Plantation ShuddersPlantation Shudders by Ellen Byron is the first book in the NEW “Cajun Country” mystery series. Publisher: Crooked Lane Books, August 2015

It’s the end of the summer and Prodigal Daughter Maggie Crozat has returned home to her family’s plantation-turned-bed-and-breakfast in Louisiana. The Crozats have an inn full of guests for the local food festival–elderly honeymooners, the Cajun Cuties, a mysterious stranger from Texas, a couple of hipster lovebirds, and a trio of Georgia frat boys. But when the elderly couple keels over dead within minutes of each other–one from very unnatural causes– Maggie and the others suddenly become suspects in a murder.

With the help of Bo Durant, the town’s handsome new detective, Maggie must investigate to clear her name while holding the family business together at the same time. And the deeper she digs, the more she wonders: are all of the guests really there for a vacation or do they have ulterior motives? Decades-old secrets and stunning revelations abound in Ellen Byron’s charming cozy debut, Plantation Shudders.

This was very enjoyable. I love the pacing and the comfortable tone presented in this lovely down-home whodunit. We are introduced to the Crozat family where Maggie, our heroine, puts on her sleuthing cap in order to save the family business and their reputation. This was a well-written drama with a mystery that kept me both intrigued and in suspense as to the identity of the killer. Who would harm a one of the guests? Well, inside the pages of this book you find plenty of suspects and some plot twists that had me re-thinking how this will play out. The author did a great job in keeping me engrossed in all the happenings as this quickly became a page-turner and when it was all said and done; I didn’t want the story to end. Boasting a lovable, eccentrically and quirky cast of characters that includes Gran who provided some amusing antics, engaging dialogue and southern charm, this is a delightfully charming debut that I hope is here to stay for a long, long time. I’m so happy a second book is in production.

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