Body In The Bayou by Ellen Byron is the second book in the “Cajun Country” mystery series. Publisher: Crooked Lane Books, September 2016

Body on the BayouThe 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.

In the latest adventures in Pelican, Louisiana, Maggie Crozat is tasked with not only being at beck and call 24 hours to bridezilla Vanessa but also with solving the murder that threatens Vanessa’s blissful day. And what we have is a delightful appealing fast-paced drama that exudes southern charm and hospitality. I liked how the author presented this mystery with snippets here and there to foretell what was going to happen next. Adding in new players on the scene who are potential suspects gave way to more clues to keep the list growing until the pieces of the puzzle started to make sense and with a few twists and turns told us more than we knew until there was only one person left standing. The set up to the discovery of the killer was so perfect, I had to increase my reading speed in order to see how this would turn out. Go Crozats! I especially loved that little twist with the wedding and I really liked the scene that pulled at my heart with Maggie and Xander. Boasting a wonderful, yet some are quirky cast of characters, engaging dialogue and a feel good atmosphere, this is one of the best book in this entertaining series and I can’t wait for more fun times with Maggie and her friends.

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