Oct 252018
 

Mardi Gras Murder: A Cajun Country Mystery
by Ellen Byron

About the Book


Mardi Gras Murder: A Cajun Country Mystery
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Louisiana
Crooked Lane Books (October 9, 2018)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 168331705X
ISBN-13: 978-1683317050
Digital ASIN: B078LZ5W3H

Southern charm meets the dark mystery of the bayou as a hundred-year flood, a malicious murder, and a most unusual Mardi Gras converge at the Crozat Plantation B&B.

It’s Mardi Gras season on the bayou, which means parades, pageantry, and gumbo galore. But when a flood upends life in the tiny town of Pelican, Louisiana—and deposits a body of a stranger behind the Crozat Plantation B&B—the celebration takes a decidedly dark turn. The citizens of Pelican are ready to Laissez les bon temps rouler—but there’s beaucoup bad blood on hand this Mardi Gras.

Maggie Crozat is determined to give the stranger a name and find out why he was murdered. The post-flood recovery has delayed the opening of a controversial exhibit about the little-known Louisiana Orphan Train. And when a judge for the Miss Pelican Mardi Gras Gumbo Queen pageant is shot, Maggie’s convinced the murder is connected to the body on the bayou. Does someone covet the pageant queen crown enough to kill for it? Could the deaths be related to the Orphan Train, which delivered its last charges to Louisiana in 1929? The leads are thin on this Fat Tuesday—and until the killer is unmasked, no one in Pelican is safe.

A simmering gumbo of a humorous whodunit, Mardi Gras Murder is the fourth piquant installment in USA Today bestselling author Ellen Byron’s award-winning Cajun Country mysteries.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Pelican, Louisiana is underwater, floods have ravaged the area. The clean up continues as the residents prepare for their Mardi Gras celebration complete with a parade, contest to crown a gumbo queen and a gumbo cook-off. Then a body is found in the water behind the Crozat Plantation B&B. No one recognizes the man so its going to be a tough case to solve but Maggie is going to do her best to find out who he is and who killed him.

Maggie also gets roped into the queen contest as a judge where she learns about the Louisiana Orphan Train and that the exhibit set to open has been postponed. She also comes upon another dead body, one of her fellow judges. She is starting the think the deaths have to be connected and may even have something to do with the Orphan Train exhibit. She also makes an interesting discovery at Doucet and another at Grove Hall.

The floodwaters are receding but the bodies are starting to pile up.  It’s time to catch this killer before they strike again!

Oh my goodness, the author has filled this book with so much Mardi Gras goodness! Maggie is involved in everything, I was tired out she reading about all the things she did. In addition to all her duties and murder queries she and Bo are having trouble connecting. With his job, the flood damage, and his son he doesn’t have much free time. But there are some issues below the surface too. I was rooting for this couple through the entire story, worried and concerned but so happy with the ending.

There are a lot of characters within these pages. Study the wonderful cast of characters list the author provides at the beginning of the book before you start reading. Each character is unique so you shouldn’t have too much trouble keeping everyone straight. The core characters all shine and the supporting cast is excellent. The character development over the series and within this story is exceptional.

The story is very well plotted with some fabulous twists. I love the way Ms. Byron entangles the story-lines all together and blends in history and humor that hooks the reader from the first page to the last. Filled with Southern charm and a Cajun’ theme this story was so much fun to read.

Each story in this series has been a perfect escape. I always recommend starting a series from the beginning for maximum enjoyment but this story would read well all on its own.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Plantation Shudders here.

Read my review of Body on the Bayou here.

Read my review of A Cajun’ Christmas Killing here.

About the Author

Ellen Byron authors the Cajun Country Mystery series. A Cajun Christmas Killing and Body on the Bayou both won the Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery and were nominated for Agatha awards in the category of Best Contemporary Novel. Plantation Shudders was nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Daphne awards. Mardi Gras Murder launches October 9th. Ellen’s TV credits include Wings, Just Shoot Me, and Fairly OddParents. She’s written over 200 national magazine articles, and her published plays include the award-winning Graceland. She also worked as a cater-waiter for the legendary Martha Stewart, a credit she never tires of sharing.

 

Author Links – WebpageFacebookTwitterGoodReads – InstagramBookBub

Purchase Links – AmazonB&N  –  Crooked LaneBookBub  – Kobo

Praise for Mardi Gras Murder: A Cajun Country Mystery
by Ellen Byron

The book is well-written with a steady pace and humor scattered throughout . . . Ellen Byron combines Southern charm, Mardi Gras, humor, a cast of quirky characters and a beguiling mystery into one rousing cozy mystery.
~The Avid Reader

Mardi Gras Murders by Ellen Byron is simply outstanding, all that a great cozy mystery should be and more.
~The Power of Words

Absolutely fantastic cozy mystery!! This new addition to this incredible series is even better than the last book and had me hooked from the very first page due to the amazing storytelling.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

 

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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.”

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Sep 282017
 

A Cajun Christmas Killing: A Cajun Country Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (October 10, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683313052
E-Book ASIN: B06XW23LPG

Maggie Crozat is back home in bayou country during the most magical time of the year. In Pelican, Louisiana, Christmastime is a season of giant bonfires on the levee, zydeco carols, and pots of gumbo. Except, this year, the Grinch has come to stay at the family-run Crozat Plantation B&B. When he floods travel websites with vicious reviews, Maggie thinks she’s identified him as rival businessman Donald Baxter. That is, until he’s found stabbed to death at Maggie’s workplace. And Maggie and her loved ones become top suspects.

The Crozats quickly establish alibis, but Maggie’s boyfriend, Detective Bo Durand, remains under suspicion. With Bo sidelined during the investigation, Maggie finds herself forced to work with an unlikely ally: longtime family enemy Rufus Durand. Her sleuthing uncovers more suspects than drummers drumming, and lands her in the crosshairs of the murderer.

The sleigh bells are jingling, and the clock is ticking for Maggie and Rufus, who must catch the killer or it will be the opposite of a Joyeux Noël in A Cajun Christmas Killing, the recipe-stuffed third installment of USA Today bestselling author Ellen Byron’s Cajun Country mysteries.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Christmas in Pelican sounds just fantastic! Huge bonfires on the bayou, yummy food, special carols and people coming together to celebrate. The whole town is excited and getting ready. Then Donald Baxter is found dead at Doucet and the whole Crozat family are lined up on the suspect list. Even Detective Bo Durand makes the list and is pulled off the investigation. Rufus Durand and Maggie make an unlikely team but there is too much at stake to deal with a family feud. They need to catch the killer before anyone else ends up dead and puts an end to everyone’s happy holiday.

Ellen Byron writes the kind of story that I love to escape right into. Never having been anywhere near the Louisiana bayou I depend on her words to take me there and she does it so wonderfully. I loved learning the traditions so unlike those here in Wisconsin. While we do eat a lot during the season, it is more the usual turkey and cranberry meals, not a pot of gumbo. No bonfires here either but usually way too much snow. These differences help to draw me in but it is the characters and the suspense that make me stay.

The characters are wrapped up in so much, the new manger at Doucet is really shaking things up, Tug has a health scare, someone is writing trashy reviews about the B&B, Maggie ex comes to town, and Maggie and Bo’s relationship is growing and becoming more known. All that before the murder of Donald Baxter.  All these plot lines come together in this marvelous mystery.

All the characters have continue to evolve and the way they handle all the situations that arise is very believable. I really love they family feel of this story. Everyone is welcome whether truly related or just a friend. A true Christmas feeling.

I have loved each book in the series but this one is my favorite.  The intrigue built as the pages kept turning but there are several bits of humor too. A perfect mystery to curl up and read this holiday season.

Dollycas

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About The Author

Body on the Bayou, the second in Ellen’s Cajun Country Mystery series, won the Left Coast Crime Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery, and was nominated for a Best Contemporary Novel Agatha Award. Her debut book in the series, Plantation Shudders, made the USA Today Bestsellers list, and was nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Daphne awards. Ellen is also a recipient of a William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant from the Malice Domestic Convention. Her TV credits include Wings, Still Standing, and Just Shoot Me, as well as network and cable pilots. As a journalist, she’s written over 200 magazine articles for national publications. Her plays, published by Dramatists Play Service, include the popular Graceland and Asleep on the Wind. A native New Yorker and graduate of Tulane University, Ellen lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband, daughter, and the family’s spoiled rescue dogs.

Author Links – WebpageFacebookTwitterGoodReads

Purchase Links

Amazon  B&N

Praise for A Cajun Christmas Killing: A Cajun Country Mystery
by Ellen Byron

I’ve enjoyed the series from the beginning – the family dynamics, the clever plots, and the vivid imagery make for a compelling series for sure.
~The Girl with Book Lungs

This series has it all. Everything fun and comfortable you crave in a cozy, with enough substance to keep your mind working while you read.
~A Cozy Experience

Get ready for a fun and lively ride with the upper crust of Louisiana and just some good ‘ole folks.
~My Reading Journeys

I absolutely love this series. I’ve grown to really love the Crozat family and some of the other supporting characters in this book.
~Bookworm Cafe

I just loved the mix of strong characters, silliness, action, mystery, secrets, and drama. It all combines into a wonderful cozy mystery that I was unable to put down for even a minute. I loved it so much it gets 5/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

I loved the Cajun country atmosphere. I have spent time in Louisiana and loved it, and the author, Ellen Byron, really captured the area’s charm so well.
~View from the Birdhouse

Ellen Byron’s Cajun Country mysteries are delightful and addictive.
~The Mysterious Ink Spot

I really love this series and I know a lot of it is tied to having family in Louisiana and I can relate/understand many of the situations and traditions but there is something about Pelican that makes me feel right at home.
~Storeybook Reviews

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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.”

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Nov 082016
 

BODY ON THE BAYOU
Body on the Bayou by Ellen Bryon

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Crooked Lane Books (September 13, 2016)
Hardcover: 320 pages 
ISBN-13: 978-1629537689
E-Book – ASIN: B01H082DPY
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Synopsis:

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.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

ellem byronAbout 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.

Webpage – Blog – Twitter – Facebook – GoodReads

Purchase Links:

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GIVEAWAY

I have 1 hardcover copy of the first book in this series to giveaway! 

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Click Here For Entry Form

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.”

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