The Crozats feared that past murders at Crozat Plantation B&B might spell the death of their beloved estate, but they’ve managed to survive the scandal. Now there’s a très bigger story in Pelican, Louisiana: the upcoming nuptials between Maggie Crozat’s nemesis, Police Chief Rufus Durand, and her co-worker, Vanessa Fleer.
When everyone else refuses the job of being Vanessa’s Maid of Honor, Maggie reluctantly takes up the title and finds herself tasked with a long list of duties–the most important of which is entertaining Vanessa’s cousin, Ginger Fleer-Starke. But just days before the wedding, Ginger’s lifeless body is found on the bayou and the Pelican PD, as well as the Crozats, have another murder mystery on their hands.
There’s a gumbo-potful of suspects, including an ex-Marine with PTSD, an annoying local newspaper reporter, and Vanessa’s own sparkplug of a mother. But when it looks like the investigation is zeroing in on Vanessa as the prime suspect, Maggie reluctantly adds keeping the bride-to-be out of jail to her list of Maid of Honor responsibilities in Body on the Bayou.
We return to Pelican, Louisiana and the Crozat Plantation B&B. Our protagonist Maggie Crozat has become maid of honor for Vanessa, one of her coworkers, because everyone else ran away from the job. With Vanessa due to deliver a baby soon, she has heaped most of the wedding plans on Maggie’s shoulders. Vanessa and her mom both expect Maggie to just do everything they ask and do it immediately. She also has Vanessa’s cousin Ginger and her entourage staying at the family B&B. When the cousin is found dead just a couple of days before the wedding and the police suspect list keeps growing it looks like Maggie will be adding “find the killer” to her long list of duties.
First let me say, Maggie has the patience of a saint. Dealing with Vanessa, her mom and the groom, Police Chief Rufus Durand, would have most people throwing in the towel before they completed the first task.
Ellen Byron has created some very multidimensional characters and their growth from the first book is very clear. The undercover romance of Maggie and Bo continues and hits some bumps as his ex-wife comes to town. His autistic son is excelling in his art lessons with Maggie though and she enjoys their time together. Her family pulls together in the story not only to help Maggie but they also take in some new kittens and puppies that were found by the bayou. These little guys stole everyone’s heart.
She took all the characters and wrapped them into a complex mystery. The ending caught me completely by surprise due to some very intricate twists and turns. As I eliminated suspects in my mind a twist had me seeing things differently.
The covers of both the books in this series are beautiful and made me want to escape right into these stories. I have never been to Louisiana but the covers and author descriptions make me feel like I have been there. She also describes the glorious Cajun cuisine in the most mouthwatering way. Yes, there are recipes at the end of the story.
Love this series and hope to return to Pelican soon!
About The Author –
Ellen’s debut novel, PLANTATION SHUDDERS: A Cajun Country Mystery, has been nominated for an Agatha Best First Novel award, a Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery, and a Daphne Award for Best Mainstream Mystery. The second Cajun Country Mystery, BODY ON THE BAYOU, will be available in September 2016. Ellen’s TV credits include Wings and Just Shoot Me; she’s written over 200 magazine articles; her published plays include the award-winning Graceland and Asleep on the Wind. Ellen Byron is a native New Yorker who lives in Los Angeles and attributes her fascination with Louisiana to her college years at New Orleans’ Tulane University.
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