Sunday, October 28, 2018

Tour_MARDI GRAS MURDER by Ellen Byron

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

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.

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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A Guest Post with Grand-mère , aka Charlotte Crozat

Bonjour, hello there! I’m Magnolia Marie Crozat’s grandmother. You all probably know her as Maggie. That darling girl is the absolute light of my life. I felt terrible when her boyfriend in New York choose to marry someone else, but I was also secretly happy because that brought her back home to us. I know the transition from one of the world’s most sophisticated cities to our little village hasn’t been easy on her, but she’s made strides in pursuing her art career, and we’re all so fond of her new boyfriend, Detective Bo Durand.

Let me tell you a little about Crozat Plantation B&B. It’s been in my late husband’s family since it was built around 1830. Maintaining these big old homes is terribly expensive. After my husband passed away, my son Tug came up with a way to keep us from having to sell the place — turn it into a bed and breakfast. Tug’s always been handy, so he does a lot of the maintenance himself. His wonderful wife, Ninette, is a fantastic cook. Not only does she cook up delicious breakfasts for guests featuring local dishes like her famous Holiday Brandy Pain Perdu – “pain perdu” is the French version of French toast – visitors can enjoy her takes on famous Louisiana dishes like jambalaya and Shrimp Etouffee for dinner or lunch.

We usually boast a full house for the days up to and including Mardi Gras. We celebrate with many of the usual trappings, like a parade, a big party, and a communal gumbo that feeds masses of locals and visitors. We also anoint a local teenager as Miss Pelican Mardi Gras Gumbo Queen. We call it a pageant, although the selection process is closed to the public and determined by a panel of judges. Because of our family’s standing in the community, a Crozat has served as a judge since the pageant began. It’s been my duty for so many years now I can’t count. I encourage the panel to get past any preconceived prejudices they might have for or against contestants. Let me tell you, wrangling all of them can be exhausting. Don’t tell anyone this, but I downright dislike some of my fellow judges! They can be stuffy, opinionated, and downright obnoxious. I swear, it’s a wonder some of them haven’t killed each other.

Anyway, it’s time for me to gear up for this annual duty. Achoo! Forgive me, it must be allergies. Where was I? Oh, yes, steeling myself for reading applications and days of judgment and – achoo! There’s another sneeze. I do believe I have a cold coming on.

Oh dear, what terrible timing.

Or is it?

Review of Mardi Gras Murder by Ellen Byron (Cajun Country Mystery #4)

I really empathise with the characters in this delightfully cosy mystery and cheered (most of) them on throughout their joys and tribulations. The writing is well-done and draws the reader right on in, like a warm hospitable Louisiana welcome. When a bizarre storm overtakes tiny Pelican, Louisiana, flooding many out, the community coheses and takes care of their own as much as they possibly can while awaiting state funds for rebuilding. Whoever can takes in those temporarily homeless, and that includes the Crozats and their B&B. When they discover a corpse in the flooded area, buried beneath washed up debris, nobody seems to recognize him, and he has no idea. A tragedy of the storm; but then it turns out he was helped on his way, and it's a homicide. All this right at the beginning of Pelican's Mardi Gras, and the beauty pageant, and the famous gumbo cook-off... Readers will be caught right up and eager to solve the mysteries as B&B owner Maggie Crozat sleuths on.

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