Murder in the Bayou Boneyard: A Cajun Country Mystery
by Ellen Byron
About Murder in the Bayou Boneyard
Murder in the Bayou Boneyard: A Cajun Country Mystery
6th in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (September 8, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Digital ASIN: B082H3BT6F
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.
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.
Guest Post by the Author
Ever since I began writing the Cajun Country Mysteries, a highlight of publication has been my annual panel appearance at the Louisiana Book Festival, which takes place in Baton Rouge either the last Saturday in October or first in November. I always combine the trip with a visit to New Orleans, especially now that our daughter has followed my path and is attending college there. (She’s at Loyola – Go, Wolfpack! I’m a Tulane alum – Roll, Wave!)
Last year, as luck would have it, our visit aligned with Halloween. The timing was serendipitous since I was in the processing of writing MURDER IN THE BAYOU BONEYARD, my sixth Cajun Country Mystery, which revolves around the celebration of Halloween in my fictional town of Pelican, Louisiana. Being that no city celebrates any holiday like New Orleans – especially Halloween, given the city’s claim as the most haunted in the country – my husband Jer and I decided we had to check out the action in the French Quarter, something I hadn’t done since I was a Tulane student. First, we wandered the neighborhood near our Garden District hotel to admire the decorations. The streets were packed with likeminded locals taking in the fabulous sights like this house…
And this one…
Then we hopped on the streetcar, which was filled with an array of costumed celebrants, and made our way to the Quarter. I loved the skeleton “krewe” we met walking down Canal Street.
Having experienced Bourbon Street during the madness that is Mardi Gras, I was a little nervous about what the Halloween scene might be. I was happy to find a jovial crowd more entertained by each other’s costumes than giant fishbowls of frozen daquiris. And just like Uptown, the decorations were great.
This year, I was thrilled to learn the Louisiana Book Festival would fall on Halloween itself. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect since MURDER IN THE BAYOU BONEYARD launched September 8th. I found a cheap airline fare and quickly bought tickets. Then, like so many events this year, it was cancelled. Understandable, of course, but still deeply disappointing.
I have no idea what Halloween in the Crescent City will look like in 2020. I doubt anyone does. But I haven’t cancelled our trip yet. Frankly, I’m looking for every excuse not to —i.e., we can visit our daughter, never mind that she may be too busy to see us. Or “it’s research,” because I have two pending projects set in New Orleans. We’ll have to decide by early October whether or not we go. If we don’t, I have the photographs and memories of our past trip and anticipation of more to come in the future. And come October 31st, if I need a dose of Halloween – I can always read my own book!
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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