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Plantation Shudders

(Cajun Country Mystery #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  2,327 ratings  ·  405 reviews
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 c ...more
Hardcover, 282 pages
Published August 11th 2015 by Crooked Lane Books
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Ellen Byron Yes, Debra, it is! The second book, BODY ON THE BAYOU, will launch on September 13th, 2016. If you'd like to see the cover for it, just go to my websi…moreYes, Debra, it is! The second book, BODY ON THE BAYOU, will launch on September 13th, 2016. If you'd like to see the cover for it, just go to my website ( and click on the Cover Reveal tab. I'm contracted for books three and four as well. In fact, I just returned from a trip to Louisiana with my family to research places and events that I plan to write about in the upcoming books. I'll share this - right now, as I'm outlining book three, events culminate at the famous Christmas Eve Bonfires on the Levee that I got to witness firsthand just a week ago. I'll be blogging about this fantastic celebration in the next few weeks. Thanks so much for your question, and Happy New Year!!(less)

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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  2,327 ratings  ·  405 reviews

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Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Earlier this week, I was selected to receive a copy of the fourth book in this series. I had been meaning to try the series for a while, but couldn't get out of the TBR slump. Since I prefer reading books in order when they're part of a series, I had to order the first three and finish them before I needed to review the latest one. I picked this up yesterday and finished it within three hours. It's a quick-n-easy read but full of wonderful characters, descriptions and scenes. I highly recommend ...more
Sep 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Reading the first book in the series made me want more of the same author. Knowing a bit about the French Culture, I was interested in learning about Lousiana customs.

The French there is slightly devolved from the original language, but not enough to be called Creole. But if you're reading this review to know whether to read Plantation Shudders, then I'll nod a vociferation, a yes of approval.

Don't take notice of my rating. The author is talented. There is so much competition among cozy authors,
Aug 26, 2020 rated it liked it

This is the first book in the Cajun Country Mystery series, featuring amateur sleuth Maggie Crozat.


After a bad breakup, artist Maggie Crozat moves from New York City to her home town of Pelican, Louisiana. There Maggie shares a shotgun house with her Grand-mere;

helps her parents run the Crozat Plantation Bed and Breakfast;

and is a paid docent at a tourist attraction that was once the Doucet Plantation.

The Crozat B&B is full up for Fête de l'été (summer festival), the guests being an elder
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2015
Dollycas’s Thoughts

Look at that cover, that house is gorgeous. I knew I had to read this book as soon as I saw the cover. I can totally understand the need to turn it into a Bed & Breakfast. The costs to upkeep such a beautiful home must be astronomical. Of course when you invite people you don’t know into your home you are never sure who is going to show up. This end of the summer group are quite a unique bunch. Frat boys, lovebirds, a family with kids, a Texan, and then the elderly honeymooner
Apr 02, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: quick-reads
Plantation Shudders, book one in Ellen Byron’s Cajun Country mysteries series, was just what I needed to take my mind off of the ever-worsening existence we’re leading at the moment.

Byron crafts a light and comfortable cozy, complete with endearing supporting characters (Zander and Grand’Mere are my favorites), a compelling mystery, and food!

The Crozats are a prominent Louisiana family who run a bed and breakfast out of their century’s old family plantation.

Magnolia” Maggie” Crozat, her pare
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As all my friends know, I'm a sucker for a mystery-romance-suspense set in the Bayou. I just love the area for a little murder and mayhem setting. Add some sarcastic humor and some good ole' boy characters and the scene is set for a great story. Plantation Shudders delivers.

Maggie Crozat has returned home to her family's plantation turned bed and breakfast in Louisiana. She has suffered the malaise of the 30-something and has no job and no boyfriend, hence the return of the prodigal daughter. T
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook-mystery
There is something unique about Louisiana and this book picks up on that perfectly. From the mansions and the insects to the specialty foods, this book had it all. Then on top of all the scenery and appetizers, there was a little thing like a murder.

A well-crafted murder at that. I enjoyed this book. I found it fun and entertaining. This is what makes me like mysteries, the characters, and the character flaws. They mesh well here and keep the action moving along.
There is also a little bonus f
Bookworm Extraordinaire
Feb 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery

This was a fairly good read. I loved the setting, and most of the characters were well written and interesting. The mystery aspect kept me guessing until the end.

The reason why it is only a 3 star read as opposed to a 4 star, was Maggie. She really came across as a judgmental bitch a lot of the time. Some of her inner thoughts, and the way she reacts to people and situations really made me dislike her.

In any case, I enjoyed it enough to probably read book two in the future.
Author Annabelle Leigha
This was wonderful! I felt like I was down in LA! It is of course on my bucket list but I will be looking to stay at a plantation house instead of New Orleans proper. I can't wait to make the recipes and also read book #2! ...more
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lobstergirl by: Luncheonsmacks K. Manwurst

So many annoying tics in this book. Weak plot. This is my first and last cozy!

1. The family matriarch, a grandmother, goes by Gran.' Not Gran.....Gran.' Because you see Gran' is the abbreviation for Grand-Mère. Why would an author willingly choose to make her life 20% more miserable by having to type all those apostrophes?

2. I guess the author spends a lot of time on Facebook? Because everything is "shared" - rather than said, remarked, stated, asserted, uttered, declared, pontificated, whispere
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Original review from 2017) This book was a great start for the series and I can't to read the next and see what happens in that adventure. I love the little lagniappe too!

ADDED TO on 3-22-19: I think I've improved a little in writing reviews and I just wanted to add a few things, since it's been a little over two years since I read this. One of the FB book clubs will be discussing it soon, and I thought it was a good excuse to revisit the first book. I've noticed since I have read more of this
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 a
Jessica Robbins
Book one in the Cajun Country Mystery series. Welcome to Louisiana the home of big plantations and lots of Southern history. Maggie Crozat has returned to the small town she grew up in to help her family run the Crozat B&B. She also gives tours at a rivals families old plantation that is now open to the public instead of inhabited anymore. They have a house full of guests when a hard to deal with older couple suddenly drops dead in the middle of a storm making them all suspects. With the help of ...more
May 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cosy-mystery
Laissez les bons temps rouler! Cosy and uplifting. Perfect for reading slumps and stressful days.
Jammin Jenny
I really liked this cozy mystery set in Louisiana. It's set at a southern plantation that's been converted to a B&B. There's a murder of one of the guests, and it's up to Maddie to help find out what happened. I liked the characters, and I loved the special needs kid Xander and his dad Bo. I hope Bo and Maddie get together in the next book in the series. This is a series I would read again. ...more
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
If there was a 3.5 star rating, I would use it for this book. Three stars means just ok to me but this book is somewhat better than that for me. However, there were some elements to the book that it wasn't a four star book for me either. Plantation Shudders appears to be a popular book with cozy readers. It is up for several awards.

While I did enjoy it, there were times I felt like I was reading the first book from an author and then that feeling would disappear. The book used the cozy formula-p
Maggie and her family run a bed & breakfast in Louisiana. When one of their guests is murdered the chief of police who has a long running grudge against the family is all too happy to drag out the incident as much as possible in order to ruin them financially.

Maggie begins investigating to find the murderer and save the business.

Plantation Shudders is fairly typical of cozy mysteries. There is the plucky female sleuth, the good looking detective, a full inn of suspects and sidekicks and a slig
Funny and lighthearted, I enjoyed this one. The charming southern details, the clean content, and in-the-background romance made this an easy read. I thought that maybe the levity surrounding a murder mystery would bother me, but coming off the heels of DNFing Debbie Downer Stillhouse Lake, I found it refreshing instead. ...more
Great start to a series, very enjoyable, I would actually give this a 4 1/2 star. This book starts off great when a couple drops dead, so I knew that I was in for an interesting read.
I love the characters in this book Maggie is strong and independent with a touch of insecurity and a tendency to jump before looking which keeps her real. Her Gran I can't say enough good about, I absolutely loved her, she is unpredictable but not in an over the top way, she gave me many laugh out loud moments and
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've not always been a supporter of the genre, but I'll finally admit it: there are some pretty good cozy mysteries out there, and this is definitely one of them. This start to the Cajun Country Mystery series pulls out all the stops, including charming location and characters, truly Southern family and local history, and a murder plot that kept me guessing. Back at home after an attempt to make a career and love connection in NYC, Magnolia "Maggie" Crozat, does all she can to help her family ru ...more
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
Plantation Shudders is the first book in the Cajun Country Mystery series by Ellen Byron. When two visitors to the local food festival and was staying at Maggie Crozat family bed, and breakfast died at the same time. Maggie Crozat happy and carefree live changes when she and her family became the prime suspects in their deaths. With the help of the new Detective Bo Durant, Maggie decided to investigate to clear her name and save her families business. The readers of Plantation Shudders will cont ...more
Mark Baker
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, mystery
Maggie and her family are delighted to have a full house at their bed and breakfast as summer is coming to an end. However, the elderly couple is a real pain, so no one is too upset when they both die within minutes of each other. The sheriff is sure that one of them was murdered, and since he has a vendetta against Maggie’s family, she’s going to have to find the killer. Can she do it?

This is a fun mystery with a great setting in Louisiana Cajun country. Maggie a great main character, and her G
CD {Boulder Blvd}
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: s-bv-library
I really enjoyed this first book in a cozy mystery series set in the south. I'm onto Book 2. ...more
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
A basset hound on the cover of a cozy mystery and of course I have to read it. Something about Louisiana and the bayous attract my attention to books also. This book did not disappoint. It has great characters and setting with history to it. The Grandma is my favorite. She's hilarious! I wish Gopher the basset hound was in the story more. I also like how the story didn't end right away once the murder was solved. Ellen Byron is up on my favorite authors list. ...more
Jan 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: libby
Just under 8 hours reading time. Ty Libby.
Nice cozy. Maggie is a likeable amateur sleuth. She is an artist as well as a jill-of-all-trades. Romance with Bo was cute. Some good spots of writing.
There are many clues dropped and red herrings. That got a bit long for me and boring but obviously plotted in.
Note: Fair amount of drinking involved..
surprised me a bit.
I really enjoyed the humorous touches and would read this author again.
Gopher is a neat Bassett Hound B&B dog.
Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, cozy-mysteries
Plantations Shudders by Ellen Byron is the first book in the Cajun Country Mystery series. Magnolia “Maggie” Crozat works at a docent at Doucet Plantation (which used to belong to her mother’s family until they gifted it to the state) and help out at Crozat Bed and Breakfast (which is her father’s family’s plantation) in Pelican, Louisiana. It is the last weekend in August and the B&B is fully booked. The guests are all enjoying happy hour when the last couple arrives. Hal and Beverly Clabber ar ...more
Kathy Martin
Jul 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
This cozy mystery takes place in a plantation bed and breakfast in Louisiana. Crozat had been in the family for generations. Maggie has come back home from New York City after being dumped by the boyfriend with whom she had started an art gallery. Now she's uncertain about her abilities as an artist and has lost her faith in love. She is busy helping out at the B&B and working as a tour guide at a neighboring plantation.

The events of this story take place near the end of summer when an interest
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First in the Cajun Country mystery series, this mystery was excellent! 4 1/2 star read. Plantation Shudders was nominated for an Agatha Award for best first novel and a Lefty Award for humorous mystery. It's set at a B&B full of guests with secrets. When a couple dies in rapid succession, everyone is a suspect. An ancient curse put on the family of the two primary investigators by the family that owns the B&B adds to the drama.

The author handles the troubled history of the region with a deft ha
Jeanne Adamek
Aug 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I remember when I was young asking my mother why she read romances and she said that this was the way she could visit the places that she would never see. Cozy mysteries does the same for me, especially this time Plantation Shudders. Who wouldn't like to see the Cajun Country? And the way that the author paints it, this is a place that I will visit again.

I am also very glad that I do not work at a inn if the customers are anything like the ones visiting Crozat Plantation. As much as I did not li
Nov 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
Plantation = slavery. Where is that part in the paean to the past?
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Ellen is the Agatha Award-winning author of the bestselling Cajun Country Mysteries. MARDI GRAS MURDER won the Agatha for Best Contemporary Novel and was nominated for a Best Humorous Mystery award by the Left Coast Crime conference. A CAJUN CHRISTMAS KILLING and BODY ON THE BAYOU both won the Left Coast Crime Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery, and were nominated for an Agatha Award in the cat

Other books in the series

Cajun Country Mystery (7 books)
  • Body on the Bayou (Cajun Country Mystery, #2)
  • A Cajun Christmas Killing (Cajun Country Mystery #3)
  • Mardi Gras Murder (Cajun Country Mystery, #4)
  • Fatal Cajun Festival (Cajun Country Mystery #5)
  • Murder in the Bayou Boneyard (Cajun Country Mystery #6)
  • Cajun Kiss of Death (Cajun Country Mystery #7)

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