Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Plantation Shudders by Ellen Byron

In Plantation Shudders, Maggie Crozat returns to her family's plantation in Louisiana after breaking up with her boyfriend in New York. The plantation, now a bed and breakfast, is full of guests. When two guests, an elderly couple, die within minutes of each other, everyone at the B&B comes under suspicion. Maggie must work with the town's new detective, Bo Durand, to find the killer and clear her name, while keeping the business going. As she investigates, she uncovers some interesting and mysterious information about her guests.

I really enjoyed this debut cozy mystery. The story is filled with lots of humour, a little romance, a little spookiness, and a whole lot of fun. I wasn't able to guess the culprit ahead of time, but that didn't really bother me. I certainly enjoyed all of the red herrings that kept me guessing until the reveal.

I really liked Maggie. She wasn't as flighty as some of the other cozy mystery characters I've read about. That was a bonus, for sure. When I found out that she was an artist, I was hoping that her art would figure into the story a little more. Perhaps the author could consider that for a future book in the series.

The other characters had a variety of personalities. Some were easy to like; others, not so much. Each of their backgrounds and possible motives were varied enough to make for an interesting read. I especially loved Maggie's grandmother. She was awesome!

I haven't been to Louisiana, but from what I've read and seen on TV, Byron represents the sights and sounds of Louisiana quite well. I'm sure those familiar with the area will get a kick out of reading about the area.

The book also contains a few recipes that might be fun to try. The one for Crawfish Crozat looks amazing, but there's no way I'm going to find crawfish (or a few of the other ingredients) here on the Canadian Prairies. Maybe one day I'll be able to find some suitable substitutes.

Highly recommended. I'd definitely read another book by this author and am really looking forward to the next book in the series.

For more information about this book, please visit the Crooked Lane Books website.

For more information about the author, please visit Ellen Byron's website.

Thanks to Sarah from Kaye Publicity for this review copy.

Plantation Shudders by Ellen Byron, Crooked Lane Books, ©2015. ISBN 9781629532509(Hardcover), 282p.

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