Daily Archives: March 12, 2017

Cover Reveal ~ A Cajun Christmas Killing by Ellen Byron

I’m excited to reveal the cover for third book in the “Cajun Country” mystery series, coming October 10, 2017.

Title: A Cajun Christmas Killing
Series: Cajun Country #3
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Website: Ellen Byron

Christmas in Cajun Country is magical. Elaborate decorations adorn homes and businesses, and Pelican residents come together for a raucous Christmas Eve festival featuring giant bonfires on the levee that light the way up the river for Papa Noël. But this year, there’s coal in the stockings at Crozat Plantation B&B. Someone is flooding travel websites with vicious negative reviews of the B&B. The culprit may be one of the Crozats’ own holiday guests, among whom is Don Baxter, a nasty businessman who’s an innkeeper’s worst nightmare.

When Baxter is found stabbed to death at Doucet Plantation, where heroine Maggie Crozat works part-time, she and her entire family are considered suspects. They establish alibis, but her boyfriend, Detective Bo Durand, also a suspect, remains under suspicion. With Bo sidelined during the investigation, Maggie finds herself with an unlikely ally, longtime family enemy Rufus Durand. Her sleuthing uncovers a viper’s nests of dysfunctional family dynamics, and puts her in the crosshairs of a murderer. She and Rufus must track down Don Baxter’s killer, or it will be the opposite of a Joyeux Noël for those at Crozat Plantation Bed & Breakfast.

About the author
Ellen’s debut novel, Plantation Shudders, nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Daphne awards, made the USA Today Bestseller list. Body on the Bayou, the second book in her Cajun Country Mystery Series, is nominated for a 2016 Best Humorous Mystery Lefty, as well as an Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel. She’s written over 200 national magazine articles; published plays include the award-winning Graceland; TV credits include Wings, Just Shoot Me, Fairly OddParents, and pilots. She’s heard things in comedy writing rooms that she can never repeat in mixed company – unless you buy her a drink.

Book is available for pre-order at retail and online booksellers.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of the first two books, Plantation Shudders and Body on the Bayou. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends March 14, 2017. Good luck everyone!

My Musing ~ The Silence of the Flans by Laura Bradford

The Silence of the Flans by Laura Bradford is the second book in the “Emergency Dessert Squad” mystery series. Publisher: Penguin Random House, March 2017

The second delectable Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery from the national bestselling author of Éclair and Present Danger.

Baker Winnie Johnson does her best work when the heat is on. As owner of the Emergency Dessert Squad, she has a deft touch in the kitchen and a soft spot for lost causes. So when her business professor beau, Jay Morgan, expresses misgivings over having to fail one of his fourth-year students, Winnie cooks up a sweet solution.

She’ll offer an extra credit opportunity in exchange for a little help with her growing business. But when her protégé’s first dessert delivery poisons a student journalist, the publicity threatens to burn Winnie’s business to a crisp. Now the entrepreneur-turned-detective must uncover the ingredients behind a recipe for murder before she crumbles under pressure. . .

Recipes included

This was a fun book to read and I love the camaraderie between Winnie, Mr. Nelson and Bridget. In the latest caper, a young woman dies after eating one of Winnie’s dessert and with her trusted friends, they begin an investigation to clear her name when it looks like Winnie is the prime suspect and what follows is a fun jaunt in search of a killer.

I love this author’s writing style where it has a comfortable tone, a nice flow and enough intrigue that delivers a satisfying whodunit. There were a sufficient number of suspects and clues that kept me in tuned to all that was happening and I especially like how Winnie handled processing it all. I had a good time watching how it all came together with each character’s role playing a pivotal part in exposing the killer’s identity. Bonus to me was the relationship between Jay, Caroline and Winnie. This was a great read and I look forward to more adventures with Winnie and her friends in this delectably appealing series.

My Musing ~ Bitter Harvest by Wendy Tyson

Bitter Harvest by Wendy Tyson is the second book in the “Greenhouse” mystery series. Publisher: Henery Press, March 2017

Megan Sawyer should be shouting from the barn roof. Washington Acres survived its first year, the café has become a hotspot for locals, and Winsome’s sexy Scottish veterinarian is making house calls–only not for the animals. But as summer slips into fall and Winsome prepares for its grand Oktoberfest celebration, beer isn’t the only thing brewing.

When the town’s pub owner is killed in a freak accident, Megan suspects something sinister is afoot in Winsome–but no one is listening. As nights grow longer and temperatures chill, Megan must plow through Winsome’s fixation with autumn festivities to harvest the truth–before another dead body marks the season.

It’s Oktoberfest celebration when murder strikes the small town of Winsome, Pennsylvania. Who is behind this and other mishaps is what’s on Megan’s mind when she starts asking questions, only to uncover a plot that could destroy everything she has garnered.

I love it. There is just something in the way this book is written that pulls me in and then it becomes about what is happening in this small town. The narrative is descriptively appealing putting me in the middle of all the action and the dialogue is engaging keeping me in tuned in all that is being said. The author sets the staging for this whodunit that captures the essence of the characters and their roles that are portrayed in the telling of this tale. The mystery was intriguing with so many things going on like . . . who committed the murder? . . . what underlying factors are present? . . . who is the mystery person? . . . what is the story behind Megan’s mother leaving? All are catalyst to the outcome in this well-developed drama that have me begging for more adventures with Megan and her friends. This was a very enjoyable read and I can’t wait to see where we go next in this delightfully endearing series.

My Musing ~ Purr M for Murder by T.C. LoTempio

Purr M for Murder by T.C. LoTempio is the first book in the NEW “Cat Rescue” mystery series. Publisher: Crooked Lane Books, March 14, 2017

purr-m-for-murderSydney McCall left behind an ex-fiancé and a New York advertising job to return home to Deer Park, North Carolina and help her sister, Kat, run the local animal shelter, Friendly Paws. Determined to save the shelter from financial trouble, Sydney and Kat organize a cat café fundraising event at a local coffee shop. Things are looking up until their landlord, Trowbridge Littleton, threatens to shut down the event. When Sydney drops by his art gallery to make peace, she finds Kat–along with Littleton’s dead body.

Local homicide detective Will Worthington–who just happens to be Sydney’s old high school crush–is highly suspicious of the sisters’ involvement. Desperate to clear their names from the suspect list, Sydney pounces on the investigation. With the help of one of the shelter cats, a savvy orange tabby named Toby, Sydney begins poking her nose into other local businesses whose owners may have benefited from Littleton’s death–until the killer notices she’s pawing a little too closely at the truth.

Delightfully clever and charming, Purr M for Murder, the first in a new series from nationally bestselling author T. C. LoTempio, will leave readers clawing for more.

Sydney with help from an unlikely source begins an investigation to clear her sister’s name when she becomes the prime suspect. I love books that completely have me engrossed in all aspects from the introduction of the characters to the murder to the interactions with secondary players to the list of suspects with much stronger motives to clues sprinkled throughout and the possibility of a blossoming relationship all enhanced the telling of this intriguing tale. The narrative kept me glued to the pages as it visually placed me alongside Sydney as she traversed the littered path in a finale worthy of this satisfying multi-plot story. With an adorable and likable cast of characters that also included Toby, engaging dialogue and the purrfect backdrop of Deer Park, North Carolina, this fast-paced whodunit was charmingly delightful. This is an excellent read and a great addition to the cozy mystery genre.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.


Mentioned in the March/April 2017 issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. . .

Mentioned in Top 10 Cozy Mystery Blogs by A Cozy Experience

Dru, owner of dru’s book musing, to receive the 2017 MWA Raven Award at the Mystery Writers of America’s annual Edgars Award banquet