Monday, August 10, 2015

Julie's Review: Plantation Shudders

Author: Ellen Byron
Series: Cajun Country Mystery #1
Publication Date: June 24, 2014
Publisher: Crooked Books
Pages: 286
Obtained: Kaye Publicity
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Rating: 3.75/5
Bottom Line: Southerners even make a murder mystery fun
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab!
Summary: It's the end of the summer and Prodigal Daughter Maggie Crozat has returned home to her family's plantation-turned-bed-and-breakfast in Louisiana. The Crozats have an inn full of guests for the local food festival--elderly honeymooners, the Cajun Cuties, a mysterious stranger from Texas, a couple of hipster lovebirds, and a trio of Georgia frat boys. But when the elderly couple keels over dead within minutes of each other--one from very unnatural causes-- Maggie and the others suddenly become suspects in a murder. With the help of Bo Durant, the town's handsome new detective, Maggie must investigate to clear her name while holding the family business together at the same time. And the deeper she digs, the more she wonders: are all of the guests really there for a vacation or do they have ulterior motives? Decades-old secrets and stunning revelations abound in Ellen Byron's charming cozy debut, Plantation Shudders.  

Review: Plantation Shudders: A Cajun Country Mystery is a great first book into a fun, cozy mystery series. What really makes the book are the characters; not only the family but the guests at the Crozat B&B. There are some very funny moments and some poignant ones as well. The mystery is intriguing, especially as more people begin to die.

Maggie is also struggling to find her place back at home. She moved back after a failed relationship and business in NYC. Her family's B&B is struggling a bit after Katrina and she wants to help them move back to a profitable and well-known place to stay. She's also trying to get her own art business going without making it seem too tacky to buy replicas of Pelican attractions.

What would a cozy mystery be without a curious, nosy protagonist? Here's Maggie. Of course she doesn't have confidence in the local sheriff to do his job right. Some of it has to do with the fact that it's a small town and the fact that their families have been feuding for decades.

Maggie is a hoot and she endears herself to the reader of the novel. She's only trying to help the investigation along while trying to stay out of trouble herself. I loved her family but it was her grand-mere that had me in stitches. I seriously hope I'm that spunky and hip as she is when I'm her age. It's also pretty evident that not only have the Crozat's had some financial difficulty but that Ninette has had some heath issues as well but this only strengthens their bond.

Ms. Byron has a great way of telling a story and developing her characters. She has a knack for writing dialogue, which makes sense since she was a TV writer. I can't wait to see what happens in the next Cajun Country mystery.



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