Release Date: September 13, 2016
Synopsis: There’s a très big story in Pelican, Louisiana: the upcoming nuptials between Maggie Crozat’s nemesis, Rufus Durand, and her co-worker, Vanessa Fleer. Maggie agrees to be frenemy Vanessa’s Maid of Honor. But when a murder takes place and Vanessa tops the list of suspects, meeting this Bridezilla’s wedding demands takes a backseat to keeping her out of jail.
Excerpt: “Oh, come on, Vanessa.” Maggie held up the list. “‘Confirm contract with venue and caterers, order flowers, renegotiate rental prices…’ A Maid of Honor doesn’t take care of these things, a wedding planner does. You need to give this list to yours.”
Vanessa grimaced and put her hand on her baby bump. She reached behind her, groping for a seat, then lowered herself onto the picnic table bench between Ione and Gaynell, shoving each of them to the side. “Dang, another pain. I can feel my blood pressure going up. I may need to call my doctor. She’s real worried about me going into pre-term labor.”
“We know,” Ione said. “You tell us every time we don’t do what you want.”
“Well, it’s true.”
Vanessa cast a pitiful glance at Maggie, who sighed. Vanessa might be bluffing, but Maggie didn’t want to take the chance that she wasn’t. Woe be it to anyone who caused the future Mrs. Rufus Durand to deliver early. “Okay, fine, I’ll help you out. Just spare me another ‘pre-term labor’ performance.”
“Thank you.” Vanessa popped up, and then pulled out her cell phone. “Oooh, I got a text from my mama.” As she read the message, Vanessa pulled off her old-fashioned, banana-curled wig and rubbed her scalp. She’d stopped coloring her hair after reading that it wasn’t good for a gestating infant, so muddy brown roots dead-ended about two inches from her old yellow-blonde dye job.
Vanessa finished reading, put her phone away, and slowly sat down again, her face so pale that Maggie worried she might actually follow through with the threat to deliver early. “Van, are you all right? You don’t look good.”
“It’s my cousin, Ginger,” Vanessa said. The women waited for her to continue, but she stared straight ahead, her face stricken.
“Is it… bad news?” Ione asked gently.
“Yes.” Vanessa nodded. “She’s coming to my wedding.”
And Vanessa burst into hysterical sobs.
About the Author: Ellen Byron’s debut novel, Plantation Shudders, was nominated for an Agatha Best First Novel as well as a Best Humorous Mystery Lefty Award. It was also chosen by the Library Journal as a Debut Mystery of the Month. Body on the Bayou is the second in Ellen’s Cajun Country Mystery series. Her TV credits include Wings, Just Shoot Me and Still Standing, as well as pilots for most of the major networks; she’s written over 200 magazine articles; her published plays include the award-winning Graceland and Asleep on the Wind. Ellen is a recipient of a William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant for mystery writers. Find Ellen at http://www.ellenbyron.com/