New Release Mondays: A Cajun Christmas Killing by Ellen Byron

I first met Ellen Byron at Bouchercon Raleigh in 2015 and immediately knew I’d found a kindred spirit. I’ve since come to love her books and it’s my honor to present her latest here.

Author Name: Ellen Byron

Book Title: A Cajun Christmas Killing

Book Genre: Cozy

Release Date: October 10, 2017

Synopsis: Maggie Crozat is home in Cajun Country during the most magical time of the year. But the Grinch has come to stay at Crozat Plantation B&B, and he’s flooding travel websites with vicious reviews. Maggie ID’s him as rival businessman Donald Baxter –until Baxter is found stabbed to death. With her detective boyfriend sidelined as a suspect, Maggie must catch the real killer or it will be the opposite of a Joyeux Noel for the Crozats.

Excerpt: For Maggie Crozat, there was nowhere lovelier than Pelican, Louisiana, during the holidays. Its wrought iron balconies were threaded with sparkling garlands, and from them dangled colorful Christmas ornaments. Town businesses painted their windows with snowy scenes that delighted the local children, most of whom had never seen real snow thanks to Louisiana’s mild winters. In a time-honored tradition, images of pelicans were hidden among the decorations and anyone who mapped all of them received a prize: a toy pelican for the kids or a shot-glass shaped like one for the adults. The festive atmosphere brought forth much good cheer among the locals. It also allowed them to ignore the fact the sleepy Cajun village had been the site of four murders in a mere three months.

Maggie decided to join the collective state of amnesia, even though each of the murders had somehow involved Crozat Plantation B&B, her family’s ancestral home turned hostelry. As she drove down the Great River Road, she took in the bonfires that were in various stages of construction on the Mississippi levee. This was where Pelican’s good-natured competitive spirit really manifested itself. In centuries past, the bonfires had served as blazing signposts guiding travelers up the river, but they had evolved into a tradition of lighting the way for the Cajun Santa Claus, Papa Noel, on Christmas Eve. Eager participants who vied to create the most ornate structure often began building them right after Thanksgiving. Others didn’t care about looks, opting for the honor of loudest bonfire. Maggie couldn’t even see one of them under its layers of firecrackers. She noticed someone else had simply roped together stacks of sugar cane, which popped like firecrackers when they blazed.

In past years her father, Tug Crozat, had gone log for log with Belle Vista’s bonfire by erecting a detailed model of Crozat. But this year, Tug had unexpectedly opted for the more standard pyramid structure. He also bowed out of the fireworks display that always accompanied the bonfire’s burning. This really surprised Maggie, since Tug usually took to it with the glee of a ten-year-old budding pyromaniac.

About the author:  Body on the Bayou, the second book in Ellen’s Cajun Country Mystery Series, recently won the Left Coast Crime Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery, and was nominated for an Agatha Award in the category of Best Contemporary Novel. Ellen’s debut novel in the series, Plantation Shudders, was nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Daphne awards, and made the USA Today Bestseller list. Book three, A Cajun Christmas Killing, launches October 10th. TV credits include Wings, Just Shoot Me, Fairly OddParents, and many pilots. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and two spoiled rescue dogs. Visit her at

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10 responses to “New Release Mondays: A Cajun Christmas Killing by Ellen Byron

  1. Judy Penz Sheluk

    I know! Thanks for popping by Carol.

  2. This sounds like a great read curled up during the holidays.:)

  3. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks for stopping by Sheri! We need to bring you into the mystery writers’ fold!

  4. Great synopsis, descriptions, and excitng story. Thanks for sharing-

  5. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks for stopping by Kristina.

  6. Kristina Stanley

    Great cover. The blurb sounds intriguing, too!

  7. Judy Penz Sheluk

    I get it. We only have so much conference money!

  8. Thanks so much for a great opportunity, Judy!! Alas, I won’t be at B’con either, Beth. It’s going to be hard watching all those happy, joyful pix on FB, let me tell you!

  9. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks for popping by Beth! I love the covers for Ellen’s books…this one is really spectacular. Happy birthday to you grandson. Ellen won’t be at Bouchercon but I will! Stay tuned for updates!

  10. So happy to see Ellen’s latest book highlighted on your blog, Judy. The setting description is perfect as usual for this talented cosy mystery writer. I know you all will have fun this next weekend at Bouchercon. Celebrating my grandson’s birthday that weekend or I would be joining you both! Thanks for the great mention of Ellen’s book!

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