From the publisher—
Carmela couldn’t imagine a finer evening than dinner at Commander’s Palace with her beau, Detective Edgar Babcock. The food and the company are equally divine—with the exception of Isabelle Black stopping by to brag about her upcoming wedding. Resuming the romance with a walk in the evening air, the couple is interrupted once again—this time by a terrifying scream from inside the cemetery.
Having just seen Isabelle, Carmela and Edgar now find her lying across an aboveground tomb, strangled to death with a piece of vintage lace. Carmela would rather leave the investigating to Edgar, but she can’t say no to Isabelle’s sister Ellie, the tarot card reader at Juju Voodoo, when she asks her to help. As she untangles the enemies of Isabelle’s past, Carmela hopes she can draw out the killer before someone else gets cold feet.
In just a few short moments after enjoying a delectable dinner with her boyfriend, Edgar Babcock, Carmela Bertrand is thrust into the midst of yet another murder and is nearly a victim herself in the gloom of the old cemetery where she and Edgar heard those bloodcurdling screams. The murdered woman, Isabelle Black, was an assistant district attorney, leading to possibilities that her career had everything to do with her death, but Isabelle wasn’t exactly a favorite of her about-to-be mother-in-law, Vesper Beaudette, and the scrap of lace used to strangle the woman has its own implications. This time, though, Carmela has no intention of sticking her nose into the investigation; Detective Babcock is perfectly capable of handling things.
Fans of Carmela know very well that Carmela can’t stay out of it, especially since Isabelle’s sister, Ellie, is a friend and she works for Carmela’s BFF, Ava, in her voodoo shop. When Edgar enlists her aid in identifying the lace in question all bets are off and Carmela and Ava are in the thick of it (and loving it, truth be told).
Once again, New Orleans is a vivid setting and returning to Carmela’s scrapbooking shop, Memory Mine, is a treat for those of us who have been following this series all along but Parchment and Old Lace is also an excellent introduction for the reader who’s new to the series. Fans of Terrie Farley Moran will be delighted at her collaboration which has brought a freshness to the characters and to the search for a murderer. I don’t know if Ms. Childs and Ms. Moran plan to work together again but I will certainly be happy if they do 😉
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, October 2015.