Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Book Review: Cajun Kiss of Death by Ellen Byron (Cajun Country Mysteries #7)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Characters, mystery
Cons: I kissed off all cons
The Bottom Line:
Restaurant comes to town
With opening night murder
Entry fans will love

Celebrity Chef Comes to Call

I say over and over again that one reason I love the series I read is because revisiting them is like checking in with old friends.  The Cajun Country Mysteries from Ellen Byron are another wonderful example of that, and I was soon under the spell of Cajun Kiss of Death.

The series takes place in Pelican, Louisiana, a typical cozy small town.  However, being in Cajun Country gives it a special flair, and we do take a few trips into some of the larger, more famous cities in the state.

The series focuses on Maggie Crozat.  She’s an artist who helps at a museum created at her mother’s family’s old plantation while helping her parents run the bed and breakfast they’ve opened at the plantation owned by her father’s side of the family.  Given her connection to the community, it isn’t any wonder that Maggie is able to go in and ask questions when murder happens.

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and the town is buzzing about the new restaurant getting ready to open.  It’s the latest from celebrity chef Phillippe Chanson, and this one will have an emphasis on Cajun food.  However, Phillippe isn’t ingratiating himself with his new community, and several people have fights with him, including Maggie’s friend, JJ, the owner of a popular local restaurant, and Maggie’s own mother.  The night of the restaurant’s official opening is more explosive than anyone planned, and in the aftermath, someone is dead.  Will Maggie figure out what is going on?

I’ve got to admit, I had a couple different thoughts on who the murder victim would be before the body dropped.  Those other potential victims naturally turned into suspects immediately.  There are actually several different storylines going on here, and the result kept me engaged the entire time.  Once again, Maggie’s eye for detail, honed as an artist, provides the clues she needs to solve the crime, something I always appreciate about this series.

As I said earlier, it is the characters that keep me coming back to these books.  We’ve seen relationships grow and change drastically over the course of the series, and I am thrilled to see how that plays out here.  While you could certainly jump in to the series here, what happens will mean so much more if you already know and love the characters, especially what happens in the opening chapter.  And yes, the suspects are just as strong as the series regulars.

As always, we get some recipes at the end.  This time around, we have seven delicious sounding Cajun inspired dishes to try after we’ve finished the book.  Plus, I always enjoy the notes at the end that provide some facts that helped shaped the fiction we just finished reading.

Sadly, this is going to be our last visit to Pelican, at least for the immediate future.  However, fans will love the epilogue we get.  I know I did.

Cajun Kiss of Death is another delightful visit to Maggie and her family and friends.  Fans will delight in the story.  If you haven’t started this series yet, you really are missing out.

Don’t miss the rest of the Cajun Country Mysteries.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.

1 comment:

  1. I just rolled this series into my Year of Series project and have been really enjoying it. I'm sad to see this one is the last one but so glad the ending was satisfying. I've got a couple of books to go before I get to this one.