>>>Enter to Win a hardcover copy of A Cajun Christmas Killing (plus swag)<<<
Maggie Crozat is back home in bayou country during the most magical time of the year. In Pelican, Louisiana, Christmastime is a season of giant bonfires on the levee, zydeco carols, and pots of gumbo. Except, this year, the Grinch has come to stay at the family-run Crozat Plantation B&B. When he floods travel websites with vicious reviews, Maggie thinks she’s identified him as rival businessman Donald Baxter. That is, until he’s found stabbed to death at Maggie’s workplace. And Maggie and her loved ones become top suspects.
The Crozats quickly establish alibis, but Maggie’s boyfriend, Detective Bo Durand, remains under suspicion. With Bo sidelined during the investigation, Maggie finds herself forced to work with an unlikely ally: longtime family enemy Rufus Durand. Her sleuthing uncovers more suspects than drummers drumming, and lands her in the crosshairs of the murderer.
The sleigh bells are jingling, and the clock is ticking for Maggie and Rufus, who must catch the killer or it will be the opposite of a Joyeux Noël in A Cajun Christmas Killing, the recipe-stuffed third installment of USA Today bestselling author Ellen Byron’s Cajun Country mysteries.
Interview with Innkeeper and amateur sleuth Maggie Crozat
Maggie, welcome to Island Confidential! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
Maggie Crozat: I’m an artist, but I help out at my family’s Louisiana plantation-turned-B&B. I also have a part-time job working at another plantation, one my mother’s family owned but donated to the state. I have to – I mean, get to – wear one of those fake antebellum ball gowns. Honestly? Not my style. I’m a jeans and t-shirt kinda gal.
I’m 5’4” and have hazel eyes, but I’ve always wanted to be 5’7” and have one blue and one green eye. I’m an artist and I have a fantasy of seeing the world blue through the blue eye and green through the green eye. Does that sound crazy? Yeah, it sounds crazy. But I don’t care, it’s true!
Who’s the character you get along with the best?
I’m very close to my parents and have fantastic friends, but I’d have to say I get along best with my grand-mere. She’s smart and has a great sense of humor, and only plays the Southern grand dame card when she has to. But when she plays it, Katie, bar the door. That’s something she would say. I also have an extremely hot boyfriend. Like, “what’s he doing with me and not a super model?” hot. Just thought I’d mention that.
Which character do you have a conflict with?
Oh, that’s easy. Rufus Durand. His family’s hated mine for 150 years, ever since my great-great-great-grandmother dumped his great-great-great-grandfather for cheating on her during their engagement. But there’s been a thaw in our relationship. Stay tuned! (Translation: read book three, A CAJUN CHRISTMAS KILLING.)
Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author, Ellen Byron?
She’s very bossy – always telling me what to do. And I think she’s mean for not making me 5’7” and not giving me one green and one blue eye. And for stuffing me into those wretched antebellum ball gowns. Do you know what it’s like suffering through Louisiana’s legendary humidity wearing twenty yards of polyester? Hashtag brutal!
What’s next for you?
I love Christmas in Cajun Country. They build these giant bonfires all along the levees near my hometown of Pelican, Louisiana, and light them on Christmas Eve to guide Papa Noel to the houses of Cajun children. But those bonfires can be dangereux, especially if a murderer is on the loose. You can read about how one of those psychopaths almost got me in the previously mentioned A Cajun Christmas Killing. After putting me through that, my author better get me something nice for Christmas. Like one blue and one green eye.
Body on the Bayou, the second in Ellen’s Cajun Country Mystery series, won the Left Coast Crime Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery, and was nominated for a Best Contemporary Novel Agatha Award. Her debut book in the series, Plantation Shudders, made the USA Today Bestsellers list, and was nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Daphne awards. Ellen is also a recipient of a William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant from the Malice Domestic Convention. Her TV credits include Wings, Still Standing, and Just Shoot Me, as well as network and cable pilots. As a journalist, she’s written over 200 magazine articles for national publications. Her plays, published by Dramatists Play Service, include the popular Graceland and Asleep on the Wind. A native New Yorker and graduate of Tulane University, Ellen lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband, daughter, and the family’s spoiled rescue dogs.