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Cajun Kiss of Death–competing Cajun restaurants

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Cajun Kiss of Death

by Ellen Byron

Pelican, Louisiana, is home to some Creole/Cajun good food and party loving locals including the Crozat family who own the Crozat Plantation B&B. Cajun Kiss of Death opens with daughter Maggie’s New Year’s Eve wedding to Detective Bo Durand. The pair are saying their vows along with two other couples. Even the family basset Gopher gets some spotlight as he strolls down the aisle.

Maggie helps out at the B&B and works as a restorer and curator at a museum across the Mississippi River at Doucet Plantation. Things get tricky when the connecting bridge sustains structural damage, a celebrity chef tries to expand his restaurant empire to Pelican driving local restaurants out of business, a murder occurs, and Maggie has a stalker. There are even more threads to complicate this cozy mystery. Some focus on the close knit group of family and friends. Others are related to the murder investigation and the many employees of the dead chef who are staying at the B&B. For Maggie and Bo, it gets personal.

This cozy mystery is a page turner with new complications throughout. I particularly liked the emphasis on Maggie and her art. In this book, she has a major breakthrough as an artist, and her attention to detail plays a critical role in solving the crime. When all seems nicely tied up, there is yet another major twist which is well plotted and well written by author Ellen Byron. The Louisiana setting is replete with Cajun ambiance from the food and festivities to language unique to the area.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: 1. # 7 in the Cajun Country Mystery Series. Although this is the last book in the series, it could be read as a standalone.

  1. There is a helpful list of the people in this book.
  2. It ends with an Epilogue that summarizes the characters’ status 20 years later. It was a nice touch for the finale.
  3. There are recipes at the end of the book. One recipe that was mentioned often that you won’t find there is “Sugar High Pie.” It was featured in another book in the series, but you can find Byron’s recipe on YouTube.
  4. There are three animals in this book, but they really don’t have much of a role in the plot.

Publication: August 10, 2021—Crooked Lane Books

Memorable Lines:

She closed her eyes and scrunched her face to keep from bursting into tears. Gopher, as if sensing his human’s pain, released a sympathetic basset howl.

Vi picked up the bottle of bourbon. “Lets drink to that.” She handed Maggie a tumbler. “It’s not even noon,” Maggie said. “Honey, it’s New Orleans. We should be on our second drink by now.”

Pelican didn’t need a 5G network for news to travel fast.


  1. WendyW says:

    That dog on the cover is adorable. I also like when a book series has a list of characters. Even when I read the entire series, I like a list of characters to refresh my memory.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lghiggins says:

      The basset is so cute. He is on all of the covers, but I wish he had a bigger role in the books. Yes, if there are a lot of characters, it helps when the author includes a list.


  2. Gretchen says:

    I am working my way through this series. I enjoy the characters and the mysteries. Glad to know it finishes strong.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carla says:

    I was sad to see this series end, but she did a great job bringing it to a satisfactory conclusion. I thought this was one of the best in the series. I’m glad you enjoyed it as well, Linda. I learned so much about Louisiana culture from these books.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lghiggins says:

      It seems she has another Louisiana series. I don’t think the first in it was on NetGalley and I don’t know why, but the second is. The publisher is Berkley so I don’t hold out much hope for having my request granted.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Carla says:

        Yes she does. I was on the blog tour for the first one so I could read it, as I never get approved for her books. It was called Bayou Book Thief. I didn’t realize the second was on NG. I will request, but won’t hold my breath.

        Liked by 1 person

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