Mardi Gras Murder (Cajun Country Mystery, #4)
USA Today bestselling author Ellen Byron is back at it with fan-favorite plantation B&B owner Maggie Crozat in a fourth installment of the Cajun Country mysteries. 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. A simmering gumbo of a humorous whodunit, Mardi Gras Murder is the fourth piquant installment in USA Today bestselling author Ellen Byron’s award-winning Cajun Country mysteries.

Mardi Gras Murder (Cajun Country Mystery, #4) Details

TitleMardi Gras Murder (Cajun Country Mystery, #4)
Author
ReleaseOct 9th, 2018
PublisherCrooked Lane Books
Rating
GenreMystery, Cozy Mystery, American, Southern, Fiction

Mardi Gras Murder (Cajun Country Mystery, #4) Review

  • James
    January 1, 1970
    I was really excited to read Mardi Gras Murder by Ellen Byron after winning a copy via a cozy mystery review group I belong to. I was so excited that I ordered the first three books in the Cajun Country series to catch up and read them all last month. Finally... today I cracked open the fresh hard cover release of this fourth wonderful gem and finished it moments ago. Dinner doesn't need to be cooked for another 30 minutes so it's time to write a review! All I can say is Byron knows how to pull I was really excited to read Mardi Gras Murder by Ellen Byron after winning a copy via a cozy mystery review group I belong to. I was so excited that I ordered the first three books in the Cajun Country series to catch up and read them all last month. Finally... today I cracked open the fresh hard cover release of this fourth wonderful gem and finished it moments ago. Dinner doesn't need to be cooked for another 30 minutes so it's time to write a review! All I can say is Byron knows how to pull in her readers with a fury and passion. Loved it... 5 stars all the way!In this caper, our wonderful heroine, Maggie, found the body in the bayou behind her plantation home three weeks before the book started. And it wasn't someone she'd ever met before -- hooray, the poor girl got a break... except she can't keep herself from investigating it. This time I blame it entirely on Gran' who gets sick and convinces Maggie to take her place as a judge in the Miss Pelican contest (okay, a slightly different name but I prefer this one!). After a minor confrontation with another judge, Maggie finds him dead in his car. Throw in some baby drama, a mysterious painting pointing to a hidden treasure, curious genealogical history, and a beauty contest like no other, and we've got a fantastic novel.Maggie's truly become one of my favorite amateur sleuths. She's smart and risky but not stupid and dangerous. She's loving but not overly sweet. She's intellectual but makes a fool of herself. I kinda wanna meet her in real life... wait, is this Ellen Byron? Hmmm... I might have to become an amateur sleuth and investigate for myself. (Don't worry, I'm not gonna go stalk anyone!) This series has so much potential, but I'm actually a bit upset and just realized it right now. This book isn't officially available for purchase until 11/26/18 which means the next one likely one be available until November 2019. What? I have to wait a year to read the next caper... ugh, gonna go sulk!Psst... Ellen B - if you happen to read this, can I be a beta reader for your next book? PLEASE!
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  • Eve Recinella (Between The Bookends)
    January 1, 1970
    So I am quickly becoming a big fan of this series. Book one was a little iffy for me, but the last two have been really enjoyable. Again, as with the previous books in the series, the writing was great. The mystery kept me guessing right up until the end. I love the Lousiana setting and all the history and traditions the author includes. I love the recipes. There is a fantastic array of secondary characters that keep things lively, and Maggie is a very likable leading lady. My only issue with th So I am quickly becoming a big fan of this series. Book one was a little iffy for me, but the last two have been really enjoyable. Again, as with the previous books in the series, the writing was great. The mystery kept me guessing right up until the end. I love the Lousiana setting and all the history and traditions the author includes. I love the recipes. There is a fantastic array of secondary characters that keep things lively, and Maggie is a very likable leading lady. My only issue with this one was I wasn't a huge fan of the discord between Maggie and Bo. It made the book angsty, and I don't read cozy mysteries for romantic angst. If I wanted that type of thing, I'd read a romance book. I prefer that my cozies have established couples (or are single), that remain happy. That said, it all works out in the end, and I assume (hopefully) going forward it will be all smooth sailing for them as a couple.
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  • Darinda
    January 1, 1970
    A torrential rain hits the small town of Pelican, Louisiana. After the flood waters recede, a stranger's dead body is discovered near the Crozat Plantation B&B. Maggie Crozat is determined to find the stranger's identity and who is responsible for his death. Since it is Mardi Gras season, the town has a lot happening. As the town prepares for the local pageant and the opening of a Louisiana Orphan Train exhibit, Maggie attempts to solve the mystery of the stranger's death. The 4th book in th A torrential rain hits the small town of Pelican, Louisiana. After the flood waters recede, a stranger's dead body is discovered near the Crozat Plantation B&B. Maggie Crozat is determined to find the stranger's identity and who is responsible for his death. Since it is Mardi Gras season, the town has a lot happening. As the town prepares for the local pageant and the opening of a Louisiana Orphan Train exhibit, Maggie attempts to solve the mystery of the stranger's death. The 4th book in the Cajun Country mystery series by Ellen Byron. This is the first book in the series that I have read, but was easy to read as a standalone. Realistic and quirky characters. Intriguing mystery. Inviting small Southern town setting. A light and easy cozy mystery. A fun read that includes a lot information about a favorite season in Louisiana, Mardi Gras. I received a digital copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    It’s Mardi Gras time in Pelican, Louisiana, and everyone wants to let the good times roll! However, a after a flood, a murdered body floats up with no ID, and the partying must wait. Protagonist, Maggie Crozat, her lawman boyfriend, Bo, plus family and friends; must piece together remnants from the past that intertwine with current situations to find out the killer’s motive and solve the mystery. There are interesting historical facts in the plot and the characters are realistic and well-develop It’s Mardi Gras time in Pelican, Louisiana, and everyone wants to let the good times roll! However, a after a flood, a murdered body floats up with no ID, and the partying must wait. Protagonist, Maggie Crozat, her lawman boyfriend, Bo, plus family and friends; must piece together remnants from the past that intertwine with current situations to find out the killer’s motive and solve the mystery. There are interesting historical facts in the plot and the characters are realistic and well-developed. An enjoyable whodunnit with humor!I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and Crooked Lane. Thank you.
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  • LORI CASWELL
    January 1, 1970
    Dollycas’s ThoughtsPelican, Louisiana is underwater, floods have ravaged the area. The clean up continues as the residents prepare for their Mardi Gras celebration complete with a parade, contest to crown a gumbo queen and a gumbo cook-off. Then a body is found in the water behind the Crozat Plantation B&B. No one recognizes the man so its going to be a tough case to solve but Maggie is going to do her best to find out who he is and who killed him.Maggie also gets roped into the queen contes Dollycas’s ThoughtsPelican, Louisiana is underwater, floods have ravaged the area. The clean up continues as the residents prepare for their Mardi Gras celebration complete with a parade, contest to crown a gumbo queen and a gumbo cook-off. Then a body is found in the water behind the Crozat Plantation B&B. No one recognizes the man so its going to be a tough case to solve but Maggie is going to do her best to find out who he is and who killed him.Maggie also gets roped into the queen contest as a judge where she learns about the Louisiana Orphan Train and that the exhibit set to open has been postponed. She also comes upon another dead body, one of her fellow judges. She is starting the think the deaths have to be connected and may even have something to do with the Orphan Train exhibit. She also makes an interesting discovery at Doucet and another at Grove Hall.The floodwaters are receding but the bodies are starting to pile up. It’s time to catch this killer before they strike again!Oh my goodness, the author has filled this book with so much Mardi Gras goodness! Maggie is involved in everything, I was tired out she reading about all the things she did. In addition to all her duties and murder queries she and Bo are having trouble connecting. With his job, the flood damage, and his son he doesn’t have much free time. But there are some issues below the surface too. I was rooting for this couple through the entire story, worried and concerned but so happy with the ending.There are a lot of characters within these pages. Study the wonderful cast of characters list the author provides at the beginning of the book before you start reading. Each character is unique so you shouldn’t have too much trouble keeping everyone straight. The core characters all shine and the supporting cast is excellent. The character development over the series and within this story is exceptional.The story is very well plotted with some fabulous twists. I love the way Ms. Byron entangles the story-lines all together and blends in history and humor that hooks the reader from the first page to the last. Filled with Southern charm and a Cajun’ theme this story was so much fun to read.Each story in this series has been a perfect escape. I always recommend starting a series from the beginning for maximum enjoyment but this story would read well all on its own.
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  • Mark Baker
    January 1, 1970
    Maggie Crozat's home town of Pelican was flooded out just three weeks ago, but the community is rallying together to repair and rebuild. And they certainly aren't planning to let that curtail this year's Mardi Gras celebration. Unfortunately, Maggie has gotten roped in to help with this year's Miss Pelican Mardi Gras Gumbo Queen Pageant, something she is definitely against. However, when she finds one of the judges dead, she begins to wonder if she is in danger because she's taken on this job. O Maggie Crozat's home town of Pelican was flooded out just three weeks ago, but the community is rallying together to repair and rebuild. And they certainly aren't planning to let that curtail this year's Mardi Gras celebration. Unfortunately, Maggie has gotten roped in to help with this year's Miss Pelican Mardi Gras Gumbo Queen Pageant, something she is definitely against. However, when she finds one of the judges dead, she begins to wonder if she is in danger because she's taken on this job. Or does it tie back to the body of the John Doe that was found during the flood?This is a fantastic book with a creative mystery for us to solve. A strong sub-plot only adds to the fun of the book, and the climax ties everything together perfectly, including a plot point or two I'd forgotten about. The characters are fantastic as always; I truly love the large cast of series regulars. The suspects are strong, although it took a bit to remember how all of them are connected at first. The cast of characters at the beginning certainly helped with that. I did find the timeline felt a bit off at a few points, but this was a minor complaint. I love learning about a completely different region, and author Ellen Byron's love comes through. The recipes at the end will satisfy the cravings you'll develop while reading the book.Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.
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  • Jeri
    January 1, 1970
    I very much enjoyed this fourth addition to the series! When a dead body floats up to the Crozat plantation after a flood it is a mystery as to who the person is and why they ended up dead and who the murderer is. Only that isn't the only murder that happens and Maggie ends up getting involved in the investigation as usual.I was given an eARC by the publisher through NetGalley.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    It's Mardi Gras season in Pelican, Louisiana but things aren't as festive as they should be. The town is rebuilding from a devastating flood for many of its residents and which left one unidentified man dead. After conducting what was thought to be a routine autopsy, the mystery man is actually a murder victim. When a prominent member of the town is murdered shortly thereafter, Maggie wonders if the two crimes are related. But her questions bring more questions which may just get her killed.Ther It's Mardi Gras season in Pelican, Louisiana but things aren't as festive as they should be. The town is rebuilding from a devastating flood for many of its residents and which left one unidentified man dead. After conducting what was thought to be a routine autopsy, the mystery man is actually a murder victim. When a prominent member of the town is murdered shortly thereafter, Maggie wonders if the two crimes are related. But her questions bring more questions which may just get her killed.There were a lot of characters to keep up with in this book, more so than the prior books so I felt a bit overwhelmed by all the families. The multiple plots tie up to a good conclusion. Maggie and Bo's relationship is put to the test by several factors and this tension is also a major plot element. Overall, I enjoyed the book, as this is one of my favorite series.*** Thanks to NetGalley for a complimentary ARC of this book. My review is voluntary.
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  • Kristina
    January 1, 1970
    Mardi Gras Murder by Ellen Byron is the fourth book in A Cajun Country Mystery series. The town of Pelican, Louisiana suffered from heavy rains and flooding. Behind the Crozat Plantation B&B, under piles of debris the family finds a dead man without identification. Three weeks later, the town is recovering from the flooding and they are ready for the Mardi Gras celebrations to begin—Laissez les bon temps rouler. The celebrations include a gumbo cook-off, a parade and the Miss Pelican Mardi G Mardi Gras Murder by Ellen Byron is the fourth book in A Cajun Country Mystery series. The town of Pelican, Louisiana suffered from heavy rains and flooding. Behind the Crozat Plantation B&B, under piles of debris the family finds a dead man without identification. Three weeks later, the town is recovering from the flooding and they are ready for the Mardi Gras celebrations to begin—Laissez les bon temps rouler. The celebrations include a gumbo cook-off, a parade and the Miss Pelican Mardi Gras Gumbo Queen pageant. Maggie’s grandmother normally is one of the pageant judges, but walking pneumonia has her confined to bed which means Maggie must step up to the plate (despite her opinion of pageants). At the first meeting of the judges, Maggie learns about the controversial Louisiana Orphan Train exhibit. The highlight of the meeting is when a fight breaks out between two of the pageant contestant mothers. On the way home, Maggie is rear ended by Gerard Damboise, head judge and president of the historical society. Maggie finds him bleeding from a gunshot wound. Gerard whispers two last words before he perishes. Maggie wonders if his death is related to the pageant or the orphan train exhibit. Maggie begins scouting for clues in the hopes of resolving Gerard’s murder. Can Maggie unmask the killer before Fat Tuesday? Mardi Gras Murder can be read alone if you have not read the other novels in A Cajun Country Mystery series. There is a lot going on in Mardi Gras Murder. I only covered the basics in my summary. There is the unidentified dead man, Mardi Gras, the pageant, problems with Tug’s gumbo pot, Gran’s illness, guests at the B&B, Maggie’s relationship with Bo, a mystery at Doucet, a secret room at Grove Hall, the flooding, and the orphan train exhibit controversy. The book is well-written with a steady pace and humor scattered throughout. There are numerous characters, but the author does provide a handy cheat sheet at the beginning of the book (I wish I could have printed it out). Pelican is a small town where everyone knows your business and is happy to pass it along to others. The town goes all out for Mardi Gras. I learned some interesting facts about the holiday along with interesting traditions. The murder mystery has some intriguing points (I do not want to spoil it for you). There is misdirection along with direct clues. Avid cozy mystery readers will have no problem solving the whodunit. All the storylines are wrapped up at the end. There is a sweet ending that will have the romantics smiling, and I love who won the gumbo cook-off. Ellen Byron combines Southern charm, Mardi Gras, humor, a cast of quirky characters and a beguiling mystery into one rousing cozy mystery.
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  • Patty
    January 1, 1970
    Mardi Gras Murder by Ellen Byron is the 4th book in the Cajun Country Mystery series, and a perfect blend of mystery and humor. Not only is this book really funny, I often found myself laughing out loud, it has a great mystery. There are twists and turns around every corner, which kept me reading page after page. I found this book to be a quick read, I read it in one day, with a well developed plot and characters. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. If you love cozy myst Mardi Gras Murder by Ellen Byron is the 4th book in the Cajun Country Mystery series, and a perfect blend of mystery and humor. Not only is this book really funny, I often found myself laughing out loud, it has a great mystery. There are twists and turns around every corner, which kept me reading page after page. I found this book to be a quick read, I read it in one day, with a well developed plot and characters. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. If you love cozy mysteries with quirky characters, I recommend this book and series.I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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  • NicoleG
    January 1, 1970
    Another great installment of the Cajun Country Mystery series. The southern setting can't be beat and I especially love books set during Mardi Gras. So much color and excitement. Ellen Byron spins the story with such brilliant detail and adds such engaging elements that will keep you quickly turning the pages yet not wanting the experience to end. I especially loved the pageant aspect and the characters who were contestants each had a distinct personality which had me rooting for each one of the Another great installment of the Cajun Country Mystery series. The southern setting can't be beat and I especially love books set during Mardi Gras. So much color and excitement. Ellen Byron spins the story with such brilliant detail and adds such engaging elements that will keep you quickly turning the pages yet not wanting the experience to end. I especially loved the pageant aspect and the characters who were contestants each had a distinct personality which had me rooting for each one of them and I couldn't wait to find out which one would win (I was hoping none of them would turn out to be a murder victim)!All in all, an enjoyable cozy mystery. I look forward to reading more in this series.
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  • Rebecca Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Ellen Byron’s Mardi Gras Murder is a good read with an intriguing mystery and some great twists. It’s Mardi Gras time in Pelican, Louisiana! There’s also a beauty pageant on and lots of drama over a controversial exhibit on the Louisiana Orphan Train. Our protagonist Maggie Crozat has her hands full. However, she is determined to solve the mystery of the murder of an elderly stranger whose body washes up during a flood. Who is he? Why did someone kill him? And will he be the last body to turn up Ellen Byron’s Mardi Gras Murder is a good read with an intriguing mystery and some great twists. It’s Mardi Gras time in Pelican, Louisiana! There’s also a beauty pageant on and lots of drama over a controversial exhibit on the Louisiana Orphan Train. Our protagonist Maggie Crozat has her hands full. However, she is determined to solve the mystery of the murder of an elderly stranger whose body washes up during a flood. Who is he? Why did someone kill him? And will he be the last body to turn up? My favourite part of this book is the Louisiana setting. Byron does a great job with the small-town setting. I really enjoy all the wonderful descriptions of the culture, the history, and the food. I especially love all the Mardi Gras action! However, Maggie is a little boring. I don’t think that she has much of a personality and I couldn’t connect with her at all. She’s an okay but dry narrator. I am also not a fan of the relationship drama between her and Bo, her detective boyfriend. There are also way too many characters in this book and I had a hard time keeping track of them. Moreover, many of them are very stereotypical so they really don’t make a lasting impression on me. The recipes are a really nice addition. I also quite like the Lagniappe section which gives readers some nicely succinct but relevant background information into several of the main topics in the book. This is the fourth book in the Cajun Country mystery series but I think it works fine as a standalone. This is the first book that I read in the series and I had no problem understanding what was going on. Although I am not a huge fan of Maggie and I didn’t particularly care for the other characters, the book is a good and quick read with a wonderful setting. The mystery is interesting and I would read the other books in this series. Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Dez Nemec
    January 1, 1970
    Maggie lives in a cottage at Crozat Plantation B&B , her family's home and business. A horrible flood hits Pelican, LA, dropping 15" of rain in only 24 hours onto the little town. It leaves loads of damage across town, and a body on the Crozat Plantation B&B grounds. Weeks later, the body is still identified, but definitely a homicide victim. Then after an off-hand comment by Maggie about the body makes Gerard Damboise, the head of the Historical Society, act squirrelly, he is shot to de Maggie lives in a cottage at Crozat Plantation B&B , her family's home and business. A horrible flood hits Pelican, LA, dropping 15" of rain in only 24 hours onto the little town. It leaves loads of damage across town, and a body on the Crozat Plantation B&B grounds. Weeks later, the body is still identified, but definitely a homicide victim. Then after an off-hand comment by Maggie about the body makes Gerard Damboise, the head of the Historical Society, act squirrelly, he is shot to death. Meanwhile, Maggie is attempting to prepare for Mardi Gras, has taken her grandmother's place judging the pageant, is tasked with cleaning up an old painting damaged in the flood, and posing very difficult questions to her boyfriend, Bo.There is a LOT going on in this book. Having friends from LA, I know that Mardi Gras is quite the holiday so it seemed fairly realistic. I could've done without all the pageant crap, although I did like the way things turned out in the end. And why on earth did Maggie have to dump the whole: "If you don't want kids, we should end it now" thing on poor Bo? He's working on 2 murders, the cops are in temporary headquarters due to the flood, he has company because Rufus' place was flooded, and everyone has a bunch of Mardi Gras stuff to do. Then she piles more crap on him. The book alludes to them not even having had sex yet, but let's already talk babies. Oy vey. Probably the best part for me was the mention of "Southern Door Syndrome." Living in the south, this is a very real thing and very difficult to deal with!Overall, this was pretty good.Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Anita
    January 1, 1970
    Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review.I'm reading this book in the wake of Hurricane Michael and all the destruction left in its' wake. I though it very ironic that the murder in this book took place during a major flood in Pelican, LA. This cozy-mystery series is one of my favorites and each book is just wonderful.Maggie Crozat is an artist who has returned home to Pelican, LA after a failed relationship and is tr Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review.I'm reading this book in the wake of Hurricane Michael and all the destruction left in its' wake. I though it very ironic that the murder in this book took place during a major flood in Pelican, LA. This cozy-mystery series is one of my favorites and each book is just wonderful.Maggie Crozat is an artist who has returned home to Pelican, LA after a failed relationship and is trying to rediscover her place in this tight knit community. It so happens that Maggie seems to be a magnet for murder and this time discovers a body that a recent flood deposited behind her family's Crozet Plantation B&B. The timing couldn't have been worse with Mardi Gras right around the corner and the town of Pelican does Mardi Gras is a really big way. The stranger was murdered and that puts a damper on the festivities. But, nothing stands in the way of a Mardi Gras celebration and the parades, pageants and gumbo cook-off must go on.As Maggie and her boyfriend, Pelican PD Detective Bo Durant, investigate the pieces are few and just don't fit. When the Historical Society President and pageant judge is also murdered, the mystery just deepens. Could there be a connection to a proposed exhibit on the historic Orphan Train? More than murder is on Maggie's mind too. She has discovered a what appears to be a map hidden underneath a painting at the historic Dorcet Plantation and she and Bo need to have "the talk" and Maggie is scared about the outcome.
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  • Vicki Gooding
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely love this series and this newest book does not disappoint. I received the book from the Publisher at no cost to me, and was thrilled I was one chosen. I have a love for Cajun, and mysteries and this has plenty of both. You'll fall in love with the characters and the many flavors of Louisianan in this well laid mystery.
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  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    Mardi Gras Murder is the fourth installment in the Cajun Country Mystery series set in the bayou town of Pelican, Louisiana and featuring plantation docent and artist, Magnolia Marie "Maggie" Crozat. Mardi Gras is quickly approaching and Maggie finds herself thrust into the midst of the celebration which will culminate on the lawn of her family's Crozat Plantation B & B.An unidentified body has washed ashore on the Crozat land following a major flood. Maggie's father "Tug" is determined to w Mardi Gras Murder is the fourth installment in the Cajun Country Mystery series set in the bayou town of Pelican, Louisiana and featuring plantation docent and artist, Magnolia Marie "Maggie" Crozat. Mardi Gras is quickly approaching and Maggie finds herself thrust into the midst of the celebration which will culminate on the lawn of her family's Crozat Plantation B & B.An unidentified body has washed ashore on the Crozat land following a major flood. Maggie's father "Tug" is determined to win the annual gumbo cookoff and is driving her mother nuts with his messy kitchen takeover. Maggie's Gran has developed walking pneumonia and appointed Maggie as her replacement on the judge's panel for the Miss Pelican Mardi Gras Gumbo Queen.Not a fan of beauty pageants, Maggie has her hands full dealing with the pageant moms and fellow judge, Gerard Damboise. Gerard has no intention of giving the most qualified teen the title and instead has already made his mind up that the daughter of the town's most prestigious family will be the winner. A fender bender results in Gerard tumbling out of his vehicle into Maggie's arms muttering a mysterious statement before taking his last breath. Convinced that the unidentified man and Gerard's death are connected, Maggie sets out with the help of family and friends to find a killer. A fast moving plot with a a touch of Louisiana bayou history. Maggie learns about the secret lives of plantation owners that include the Orphan Train, hidden rooms for the mentally ill, and uncovers a hidden treasure map behind an old painting.Readers will be delighted with the return of many series regulars including Detective Bo Durand and his son, Xander. I recommend starting the series from the beginning to evolve with the characters but this new addition can also be read as a stand alone. I received an advanced copy of Mardi Gras Murder from NetGalley via Crooked Lane Books. While not required to write a review I am more than happy to offer my honest opinion.
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  • Lisa Morin
    January 1, 1970
    Mardi Gras Murder is an intriguing addition to the series.After a devastating storm wreaks havoc on their small town, the residents are devastated to find out on of their own has been murdered.Maggie can't resist the urge to investigate, which puts her in harm's way. After the murder of another resident, Maggie digs deeper to seek out the truth.This book has a lot going on, so it was very easy to find myself inside the story itself.What I like most about the story is the cast of unique and color Mardi Gras Murder is an intriguing addition to the series.After a devastating storm wreaks havoc on their small town, the residents are devastated to find out on of their own has been murdered.Maggie can't resist the urge to investigate, which puts her in harm's way. After the murder of another resident, Maggie digs deeper to seek out the truth.This book has a lot going on, so it was very easy to find myself inside the story itself.What I like most about the story is the cast of unique and colorful characters. They all present as very real and easy to like.I'm looking forward to the next book in this wonderful series.I volunteered to read and review an ARC of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley.
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  • Carole Jarvis
    January 1, 1970
    Reviewed at The Power of Words: https://bit.ly/2CtTdJUMardi Gras Murders by Ellen Byron is simply outstanding, all that a great cozy mystery should be and more. This is the first of the four-book series that I’ve read, but it easily stands alone. I’m eager to read the previous books, however – it’s that good – and I can’t wait to see where Byron takes these characters next.Mardi Gras Murders is extremely well written with delightful, sometimes quirky characters, great humor, and steeped in the s Reviewed at The Power of Words: https://bit.ly/2CtTdJUMardi Gras Murders by Ellen Byron is simply outstanding, all that a great cozy mystery should be and more. This is the first of the four-book series that I’ve read, but it easily stands alone. I’m eager to read the previous books, however – it’s that good – and I can’t wait to see where Byron takes these characters next.Mardi Gras Murders is extremely well written with delightful, sometimes quirky characters, great humor, and steeped in the southern charm of the New Orleans area. Pelican, Louisiana was “a community so close-knit that residents occasionally discovered they accidentally married distant cousins.” I was initially a little overwhelmed by the list of characters at the beginning, but it turned out to be very helpful and everyone was pretty easy to keep up with.Whether working as tour guide at the family plantation, serving as beauty contestant judge, or simply taking care of her grandmother, Maggie is a likeable lead character. For a small town, Pelican sure has a lot going on, especially in preparing for Mardi Gras festivities. Maggie’s dad, Tug, had a great approach to making his famous seafood gumbo … “Some men make their wives crazy all year. I save it for Mardi Gras.”A lot of the action revolves around the Miss Pelican Mardi Gras Gumbo Queen contest – try saying that real fast! Not long after an unidentifiable body washes up at the back of Maggie’s property, an obnoxious fellow judge is murdered, and everything escalates from there. It was tempting to read fast to discover the solution, but slowing down to savor every page won out – it was that good!Mardi Gras Murders is a clean read, with no profanity or explicit scenes, and I hope that trend continues. This is a thoroughly entertaining story with surprising depth, and I’m eager for more Cajun Country mysteries. Highly recommended.I received a copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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  • Lisa Ks Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Forget about New Orleans y’all. I want to go to Mardi Gras in Pelican and stay at the Crozat Plantation Bed and Breakfast!Author Ellen Byron has penned another Cajun mystery delight. I was quickly pulled into MARDI GRAS MURDER, and held captivated until the last page. This was a thrilling murder mystery combined with subplots that increases the depth of the story. Page after page, I hung on every word, and by the end of the book I was near breathless.Mystery, humor, action, and wonderful recipes Forget about New Orleans y’all. I want to go to Mardi Gras in Pelican and stay at the Crozat Plantation Bed and Breakfast!Author Ellen Byron has penned another Cajun mystery delight. I was quickly pulled into MARDI GRAS MURDER, and held captivated until the last page. This was a thrilling murder mystery combined with subplots that increases the depth of the story. Page after page, I hung on every word, and by the end of the book I was near breathless.Mystery, humor, action, and wonderful recipes make MARDI GRAS MURDER a must read!
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  • Marie McNary
    January 1, 1970
    This is such a fun book. It always feels like catching up with old friends when I pick up a book in the series. This book was no exception. I love that Maggie's character was able to grow personally and professionally in this installment. Looking forward to seeing where the author takes the series next!
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  • Cathy Daniel
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my goodness! What an ending!!! I hope this series goes on for a long time!!
  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    This is the first book I’ve read by this author. I really enjoyed it and I’ve already bought two more of her books. It started off with a bang. I loved the characters and setting. I felt like I was part of the community. The only negative is I felt like it sort of slowed down in the middle of the story. Not enough to cause me to lose interest though. And it may just be my frame of mind when I was reading. I felt like it moved from the murder to drama too much. I don’t think others will have a pr This is the first book I’ve read by this author. I really enjoyed it and I’ve already bought two more of her books. It started off with a bang. I loved the characters and setting. I felt like I was part of the community. The only negative is I felt like it sort of slowed down in the middle of the story. Not enough to cause me to lose interest though. And it may just be my frame of mind when I was reading. I felt like it moved from the murder to drama too much. I don’t think others will have a problem with that. I think it was some of the pageant talk. I’m not into those and that’s part of what the book is about. But it’s all good. I do love how it had a lot of historical and cultural stuff. I’ve been to Louisiana one time and I would love to move there. This would be a great book to read in the winter. I kept thinking about Maggie’s cop family having to work outside I. That heat and humidity lol.**Thanks go out to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for my copy. This is my honest review**
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  • Kathy Martin
    January 1, 1970
    It is Mardi Gras time in Pelican, Louisiana, but they are also dealing with the aftereffects of a major flood. Maggie's family's B and B is closed to guests because it is housing a number of the locals who aren't able to live in their flood damaged homes. The police station was flooded out and is currently using an abandoned big box store. When a body is discovered while clearing storm debris and no one knows who the man is, finding his identity doesn't make the top of anyone's to-do list...unti It is Mardi Gras time in Pelican, Louisiana, but they are also dealing with the aftereffects of a major flood. Maggie's family's B and B is closed to guests because it is housing a number of the locals who aren't able to live in their flood damaged homes. The police station was flooded out and is currently using an abandoned big box store. When a body is discovered while clearing storm debris and no one knows who the man is, finding his identity doesn't make the top of anyone's to-do list...until it is discovered the the man had been murdered.While a matter of curiosity for Maggie, the man's murder isn't at the top of her to-do list either. With her beloved grandmother under the weather, Maggie agrees to fill in for her judging the local Miss Pelican Mardi Gras Gumbo Queen contest. She doesn't approve of the contest and doesn't want anything to do with the girls of their pushy moms. The judges are quite a mix of people from Geratd Damboise who is in charge of the local historical society and his wife Constance to Robbie Metz who owns several Park 'n' Shop convenience stores to Mo Heedles who is a super saleswoman for her skin care line. There are all sorts of tensions among the committee. None of them like Gerard Damboise including his wife. So, when Gerard Damboise dies almost in Maggie's arms and also of a gunshot wound, Maggie has one more murder to try to solve.Meanwhile, she is also still working as a tour guide for her family's former plantation when she is asked by her supervisor to see if she can restore a painting damaged by a leaky roof which was also an aftereffect of the storms and floods. The picture is a mystery on its own. The mystery deepens when she learns that the painting has been painted over and apparent treasure map.Then there are the Mardi Gras activities including a gumbo cook-off that is consuming all of her dad's time and attention, the the Mardi Gras run which requires costumes and masks as runners go from house to house looking for gumbo ingredients.Maggie's romance with Detective Bo Durand seems to have hit a roadblock. Maggie thinks they are ready to have the Talk - kids or no kids, but with an autistic son, Bo is not eager to have more children. This could be a dealbreaker for Maggie and Bo's relationship but, while distracting, neither can let it get in the way of solving the murders.This was a fun cozy mystery complete with delicious sounding recipes. Fans of the series won't want to miss this newest episode.
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  • Betty
    January 1, 1970
    A new author for and the fourth books in this series. I was able to follow the events as it works well as a standalone.The town of Pelican, Louisiana is slowly recovering from the flood and preparing to celebrate Mardi Gras. Corset Plantation B&B has no guests because of the flood. A body is found washed up near a bridge on The Crozet's land. The main events are the Gumbo Cooking contest and the selection of Miss Pelican Mardi Gras Gumbo Queen, a highly sought crown. The is a discussion on t A new author for and the fourth books in this series. I was able to follow the events as it works well as a standalone.The town of Pelican, Louisiana is slowly recovering from the flood and preparing to celebrate Mardi Gras. Corset Plantation B&B has no guests because of the flood. A body is found washed up near a bridge on The Crozet's land. The main events are the Gumbo Cooking contest and the selection of Miss Pelican Mardi Gras Gumbo Queen, a highly sought crown. The is a discussion on the exhibit of the Orphan that came from the New York area. Maggie Crozet decides to investigate the train. What part does the train have today? Who is the body and why was he shot. The ending will surprise. I highly recommend this book and series. Cajon recipes are included.Disclosure: Many thanks to Crooked Lane Books for a review copy. The opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Sue Em
    January 1, 1970
    Small town life in Cajun country, aka Louisiana, bubbles over with good food, celebratory traditions and murder. Maggie Crozat returned from life as artist in NYC to live at their family B&B, once a plantation. Floods have washed up an elderly man who turns out to be shot, not drowned. Maggie already has her hands full organizing the Mardi Gras run. having to judge the "beauty contest" ( under duress), but there is another murder and she can't remain on the sidelines.This is a consistently e Small town life in Cajun country, aka Louisiana, bubbles over with good food, celebratory traditions and murder. Maggie Crozat returned from life as artist in NYC to live at their family B&B, once a plantation. Floods have washed up an elderly man who turns out to be shot, not drowned. Maggie already has her hands full organizing the Mardi Gras run. having to judge the "beauty contest" ( under duress), but there is another murder and she can't remain on the sidelines.This is a consistently enjoyable series. Good characters and interesting setting.Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Tari
    January 1, 1970
    I really loved this newest installment in the Cajun Country series! It's always like going back home to old friends in Pelican, Louisiana when I read one of this series. This time it's almost time for Mardi Gras and that has Maggie's dad Tug immersed in the ever-important gumbo cook-off for the Mardi Gras festival, and perfecting this year's recipe. A few weeks before, the whole area had been badly flooded and a John Doe was found on the Crozat property. When one of the judges for the Miss Pelic I really loved this newest installment in the Cajun Country series! It's always like going back home to old friends in Pelican, Louisiana when I read one of this series. This time it's almost time for Mardi Gras and that has Maggie's dad Tug immersed in the ever-important gumbo cook-off for the Mardi Gras festival, and perfecting this year's recipe. A few weeks before, the whole area had been badly flooded and a John Doe was found on the Crozat property. When one of the judges for the Miss Pelican Mardi Gras pageant was found dead, actually dying (by, you guessed it, Maggie) there was speculation about whether this death was connected to that of the John Doe. This case took Pelican's finest, er well Bo being the finest and Ru being the only other detective that could go, on assignment in NYC since the John Doe suddenly had an identity and was from NYC. Oh, it was so funny when Bo would call Maggie with his day's happenings. If we thought the Pelican PD didn't think highly of cousin Ru, let's just say the NYPD really topped them on that. They couldn't wait to see him leave, lol. Taking Ru to NYC was like taking a kid to a big toy store! All he could think of was food, more food and Broadway shows. The mystery pulled in some past history regarding orphans that had arrived in Pelican by train. There were plenty of suspects and since I had no idea of who I suspected, I just enjoyed reading how it all turned out. The showdown was awesome and actually fun. And...just wait until you read the book ending. I gar-an-tee you'll love it! I really enjoyed all the teen contestant characters, even Belle who proved that she wasn't as shallow as some people had thought. The bond between cousins Kaity and Allie was pretty awesome, kind of how close Maggie and her cousin Lia are. They weren't about to let some pageant ruin their family ties. I liked the other new character of Jayden too. Kaity seemed really taken with him, so I really hope that their characters show up again. Maggie was even on good terms now with Whitney, Bo's ex who was remarried and not having much luck in the baby-having department, but by the end of the book, there was a great solution for her and hubby Zach. I really didn't want this book to end!
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  • Ashley Mariner
    January 1, 1970
    Ellen Byron revisits Pelican, Louisiana in the fourth book of her Cajun Country Mystery series, Mardi Gras Murder. A hundred-year flood has swept the bayou, depositing an unidentified dead body at the Crozat Plantation B and B. While the mystery bothers Maggie, it is Mardi Gras season, and she has been roped into judging the Miss Pelican Mardi Gras Gumbo Queen pageant forcing her to focus elsewhere. When one of her fellow judges is murdered, Maggie begins to wonder if the crimes are connected an Ellen Byron revisits Pelican, Louisiana in the fourth book of her Cajun Country Mystery series, Mardi Gras Murder. A hundred-year flood has swept the bayou, depositing an unidentified dead body at the Crozat Plantation B and B. While the mystery bothers Maggie, it is Mardi Gras season, and she has been roped into judging the Miss Pelican Mardi Gras Gumbo Queen pageant forcing her to focus elsewhere. When one of her fellow judges is murdered, Maggie begins to wonder if the crimes are connected and if the judges may be in mortal danger. I have read all of Byron's Cajun Country books and have enjoyed them all. I love New Orleans but have not had the time to travel outside of the city. I enjoy how Byron captures so much of the spirit, celebration, customs and, of course, the food in the region and transports readers into the heart of Cajun Country and outside of the city many of us are familiar with. Warning: These books will make you hungry! I didn't think this book had as much character development as some of the others in the series that have brought not only Maggie and her family but many of Pelican's citizens to life. However, a major life event did occur at the end (no spoilers) so I assume that future tomes will be more satisfying for readers who have invested in these characters. Overall, this is a quick, easy, enjoyable read. Cozy fans and fans of all things Mardi Gras and gumbo should be pleased.I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Amanda Wilcox
    January 1, 1970
    Being totally honest, this is the first book I've read in this series. That being said, it started out slow for me and was confusing with all of the characters and their nicknames. I think this is a series best read in order so you can keep up.On to the actual story, the mystery within the mystery was really fun and got me turning pages. Beauty pagents aren't my thing at all but even given my distaste for that I enjoyed Ellen's ability to portray teens vs. adults so well. She really did a great Being totally honest, this is the first book I've read in this series. That being said, it started out slow for me and was confusing with all of the characters and their nicknames. I think this is a series best read in order so you can keep up.On to the actual story, the mystery within the mystery was really fun and got me turning pages. Beauty pagents aren't my thing at all but even given my distaste for that I enjoyed Ellen's ability to portray teens vs. adults so well. She really did a great job making you wonder whodunit through the whole book while also enjoying Mardi Gras with the cast.After all of that, I have to say I'll go back and start this series from the beginning to catch up and fill in the blanks. It's definitely worth it!
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  • Anupama C K(b0rn_2_read)
    January 1, 1970
    I loved the characters and the setting. It was great to know more about Cajun country and Mardi Gras. I did suspect the killer, so wasn't surprised much at the end, but I enjoyed the story
  • Amy Bergstrand
    January 1, 1970
    Mardi Gras Murder was the first in the series for me, but easy to follow as a standalone.Ellen Byron wrote a quick, fast-paced light story that was perfect for a busy weekend.The writing was good and the details of Louisiana was descriptive enough for me to get a nice visual of what life could be like I the small town of Pelican. The mystery was creative and I did not guess the end, which is unusual for me.Thank you Netgalley for a Digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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