Author: Ellen Byron
Series: A Cajun Country Mystery (Book 1)
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (August 11, 2015)
Description: Check in for some Southern hospitality in Plantation Shudders, the Cajun Country series debut from Ellen Byron.
It's the end of the summer and Prodigal Daughter Maggie Crozat has returned home to her family's plantation-turned-bed-and-breakfast in Louisiana. The Crozats have an inn full of guests for the local food festival—elderly honeymooners, the Cajun Cuties, a mysterious stranger from Texas, a couple of hipster lovebirds, and a trio of Georgia frat boys. But when the elderly couple keels over dead within minutes of each other - one from very unnatural causes - Maggie and her family suddenly become suspects in a murder.
With the help of Bo Durand, the town's handsome new detective, Maggie must investigate to clear her name while holding the family business together at the same time. And the deeper she digs, the more she wonders: are all of the guests really there for a vacation or do they have ulterior motives?
Decades-old secrets and stunning revelations abound in Ellen Byron’s charming cozy debut, Plantation Shudders.
My Thoughts: This cozy mystery takes place in a plantation bed and breakfast in Louisiana. Crozat had been in the family for generations. Maggie has come back home from New York City after being dumped by the boyfriend with whom she had started an art gallery. Now she's uncertain about her abilities as an artist and has lost her faith in love. She is busy helping out at the B&B and working as a tour guide at a neighboring plantation.
The events of this story take place near the end of summer when an interesting variety of guests come to stay at the B&B. There are the Cajun Cuties who are a group of women of a certain age from New England who are touring plantations. There are the three college fraternity boys who are there to do some fishing. There is a couple who are taking a break from their internet start-ups. There is a family with three kids visiting from Australia. There is the single gentleman from Texas. And there is also an elderly honeymooning couple.
Things begin well, except for the constant string of complaints from the male honeymooner, until a thunderstorm knocks out the power and in the confusion both honeymooners die. Things get worse when it is determined that the man died of natural causes but the woman was poisoned. Since the local police chief has a generations long grudge against the Crozats, it is up to Maggie to solve the case before the reputation of the B&B is irreparably damaged.
Also investigating is a new detective who just happens to be the police chief's cousin but who isn't carrying the same grudge. Maggie learns lots of buried secrets about the guests at the B&B and manages to solve the case but not before another of the guests dies.
This was a fun cozy mystery. I liked that recipes for some of the mouth-watering meals served at the B&B were included in the book. I also liked the relationship Maggie has with her feisty, Southern Belle grandmother.
"He's not her type," Gran' said. She'd traded her highball glass for a wine goblet. "Too stable. Maggie prefers a man who's a hot mess."I received this book for review from a publicist on behalf of this new publishing house devoted to mysteries. You can buy your copy here.
"Oh, nice, Gran'," Maggie shot at her. "And by they way, men aren't called hot messes, just women."
"Not according to urbandictionary-dot-com."
"That's it, I'm cutting off your Internet access."