“In Pelican, Louisiana, Valentine’s Day has a way of warming the heart, despite the February chill. But the air at Crozat Plantation B&B turns decidedly frigid when celebrity chef Phillippe Chanson checks in. And when the arrogant Phillippe–in town to open his newest Cajun-themed restaurant–perishes in a fiery boat crash, Maggie Crozat’s dear friend JJ lands in very cold water.
Did JJ, proprietor of Junie’s Oyster Bar and Dance Hall, murder Phillippe because he feared the competition? Might Maggie’s mother, Ninette, have bumped off the chef for stealing one of her cherished recipes? Or was the culprit a local seafood vendor, miffed because Phillippe was somehow able to sell oysters for a remarkably reasonable price, despite an oyster shortage?
Maggie had planned to devote her February to art lessons in New Orleans, a present from her sweetheart, Bo. But now she has to focus on helping her friend and her mother cross a murder charge off the menu. Meanwhile, Maggie receives a series of anonymous gifts that begin as charming but grow increasingly disturbing. Does Maggie have an admirer–or a stalker? And are these mysterious gifts somehow related to Phillippe’s murder?
Blood may be thicker than water, but this case is thicker than gumbo. And solving it will determine whether Maggie gets hearts and roses–or hearse and lilies–this Valentine’s Day.” – Amazon
The Cajun Kiss of Death by Ellen Byron is the seventh book in the Cajun Country Mysteries, and while you can jump in and read it without having read the previous ones, you don’t want to. This cozy mystery series is one where you come to love the characters and look forward to each new book because you want to find out what your friends have been up to.
It starts off with a wonderful life event for many of the characters and a bit of calm in Maggie’s life before the first dead body shows up. Even with that and the craziness of the new restaurant staff that are opening a new Cajun eatery, the Valentine theme and love of friends and family shines through.
Byron is a master at showcasing the history, food, and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana. After reading any of the books in this series I think most people will want to add New Orleans to their bucket list… I know I did! Byron also keeps this series up with the times, which is apparent when the doughnut maker is questioned by the police. This really made me happy to see.
Although this appears to be the last book in the series, since the ending tells us what is going on with the families 20 years later, there’s always a chance of novellas or a restart of the series in the future. Until then, I’m looking forward to seeing what characters and location Byron will be writing about next.
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