The Crozats feared that past murders at Crozat Plantation B&B might spell the death of their beloved estate, but they’ve managed to survive the scandal. Now there’s a très bigger story in Pelican, Louisiana: the upcoming nuptials between Police Chief Rufus Durand and Vanessa Fleer.
Maggie Crozat, inexplicably tasked with being Vanessa’s maid of honor, quickly discovers why everyone else refused the assignment when the bridezilla hands her a long list of duties—the most important of which is entertaining Vanessa’s cousin, Ginger Fleer-Starke, a mysterious woman with dangerous secrets. But just days before the wedding, Ginger’s lifeless body is found on the bayou behind Crozat Plantation. Now the Pelican PD and the Crozats have another murder mystery on their hands.
There’s a gumbo pot full of suspects, including an ex-marine with PTSD, an annoying local newspaper reporter, and Vanessa’s own spark plug of a mother. But when it looks like the investigation is zeroing in on Vanessa as the prime suspect, Maggie reluctantly adds keeping the bride-to-be out of jail to her list of maid-of-honor responsibilities.
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Second book in series!
Body on the Bayou by Ellen Byron is the second book in A Cajun Country Mystery series. Magnolia Marie Crozat (who prefers Maggie) is a docent at Louisiana Doucet Plantation that was owned by her ancestors. Maggie is also a painter and helps with the families bed and breakfast (Crozat Plantation Bed and Breakfast). Maggie has agreed to act as Vanessa Fleer’s maid of honor (even though she does not like Vanessa) in hopes of repairing the rift between the Durand and Crozat families. Rufus Durand is Vanessa’s fiancé, and he believes that a Crozat ancestor placed a curse on all Durand relationships. Maggie is hoping to soften Rufus’ attitude toward her family. But Maggie did not count on Vanessa’s turning into a bridezilla or firing her wedding planner (why pay someone if you can get someone to do it for free). Then Maggie finds out that Vanessa wants her cousin, Ginger Fleer-Starke (along with her assistant and intern) to stay at the Crozat B&B (for free). When Rufus finds out, he starts laughing hysterically (not a good sign), and Maggie is warned to keep Ginger away from stairs (this does not bode well for the Crozat’s). Ginger is sweet as sugar the first night of her stay (she arrived a week early), but the next day Maggie finds out why Rufus was laughing. After some Ginger related shenanigans at the co-ed bridal shower (which Maggie had to host and pay for), Maggie finds Ginger dead with her head in the bayou. The suspect list is long with Vanessa near the top of Acting Police Chief Hank Perske’s list. Vanessa pleads with Maggie to find the real killer before her wedding day. Maggie starts her investigation with the help of Bo Durand (in between wedding preparation and planning the bachelorette party). But then Trent Socher, Ginger’s assistant turns up dead at the bachelorette party. He was killed with Vanessa’s wedding gift from Rufus (a small silver pistol—so romantic). Maggie needs to work quickly or this wedding will not go off as planned (though Maggie would like to avoid the maid of honor dress that reminds her of a neon Vegas showgirl outfit). Can Maggie find the real culprit before Vanessa and Rufus’ wedding begins? You will have to read Body on the Bayou to find out!
Body on the Bayou was not my cup of tea. It was a too over-the-top silly for my tastes. It was just one inane thing after another (my mother claims I do not have a sense of humor). My favorite character is Bo’s son, Xander. Such a little sweetie. I thought the killer’s identity was easily figured out (I knew who it was as soon as the character was introduced). It was also very easy to figure out who was going to be killed. I mean who didn’t want to kill Ginger. Two clues are all that is needed to solve the mystery (if you need them). I thought too much of book devoted to Maggie and Bo’s “relationship” or lack of one. I like subtle romance in cozy mysteries. I give Body on the Bayou 3 out of 5 stars. The book is easy to read and can be finished in just a few hours. Body on the Bayou is the second book in the series, but it can easily be read alone. Ellen Byron gives us all the background information to bring a reader up-to-date. While this novel was not for me, others will enjoy the humor in it. I suggest getting a sample (if you have an e-reader) to see if the books suits you. Body on the Bayou has a sweet ending that will make you sigh with pleasure.
I received a complimentary copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review. The comments and opinions are strictly my own.