Welcome to the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Murder in the Bayou Boneyard: A Cajun Country Mystery by Ellen Byron. Stop by each blog on the tour for interviews, guest posts, spotlights, reviews and more!
Maggie Crozat has the Halloween heebie-jeebies in USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning author Ellen Byron’s howlingly funny sixth Cajun Country mystery.
Murder in the Bayou Boneyard: A Cajun Country Mystery
by Ellen Byron
I received this book free to review; however, all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive compensation at no cost to you.
Murder in the Bayou Boneyard: A Cajun Country Mystery
6th in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (September 8, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Maggie Crozat, proprietor of a historic Cajun Country B&B, prefers to let the good times roll. But hard times rock her hostelry when a new cell phone app makes it easy for locals to rent their spare rooms to tourists. With October–and Halloween–approaching, she conjures up a witch-crafty marketing scheme to draw visitors to Pelican, Louisiana.
Five local plantation B&Bs host “Pelican’s Spooky Past” packages, featuring regional crafts, unique menus, and a pet costume parade. Topping it off, the derelict Dupois cemetery is the suitably sepulchral setting for the spine-chilling play Resurrection of a Spirit. But all the witchcraft has inevitably conjured something: her B&B guests are being terrified out of town by sightings of the legendary rougarou, a cross between a werewolf and vampire.
When, in the Dupois cemetery, someone costumed as a rougarou stumbles onstage during the play–and promptly gives up the ghost, the rougarou mask having been poisoned with strychnine, Maggie is on the case. But as more murders stack up, Maggie fears that Pelican’s spooky past has nothing on its bloodcurdling present.
My review of Murder in the Bayou Boneyard
Where has this series been all of my life? Murder in the Bayou Boneyard is the 6th book in A Cajun Country Mystery Series, but if you’ve not read the first five, you can still jump in right here like I did! Sure, you miss some of the backstory like how certain characters met. However, Ellen Byron swiftly manages to make you feel like you’ve known the characters forever. Furthermore, you catch on to the important relationship details just through reading the story.
Maggie and her grandmother’s relationship reminds me of the relationship I had with my grandma. I was always grandma’s girl, and I still miss her. Plus, the way that Maggie’s Gran dresses is so much like my grandma was. She was always stylin’ no matter where she was.
Maggie and Gran are just two of the wonderfully written characters you meet in Murder in the Bayou Boneyard. Along with the main characters, you’ve got a whole passel of side and “guest” characters who make the story and mystery so intriguing!
Though I’ve never been to Louisiana, it’s on my bucket list, so I adored the setting. Add to that the fact that the book takes place during the Halloween season, and you’ve got the perfect backdrop for this cozy.
You’ll love trying to solve the multiple crimes with all of the red herrings that you’ll encounter. I kept changing my mind about who the perpetrator(s) was(were)! I spent almost all day reading Murder in the Bayou Boneyard because I couldn’t put it down! It’s a great book to read in your fuzzy socks with a cup of tea and a plate of cookies. Trust me. You’ll want those cookies because you are going to be starving while you read about all of the delicious sounding food in this one! Luckily for you, the author shares her recipes at the end of the book. And I’ve got one here for you too!
I highly recommend this fun cozy mystery book! Enjoy reading and eating!
Ghoulish Cajun Goulash Recipe
This is a delicious dish that will appeal to adults and kids alike. Easy to make, easy to serve, and perfect on a chilly Halloween night. Boo!
- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef or ground turkey
- ¼ cup chopped celery
- 1 small white onion, chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper, seeded, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, diced
- 1/4 cup beef, chicken, or turkey broth
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes (I found a brand that includes onions, peppers and celery – the Cajun Holy Trinity! But that was fluke. Regular diced tomatoes are fine)
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (salted or salt-free)
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
Cook elbow macaroni according to box directions. Drain. Set aside.
In a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the olive oil, beef or turkey, onions, peppers, celery, garlic, salt and pepper for 5-6 minutes until meat is browned and the vegetables are softened. Add broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Cajun seasoning, Italian seasoning, paprika, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then mix in cooked pasta. Cover and reduce to a simmer for 8-10 minutes.
Just before serving, add the mozzarella and cheddar cheeses to the pan, stirring for 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted. Garnish each serving with parsley. Serve immediately, with Tabasco sauce on the side for anyone who wants to add a little heat to their meal.
I was very jealous of the characters in Murder in the Bayou Boneyard when they were eating this Cajun goulash! I bought the ingredients, so we’ll be having it soon!
About Ellen Byron
Ellen’s Cajun Country Mysteries have won the Agatha award for Best Contemporary Novel and multiple Lefty awards for Best Humorous Mystery. Her Catering Hall Mystery series, written as Maria DiRico, launched with Here Comes the Body and was inspired by her real life. She’s an award-winning playwright and non-award-winning TV writer of comedies like WINGS, JUST SHOOT ME, and FAIRLY ODD PARENTS, but she considers her most impressive credit working as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart. A native New Yorker who attended New Orleans’ Tulane University, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and rescue furbaby. Sign up for her newsletter at https://www.ellenbyron.com/
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