Wednesday, October 3, 2018

ARC Review: Mardi Gras Murder by Ellen Byron

Mardi Gras Murder
Author: Ellen Byron
Series: A Cajun Country Mystery
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (October 9, 2018)

Description: 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.

My Thoughts: It is Mardi Gras time in Pelican, Louisiana, but they are also dealing with the aftereffects of a major flood. Maggie's family's B and B is closed to guests because it is housing a number of the locals who aren't able to live in their flood damaged homes. The police station was flooded out and is currently using an abandoned big box store. When a body is discovered while clearing storm debris and no one knows who the man is, finding his identity doesn't make the top of anyone's to-do list...until it is discovered the the man had been murdered.

While a matter of curiosity for Maggie, the man's murder isn't at the top of her to-do list either. With her beloved grandmother under the weather, Maggie agrees to fill in for her judging the local Miss Pelican Mardi Gras Gumbo Queen contest. She doesn't approve of the contest and doesn't want anything to do with the girls of their pushy moms.

The judges are quite a mix of people from Geratd Damboise who is in charge of the local historical society and his wife Constance to Robbie Metz who owns several Park 'n' Shop convenience stores to Mo Heedles who is a super saleswoman for her skin care line. There are all sorts of tensions among the committee. None of them like Gerard Damboise including his wife. So, when Gerard Damboise dies almost in Maggie's arms and also of a gunshot wound, Maggie has one more murder to try to solve.

Meanwhile, she is also still working as a tour guide for her family's former plantation when she is asked by her supervisor to see if she can restore a painting damaged by a leaky roof which was also an aftereffect of the storms and floods. The picture is a mystery on its own. The mystery deepens when she learns that the painting has been painted over and apparent treasure map.

Then there are the Mardi Gras activities including a gumbo cook-off that is consuming all of her dad's time and attention, the the Mardi Gras run which requires costumes and masks as runners go from house to house looking for gumbo ingredients.

Maggie's romance with Detective Bo Durand seems to have hit a roadblock. Maggie thinks they are ready to have the Talk - kids or no kids, but with an autistic son, Bo is not eager to have more children. This could be a dealbreaker for Maggie and Bo's relationship but, while distracting, neither can let it get in the way of solving the murders.

This was a fun cozy mystery complete with delicious sounding recipes. Fans of the series won't want to miss this newest episode.

Favorite Quote:
"I'm okay telling you whatever I think will help us, whetere soon-to-be-gone Chief Penske cares or not. What's my motto?"

Maggie grinned. "In Louisiana, we only follow the rules we like."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.


  1. Just look at that sad face. The dog, not the skull. LOL This sounds like another fun cozy.


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