William F. Deeck Malice Domestic Grant“Body on the Bayou” is the second book in the Cajun Mystery Series by Ellen Byron. It recently won the Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery and has been nominated for the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Mystery. The first book in this series, Plantation Shudders, which was also Ellen’s debut novel, made the USA Today Bestsellers list. It was nominated for the Agatha, Lefty and Daphne awards.

Ellen is also a recipient of a William F. Deeck Malice Domestic Grant. All of this may make you think that Ellen is a novice to writing, but she isn’t. She has a lengthy resume writing for Television, Plays and as a journalist.

As the story opens, Magnolia Crozat, better known as Maggie, has been asked to be Vanessa Fleer’s Maid of Honor at her wedding to Police Chief Rufus Durand. At first she was puzzled about this honor, as they weren’t close, but quickly found out why everyone else had refused. Vanessa was a Bridezilla with a huge list of duties for her to perform.

When Vanessa’s cousin, Ginger Fleer-Starke, a mysterious and demanding woman is found dead in the bayou behind the Crozat’s Plantation, Maggie adds keeping the bride out of jail to her to do list.

“Body in the Bayou” is the quintessential humorous southern cozy mystery. It hits all the right notes. It features an eclectic cast of characters with a boatload of quirks. I loved the setting on an old southern plantation. And what cozy reader can resist a wedding gone astray? If this isn’t charming enough, they have rescued puppies and kittens and are evaluating homes for them.

I listened to this book on audio. The narrator Meredith Mitchell did a great job of reading/acting the story.

I predict this will be a long and successful series.

Five Stars out of Five. ________________________________________________________________

In accordance with FTC guidelines for reviewers, I would like to clarify that this book was provided to me by the publisher free of charge.  I am not compensated by the author or publisher for my review. All they expect is an honest review of the work.