Fatal Cajun Festival: A Cajun Country Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Louisiana
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (September 10, 2019)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07NKW8WMY
Louisiana B&B owner Maggie Crozat kicks up her heels at a country music festival–but she’ll have one foot in the grave if she can’t bring the killer of a diva’s hanger-on to heel.
Grab your tickets for Cajun Country Live!, the pickers’ and crooners’ answer to the legendary New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Maggie Crozat, proprietor of the Crozat Plantation B&B, plans to be in the cheering section when her friend Gaynell Bourgeois takes the stage with her band, Gaynell and the Gator Girls.
The festival’s headliner, native daughter Tammy Barker, rocketed to stardom on a TV singing competition. She has the voice of an angel…and the personality of a devilish diva. But Maggie learns that this tiny terror carries a grudge against Gaynell. She’s already sabotaged the Gator Girls’ JazzFest audition. When a member of Tammy’s entourage is murdered at the festival, Tammy makes sure Gaynell is number one on the suspect list.
Gaynell has plenty of company on that list–including every one of Tammy’s musicians. Posing as a groupie, Maggie infiltrates Tammy’s band and will have to hit all the right notes to clear her friend’s name.
We arrive in Pelican, Louisiana just in time for Cajun Country Live! the brainchild of Maggie’s grandmere. The event has lured hometown favorite, Tammy Barker, back as the headliner for the first time since she won that singing competition on television. Maggie’s friend Gaynell will also be performing with her band the Gator Girls in hopes of making it big like Tammy. It isn’t until after Tammy checks into Crozat Plantation B&B that Maggie learns that Tammy is holding an old grudge against Gaynell.
Tammy seems to be trying to help Gaynell when in truth she is trying to sabotage her any way she can and when one of Tammy’s crew is freakishly killed in front of a crowd at the festival, she makes sure Gaynell is the police’s prime suspect. Maggie knows her friend is innocent and will pull out all the stops to prove it.
This series has some of the most well-developed characters out there. Their lives are interesting and entertaining even before adding the murder mystery. These daily life subplots never fail to draw me in. This time Maggie’s grandmother is doing the Swedish tradition of döstädning, which translates to death cleaning. Through this process, she makes a surprising discovery.
The main mystery did have a variety of suspects with opportunity and the author really tangled up all the possibilities. A twist confirmed a little inkling I had and the ending of the murder mystery came together nicely. But that wasn’t the end of the story. There were more surprises to come.
Music, mystery, and mayhem make Fatal Cajun Festival a must-read. I was so excited to have the next book, Murder in the Bayou Boneyard waiting on my Kindle that I dove right in as soon as I finished this book.
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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.
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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.”
Cat Got Your Diamonds
by Julie Chase
Cat Got Your Diamonds: A Kitty Couture Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Louisiana
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (November 15, 2016)
Hardcover: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B01H082DOU
Grandeur and opulence are everything in the famed New Orleans Garden District where pets are family and no bling is too big. Opening Furry Godmother, pet boutique and organic treat bakery, is Lacy Marie Crocker’s dream come true–until the glitter gun used to make her Shih Tzu tutus becomes a murder weapon. And Lacy becomes public enemy #1.
Now Detective Jack Oliver is hounding Lacy, and her Furry Godmother investor wants out before his name is tarnished by association. To make matters worse, a string of jewel heists with suspicious ties to the murder case has New Orleans residents on edge. To save her dream, Lacy must take a stand, put her keen eyes to work, and unravel what really happened at her shop that night. But can Lacy sniff out the killer cat burglar in time to get her tail-raising designs on the catwalk?
As soon as I saw the cover for this story I knew I had to read this book!
Lacy Marie Crocker owner of The Furry Godmother and she is ready to make couture garments to make your pet feel special and/or make any other pet lover green with envy. She bakes up tasty treats for pets too. She has the purrfect opportunity to show off her talents at the Animal Elegance Gala, but before that happens one of the tools of her trade connects with a man’s head. The man had broke into her shop but she didn’t deliver the deadly blow. Now she just has to prove it as she is Detective Jack Oliver prime suspect. Is the murder tied to a bunch of jewelry thefts in the Garden District? Lacy needs to find the real killer and try to figure out why she ended up in the middle of this crime spree. That puts her right in the cross-hairs of the killer.
The story takes place in New Orleans and pets of all types, dogs, cats, turtles and even llama seem to be pretty popular in the area. Not just normal curl up and pet animals either, several can perform, and Lacy creates their costumes.
I love Lacy and the way she harnesses her creativity in her pet apparel. With a vet as a father she grew up around animals, but this is not the career he parents originally envisioned. I must say it seems to suit her to a tee even though her wealthy partner pulls his funding until she is cleared of the murder.
Detective Jack Oliver is a real pain when the story starts but by the end I was seeing him in a different light. We also meet Chase, a man from Lacy’s past, easy on the eyes and very interested in Lacy. I love a good romantic triangle. We meet several other characters in this first installment and many make good suspects. The dialogue between the characters is funny and realistic.
The story moves right along at a great pace. The author’s writing not only tells this cat – ivating mystery, her words create some vivid imagery too. She also sets up a fantastic twist that caught me totally by surprise.
This is a wonderful start for this series. Do you pamper your pets? This is a cozy for you. Heck, if you like your cozies with an animal or two or more, you will love this story. I am already looking forward to book #2.
“In all that New Orleans heat and glitter, there’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. A fun read.”
—Rita Mae Brown, New York Times bestselling author of the Sneaky Pie mystery series
“Everyone needs a Furry Godmother! A delightful new series steeped in the flavor of New Orleans and its old families. Julie Chase’s clever characters are guaranteed to make you smile.”
—Krista Davis, New York Times bestselling author of the Paws & Claws mysteries
“A stunning debut… Julie Chase’s new series is a cross between Laura Childs’ Scrapbooking series and Ali Brandon’s Black Cat Bookshop. A fantastic start to what looks like a promising cozy series. Even if you are not a cat/dog lover, you will love this one!”
—T. C. LoTempio, author of the national bestselling Nick and Nora mystery series.
More Praise for Cat Got Your Diamonds:
I keep starting and stopping as I write this review. I’m trying to figure out how to adequately express just how much I enjoyed Cat Got Your Diamonds. I’m tempted to gush and run on and on about it, but I also want my words to come across as sincere because this Kitty Couture mystery is outstanding.
~The Girl with Book Lungs
Wow. I really enjoyed this book a lot. The cover on this book is absolutely beautiful and I knew I just had to read it. I am also a animal lover so any good cozy with animals is a my kind of story.
~Books, Dreams, Life
This first in series will have you engaged in the story from the start. The characters bring the charm and wit that will leaving you wanting more.I enjoyed this book and look forward to the next one.
~Shelley’s Book Case
I think I found a new favorite author! This was a really enjoyable book and fast paced.
~Kaisy Daisy’s Corner
With a great sense of humor and an interesting supporting cast, animal lovers, cozy lovers, and just about anyone else should love this book.
~The Book’s the Thing
…you never can tell you which books will draw you in. I would have never guessed that a cozy mystery series about a Kitty Couture shop would be so enjoyable, but Julie made a fan out of me. I’ll be anxiously awaiting next April and more adventures from Lacy!
~Grace. Gratitude. Life.
The writing of this story is superb and the setting and characters are so believable.
~Melina’s Book Blog
Cat Got Your Diamonds is an entertaining, well-written cozy mystery that’s full of southern charm.
~The Power of Words . . .
This novel is a great example of what I look for in a cozy mystery – a great case that keeps me guessing, a dash of romance, and splashes of humor. Both Lacy and Jack are well-developed and very likable characters with fantastic chemistry between them…
~Reading is my SuperPower
Chase created an interesting cast of characters and a delightful setting with the pet boutique. She also made good use of the New Orleans setting, showing us a New Orleans beyond the touristy stuff and the stereotypes.
~Bea’s Book Nook
Cat Got Your Diamonds is a captivating and fast-paced cozy whodunit tale that has enough quirky characters, witty banter and humor, drama, danger, and intriguing twists and turns that will keep you guessing the identity of the killer cat burglar.
~Jersey Girl Book Reviews
I’ve been looking forward to this book since I first saw it listed on Amazon. A new cat cozy taking place at a couture pet shop in New Orleans…how fast can I get there???
~Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries & Meows
This was a really good start to a new cozy mystery series and I enjoyed it a lot.
~Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my!
The path to solving the murder was paved with several potential candidates that had means and motive. There is also a twist to the story that I never saw coming. Bravo, Julie Chase, bravo!!
~Sapphyria’s Book Reviews
What’s not to love about this story? You get the fabulous setting of New Orleans, with all its culture and history, plus a main character who runs a pet boutique and bakery. Then you get a murder mystery on top of that.
This book was fun, dangerous and the surprising ending has a real twist.
Cat Got Your Diamonds was the purrfect mystery that was filled with humor, charming characters and a delightful storyline…
Filled with humor and fun CAT GOT YOUR DIAMONDS provides an intriguing mystery and great start to a new series.
~Cozy Up With Kathy
About The Author
Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC). She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency. Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey.
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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.”