Sunday, October 1, 2017

A Cajun Christmas Killing by Ellen Byron - #review #giveaway

Maggie Crozat is back home in bayou country during the most magical time of the year. In Pelican, Louisiana, Christmastime is a season of giant bonfires on the levee, zydeco carols, and pots of gumbo. Except, this year, the Grinch has come to stay at the family-run Crozat Plantation B&B. When he floods travel websites with vicious reviews, Maggie thinks she’s identified him as rival businessman Donald Baxter. That is, until he’s found stabbed to death at Maggie’s workplace. And Maggie and her loved ones become top suspects.

The Crozats quickly establish alibis, but Maggie’s boyfriend, Detective Bo Durand, remains under suspicion. With Bo sidelined during the investigation, Maggie finds herself forced to work with an unlikely ally: longtime family enemy Rufus Durand. Her sleuthing uncovers more suspects than drummers drumming, and lands her in the crosshairs of the murderer.

The sleigh bells are jingling, and the clock is ticking for Maggie and Rufus, who must catch the killer or it will be the opposite of a Joyeux Noël in A Cajun Christmas Killing, the recipe-stuffed third installment of USA Today bestselling author Ellen Byron’s Cajun Country mysteries.



It makes my season to be in Pelican with the Crozats at the festive time of year!  It's the not traditional 'white Christmas' of my childhood, but let me tell you, these Cajuns know how to party!

But, unfortunately for Maggie and her family, a big ole' lump of coal by the name of Donald Baxter invites himself to the party.  Dirtbag Donald has been posting terrible reviews on travel websites in order to drive the price of the land down, in hopes of expanding his own business.  Well, someone doesn't like this party-pooper because he winds up dead.  The Crozat family (whose business had been suffering more due to those reviews) are all suspects and even Bo can't investigate because of his relationship with Maggie, and is himself a suspect.

And even long-time followers of the series will hardly guess who steps into the breach to work with Maggie to solve the case.  Go on.  Guess.  (It floored me.)  Rufus!  (I'll let that sink in.)  I KNOW!  Turns out between Body on the Bayou and the start of A Cajun Christmas Killing, life teaches Rufus some hard lessons and he comes out better for it.

Reading any one of the "Cajun Country Mysteries" shows off the region well, and Byron has shown readers that the warmth of Louisiana is not all to do with temperature.  The characters are alive with nuance, and are just the kind of people you would like to run into anywhere.

If you are in the part of the world coming up on winter, A Cajun Christmas Killing will add some warmth to your holiday glow.



Body on the Bayou, the second in Ellen’s Cajun Country Mystery series, won the Left Coast Crime Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery, and was nominated for a Best Contemporary Novel Agatha Award. Her debut book in the series, Plantation Shuddersmade the USA Today Bestsellers list, and was nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Daphne awards. Ellen is also a recipient of a William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant from the Malice Domestic Convention. Her TV credits include Wings, Still Standing, and Just Shoot Me, as well as network and cable pilots. As a journalist, she’s written over 200 magazine articles for national publications. Her plays, published by Dramatists Play Service, include the popular Graceland and Asleep on the Wind>. A native New Yorker and graduate of Tulane University, Ellen lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband, daughter, and the family’s spoiled rescue dogs.




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(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.)

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