Plantation Shudders – Ellen Byron

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4/5 Louisiana Stars

On The Back:

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?

My Thoughts:

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!

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