The book did fulfill all of the above requirements. I love reading about life in the French Quarter and the quirky characters who live there. Childs also does acknowledge the changes in the city (fewer than one might expect) since the devestating hurricane of 2005. In fact, the shop-owners' quotes in the book mirrored almost exactly the words of shop-owners I talked to while in New Orleans.
The plot of the most recent novel involves high fashion, Halloween, and a circus-performing wolf trainer. Like the other books, Carmela's soon-to-be ex-husband makes an appearance as a royal jack a$$. Ava Grieux remains the perky, attractive sidekick.
Childs' novels are good. They're not great. I enjoy reading them. But they are far from deep. They fulfill the light, summer beach reading qualities quite well. A welcome book for scrapbookers (yes, the back does include both scrapbooking tips and of course the requisite recipes of so many cozy mysteries) and fans of New Orleans.