead - shot in the head. Are the two incidents related? Who would want Uncle Henry dead and why would they kidnap Shamus. Carmela and her best friend Ava are on the case! The characters are fun and I enjoyed this cozy mystery.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Genevieve Bomes

    Let me state this I love Carmela and Ava and they are the only reason I didn't give this book a lower score, that and the fact that so far I have really loved this series. I hate Shamus and was desperately hoping that the kidnappers would kill him. He is such a total jerk and Carmela a strong tough lady deserves so much better. The story line dragged and Gloria is just way too much and I am tired of her. The only other good thing is that maybe there is a new love interest for Ava who actually se Let me state this I love Carmela and Ava and they are the only reason I didn't give this book a lower score, that and the fact that so far I have really loved this series. I hate Shamus and was desperately hoping that the kidnappers would kill him. He is such a total jerk and Carmela a strong tough lady deserves so much better. The story line dragged and Gloria is just way too much and I am tired of her. The only other good thing is that maybe there is a new love interest for Ava who actually seems like an okay guy.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kate Beger

    I continue to read this series in between other books. I like these because I used to teach scrapbooking and I love NOLA. I wish we had a trip planned for the near future, I want to see how accurate her details are. The thing that bugs me is how she is constantly putting herself in danger and she keeps taking her no good husband back. She needs to tell her fat-ass sister-in-law to mind her own business!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Sallee

    THIS SCRAPBOOKING MYSTERY SERIES IS ESPECIALLY ENJOYABLE FOR SCRAPBOOKERS BUT EVEN NON-SCRAPBOOKERS WILL ENJOY LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE "BIG EASY" AND CARMELA'S SEARCH FOR CLUES AS SHE DEALS WITH HER STORE AND MURDER OF UNCLE HENRY. CARMELA IS A FUN CHARACTER AND HER FRIEND AVA WHO OWNS A VOODOO SHOP IS EVEN MORE SO... THIS SCRAPBOOKING MYSTERY SERIES IS ESPECIALLY ENJOYABLE FOR SCRAPBOOKERS BUT EVEN NON-SCRAPBOOKERS WILL ENJOY LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE "BIG EASY" AND CARMELA'S SEARCH FOR CLUES AS SHE DEALS WITH HER STORE AND MURDER OF UNCLE HENRY. CARMELA IS A FUN CHARACTER AND HER FRIEND AVA WHO OWNS A VOODOO SHOP IS EVEN MORE SO...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

    Could hardly get through this book it was so bad. Characters are not believable nor enjoyable. They’re almost cartoonish. Plot was boring and editing was very poor. I don’t plan to read another one in this series.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lyn Soulia-Smith

    Have you ever read a book in which you would like to smack one of the characters? I like the main character in these books. She is independent and a strong character.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kimberley Cornwell

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Another fast enjoyable read and thank goodness, she finally kicked Shamus to the curb.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jane Lons

    Delightful series.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I really like how all things come to an end when the truth comes out

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Shamus has a good name, considering he is a shameful person. Carmela should really spend more time with the detective. My question at the end of the book was "who gets Uncle Henry's house?" Shamus has a good name, considering he is a shameful person. Carmela should really spend more time with the detective. My question at the end of the book was "who gets Uncle Henry's house?"

  30. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    Book No. 4 of the Scrapbooking Mystery series. I'm surprised to realize that Carmela is a young woman in her mid 20's. I don't picture her that young, but more a more mature lady. I'm trying to get my mind around this. I was curious how they were going to work Hurricane Katrina into the series to keep it factual. In the terrible wake of Hurrican Katrina, Carmela has her hands full getting Memory Mine back in business and her relationship with her ex husband, Shamus, back on its feet. But the reco Book No. 4 of the Scrapbooking Mystery series. I'm surprised to realize that Carmela is a young woman in her mid 20's. I don't picture her that young, but more a more mature lady. I'm trying to get my mind around this. I was curious how they were going to work Hurricane Katrina into the series to keep it factual. In the terrible wake of Hurrican Katrina, Carmela has her hands full getting Memory Mine back in business and her relationship with her ex husband, Shamus, back on its feet. But the reconciliation is shattered when Shamus is kidnapped from their home. And when Carmela hurries to tell Shamus's Uncle Henry, she finds him sitting in his library - with a bullet through his forehead. Her problems come to a head when Shamus's odious sister Glory kicks her out of the family-owned house (again!) leaving Carmela with little to do but hold herself together and wait for the kidnappers to make contact. Getting Shamus back safely is her primary concern - but it's not the only dangerous situation she's facing. As a memorial to the late Uncle Henry, Carmela puts together a sentimental scrapbook of memories and keepsakes. What she doesn't realize is that her altered book holds a clue that could identify the fiend behind the kidnapping and killing. And when the murderer finds out that she may be on to him, he's going to try to close the book on Carmela once and for all. . .

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