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It's the end of the summer and Prodigal Daughter Maggie Crozat has returned home to her family's plantation-turned-bed-and-breakfast in Louisiana. The Crozats have an inn full of guests for the local food festival--elderly honeymooners, the Cajun Cuties, a mysterious stranger from Texas, a couple of hipster lovebirds, and a trio of Georgia frat boys. But when the elderly c It's the end of the summer and Prodigal Daughter Maggie Crozat has returned home to her family's plantation-turned-bed-and-breakfast in Louisiana. The Crozats have an inn full of guests for the local food festival--elderly honeymooners, the Cajun Cuties, a mysterious stranger from Texas, a couple of hipster lovebirds, and a trio of Georgia frat boys. But when the elderly couple keels over dead within minutes of each other--one from very unnatural causes-- Maggie and the others suddenly become suspects in a murder. With the help of Bo Durand, the town's handsome new detective, Maggie must investigate to clear her name while holding the family business together at the same time. And the deeper she digs, the more she wonders: are all of the guests really there for a vacation or do they have ulterior motives? Decades-old secrets and stunning revelations abound in Ellen Byron's charming cozy debut, Plantation Shudders.


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It's the end of the summer and Prodigal Daughter Maggie Crozat has returned home to her family's plantation-turned-bed-and-breakfast in Louisiana. The Crozats have an inn full of guests for the local food festival--elderly honeymooners, the Cajun Cuties, a mysterious stranger from Texas, a couple of hipster lovebirds, and a trio of Georgia frat boys. But when the elderly c It's the end of the summer and Prodigal Daughter Maggie Crozat has returned home to her family's plantation-turned-bed-and-breakfast in Louisiana. The Crozats have an inn full of guests for the local food festival--elderly honeymooners, the Cajun Cuties, a mysterious stranger from Texas, a couple of hipster lovebirds, and a trio of Georgia frat boys. But when the elderly couple keels over dead within minutes of each other--one from very unnatural causes-- Maggie and the others suddenly become suspects in a murder. With the help of Bo Durand, the town's handsome new detective, Maggie must investigate to clear her name while holding the family business together at the same time. And the deeper she digs, the more she wonders: are all of the guests really there for a vacation or do they have ulterior motives? Decades-old secrets and stunning revelations abound in Ellen Byron's charming cozy debut, Plantation Shudders.

30 review for Plantation Shudders

  1. 5 out of 5

    Luffy

    Reading the first book in the series made me want more of the same author. Knowing a bit about the French Culture, I was interested in learning about Lousiana customs. The French there is slightly devolved from the original language, but not enough to be called Creole. But if you're reading this review to know whether to read Plantation Shudders, then I'll nod a vociferation, a yes of approval. Don't take notice of my rating. The author is talented. There is so much competition among cozy authors, Reading the first book in the series made me want more of the same author. Knowing a bit about the French Culture, I was interested in learning about Lousiana customs. The French there is slightly devolved from the original language, but not enough to be called Creole. But if you're reading this review to know whether to read Plantation Shudders, then I'll nod a vociferation, a yes of approval. Don't take notice of my rating. The author is talented. There is so much competition among cozy authors, but everyone legit seems to be able to make a living. That's a condition I'm happy with. The more the merrier, right?

  2. 4 out of 5

    James

    Earlier this week, I was selected to receive a copy of the fourth book in this series. I had been meaning to try the series for a while, but couldn't get out of the TBR slump. Since I prefer reading books in order when they're part of a series, I had to order the first three and finish them before I needed to review the latest one. I picked this up yesterday and finished it within three hours. It's a quick-n-easy read but full of wonderful characters, descriptions and scenes. I highly recommend Earlier this week, I was selected to receive a copy of the fourth book in this series. I had been meaning to try the series for a while, but couldn't get out of the TBR slump. Since I prefer reading books in order when they're part of a series, I had to order the first three and finish them before I needed to review the latest one. I picked this up yesterday and finished it within three hours. It's a quick-n-easy read but full of wonderful characters, descriptions and scenes. I highly recommend the series and will definitely keep reading the rest. Maggie split with her boyfriend of 6 years after running a successful business in NYC together. He finally proposed [to another girl!] and took the company away from Maggie, so she went home to Louisiana to figure out her next steps. Her family (parents and grandmother) run a B&B out of their plantation home-- the nicest but also one of the last still standing. There is a long-time rivalry between her family and another, and unfortunately, the Chief of Police belongs to that other family. Oops, poor Maggie's gonna have quite an uphill battle if she keeps getting pulled into the role of an amateur sleuth. When the detective on the case retires, a new one from a larger town in the state arrives to takeover... but he's related to the Chief, part of the family who has a grudge against her, and is a smoldering man she dreams about. The series has a perfect setup and backdrop, and then in this initial book, several guests die while staying at the B&B. How are they connected? Who's the murderer? And what's the history that's got someone all shook up to cause the 'plantation shudders?' Byron excels at creating ambiance. You can tell from her word choice and style that she's been to Louisiana and experienced the culture. I researched her a bit and now understand her fascination with everything Cajun. My other half is from LA, so I'm very familiar with all Byron's described, and she lives in NYC and writes for TV. We have lots of stuff in common, so it's no wonder I adored this first book. It has everything I want in a cozy from humor to emotion, sarcasm to educational tidbits. The characters made me happy and angry, everything is believable, and I really felt a strong connection with the way the story unfolded. I can't wait to read the next one this weekend!

  3. 4 out of 5

    LORI (Dollycas) CASWELL

    Dollycas’s Thoughts Look at that cover, that house is gorgeous. I knew I had to read this book as soon as I saw the cover. I can totally understand the need to turn it into a Bed & Breakfast. The costs to upkeep such a beautiful home must be astronomical. Of course when you invite people you don’t know into your home you are never sure who is going to show up. This end of the summer group are quite a unique bunch. Frat boys, lovebirds, a family with kids, a Texan, and then the elderly honeymooner Dollycas’s Thoughts Look at that cover, that house is gorgeous. I knew I had to read this book as soon as I saw the cover. I can totally understand the need to turn it into a Bed & Breakfast. The costs to upkeep such a beautiful home must be astronomical. Of course when you invite people you don’t know into your home you are never sure who is going to show up. This end of the summer group are quite a unique bunch. Frat boys, lovebirds, a family with kids, a Texan, and then the elderly honeymooners that check out permanently before their stay barely begins. The cards are stacked against the Crozats, the people died in their B&B and Sheriff Ru Durand would love to see them lose their family home. He is a man carrying a huge chip on his shoulder. Thankfully his cousin Bo has come to town and he is a detective with an open mind and someone Maggie would like to get to know better after this murder mess is cleaned up. The story was full of Southern charm and mouth watering Cajun cooking. Don’t worry, recipes are in the back of the book. I have never been to Louisiana but Byron’s words sure transported me there. I could almost feel the humidity and the few breezes that came through. I could definitely smell the food! The author has created really wonderful characters. Characters that I wanted to get to know better immediately. They are a pretty diverse group. Some of them I truly liked and others not so much, but they all had key roles to play and they played them very well. What I really like is that they have room to grow. The whodunit had me scratching my head several times, everyone seemed to have a secret. The twists kept turning in directions I didn’t want them to go. Thankfully Maggie doesn’t give up as she knows the sheriff isn’t doing much detecting. Bo Durant was such a breath of fresh air. He was professional and tried to move the case along. He knew the Crozats were losing money and their business was in jeopardy. I enjoyed the romantic tension flying between Maggie and Bo. You just know that the feud between the families is going to make a relationship between pretty difficult. I can’t wait to read how it plays out. I shudder to think what could happen next. This is a great debut for this series!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    Plantation Shudders, book one in Ellen Byron’s Cajun Country mysteries series, was just what I needed to take my mind off of the ever-worsening existence we’re leading at the moment. Byron crafts a light and comfortable cozy, complete with endearing supporting characters (Zander and Grand’Mere are my favorites), a compelling mystery, and food! The Crozats are a prominent Louisiana family who run a bed and breakfast out of their century’s old family plantation. Magnolia” Maggie” Crozat, her pare Plantation Shudders, book one in Ellen Byron’s Cajun Country mysteries series, was just what I needed to take my mind off of the ever-worsening existence we’re leading at the moment. Byron crafts a light and comfortable cozy, complete with endearing supporting characters (Zander and Grand’Mere are my favorites), a compelling mystery, and food! The Crozats are a prominent Louisiana family who run a bed and breakfast out of their century’s old family plantation. Magnolia” Maggie” Crozat, her parents, and her genteel, tech loving spitfire and master storyteller of a grand’mère work as a team to give their guests the ultimate Cajun country experience, from the grand and sumptuously decorated rooms to the kind of food that will have you wishing this place and these people were for real. Byron adheres to many of the conventions of this genre; we’ve got a budding romance between Maggie, our amateur investigator and Bo, the requisite cop/ love interest who, presumably, is going to play the role of protector/rescuer, reluctant sounding board, and police liaison. As is also common in cozies, there are some not so endearing supporting characters, the “chief” among them being Rufus “RuRu” Durand, a smarmy, power mad keystone cop whose family has been feuding with the Crozats for more decades than he can count. Imagine every southern cop cliché you’ve ever seen or read and there he is. For me, he brings to mind Doofy from Scary Movie One, but with a Louisiana accent and a beignet gut. There’s also his girlfriend Vanessa, a vapid, gutter-bug dumpster fire of a creature whose envy of Maggie is palpable. I’ll enjoy watching Maggie tangle with and outsmart them both. One thing I didn’t like so much was the weird climax. While I’ve never seen anything like it in a cozy before, I can’t say I enjoyed it all that much. Maggie’s passivity, especially given the weapon with which she is threatened, doesn’t really gel with the person she is when her father has to physically restrain her to keep her from pummeling an armed police officer. There’s also this odd dynamic between Maggie and her almost killer, one that had me scratching my head and wondering whether and why Byron was trying to inject levity into the situation. The mystery itself was compelling, though I would have liked to see a bit more investigating on Maggie’s part. For some reason, that aspect of the book felt kind of perfunctory and rushed, but maybe it’s just me. I also have to point out the few instances where I wanted to pop our heroine in the mouth. Firstly, I’ve never heard anyone anywhere attribute the label of “hot mess to women only. Secondly, Maggie is a bit of a fat-shamer an ableist. I also get some rich-girl /mean girl vibes off of her. This isn’t to say that she is catty, haughty or imperious. I just mean that she tends to come across as a bit of a mean-spirited tantrum thrower who, too often, behaves like someone half her age. I counted at least six times that her parents and grandmother had to deliver a verbal smackdown during and after one of her…outbursts. I kept waiting for one of them to order “Magnolia Marie” to go get a switch. LOL!Parenthetically,Monica Renee, whose own grandmother could wield a switch like a pro, sympathizes with little Maggie who, in all likelihood, knew the bite of the branch as a child. Ultimately, while this wasn’t the best cozy I’ve ever read, this Cajun country mystery did a good job of taking me out of a terrifying reality and into a pretty Louisiana summer with warm, fun-loving southern folks who like to cook, eat, drink, tell stories, and love.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Vicki

    There is something unique about Louisiana and this book picks up on that perfectly. From the mansions and the insects to the specialty foods, this book had it all. Then on top of all the scenery and appetizers, there was a little thing like a murder. A well-crafted murder at that. I enjoyed this book. I found it fun and entertaining. This is what makes me like mysteries, the characters, and the character flaws. They mesh well here and keep the action moving along. There is also a little bonus f There is something unique about Louisiana and this book picks up on that perfectly. From the mansions and the insects to the specialty foods, this book had it all. Then on top of all the scenery and appetizers, there was a little thing like a murder. A well-crafted murder at that. I enjoyed this book. I found it fun and entertaining. This is what makes me like mysteries, the characters, and the character flaws. They mesh well here and keep the action moving along. There is also a little bonus for those that enjoyed the meals.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    As all my friends know, I'm a sucker for a mystery-romance-suspense set in the Bayou. I just love the area for a little murder and mayhem setting. Add some sarcastic humor and some good ole' boy characters and the scene is set for a great story. Plantation Shudders delivers. Maggie Crozat has returned home to her family's plantation turned bed and breakfast in Louisiana. She has suffered the malaise of the 30-something and has no job and no boyfriend, hence the return of the prodigal daughter. T As all my friends know, I'm a sucker for a mystery-romance-suspense set in the Bayou. I just love the area for a little murder and mayhem setting. Add some sarcastic humor and some good ole' boy characters and the scene is set for a great story. Plantation Shudders delivers. Maggie Crozat has returned home to her family's plantation turned bed and breakfast in Louisiana. She has suffered the malaise of the 30-something and has no job and no boyfriend, hence the return of the prodigal daughter. The Crozats have an inn full of guests for the local festival. And that is great as the Crozats can sure use the revenue a full B&B for this last week of summer brings. When an elderly newlywed couple die within minutes of each other everyone is shocked, to say the least. When it is discovered that one of them was murdered, everyone suddenly becomes a suspect. New to town, but not new to old family legends and animosities, Bo Durant arrives from Shreveport to take the job of Detective for the small Pelican Police Department. There are bad feelings between the Crozats and the Durants since a long ago Crozat ancestor cursed a Durant ancestor. That doesn't mean that Maggie doesn't find Bo attractive, it just means that there is a lot to overcome here and being a murder suspect is just one.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Author Annabelle Leigha

    This was wonderful! I felt like I was down in LA! It is of course on my bucket list but I will be looking to stay at a plantation house instead of New Orleans proper. I can't wait to make the recipes and also read book #2!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stacie Amelotte

    This series is a breath of fresh air. I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s ability to bring Southern hospitality to life, transporting her readers to the heart of Cajun country. Plantation Shudders unfolds at a true Southern pace - slowly, yes, but deliciously so. The combination of good old fashioned family values, spicy Louisiana recipes, plenty of Southern charm, throw in some historical tidbits, light hearted humor and of course a dash of romance; all of the elements to make this tempting cozy This series is a breath of fresh air. I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s ability to bring Southern hospitality to life, transporting her readers to the heart of Cajun country. Plantation Shudders unfolds at a true Southern pace - slowly, yes, but deliciously so. The combination of good old fashioned family values, spicy Louisiana recipes, plenty of Southern charm, throw in some historical tidbits, light hearted humor and of course a dash of romance; all of the elements to make this tempting cozy debut sure to entice mystery fans to check in at the Crozat Bed and Breakfast. Even the charming setting in the bayou country of Louisiana is enhanced with lots of vivid descriptions, local color and delicious sounding food. The Main Character, Maggie, is the descendant of two historic Louisiana families, aka “Southern Royalty.” She returned home after a failed relationship left her longing to fill a void and do something more with her life. She's a strong and very credible character who approaches the crime committed at her family's home with intelligence. The author has created really wonderful supporting characters. Characters that I wanted to get to know better immediately. They are a very diverse group. Some of them I truly liked and others not so much, but they all had key roles to play and they played them very well. What I really like is that they have room to grow. The author handles the troubled history of the region with a deft hand - acknowledging the legacy of slavery upon which the plantation system was built. She makes no effort to sugar coat or ignore it though it is not a major factor in this present day story. I appreciate that. This is the fine balance our Country is struggling with at this very moment. I applaud the author for writing a character who is most likely on the Autism spectrum. Seeing how Maggie and her family treated him and understood how to deal with him warmed my heart. Autism is becoming so prevalent among the younger generations. It was truly wonderful to watch as he starts to interact with Maggie through art. The vivid description allowed me to close my eyes and share in this accomplishment. This underlying message will hopefully inspire others to take some time and help unlock the minds of the future. The whodunit had me scratching my head several times; everyone seemed to have a secret regarding their reason for staying a Crozat Plantation. The twists kept turning in directions I didn’t expect nor did I want them to go. Thankfully Maggie doesn’t give up as she knows the sheriff isn’t doing much detecting. Bo Durant was such a breath of fresh air. He was professional and tried to move the case along. He knew the Crozats were losing money and their business was in jeopardy. That leads us to the romantic tension flying between Maggie and Bo. You just know that the feud/curse between the families is going to make a relationship between pretty difficult. I can’t wait to read how it plays out. Let’s hope Maggie got another gris gris bag to keep her out of trouble. Highly recommend this series and author Ellen Byron!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tari

    (Original review from 2017) This book was a great start for the series and I can't to read the next and see what happens in that adventure. I love the little lagniappe too! ADDED TO on 3-22-19: I think I've improved a little in writing reviews and I just wanted to add a few things, since it's been a little over two years since I read this. One of the FB book clubs will be discussing it soon, and I thought it was a good excuse to revisit the first book. I've noticed since I have read more of this (Original review from 2017) This book was a great start for the series and I can't to read the next and see what happens in that adventure. I love the little lagniappe too! ADDED TO on 3-22-19: I think I've improved a little in writing reviews and I just wanted to add a few things, since it's been a little over two years since I read this. One of the FB book clubs will be discussing it soon, and I thought it was a good excuse to revisit the first book. I've noticed since I have read more of this series that I love how the book just doesn't abruptly end when the perp is caught. It was great how Bo showed up and along with Maggie, they went through the how and why of the killer's actions. The first book's group of guests ended up seeming like a real family. The showdown with the killer in this book was one of the most awesome I've read. Since my love for the characters has been established for a couple of years, it was fun to go back and try to remember my first impressions of them. Ru and Vanessa were just as loathsome the second time around LOL! Gran was just as feisty but loving, and I enjoyed rereading the scene where she helped enable Maggie to snoop in the room the deceased had used. Word to the wise: Gran doesn't make the best sentry when snooping in a crime investigation room. ;) I'm not sure that I ever read the next book, since I had joined a review group and received a copy of the Christmas book next. I will have to do something about that! ;) In rereading the Lagniappe and the Acknowledgments, I caught a few things I hadn't the first time around. This was definitely a book that was worth reading again!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Plantation Shudders was an excellent start to a new series that I hope to be following for some time to come! This story blends typical cozy mystery cliches with new ideas that make for a wonderful first book. Maggie was a bit of a cliche in herself. She left home, moved to a bigger city, got in a relationship, got out of a relationship, and moved back home, basically the typical first-book cozy formula. However, unlike many other cozies, Ms. Byron did a wonderful job of removing the bitterness a Plantation Shudders was an excellent start to a new series that I hope to be following for some time to come! This story blends typical cozy mystery cliches with new ideas that make for a wonderful first book. Maggie was a bit of a cliche in herself. She left home, moved to a bigger city, got in a relationship, got out of a relationship, and moved back home, basically the typical first-book cozy formula. However, unlike many other cozies, Ms. Byron did a wonderful job of removing the bitterness and annoying comments most MCs face when they come home. I don't think there was one character that made a comment about Maggie moving away, besides Maggie herself. Maggie was simply a good character overall, though. She was smart and strong; however she could be whiny at times and at other times acted like a child. The rest of the characters were typical of many cozies; a quirky grandma, potential detective love interest, and supportive parents. The mystery was good, parts of it were expected and I wasn't really surprised by the killer, but I don't think I would've been surprised no matter who it had been. The author does a wonderful job of adding Southern charm into the book, however, and makes you feel as if you're in Louisiana for the ride. Overall a very good start and I'll be reading the next one. Here's to hoping for a few less cliches in the next book!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Robbins

    Book one in the Cajun Country Mystery series. Welcome to Louisiana the home of big plantations and lots of Southern history. Maggie Crozat has returned to the small town she grew up in to help her family run the Crozat B&B. She also gives tours at a rivals families old plantation that is now open to the public instead of inhabited anymore. They have a house full of guests when a hard to deal with older couple suddenly drops dead in the middle of a storm making them all suspects. With the help of Book one in the Cajun Country Mystery series. Welcome to Louisiana the home of big plantations and lots of Southern history. Maggie Crozat has returned to the small town she grew up in to help her family run the Crozat B&B. She also gives tours at a rivals families old plantation that is now open to the public instead of inhabited anymore. They have a house full of guests when a hard to deal with older couple suddenly drops dead in the middle of a storm making them all suspects. With the help of a new detective Maggie is able to help solve the case in a round about manner. The characters are good and so is the setting. There were quite a few spots that seemed a little stalled which I found a little boring but past that the story was pretty good. The mystery was good with a nice twist that I enjoy. I give it 3/5 stars because I like it but found it easy to put down while a little hard to pick back up.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    If there was a 3.5 star rating, I would use it for this book. Three stars means just ok to me but this book is somewhat better than that for me. However, there were some elements to the book that it wasn't a four star book for me either. Plantation Shudders appears to be a popular book with cozy readers. It is up for several awards. While I did enjoy it, there were times I felt like I was reading the first book from an author and then that feeling would disappear. The book used the cozy formula-p If there was a 3.5 star rating, I would use it for this book. Three stars means just ok to me but this book is somewhat better than that for me. However, there were some elements to the book that it wasn't a four star book for me either. Plantation Shudders appears to be a popular book with cozy readers. It is up for several awards. While I did enjoy it, there were times I felt like I was reading the first book from an author and then that feeling would disappear. The book used the cozy formula-person returns to home town after working in big city- has a quirky grandmother-an over the top sheriff who is out to get the protagonist and a love interest with a detective. My feeling are mixed about Maggie the protagonist. I liked her ok but then she did several things that changed my view of her. First upon arriving home, she sees that her future love interest the detective has parked in her spot. This irritates her so she parks close to his car and purposely dings his car. Later she took a handicap parking spot as it was the only spot left and hopes a handicap person will understand. The strength of the book for me was the location in Cajun Country in Louisiana. It is a colorful and atmospheric location. It was interesting in the running of the B &B in a plantation. The mystery started early in the book and I didn't have the murderer figured out until the author chose to disclose it. There were quite a few suspects. The book used current expressions, technology and had an edgy humor.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    Maggie and her family run a bed & breakfast in Louisiana. When one of their guests is murdered the chief of police who has a long running grudge against the family is all too happy to drag out the incident as much as possible in order to ruin them financially. Maggie begins investigating to find the murderer and save the business. Plantation Shudders is fairly typical of cozy mysteries. There is the plucky female sleuth, the good looking detective, a full inn of suspects and sidekicks and a slig Maggie and her family run a bed & breakfast in Louisiana. When one of their guests is murdered the chief of police who has a long running grudge against the family is all too happy to drag out the incident as much as possible in order to ruin them financially. Maggie begins investigating to find the murderer and save the business. Plantation Shudders is fairly typical of cozy mysteries. There is the plucky female sleuth, the good looking detective, a full inn of suspects and sidekicks and a slightly awkward paranormal ability. So pretty much everything I want from a cozy mystery is there but to be honest it really wasn't working for me. It felt too linear and perhaps even a bit ham-fisted. There are some good moments which were peripheral to the story that I really enjoyed and strangely enough I loved the epilogue (I usually loathe epilogues). But those good moments don't add up to a good book in my opinion.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Eve (Between The Bookends)

    This was a fairly good read. I loved the setting, and most of the characters were well written and interesting. The mystery aspect kept me guessing until the end. The reason why it is only a 3 star read as opposed to a 4 star, was Maggie. She really came across as a judgmental bitch a lot of the time. Some of her inner thoughts, and the way she reacts to people and situations really made me dislike her. In any case, I enjoyed it enough to probably read book two in the future. This was a fairly good read. I loved the setting, and most of the characters were well written and interesting. The mystery aspect kept me guessing until the end. The reason why it is only a 3 star read as opposed to a 4 star, was Maggie. She really came across as a judgmental bitch a lot of the time. Some of her inner thoughts, and the way she reacts to people and situations really made me dislike her. In any case, I enjoyed it enough to probably read book two in the future.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Laissez les bons temps rouler! Cosy and uplifting. Perfect for reading slumps and stressful days.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Funny and lighthearted, I enjoyed this one. The charming southern details, the clean content, and in-the-background romance made this an easy read. I thought that maybe the levity surrounding a murder mystery would bother me, but coming off the heels of DNFing Debbie Downer Stillhouse Lake, I found it refreshing instead. Funny and lighthearted, I enjoyed this one. The charming southern details, the clean content, and in-the-background romance made this an easy read. I thought that maybe the levity surrounding a murder mystery would bother me, but coming off the heels of DNFing Debbie Downer Stillhouse Lake, I found it refreshing instead.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    I've not always been a supporter of the genre, but I'll finally admit it: there are some pretty good cozy mysteries out there, and this is definitely one of them. This start to the Cajun Country Mystery series pulls out all the stops, including charming location and characters, truly Southern family and local history, and a murder plot that kept me guessing. Back at home after an attempt to make a career and love connection in NYC, Magnolia "Maggie" Crozat, does all she can to help her family ru I've not always been a supporter of the genre, but I'll finally admit it: there are some pretty good cozy mysteries out there, and this is definitely one of them. This start to the Cajun Country Mystery series pulls out all the stops, including charming location and characters, truly Southern family and local history, and a murder plot that kept me guessing. Back at home after an attempt to make a career and love connection in NYC, Magnolia "Maggie" Crozat, does all she can to help her family run their family's historic plantation B&B (and make her own ends meet) in "Somewhere-Between-New-Orleans-and-Baton-Rouge, LA." After two guests die in front of everyone during a evening happy hour, Maggie wants to make sure that the deaths don't ruin her family's business or place anyone she cares about behind bars. With arrival of a new police detective, who just so happens to be a close relative to the Sheriff with a deep seeded grudge against the Crozat clan, Maggie finds herself drawn into the investigation in more ways than one. With personality and plenty of backstory to spare, 'Plantation Shudders' is great beginning to a hopefully long series. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    Plantation Shudders is the first book in the Cajun Country Mystery series by Ellen Byron. When two visitors to the local food festival and was staying at Maggie Crozat family bed, and breakfast died at the same time. Maggie Crozat happy and carefree live changes when she and her family became the prime suspects in their deaths. With the help of the new Detective Bo Durant, Maggie decided to investigate to clear her name and save her families business. The readers of Plantation Shudders will cont Plantation Shudders is the first book in the Cajun Country Mystery series by Ellen Byron. When two visitors to the local food festival and was staying at Maggie Crozat family bed, and breakfast died at the same time. Maggie Crozat happy and carefree live changes when she and her family became the prime suspects in their deaths. With the help of the new Detective Bo Durant, Maggie decided to investigate to clear her name and save her families business. The readers of Plantation Shudders will continue to follow Maggie Crozat and Detective Bo Durant investigation to see what happens. I enjoyed reading Ellen Byron debut novel Plantation Shudders, and I will read more books in this series. I love Ellen Byron portrayal of her characters and the way they interacted with each other. Plantation Shudders is well written and researched by Ellen Byron. The description of the settings and plot Ellen Byron does a fantastic job in describing her plot and the settings. The readers of Plantation Shudders will learn about running a bed and breakfast place in Louisiana. The readers of Plantation Shudders will start to understand and learn about Cajun culture. I recommend this book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Great start to a series, very enjoyable, I would actually give this a 4 1/2 star. This book starts off great when a couple drops dead, so I knew that I was in for an interesting read. I love the characters in this book Maggie is strong and independent with a touch of insecurity and a tendency to jump before looking which keeps her real. Her Gran I can't say enough good about, I absolutely loved her, she is unpredictable but not in an over the top way, she gave me many laugh out loud moments and Great start to a series, very enjoyable, I would actually give this a 4 1/2 star. This book starts off great when a couple drops dead, so I knew that I was in for an interesting read. I love the characters in this book Maggie is strong and independent with a touch of insecurity and a tendency to jump before looking which keeps her real. Her Gran I can't say enough good about, I absolutely loved her, she is unpredictable but not in an over the top way, she gave me many laugh out loud moments and turn around and be proper by correcting Maggie on her manners. My only drawback was Rufus who has a grudge against the family, I think that I'm just tired of the typical throw your weight around cop, but he does strike up feelings in you whether you like him or not. On the reverse side, his cousin, I love, a possible romance for Maggie who has a calm demeanor to offset her personality. The mystery was good and kept me guessing, I really had no clue as who it could be. It all tied together nicely. There is also the added bonus of some wonderful sounding recipes in the back. I will definitely continue on with this series.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mark Baker

    Maggie and her family are delighted to have a full house at their bed and breakfast as summer is coming to an end. However, the elderly couple is a real pain, so no one is too upset when they both die within minutes of each other. The sheriff is sure that one of them was murdered, and since he has a vendetta against Maggie’s family, she’s going to have to find the killer. Can she do it? This is a fun mystery with a great setting in Louisiana Cajun country. Maggie a great main character, and her G Maggie and her family are delighted to have a full house at their bed and breakfast as summer is coming to an end. However, the elderly couple is a real pain, so no one is too upset when they both die within minutes of each other. The sheriff is sure that one of them was murdered, and since he has a vendetta against Maggie’s family, she’s going to have to find the killer. Can she do it? This is a fun mystery with a great setting in Louisiana Cajun country. Maggie a great main character, and her Gran makes a fantastic sidekick. I did feel the mystery slowed down a time or two, but the clues were all there and it reached a great climax. Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.

  21. 4 out of 5

    CD {Boulder Blvd}

    I really enjoyed this first book in a cozy mystery series set in the south. I'm onto Book 2.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    A basset hound on the cover of a cozy mystery and of course I have to read it. Something about Louisiana and the bayous attract my attention to books also. This book did not disappoint. It has great characters and setting with history to it. The Grandma is my favorite. She's hilarious! I wish Gopher the basset hound was in the story more. I also like how the story didn't end right away once the murder was solved. Ellen Byron is up on my favorite authors list.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    Plantations Shudders by Ellen Byron is the first book in the Cajun Country Mystery series. Magnolia “Maggie” Crozat works at a docent at Doucet Plantation (which used to belong to her mother’s family until they gifted it to the state) and help out at Crozat Bed and Breakfast (which is her father’s family’s plantation) in Pelican, Louisiana. It is the last weekend in August and the B&B is fully booked. The guests are all enjoying happy hour when the last couple arrives. Hal and Beverly Clabber ar Plantations Shudders by Ellen Byron is the first book in the Cajun Country Mystery series. Magnolia “Maggie” Crozat works at a docent at Doucet Plantation (which used to belong to her mother’s family until they gifted it to the state) and help out at Crozat Bed and Breakfast (which is her father’s family’s plantation) in Pelican, Louisiana. It is the last weekend in August and the B&B is fully booked. The guests are all enjoying happy hour when the last couple arrives. Hal and Beverly Clabber are on their honeymoon. They are not what the Crozat’s expected. They are an elderly couple who just got married. Beverly is all smiles while her husband, Hal is very unpleasant (he has anal issues). One night there is a storm and the lights go out. Normally, the generator would come on immediately. Of course, it does not. The Crozat’s get out flashlights for everyone and they notice that Hal is turning purple. He then collapses. Beverly is distraught and asks for her pills. Maggie hands her the pills and a few minutes later Beverly collapses on top of her husband. Both Clabber’s are dead. Pelican Chief of Police is Rufus “Ru” Durand. He does not like the Crozat family because of a one hundred and fifty year old curse. Ru goes out of his way to be unpleasant to Maggie. He is thrilled that the death’s occurred on Crozat property and hopes it will ruin their B&B. The Crozat family is hoping that the new detective will be more open minded. The new detective is Bo Durand, Ru’s cousin. He has just transferred from Shreveport. Maggie knows the only way to clear her families name is to solve the case. With the help of her Grandmere, Charlotte, she starts looking into the Clabber’s backgrounds as well as those of her guests. Maggie finds two brochures (about castles in England and Scotland) and a ring hidden in the Clabber’s room. Maggie makes copies of them and hides (and locks) them in her desk. A few days later another guest is strangled. She evidently overheard something or got in the way of the killer. Then Maggie finds out that the brochures and ring have been stolen. Maggie determined to find the culprit. Luckily, Bo has turned out to be very different from his nasty cousin, Rufus. Will Maggie find the killer in time to save herself as well as the Crozat Bed and Breakfast? I thoroughly enjoyed reading Plantation Shudders. It had just the right amount of humor. When Beverly leaned to whisper to Maggie about Hal’s issues, I just laughed. It was such a funny sentence (you will have to read the book). I give Plantation Shudders 5 out of 5 stars. There is the main mystery as well as a couple of others (with the other guests), a little romance, humor, and, of course, the nasty sheriff (you have to have someone to dislike). The murder mystery was simple to solve, but I had no idea what the Georgia boys were up to. I hope there will be many more books in the Cajun Country Mystery series. I received a complimentary copy of Plantation Shudders from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are my own. http://bibliophileandavidreader.blogs...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Martin

    This cozy mystery takes place in a plantation bed and breakfast in Louisiana. Crozat had been in the family for generations. Maggie has come back home from New York City after being dumped by the boyfriend with whom she had started an art gallery. Now she's uncertain about her abilities as an artist and has lost her faith in love. She is busy helping out at the B&B and working as a tour guide at a neighboring plantation. The events of this story take place near the end of summer when an interest This cozy mystery takes place in a plantation bed and breakfast in Louisiana. Crozat had been in the family for generations. Maggie has come back home from New York City after being dumped by the boyfriend with whom she had started an art gallery. Now she's uncertain about her abilities as an artist and has lost her faith in love. She is busy helping out at the B&B and working as a tour guide at a neighboring plantation. The events of this story take place near the end of summer when an interesting variety of guests come to stay at the B&B. There are the Cajun Cuties who are a group of women of a certain age from New England who are touring plantations. There are the three college fraternity boys who are there to do some fishing. There is a couple who are taking a break from their internet start-ups. There is a family with three kids visiting from Australia. There is the single gentleman from Texas. And there is also an elderly honeymooning couple. Things begin well, except for the constant string of complaints from the male honeymooner, until a thunderstorm knocks out the power and in the confusion both honeymooners die. Things get worse when it is determined that the man died of natural causes but the woman was poisoned. Since the local police chief has a generations long grudge against the Crozats, it is up to Maggie to solve the case before the reputation of the B&B is irreparably damaged. Also investigating is a new detective who just happens to be the police chief's cousin but who isn't carrying the same grudge. Maggie learns lots of buried secrets about the guests at the B&B and manages to solve the case but not before another of the guests dies. This was a fun cozy mystery. I liked that recipes for some of the mouth-watering meals served at the B&B were included in the book. I also liked the relationship Maggie has with her feisty, Southern Belle grandmother.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nell

    First in the Cajun Country mystery series, this mystery was excellent! 4 1/2 star read. Plantation Shudders was nominated for an Agatha Award for best first novel and a Lefty Award for humorous mystery. It's set at a B&B full of guests with secrets. When a couple dies in rapid succession, everyone is a suspect. An ancient curse put on the family of the two primary investigators by the family that owns the B&B adds to the drama. The author handles the troubled history of the region with a deft ha First in the Cajun Country mystery series, this mystery was excellent! 4 1/2 star read. Plantation Shudders was nominated for an Agatha Award for best first novel and a Lefty Award for humorous mystery. It's set at a B&B full of guests with secrets. When a couple dies in rapid succession, everyone is a suspect. An ancient curse put on the family of the two primary investigators by the family that owns the B&B adds to the drama. The author handles the troubled history of the region with a deft hand - acknowledging the legacy of slavery upon which the plantation system was built. She makes no effort to sugar coat or ignore it though it is not a major factor in this present day story. I appreciate that. Loved the main and supporting characters. The grand mere is delightful. Often at her urging, the MC gets herself into predicaments. Somehow there's always someone catching her in awkward and hilariously uncomfortable situations. It's usually the handsome detective from the family her ancestor cursed. Interesting possibilities there. I'm looking forward to the next one. Highly recommend this read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne Adamek

    I remember when I was young asking my mother why she read romances and she said that this was the way she could visit the places that she would never see. Cozy mysteries does the same for me, especially this time Plantation Shudders. Who wouldn't like to see the Cajun Country? And the way that the author paints it, this is a place that I will visit again. I am also very glad that I do not work at a inn if the customers are anything like the ones visiting Crozat Plantation. As much as I did not li I remember when I was young asking my mother why she read romances and she said that this was the way she could visit the places that she would never see. Cozy mysteries does the same for me, especially this time Plantation Shudders. Who wouldn't like to see the Cajun Country? And the way that the author paints it, this is a place that I will visit again. I am also very glad that I do not work at a inn if the customers are anything like the ones visiting Crozat Plantation. As much as I did not like most of the customers, I did like Maggie, her family and her friends. I especially loved it, when at one point when Maggie was extremely upset asks "Bo... was there a moment when it hit you that you had to grow up and be an adult?" Who hasn't thought the same thing? I thought that mystery was just okay, but everything else was so good that I give this book 4.5 stars.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cherie

    3.5 Stars. This is the first of a cozy mystery series. I will definitely try the next book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    I am now planning my trip to Louisiana after reading this book. I want to see the plantation mansions and eat some of that amazing food they talked about in this book. I also want to stay at a B&B just like Croazat Plantation B&B. Of course when I visit, I can do without the murder and intrigue, but this book needed it to have it all. When Maggie returned home she did not expect to be trying to solve a mystery. She wanted to work on her art and to help her parents wIth the family business. When I am now planning my trip to Louisiana after reading this book. I want to see the plantation mansions and eat some of that amazing food they talked about in this book. I also want to stay at a B&B just like Croazat Plantation B&B. Of course when I visit, I can do without the murder and intrigue, but this book needed it to have it all. When Maggie returned home she did not expect to be trying to solve a mystery. She wanted to work on her art and to help her parents wIth the family business. When a death occurs at the B&B and it turns out to be murder, Maggie wants to make sure it is solved quickly and does not ruin the family. When it looks like the sheriff is going to take his sweet time solving the crime, Maggie steps in. When the new detective shows up and is related to Rufus, she is worried he will be just like his cousin and spend his life trying to ruin her family, but she is mistaken. This was a well plotted story and the murder was very difficult to figure out. In fact, I did not know who was responsible until it was revealed. Magnolia (Maggie) and her friend Gaynelle are characters I would love to get to know. They were smart, fun, honest and open to new information and events. The characters that we were meant to dislike were also well-written. There appears to be some romance in the future for Maggie and Bo, the next book will tell. Maggie's family is the epitome of the Southern Upper Crust, without the snobbery. They are gracious, honest and Gran is a hoot. I am looking forward to picking up the next book in this series. A great new series for cozy mystery lovers.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews

    I loved this book and why? several reasons - set in a small town in Cajun Country (aka South Louisiana) which is where my mom is from and I have many relatives still living there. This reminds of the small town where she lived. Most people know each other and have a long history together. The characters were diverse and showed promise for greater development in future books. I even liked the fact that even though there is going to be at least a 2nd book that the author wrote this book and tied up I loved this book and why? several reasons - set in a small town in Cajun Country (aka South Louisiana) which is where my mom is from and I have many relatives still living there. This reminds of the small town where she lived. Most people know each other and have a long history together. The characters were diverse and showed promise for greater development in future books. I even liked the fact that even though there is going to be at least a 2nd book that the author wrote this book and tied up many things, but not quite everything! That Bo (the new police detective) had a son that was most likely on the Autism Spectrum and how he dealt with it (just a peek but perhaps more in future books?) and how Maggie and her family treated him and understanding that he had special needs. Of course there are annoying characters like the town sheriff - Rufus. He is Bo's cousin but they couldn't more opposite if you tried. And Vanessa who is Rufus' girlfriend. The mystery is a mystery, I don't think there are enough clues to figure it out ahead of time, but you might have your suspicions of who the killer is...or will you?! I had no idea but the author wraps it nicely and it all makes sense. A series to watch

  30. 5 out of 5

    Debra Jo (Room of Required Reading Book Reviews)

    3/24/2019 ReRead... I was drawn to this book because of the cover. I am from the area, I love the home, my husband is a police officer, and we have a Bassett Hound. I had heard of the genre, Cozy Mystery, but never really knew what they were. Well this book, in my opinion, is the definition of Cozy Mystery. It was cute and quirky with just enough "who done it?". This is a perfect book for a "between series" period or when you just want something quick and light. There was just enough budding roma 3/24/2019 ReRead... I was drawn to this book because of the cover. I am from the area, I love the home, my husband is a police officer, and we have a Bassett Hound. I had heard of the genre, Cozy Mystery, but never really knew what they were. Well this book, in my opinion, is the definition of Cozy Mystery. It was cute and quirky with just enough "who done it?". This is a perfect book for a "between series" period or when you just want something quick and light. There was just enough budding romance, emotion and mystery. With that being said... I am born and raised in the New Orleans area. I am extremely critical when I read anything about or set in or around New Orleans because people get it wrong 90% of the time. We do not all practice Voodoo or speak with a Cajun accent. We do not eat Crawfish or Jambalaya or Beignets everyday. This was set a little outside of New Orleans and was supposed to be touristy, so I will give this one a pass on the cliché. Small town outside of New Orleans are very cliché, lol. Thank you Ms. Byron for an entertaining story. I look forward to reading more.

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