Monday, September 25, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway - A Cajun Christmas Killing: A Cajun Country Mystery by Ellen Byron

Book Synopsis
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.

My Review
A Cajun Christmas Killing is a cozy mystery set in a small town in Louisiana.   Maggie Crozat is an artist who has left her life in New York to help out at her family's bed and breakfast.  When one of the B&B guests is discovered murdered, Maggie works to solve the crime ... especially because her boyfriend, police detective Bo Durand, is a suspect.

This is my first read in the Cajun Country Mystery series and it was really enjoyable.  It worked as a stand alone, but I now want to look for the other books in this series and catch up!

I loved the Cajun country atmosphere.  I have spent time in Louisiana and loved it, and the author, Ellen Byron, really captured the area's charm so well.

I also liked the Christmas setting and the descriptions of decorations and festivities.   Anyone who enjoys Christmas mysteries will like this as well.

As a bonus, there were even a few dogs in this book (which always makes a mystery better!) -- basset hound Gopher, rescued stray dog Jolie (and her puppies), and a tiny little dog named King Cake.

I liked the character of Maggie.  I enjoyed "meeting" her family and friends in the book, and liked the way she worked with Bo's relative Rufus to solve the mystery.  I also liked the slow-building relationship between Maggie and Bo.

I recommend A Cajun Christmas Killing to fans of cozy mysteries, Christmas mysteries, and atmospheric southern mysteries.   This book is perfect for a leisurely weekend read!  

Author Bio
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 Shudders, made 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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(1) Hardcover Copy - A Cajun Christmas Killing by Ellen Byron + swag (U.S. Only)
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I received a copy of this book from Great Escapes Book Tour and Netgalley.