Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Cajun Christmas Killing by Ellen Byron-Book Review-Author Interview

About the book (provided by Great Escapes Tours)
Maggie Crozat is back home in bayou country during the most magical time of the year. In Pelican, Louisiana, Christmastime is a season of giant bonfires on the levee, zydeco carols, and pots of gumbo. Except, this year, the Grinch has come to stay at the family-run Crozat Plantation B&B. When he floods travel websites with vicious reviews, Maggie thinks she’s identified him as rival businessman Donald Baxter. That is, until he’s found stabbed to death at Maggie’s workplace. And Maggie and her loved ones become top suspects.
The Crozats quickly establish alibis, but Maggie’s boyfriend, Detective Bo Durand, remains under suspicion. With Bo sidelined during the investigation, Maggie finds herself forced to work with an unlikely ally: longtime family enemy Rufus Durand. Her sleuthing uncovers more suspects than drummers drumming, and lands her in the crosshairs of the murderer.
The sleigh bells are jingling, and the clock is ticking for Maggie and Rufus, who must catch the killer or it will be the opposite of a Joyeux Noël in A Cajun Christmas Killing, the recipe-stuffed third installment of USA Today bestselling author Ellen Byron’s Cajun Country mysteries.
And I thought
The fun town of Pelican, Lousiana is not far from New Orleans and is filled with a variety of characters!  Get ready for a fun
and lively ride with the upper crust of Lousiana and just some good 'ole folks.

A Cajun Christmas Killing is book 3 in the series.  I didn't feel
like I missed anything starting with book 3 of the series.

All the characters were seamlessly woven into the plot.  I enjoyed 
all the characters.  Well most of them.  Poor Maggie and her co-workers at the Doucet Plantation had to deal with the new high strung director.

The main character Maggie short for Magnolia now that's a cool name!  Maggie was liked and loved by everyone. Her family and friends were all happy to have her home.  Having recently returned after a bad 'break up'. 

 I loved her too.  She was sweet and kind and stood up for her family, friends and loved ones.  

Maggie even stood up for the underdog; and a couple of the suspects as well.  

A Cajun Christmas Killing takes place in a delightful town filled with fun engaging people.  Like the dance studio owner Sandy who
is just working hard to make something of herself and her business and escape her past.  She gets caught up in the crime and drama when her poor little dog is kidnapped.  Everyone gets together to help find the pup.  

But of course it's Maggie and her dog that save the day.

Did you notice the cover?  I would have read this one just because of that cover! 

When Maggie's detective boyfriend Bo (can you picture Bo) ends up on the suspect list he gets stuck on a desk job.  It's not long 
before Maggie and Bo's cousin manage to clear him and he's back to helping solve the murder(s).  Yes one murder turns to two. 
And even Maggie ends up in a couple of frightening situations before it's all over with!  

I enjoyed my introduction to Ellen Byron and this series.
I look forward to reading many more.

If your a fun of Cozy Mysteries this is one you'll definitely want 
to pick up!  It's fast paced and just a good read.  

I received a complimentary copy from Great Escape Tours.
This review will appear all retail sites where book is available.
This review will appear on Net Galley and Good Reads.


To read more reviews, interviews, character interviews and guest posts visit the Great Escapes Tour . . .
Click here to visit the tour

Interview with the author 
Hello Ellen    Welcome to the blog.  I appreciate you dropping in. 

Do you have any little guilty pleasures that you indulge in when you writing?
Yes, I check Facebook far too often! It’s a total wormhole that I fall into and then have to extricate myself from. I also check a variety of other sites, as well as my email. I try to convince myself that it’s all work-related in terms of engaging and marketing. But really… it’s an indulgence.

I’m curious.  I am a neighbor in Texas.  If you could write anywhere in the U.S. where would you go?
Oh, southern Louisiana, absolutely. My dream is to live there at least four months a year. My husband hates the humidity so he’s ruled out the summer months.

I was surprised to read in your bio that you don’t live in Cajun country.
How did you come up with the series and location?
 I attended Tulane University in New Orleans. When my parents visited, we’d rent a car and tootle around Cajun Country. I became fascinated by the area, and explored it many times on my own post-college. Initially, I set plays in the region and created Cajun characters. That eventually morphed into the series.

Do you see Maggie doing any traveling?  Maybe a trip to New York?
Not at the moment, although New York comes to her in A CAJUN CHRISTMAS KILLING. You’ll see…  And she, Bo, and Gran’ go to New Orleans to search for clues. Since this book takes place around Christmas, I got describe the holiday season in NOLA, which was great fun.

My series is so inspired by the setting that it would be hard to send Maggie somewhere else for any period of time. I think that’s true of many mystery series. I adore Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series and have reveled in every book. She made the bold move of setting A Beautiful Mystery solely at a monk’s retreat. It was a great book, but I did miss the bucolic village of Three Pines.

If you were to begin a new series featuring one of the cast who would you choose and why? OMG, you read my mind! I’ve already come up with a spin-off in my head featuring… criminal defense lawyer Quentin MacIlhoney and his wife Vanessa. I love writing him so much, and I think they’re fun together. In my pitch, his fireplug of a mother-in-law, Tookie Fleer, moves into their guesthouse, so in an effort to avoid her, he spends his free time out of the house working to uncover the real killers in a mystery so he can get his wrongly accused clients off the hook.

What scene in the book do you like most? 
I LOVE when Maggie, Gran’ and Bo go to New Orleans, and Maggie and Gran’ must put up with the annoying elitism of a wealthy Garden District family.

What scene in the book was the easiest to write? Hardest?
 I think the scene I described above was the easiest. The hardest was the wrap-up scene. You want to share valuable and important info, but not make the reveal of it a total bore.

Since A Cajun Christmas Killing is book 3 in the series do you recommend reading books 1 and 2 first?
 Honestly, I write the books so you can come in at any point in the series. There’s the “mystery of the week” as we say in television, and then the arcs of the main characters. But I share enough backstory so that readers aren’t totally in the dark re: the developing relationships. Still, my hope is that even if you didn’t start with them, you’ll want to go back and read books one and two.

I love the covers of all three books in the series how much involvement do you have in the development of the covers?
 I’m so glad you like them! Generally I see a sketch first, at which point I give my ideas re: the overall focus of the cover. Then I see a rough color rendering, and I may give some notes. For example, with this cover I wanted an element of suspense on it. After the initial artwork, my agent had the idea of adding ominous ornaments to the Christmas tree on the porch, which I loved. So the cover designers added that. I have some very specific thoughts re: the cover design for the fourth book in the series, MARDI GRAS MURDER, and I’ve already shared them with Crooked Lane.

It was such fun chatting.  I appreciate you taking the time to
come over and visit!  
It was fun being here! Thanks for having me.

I hope you have a wonderful tour!  Best Wishes!


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