I have read most of Laura Childs’ books in all three of her series. Death Swatch is the sixth book in the scrapbooking series. And as much as I enjoy Childs’ series I am beginning to feel as though she is spread too thin. For the first time I found inconsistencies and problems in this story.
Laura Childs excels at light cozies with strong female characters. She chooses locales with personality and depth. Her themes – scrapbooking, tea, cooking – all offer great opportunities for creativity and useful tips at the back of the book. In Death Swatch Childs combines Mardi Gras and paper stamping techniques.
She is not a historian. Within one chapter she confuses the era of Jean Lafitte badly. She talks about the 18th century, then she says he lived “over 100 years ago” and then she makes some other claim about the Battle of New Orleans in the early nineteenth century. It was more than a slight editing gaffe. For me it was a sign of someone who is over-extended and not reading or researching as carefully. Aside from flummoxing her dates, she clearly was not overly familiar with the timeline she was writing about. This plot just went too far off the scale to be even remote believable. I realize cozies are not about accuracy and believability, but the authors usually fact check and try to keep their plots vaguely realistic.
All in all, not one of Childs best efforts.