Review of MARDI GRAS MURDER by Ellen Byron


Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

MARDI GRAS MURDER is the 4th novel in the Cajun County Mystery Series by Ellen Byron. The novel will be published on October 9th, 2018 by Crooked Lane Books.

It’s Mardi Gras season in Pelican, Louisiana, and Maggie Crozat finds herself caught up in judging a teen beauty contest and solving two murders that may or may not be connected. The first victim is an older man from New York City who was found shot to death on the Crozat’s plantation/B&B after hurricane waters recede. The second victim is a curmudgeonly local who used his esteemed linage to get what he wanted until it cost him his life. The deeper Maggie digs into the two murders, the more she learns about the history of Pelican – and the secrets that people will go to extremes to protect.

MARDI GRAS MURDER is the first of the Cajun County Mysteries that I have read, and it does read as a standalone. Maggie Crozat and the rest of the main characters are all very realistic, as is the depiction of small-town Louisiana. The mystery is intriguing and the plot is face paced, but there is a lot going on in this novel. Aside from Maggie working to solve the two murders, she is also helping to judge a teenage beauty pageant, taking part in the local Mardi Gras celebration, delving deeper into the town’s history, working at one of the local historic plantations as a tour guide, hunting for Civil War-era treasure, and having a personal life with her boyfriend, family, and friends. Byron balanced out the various storylines, but at times all of the intersecting storylines got to be a bit overwhelming.