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Body on the Bayou
A Cajun Country Mystery
by Ellen Byron
Crooked Lane Books
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 13 Sep 2016
Like Joan Hess, Ellen Byron captures the essence of life in a rural town - its quirks, unique characters, and the impact of everyone knowing everything about your business. What I especially love about Ellen Byron is that she clearly "knows" Louisiana as only a native can. It makes her stories all the more plausible despite being off the wall.
Body on the Bayou once again places Maggie Crozat in hot water - and that is even before the body shows up. In a fit of goodwill, Maggie has taken the role of Maid of Honor for her demanding coworker Vanessa in hopes it will improve relations with the Durand family. What she didn't expect was an ever increasing deluge of requests, including the hosting of Vanessa's cousin Ginger and entourage at the Crozat Plantation B&B - for free. Vanessa's cousin has quite a reputation, so when she ends up being found dead there are plenty of suspects, including Vanessa and her husband to be. As you might expect, keeping the couple out of jail by finding the real killer becomes the most important item on Maggie's to-do list.
Body on the Bayou is a funny, lighthearted cozy memorably set in rural Louisiana. Quirky characters, wild antics, sweet subplots (did I mention the rescue of a cat, a chihuahua mix, and a passel of kittens and puppies) and a touch of romance add spice to this delicious mystery. I highly recommend Body on the Bayou and its predecessor Plantation Shudders.
Don't forget to try the recipes included at the end.
I received a copy of Body on the Bayou from the publisher and netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
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, Ellen Byron's funny and engaging follow up to her critically acclaimed novel Plantation Shudders.