cajun country

Author / Series Alert: Ellen Byron & Cajun Country Mysteries

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In the past, I used to share a weekly author alert on my blog. Often it was a new indie writer I’d come across, or it might have been one I really enjoyed reading. Since I’ve given up writing my 365 Daily Challenge and have been posting mostly book reviews and my own book promotions, I decided I needed to get back to a few basics again. One of those will be sharing an alert on authors and series I’ve either finished or gotten caught up on and am awaiting the next book.

I’ve been a major fan of series ever since I was a young child and participated in summer readathons at my local library. I used to sit for hours and read books only ever in order… I’m ashamed to say I have only been about 80% faithful to that rule of reading in order, but I’m trying to be as consistent as possible these days. This week, I’m starting with a series I actually have read in order — The Cajun Country Mysteries by Ellen Byron.

Five in the Series – What a great start!

I have a personal connection to these books because of where they take place — Louisiana. Although I didn’t grow up there, my partner did, so I take a few trips a year to the bayou to visit my other family. I’ve visited a handful of plantations which makes it even easier for me to recognize some of these places, histories, and the culture. It’s ripe with imagination, drama, and intensity — exactly what Byron delivers in her books. The heroine, Maggie, is a perfect balance of intuition and analysis; she never barges into a situation or inserts herself in something where she doesn’t belong. It always feels natural.

If you’ve never read them before, then you must give them a chance. While they fall under the cozy mystery sub-genre, they are truly about the mystery and drama around the town. You might find a recipe or two, and you’ll get a few thoughts from the author about the book, but the series has depth and a very solid cast of intelligent and fun characters. Maggie has an awesome grandmother who drinks just enough to be hysterical. Her parents are wonderful owners of the family’s beautiful bed and breakfast. She’s smitten with the local detective, and her friends come in many shapes, sizes, and forms. I love them all, even the rude ones who sometimes push my buttons!

Meet Ellen Byron

For some links to a few sites that might help you decide to move forward, check these out:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/23234.Ellen_Byron

https://www.ellenbyron.com/

And my own blog page with reviews for all 5 books

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are four books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, and Mistaken Identity Crisis. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Book Review: Fatal Cajun Festival by Ellen Byron

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Fatal Cajun Festival: A Cajun Country MysteryFatal Cajun Festival: A Cajun Country Mystery by Ellen Byron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fatal Cajun Festival is the fifth book in the ‘Cajun Country Mystery’ cozy series written by Ellen Byron. I was lucky enough to get an early copy through NetGalley and happened to be current in the series so I could begin reading it this week. It will be published in early fall but you can pre-order it now via Amazon. Byron has another success on her hands, and I truly enjoyed the latest edition in this adorable and engaging series about crimes occurring on a Louisiana plantation.

Maggie’s grandmother helped organize a music festival in Pelican. A rising country singer who used to live in Pelican returns to sing for her hometown. In the days before her performance, we meet all the people in her band or running her team, then learn one of them is a former rival of Maggie’s good friend, Gay. Unfortunately, someone in the band causes trouble for a few people and winds up dead. Another person is attacked, and everything points to Gay. Maggie knows it’s not true, and even fakes a break-up with her fiance police detective, Bo, so she can unearth the scoop. Will she be successful, or will someone feed her to the alligators and snakes first?

Music and a southern Louisiana plantation go hand-in-hand. The drama that unfolds is clever and messy (in a good way) — there are a variety of strong suspects with believable alibis and motives. One of them is clearly being faked, but it’s not obvious at first. There are complex layers afoot in this mystery, and we only learn how everyone is connected, by accident, near the end. What an interesting way to assemble a band! Byron has created a compelling story with memorable characters, all the while dazzling us with subplots and side-stories about Maggie’s friends and families who aren’t involved directly in the murder mystery. For instance, Gran learns something about her late husband, and it changes her future. Maggie makes a decision about her own relationship’s future. And a few other characters get some unexpected surprises. Great way to keep viewers entertained while solving an investigation.

Byron’s books are easy to read. She wraps up her subplots. We see lots of characters who move the story along. And we never feel overwhelmed or confused. It’s a strong balance of all the things that belong in a cozy. It’s one of the series I’ve stayed super-current on so I can read the books when they first become available, rather than wait months or years to catch up. I look forward to the next one! Hurry up, please. 🙂

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are four books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, and Mistaken Identity Crisis. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.