Bound for Murder: A Scrapbooking Mystery
Author: Laura Childs
Published: November 2004
Available at Half-Price Books and online book retailers.
Bound for Murder
This is the third book in Childs’ Scrapbooking Mystery series, following Keepsake Crimes and Photo Finished. Scrapbooker extraordinaire Carmela Bertrand is attending a friend’s pre-wedding party when she comes across the dead body of the would-be groom. The bride-to-be, Wren, has no idea how to function after the loss of her betrothed. With the police at a loss for clues and suspects, Wren asks Carmela to look into the case. Carmela finds out there was more to the dearly departed than meets the eye, and the more she discovers, the more danger she finds herself in.
Both the protagonist and accessory characters are well fleshed out with distinct personalities. Carmela, like most cozy mystery heroines, takes unnecessary risks that make you facepalm and ask, “Why didn’t you ask someone to go with you?!” I realize it heightens the suspense and danger, but these situations reek of poor decision making on the protagonist’s part.
Accessory characters played their parts well. Childs’ wrote everyone realistically and honestly. Wren was a pitiful ball of sadness, Ava was a sassy charmer, the scrapbooking group was funny and supportive.
I thought I knew who committed the murder and why- up until the reveal of the murderer. I was completely wrong, and glad of it. There are multiple sub-plots and antagonists weaved in to round out the drama and give characters room to evolve. I say “evolve,” but some characters seem to love to make the same mistakes repeatedly.
While I do lament Carmella’s decision-making skills, Childs’ has created a spirited, welcoming world that I find myself drawn back to over and over again. Overall, this has been a solid series. While this entry hasn’t been my favorite in the series, it was a good read, and I don’t regret the time I spent on it at all. If you can get it from your library, on sale online, or at a local used bookshop, snap it up and read it.