Release Date: Sep 8, 2020
Series: A Cajun Country Mystery
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Maggie Crozant has planned a series of “spooky specials” for guests staying at area bed and breakfasts in Pelican, Louisiana. Maggie is willing to get creative to come up with ways to compete with a businessman who is buying up local properties that visitors can rent using an app. Her family business has also just opened a spa and Maggie hires a newfound distant cousin as the massage therapist and hopes she won’t come to regret this decision. In spite of all the festivities, Maggie confesses to her fiance, police officer Bo Durand, that she actually hates Halloween! When a murder occurs and Maggie becomes the prime suspect, her opinion of the scary holiday doesn’t get any better. She and Bo do some sleuthing of their own to clear Maggie’s name and catch the real killer.
This is the sixth book in this series, but there is a list of characters at the beginning of the book to help readers meeting Maggie and her friends for the first time. Maggie is an efficient businesswoman and an artist and has solved more than her share of murders. This time, the murder hits close to home and she feels she needs to start her own investigation to stay out of prison. She follows up several possible leads, but the motives start piling up and things get more and more complicated. The bed and breakfast also experiences some thefts, some more troubling than others, and Maggie isn’t sure how that fits it with everything else currently going on in Pelican.
Both she and her beloved “Gran” are planning an upcoming double wedding. Unfortunately, business troubles and the murder investigation have to come first for Maggie. Gran is a gem and at least she is having fun making some of the decisions for the ceremony, but I wish we had been treated to more lighthearted scenes with her and Maggie planning the event. I enjoyed the nice scenes between Maggie, Bo, and Bo’s eight-year-old son Xander, who clearly doesn’t have Maggie’s aversion to Halloween. I really like how their relationship has grown and how Bo fits right in with Maggie’s close-knit family.
The mystery gets a little over-complicated, but as always, I enjoyed the main characters, the setting, and the details about life in the Bayou that are woven into the story. One of the twists at the end wasn’t even on my radar, so I was very surprised at that plot turn as well as by the solution to the murders when all was revealed. Overall, this is another solid installment in this enjoyable series, and I hope there are more of Maggie’s adventures to come.