Murder in the Bayou Boneyard
by Ellen Byron
Although I do not usually favor Halloween themed mysteries, I had a good time with Murder in the Bayou Boneyard. Obviously set in Louisiana, Ellen Byron’s series takes the reader to the Crozat Plantation where the family works together to maintain their property by running a B & B.
A lot is going on in the little town of Pelican as the B & B’s in the area try to attract tourists with Pelican’s Spooky Past packages including a special mystery play, themed edible treats, crafts, and spa specials. Hopefully this will counteract the efforts of Gavin Grody who is buying up affordable housing and using them as tourist rentals.
There are so many plot threads! While all this is going on in the town, the Crozat’s distant cousins from Canada arrive bringing chaos and murder with them. Oil companies are making offers on the plantation land whose ownership may be in question. Don’t take any of the characters at face value; some are not who they seem to be, from the scary gardener to the amiable stage manager to the overacting thespian. There are multiple murders and other dangers along the way, but I promise that all the threads connect with a surprise ending.
My only disappointment was the minimal inclusion of Gopher, the Crozat family’s rescue basset hound in the story despite being featured prominently on the book’s cover. Byron makes up for neglecting Gopher by introducing Louie, a quite talkative parrot with a pivotal and humorous role.
I would like to extend my thanks to Netgalley and to Crooked Lane Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: 1. #6 in the Cajun Country Mystery Series, but could be read as a standalone. The author dumps you into the story with a prologue that may seem confusing, but will be made clear in the conclusion of the novel. Then she proceeds to provide some background even as the story begins.
2. The characters in the book are listed with relations and connections if the reader needs a reference.
3. The book includes 5 recipes with a Cajun twist.
Publication: September 8, 2020—Crooked Lane Books
“Sandy’s got me on this health kick. There should be a state law against making jambalaya with quinoa, whatever the heck that is.”
“He can be smug, overbearing, opinionated, lazy, a total slob—“ “And you’re with him why?” Sandy teared up. “Because he’s smart and funny and loves me more than anybody I’ve ever known.”
“Whoa, whoa,” Bo said, flummoxed. “That’s a whole lotta word salad, chère. You need to calm down. Take deep breaths.”