Edith here, excited to welcome my good friend – and Agatha Award winner – Ellen Byron back. She has a brand new Cajun Country Mystery out!
Country star Tammy Barker, a Pelican native who won an American Idol-styled TV singing contest, returns home to headline the town’s first music festival. But Maggie Crozat discovers that Tammy is a full-fledged diva, a tiny terror in six-inch platform-heeled boots and a thick head of hair extensions. Worse, she carries a grudge against Maggie’s best friend, Gaynell Bourgeois. When a member of Tammy’s entourage is murdered, Tammy sees to it that Gaynell is the prime suspect, and Maggie must cozy up to Tammy’s sketchy bandmates to prevent her friend from being charged with murder.
NEW ORLEANS: PEOPLE LIVE THERE – and a giveaway
Between my Cajun Country Mystery series, being a Tulane University alumna, and our daughter’s status as a sophomore at Loyola University-New Orleans, I get to spend a lot of time in the Big Easy. On my most recent visit, I took a long walk through the Lower Garden District, snapping photo after photo of beautiful homes like this one…
Then I came upon this sight…
And it reminded me that while NOLA often feels like Disneyland for grown-ups, people live there. They drink beer on their stoops.
They navigate broken sidewalks and streets begging for repaving.
They do their laundry in a laundromat that’s been there forever.
And when it proves cost-prohibitive to repair a centuries-old gate, they leave the stanchions to decorate a property’s entrance like obelisks serving as a nod to the past.
My walk turned into a reminder of what makes New Orleans mean so much to me. It goes beyond the gorgeous architecture, wonderful music, and irresistible food – although trust me, there’s always plenty of that on a visit. It’s is the lives being lived while tourists wander by. The beer on the stoop and the laundromat belching out heat from its dryers.
What propels my passion for the Crescent City is really very simple — it’s the people who live there.
Mardi Gras Murder, Ellen Byron’s fourth Cajun Country Mystery, won the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel. The series has also won multiple Best Humorous Mystery Lefty awards from Left Coast Crime. Writing as Maria DiRico, she’ll debut a second series, The Catering Hall Mysteries, in 2020. TV credits include Wings, Just Shoot Me, and Fairly OddParents. Her award-winning plays, published by Dramatists Play Service, have been performed throughout the world. Fun fact: she worked as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart. Sign up for my newsletter at http://www.ellenbyron.com/. Find me at Facebook, Instagram, twitter, Bookbub, and Goodreads.
Readers, what’s special about where you live? Comment for a chance to win a copy of FATAL CAJUN FESTIVAL.