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Review ❤️ Mardi Gras Murder by Ellen Byron

October 18, 2018

mardi gras murder ellen byron

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. 

Release Date: Oct 9, 2018
Series: Cajun Country Mysteries
Book: 4
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Price: $9.99


Heavy rains have flooded the bayou and Maggie Crozat’s family bed and breakfast is currently housing Pelican, Louisiana residents who have been displaced by the flood. There was a fatality, an elderly man unknown by anyone in the area. It’s soon determined the stranger didn’t die in the flood – he was murdered! Even though Maggie is busy preparing for the town’s local Mardi Gras celebration, which includes serving as a judge in the Gumbo Queen contest, she finds time for sleuthing when another murder occurs in her beloved hometown.

This book is the fourth in the series. I’ve read all of the prior books, but a list of characters at the beginning of the book will help new readers quickly catch up on who’s who in Pelican. Although the first victim is a stranger, the second victim is well-known in the town, but not well-liked.  This gives Maggie plenty of suspects to question, including the not-so grieving widow, some overly competitive pageant moms, and someone who has made their displeasure over a proposed “Cajun Orphan Train” exhibit well-known. Maggie is a likable, enthusiastic amateur detective who will do whatever it takes to support her family and keep the peace in her hometown. She and her boyfriend, Bo, make a great couple, but have realistic problems to work through in their relationship.

I like the humor throughout the book and the description of Louisiana culture and customs. In addition to the information shared as part of the story, the author includes so much interesting material on the Cajun orphan train and the Mardi Gras celebration at the end of the book. She also includes several recipes for featured dishes such as gumbo and a King Cake.

I wasn’t able to guess the killer or the motive, but I enjoyed trying to figure out the mystery along with Maggie. Some parts of the ending are a little pat, but I like how things are resolved and enjoyed the upbeat conclusion to the book.

~ Christine

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