Laura Childs is the pseudonym of a prolific mystery author, Gerry Schmitt, former owner/CEO/Creative Director of a marketing and advertising firm in Minneapolis, many of whose mysteries include attention to food. Her series include a set of books with a tea shop focus, a second set with a scrapbook focus, and a new "Cackleberry Club" series. She recently (truth be told) emailed and then sent along some mysteries, which I review here. Each is well written, entertaining, and, though each has a bit of a gimmick, each also attends in smart ways to foodie interests. Indeed, these are all much better written than many series, which seem to me to deteriorate over the course of authors' careers in too many cases. Plus each of these is a pretty good mystery per se -- somewhere between a cozy and . . . Yes, there's a formula to these -- especially when you read three in a short amount of time -- but they are better than your average mystery. So: read away and watch Cooking with Ideas in the next month or so for an interview with Schmitt (aka Childs). Why? Because each and every one of the following is a 2008 entry from her, with the third one due out December 2, 2008. (I loved having the chance to read the book before it arrived in stores! How exciting.) Each of the books below is from a different series, with a different (entreprenurial) amateur detective, store/restaurant, and locale (New Orleans, Charleston, Kindred, Minnesota).