A Day In The Life with Magnolia “Maggie” Crozat by Ellen Byron

Body on the Bayou“. . . And my wedding theme is gonna be LSU colors. Everything purple and gold. The flowers, the tablecloths, the bridesmaids’ dresses, even the bridesmaids! I’m just kidding about the last one. No wait, y’all could get purple and gold streaks in your hair, so add that to your Maid of Honor To-Do List, Maggie. With a star next to it, for real important. I want every little last thing purple and gold. Geaux, Tigers!”

Vanessa Fleer’s nonstop chatter still rang in Maggie Crozat’s ears as she drove home from their mutual workplace, Doucet Plantation, once owned by Maggie’s ancestors. “LSU colors, hah,” she muttered to the wind. Even though it was winter, Maggie liked to drive with the top down on the 1964 Ford Falcon convertible she’d inherited from her late Papa Doucet. “The only time Vanessa was even on the LSU campus was when she crashed a frat party.”

Signing on as point person for Vanessa’s wedding party had been a strategic move. The demanding bride-to-be was engaged to Maggie’s arch-enemy, Police Chief Rufus Durand, so keeping her happy might lead to a rapprochement between the Crozat and Doucet families after a century-and-a-half long feud. Reminding herself of this kept Maggie from exploding like an M80 firecracker when Vanessa peppered her with inane demands.

Maggie’s cell sang “Zydeco Gris Gris,” alerting her to an incoming phone call. Thinking it was from her model-handsome boyfriend, Detective Bo Durand, she smiled, pressed the button on her earpiece, and answered with her sexiest “Hello.” The effort was wasted on the actual caller – Vanessa.

“Maggie, I have terrible news.”

Maggie’s heart clutched. Her first thought was that someone close to Vanessa had died. Her second was a fleeting hope that this would mean the wedding was cancelled. She scolded herself for being insensitive. “Nessa, are you okay? What’s wrong?”

“It’s my cousin Ginger.”

“Is she…” Maggie opted for a delicate choice of words. “Has she. . . passed?”

“Worse.” Vanessa made a choking sound, and then burst into tears. “She’s coming to my wedding.”

The bride-to-be’s sobs reverberated through Maggie’s earpiece. She uttered a few vacuously reassuring phrases to calm Vanessa down, none of which had any effect on the hysterical woman. As Vanessa continued to weep, Maggie picked up panic in her voice. And fear. Who on earth is this Ginger person, Maggie wondered. And why is she more terrifying to Vanessa alive than dead?


Body On The Bayou is the second book in the Cajun Country mystery series, published by Crooked Lane Books, September 2016.

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 Maggie Crozat’s nemesis, Police Chief Rufus Durand, and her co-worker, Vanessa Fleer.

When everyone else refuses the job of being Vanessa’s Maid of Honor, Maggie reluctantly takes up the title and finds herself tasked with a long list of duties–the most important of which is entertaining Vanessa’s cousin, Ginger Fleer-Starke. But just days before the wedding, Ginger’s lifeless body is found on the bayou and the Pelican PD, as well as the Crozats, have another murder mystery on their hands.

There’s a gumbo-potful of suspects, including an ex-Marine with PTSD, an annoying local newspaper reporter, and Vanessa’s own sparkplug 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 in Body on the Bayou, Ellen Byron’s funny and engaging follow up to her critically acclaimed novel Plantation Shudders.

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About the author
Ellen Byron’s novel, Plantation Shudders: A Cajun Country Mystery, was a Library Journal Debut Mystery of the Month, and nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Daphne awards. Book two in the series, Body on the Bayou, was recently released to enthusiastic reviews. TV credits include Wings, Just Shoot Me, and many network pilots; she’s written over 200 national magazine articles; her published plays include the award-winning Graceland. Connect with Ellen at ellenbyron.com.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Body On The Bayou + swag. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end September 21, 2016 at 12 AM (midnight) EST. Good luck everyone!

57 responses to “A Day In The Life with Magnolia “Maggie” Crozat by Ellen Byron

  1. Well this sounds like a really fun way to go somewhere I’ve never been. I think I’ll have to get both books eventually. Thanks

  2. Can’t wait to read this 2nd in series. Love Louisiana stories.

  3. Another read to add to my list of “I hope to win.”

  4. Really enjoyed the first book. Looking forward to reading this one.

  5. I always enjoy books set in Louisiana. Thanks!

  6. elainehroberson

    I enjoyed Plantation Shudders, so I’m sure I would like this one too. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  7. Brian Frauenknecht

    I really enjoyed the first book and can’t wait to read the second one. Thank you Dru for the chance to win.

  8. Oh WOW….this is definitely a book I just know I am going to love, love, love! And I can just tell this from looking at the super awesome cover and reading that the wedding color is PURPLE….my favorite color! Woo Hop! This is a new author for me, and I am so excited to read her latest book…..then need to get and read her first book since this is her second. Thanks so much dear Dru Ann for the chance to win! God bless you!

  9. Congratulations to the author on this release. This sounds like a fabulous story and I will be looking forward to reading. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

  10. Ohhh, the memories of a red Ford Falcon, not a convertible though, and when someone didn’t get the hood latched. Driving along and all of a sudden the hood blows up and hits the windshield, it’s funny now but was scary then, lol.

    wfnren at aol dot com

  11. Sounds great -looking forward to reading the book.

  12. The cover of this book pulls me to check it out. Then seeing it has a plantation located on the Bayou and a wedding too, oh my. Thanks for the review and the opportunity to enter the giveaway. robeader53@yahoo.com

  13. Thanks for this captivating and special book feature and giveaway.

  14. I managed to put book one on hold at the Queens County Library system. Now I need to win book two Body on the Bayou and add it to my home library. I’ll buy a copy of book one when I can.

  15. So wonderful to hear from everyone. Just back from the most amazing week in New Orleans seeing old friends, attending the mystery convention, Bouchercon, AND having a launch party for BODY ON THE BAYOU. How great to come back to Dru’s Musings!

  16. Loved Plantation Shudders. Looking forward to reading Body on the Bayou. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

  17. That wedding is going to be colorful with purple and gold! Thanks for the giveaway.

  18. Awesome sounding book! I once dated a Cajun. His rapport made me melt.

  19. New to me author and I think I need to go buy book1.

  20. Now that’s a new bride’s maid responsibility!

  21. I loved the first book. I can’t wait to find out what comes next and at a wedding what couldn’t be more muderous??

  22. Fun series and i love anything about New Orleans! Thank you for the chance!

  23. Oh, gosh, how could I have missed knowing about this series? I love LA and will definitely be looking for the first book in the series. Thanks for the chance to win.

  24. Great review & thanks for the giveaway. I love this series & can’t wait to read this new entry.

  25. Barbara Hackel

    What a fun sounding series—other than the murder of course. Maggie’s to do list is quite the list! I want to read this and the first book, which I missed somehow! Thanks Dru Ann for alerting me today to both books. Thanks to Ellen for the chance to win a copy! 🙂

  26. The excerpt makes this book sound like a fun read! I like wedding themed stories. Thanks for the chance to win it! lindaherold999@gmail.com

  27. This is my type of book! I love reading about the Deep South and the Plantations. My favorite vacations have been visiting the South and the Antebellum homes and Plantations. Can’t wait to read “Body on the Bayou.

  28. I have been looking forward to this! Weddings goings on always create great storylines! Thanks for the chance to win!

  29. Jill Broussard

    I live in Broussard, Louisiana, so you know this is an absolute must read for me! Thankyou for the opportunity!

  30. Another new author and awesome sounding series, I would love to read.

  31. Weddings make for great stories, as does New Orleans.

  32. I’m very late today! But would love the chance to win this book. I’m currently working on Plantation Shudders. Awesome book! Looking forward to the second. Thanks Dru Ann!

  33. Annette D. Gavigan

    Met Ellen at Bouchercon. She was so delightful.

  34. Nancy Schwenkner

    I would love to read this book. Thanks for the chance to win Body on the Bayou.

  35. The Bayou seems so far from here in Michigan; but I did enjoy our stay in Cajun Country. I would like to visit the area again. Maybe reading “Body On the Bayou” will help.

  36. This sounds like a fun read! I’ll have to add to my ever-growing TBR pile!

  37. I can hardly wait to “meet” this Ginger person—-she must be something else! Thanks for the contest.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

  38. I love the sound of this and I have never visited the Bayou so it would be a new one for me and the Author is one I haven’t read before either. Thanks for the review.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

  39. I love that you picked a basset hound for your series!
    bwilhoite87@gmail.com

  40. Sounds like a great read.
    cactuspare@ cox.net

  41. Loved the first book and look forward to reading the new one.

  42. I love Louisiana, bayous, and new authors, so perfect fit!

  43. This is on my AMAZON wishlist. Looks like a great read!

  44. I loved the time I spent with my grandparents in Louisiana. I can’t wait to check this series out!

  45. I’m looking forward to reading it.

  46. I loved the first book in this series, I can’t wait to read this one!

  47. This is definitely a book I must put on my TBR list. Thank you so much for the chance to win a copy.

  48. Brittany Abbott

    I’m looking forward to reading this series.

  49. Sounds like a interesting series. Thanks for the giveaway.

  50. Would love to start reading a new series.

  51. What a great giveaway; the book sounds great! Thanks for the chance to win it.

  52. This book sounds so good I would love to read and post a few reviews it is right up my alley! I have not read the first one nor the author but would be so excited to start a new series and work backwards. I mean my scooter goes backwards so can i !

  53. Love finding new series to read and this looks like a good one!!

  54. I loved Plantation Shudders ! I would be thrilled to read Body on the Byou. Thank you for the opportunity to win this awesome book.

  55. Patricia Sarka

    Patricia Sarka Both books sounds great. Can’t wait to read them.

  56. I have read some early reviews on this book and it sounds like a win. Thank you for the giveaway. jmcgrath221@hotmail.com

  57. I have not read your guest book in the series. I must check these out. I love Louisiana mysteries. Thank you.