Murder in the Bayou Boneyard: A Cajun Country Mystery
by Ellen Byron
About Murder in the Bayou Boneyard
Murder in the Bayou Boneyard: A Cajun Country Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Louisiana
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (September 8, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Digital ASIN: B082H3BT6F
Maggie Crozat has the Halloween heebie-jeebies in USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning author Ellen Byron’s howlingly funny sixth Cajun Country mystery.
Maggie Crozat, proprietor of a historic Cajun Country B&B, prefers to let the good times roll. But hard times rock her hostelry when a new cell phone app makes it easy for locals to rent their spare rooms to tourists. With October–and Halloween–approaching, she conjures up a witch-crafty marketing scheme to draw visitors to Pelican, Louisiana.
Five local plantation B&Bs host “Pelican’s Spooky Past” packages, featuring regional crafts, unique menus, and a pet costume parade. Topping it off, the derelict Dupois cemetery is the suitably sepulchral setting for the spine-chilling play Resurrection of a Spirit. But all the witchcraft has inevitably conjured something: her B&B guests are being terrified out of town by sightings of the legendary rougarou, a cross between a werewolf and vampire.
When, in the Dupois cemetery, someone costumed as a rougarou stumbles onstage during the play–and promptly gives up the ghost, the rougarou mask having been poisoned with strychnine, Maggie is on the case. But as more murders stack up, Maggie fears that Pelican’s spooky past has nothing on its bloodcurdling present.
Halloween in Pelican, Louisiana can be interesting but this year business at the local B&B’s in taking a hit due to a new enterprise for regular folks can rent out rooms to tourists. So a few local B&B’s band together to host weekends featuring “Pelican’s Spooky Past” packages complete with spa treatments, crafting classes, special menus, and a play Resurrection of a Spirit performed in a cemetery. Visitors may also be treated to seeing a rougarou, which is a cross between a vampire and a werewolf, and scary.
The Crozat’s have added a spa to the property and a Canadian cousin has agreed to come to town as their massage therapist. Maggie quickly learns her dear cousin and her husband have ulterior motives for their visit. Then one night the masseuse crashes the play and dies, the Crozat’s become prime suspects. When there is another murder Maggie plunges herself into the investigation.
These characters continue to be some of my faves. Maggie is a smart amateur sleuth who doesn’t give up. Her relationship with her sassy grandmother is fun and heartwarming. Her mom and dad have a ton of energy and go to great lengths to meet their guests’ needs while still being there for their family and friends. This story takes family to a new level when the Canadian cousins come to town with their outlandish plans.
Ms. Byron has crafted a mystery filled with twists, turns, and a bit of folklore. I am fine with the rougarou as long as I don’t have to meet one in the middle of the night, better yet as long as they stay within the pages of this book. The author also includes a variety of Cajun dishes, some of the recipes are at the back of the book.
What I really enjoy is that the Crozat’s daily life endeavors blend seamlessly with the mystery. Wedding plans are ongoing and Maggie gets a big surprise at the end of the story with a big message for everyone, especially in the world we are living in today.
Murder in the Bayou Boneyard is a totally entertaining Halloween mystery and a fantastic addition to this series. I am so excited for the next book in this series.
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About Ellen Byron
Ellen’s Cajun Country Mysteries have won the Agatha award for Best Contemporary Novel and multiple Lefty awards for Best Humorous Mystery. Her Catering Hall Mystery series, written as Maria DiRico, launched with Here Comes the Body and was inspired by her real life. She’s an award-winning playwright and non-award-winning TV writer of comedies like WINGS, JUST SHOOT ME, and FAIRLY ODD PARENTS, but she considers her most impressive credit working as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart. A native New Yorker who attended New Orleans’ Tulane University, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and rescue furbaby. Sign up for her newsletter at https://www.ellenbyron.com/
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”