“Cajun Christmas Killing” is part of Ellen Byron’s Cajun Country Mystery series, but new readers will enjoy this book without having read the previous books. The author provides any needed background information within the context of the storyline without devoting endless pages summarizing the events in the previous books. Pelican, Louisiana provides the personality of the story.
“In Louisiana, we only follow the rules we like.”
Things are going well at the Crozat Plantation Bread and Breakfast as the Christmas holidays approach. Even though there have been four murders in Pelican, Louisiana in the past three months, residents and visitors alike have “collective amnesia” and are enjoying the festive atmosphere while preparing for the holiday events. Of course, in between all the fun and folly, there are heath scares, financial difficulties, and unexpected visits from out of town business partners, ex-spouses, and ex-lovers, that just muck up everything. Then, things really take a turn for the worst; a body is found during a reenactment tour at a local historical mansion.
“There’s a dead man in the manor house.”
Maggie Crozat’s point of view dominates the book. The search for the killer is interwoven with day-to-day activities in Maggie’s life. We share her agony over the financial future of the family business. We sympathize when people bother her, and we understand her anguish when everyone in her family is becomes a suspect in the murder. Clues to the murder pop up everywhere like a game of whack-a-mole. Finally everything comes together but not without mystery, secrets, fire, drama, and dance-class self-defense.
The characters are well developed and complex. We know them and their aristocratic family backgrounds. We like Pelican with its plantation houses so much that we, like the residents, are willing to set aside its murder rate, something that would otherwise send us frantically looking for somewhere else to spend our Christmas vacation. And, there are puppies, cinnamon raisin croissants, a baby to come (or two or three), and a ”Kissin’ Corner.”
I received a copy of “A Cajun Christmas Killing” from Ellen Byron, Crooked Land Books, and NetGalley in exchange for my impartial review. This is an entertaining book to read with action and mystery without any headache-producing stress. Everyone loves Crozat Plantation B and B and the people who live in Pelican, Louisiana. I am sure there will be more murders in their future.