What Secrets Can Be Found by the Light of the Cajun Moon? New Orleans may be the "Big Easy," but nothing about it was ever easy for international business etiquette expert Chloe Ledet. She moved away years ago, leaving her parents and their famous French Quarter restaurant behind. But when she hears that her father has been shot, she races home to be by his side and to handle his affairs―only to learn a long-hidden secret that changes everything she knew to be true about herself and her family. Framed for murder, Chloe and a handsome Cajun stranger must search for a priceless treasure, one whose roots weave through the very history of Louisiana itself. But can Chloe depend on the mysterious man leading her on this cat-and-mouse chase into the heart of Cajun country? Or by trusting him, has she gone from the frying pan into the fire? Following up on her bestselling Gothic thriller, Whispers of the Bayou, and Amish romantic suspense, Shadows of Lancaster County, Mindy Starns Clark offers another exciting standalone novel, one full of Cajun mystery, hidden dangers, and the glow of God's unending grace.
Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of more than 30 books, both fiction and nonfiction, and has received numerous literary honors, including two Christy Awards and RT Book Review Magazine’s 2012 Career Achievement Award. Mindy and her husband, John, have two adult children and live near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
I love when a book has so much history that it spurs me to do my own research. Two other books focusing on the Creole and Cajun people have already encouraged this in me. And now Under the Cajun Moon has as well.
The story is about a Chicago business woman (Chloe) called home to Louisiana by her mother who explained that her father (a famous Cajun chef) had been shot and gave Chloe specific instructions about some property he just bought, and for her to meet with his lawyer at the restaurant ASAP.
After barely waking up the next morning in a New Orleans hotel room, of which she had no memory, the police found the lawyer in the suite dead, and evidence that she was the murderer. An attorney her assistant hired uncovered some inconsistencies allowing her to be released, although still accused, with a trial pending.
While trying to evade the press to get to the hospital where her father was in a coma, a man from her past, Travis Naquin, helped her slip by them. The rest of the book was one thing after another, never knowing who to trust or with whom she could divulge the story about buried treasure which the dead lawyer had revealed to her the night before.
Travis had been a Cajun young man Chloe went out with once years ago, the evening ending, well, not as good as Travis had hoped. But he never forgot her. Knowing she's innocent of the charges, he helped her to find evidence of her innocence, and answers to the mystery behind a poem displayed on her father's wall, and how Travis was embroiled in all of it.
Hiding place to hiding place Travis took her on boats and canoes through swampy waterways around New Orleans, finding Cajun family members to assist, or sadly, getting caught. What a ride!
Two things that gave me joy:
Travis was clearly a man of faith, sharing that faith with Chloe, who because of her non-nurturing parents, had always felt God was the same, and had more pressing issues than to listen to her. Travis told her of a love so great that the Father sacrificed his own Son for her.
The other was the history of the peoples who settled in Louisiana, some exiled from Nova Scotia area, some directly from France or Africa, making up Creole and Cajun settlements. The word Cajun came from the Acadians, French people who had settled in upper northeast Canada, then exiled down the Atlantic coast. Through my Wikipedia explorings I learned those who remained in Nova Scotia area are still called Acadians, not Cajuns. And because I’m interested in local cuisines I learned that their foods are quite different from their southern Cajun relatives. The languages of Acadians, Creole and Cajuns have French roots, but the dialects are so strong that they’re completely set apart. Fascinating.
I checked this book out of the library about a week ago. I checked out of this book about 50 pages after that. What was it that did me in? Hard to say. It was either Chloe's bizarre vacillation between "this guy is a dateable prospect" and "men are scum" or the painfully detailed descriptions of Chef Julien's salt-encrusted fish.
What a great random find! This story has it all...action, history, romance, CAJUNS, delicious-sounding food, rich festive music, culture, beautiful peaceful scenery, CAJUNS, crime, punishment,faith, humor... Mindy Starns Clark managed to stick a lot of central human themes into one story and make it flow in a way that you can't help but get absorbed in it. There were a lot of pieces where she divulges a lot of information and some parts that could have used more editing, but I didn't mind that. To me it was storytelling intermingled with feeling out the characters.
Chloe Ledet is believable, and though she has her own personal struggles (ie. The Ice Queen), she encounters many colorful people (suspects?) that divulge the point of view of the outsiders looking in. When her father is shot, she is suddenly faced with a past, when she didn't feel loved, striking a present that changes everything she ever thought about love and faith. More than that she is framed for murders she did not commit in a treasure hunt that could lead to her and her family's demise. She is joined by handsome Cajun, Travis Naquin, who, for some reason, has faith in her through and through and protects and teaches her about more than snakes and gators in the bayou.
There is something to be said about books finding us at the right time. I bought Under the Cajun Moon a couple years ago after loving Whispers of the Bayou by the same author, but after picking it up twice and putting it down, I was contemplating just donating it and being done with the whole thing. However, never the quitter, I figured I’d try one last time.
I’m so glad that I did.
While the first fifty pages were a little slow and it took me a while to warm up to Chloe, once I did this book was exciting, funny, intriguing and uplifting.
The things I enjoyed:
-The development of the plot and mystery. I loved that you didn’t know what was going on (everyone was a suspect), but once you saw the whole picture every small detail made sense. Clark nailed the continuity of this book.
-I loved how Clark told two stories: the historical part with Jacques and the modern mystery with Chloe. It was very well done and it made the writing even more interesting.
-I LOVED Travis Naquin. He is the perfect love interest. Down home Cajun boy, a man of God and honor. No offense to Chloe, but he was definitely my favorite character. (picture a non-vampire Benny from Spn.) Yes. Ugh. I love him.
-The faith and Christian aspects of this novel were so beautiful. Every time I read about Travis praying and talking about God or how Chloe grew from a semi-believer to a believer, I felt so inspired and uplifted. There were many things to learn about faith and love and forgiveness in this book. It was so refreshing.
-The ending. That’s all I’m gonna say.
The things I didn’t enjoy as much:
-As I said, the first 50-ish pages were a bit slow and Chloe was a little annoying at first, but it definitely got better as the book progressed.
-I understood how there was history between Chloe and Travis already, but as cute as their romance was, sometimes it felt a little fast.
So, in conclusion (I’ve talked your ear off, sorry), I really enjoyed this book! It was a well developed mystery, had uplifting messages and I grew to love the characters a lot. I definitely recommend this book for anyone who wants to feel their heart race, their soul be uplifted and reminded of God’s unending love.
When I read Whispers of The Bayou I became a fan of Mindy Starns Clark. This book was just as interesting. I absolutely loved the links between present day and historical France/founding of New Orleans. I am an avid fan of history and Mindy did a wonderful job of incorporating facts into this story. To be honest, I think I enjoyed Jacques' part of the novel more than Chloe's! Very good read, it took me a while to get through it which is unusual for me. Though I would blame myself and by busy schedule rather than the book itself. The only part that threw me a bit was the ending, and I'm really not sure why. The book ended as I expected it to and I was satisfied with what transpired. I just felt like something was missing, I can't seem to place my finger on what that "something" is. All in all, a wonderful story about trust, forgiveness, adventure, and finding a way to God in the process! Would definitely recommend this one!
This started out as a solid 3 stars. It peaked my curiosity, but then it digressed from there. The 'damsel in distress' card, along with the 'knight in shining armor' card, was played with a heavy hand. That kind of thing isn't my thing. I also had some problems with the validity of the story line, the romance, and the faith aspect. For me, it didn't feel authentic. I wish it had. It was also predictable from early on. So 2 stars.
I have read almost all of the books by Mindy, first the series (which were fun) then another stand-alone. I like the idea of stand-alone books and these certainly do the trick. This one is filled with mystery, intrigue and the interesting history of New Orleans, among other things. I enjoyed each heart-pounding moment.
I absolutely LOVED Under the Cajun Moon. I loved the intertwining of the past and the present. I loved the setting and the characters. I could not stop reading till the end. And it was a satisfying believable ending. What more could a reader ask for?
Honestly, I thought I would end up giving this book only 2 stars. The story didn't pull me in, the characters weren't all that great, I didn't care for the switching between first and third person or the switches between the past, present, & historic parts of the story, I figured out the "bad guy" right away (even though I don't think readers are supposed to figure it out that fast), and I did not like the narrator at all-- mostly because of the accents.
However... toward the end, I did start to enjoy it a little more. The mystery did have some interesting parts that I enjoyed reading about. And I did really like the spiritual aspects of the story. So-- 3 stars it is!
What a thrilling, fantastic novel!! I couldn’t read it fast enough. Highly recommended.
This novel is well written with an immersive setting, raw and realistic characters, fantastic imagery, great pacing and an unforgettable, action-packed story. The end of each chapter propelled me to read on. I couldn’t stop.
The past storyline was a much smaller part of the book but no less powerful or important. A heartbreaking and wonderful story of a young Frenchman whose life turned upside down by treasure.
I especially loved the setting since I live in Louisiana. But it was particularly amazing because as I read the book the past two days I was actually in several places it mentions including New Orleans and Slidell.
Also I highly recommend reading her novel, Whispers of the Bayou.
Chloe Ladet awoke in a strange hotel room. Shortly after awakening, she discovered a dead man in her room. She had no idea how either of them got there but it wasn't long until she was accused of murder. Not only that, her father was shot, and because of her arrest, was unable to visit him in the hospital. Will she be able to clear her name as well as find the person who framed her and shot her father? This is a fascinating story of a mysterious and dangerous treasure hunt in the middle of Cajun country in Louisiana.
Chloe receives a call to come home from her mother that her father has been shot and they don't know if he will live. Upon arrival in New Orleans she is told to go meet with the lawyer before coming to see her dad at the hospital. The next thing Chloe knows she wakes up in a motel room and the lawyer is dead. Who is behind all of this and will her father live??? I really liked this book and it kept you in suspense throughout.
This book has been sitting on my “I don’t think I’m ever going to read it shelf“ for quite some time. I decided to give it a try and it was fine. I was interested in finding out the mystery of where is the treasure and who’s after it and why. It had some cheesy moments but was an ok read.
An interesting mystery with historical and religious elements. The plot deviated from a "traditional" paperback mystery and this made the reading worthwhile. The writting was average or I would have rated the book with more stars.
I borrowed this book from the Pines Gergia library system.
Wow, what an exhilarating read! The intrigue doesn't let up. I was spellbound from the compelling opening scene to the astonishing conclusion. An incredible mix of faith, suspense and romance with a whole lot of treasure hunting thrown in. And a dual timeline that takes us back to the early 1700s in France!
And the romance? Be still my heart. Travis is a toe-curling example of hero material. His Cajun accent set my heart hammering. And yes, I could hear him, even though I was reading the words. He's flirty and tender and knows his way around the bayou. Something city slicker, Chloe learns to appreciate. She is such a contrast to Travis. He's from a big, loud, fun-loving extended family and has the gregarious personality to match. She's the one and only surprise baby of parents getting on in years and spent most of her childhood at boarding school. She's stand-offish where Travis is outgoing. A perpetual outsider while Travis has never met a stranger. And when it comes to faith -- Travis has a real relationship with Jesus while Chloe thinks of the bible as "original guide to etiquette.' You can just imagine how interesting their conversations are.
And then there's the Louisiana setting -- it takes on a life of it's own, though there might be one too many snakes included in the telling of this tale for my liking. Shudder. But I really got a sense of the unique beauty of the culture and geography. As well as its fascinating history.
An intrinsic plot full of twists and turns and plenty of surprises made this an exquisite read.
Etiquette expert Chloe Leget thought she had escaped her parents and their French Quarter restaurant and built a life for herself. When her father is shot, she is called back down to New Orleans. Instead of rushing to the hospital, her father's lawyer requests her signature on some documents. When she awakes the next morning, she finds herself framed for murder and just a "follow the recipe" clue. Joined by Travis, a quirky Cajun guy, Chloe must put together the ingredients of her father's recipe to find out who wants her father dead.
I enjoyed this book. I loved the characters of Chloe and Travis, and since I'm originally from Louisiana, I enjoyed the location references, the Cajun history, and the French phrases. In addition to Chloe's tale, readers get to meet Jacques, a French guy back in the 1700s, who is in the middle of a conspiracy by the government to get settlers to the New Orleans area.
What makes this book such a great read is the steady pace of the book. Each chapter is full of action (and character development) and ends on a cliff hanger. I kept thinking I would read one more chapter and then do something else, but I got sucked in each time, wanting to know what happened next. Fans of Christian fiction, especially suspense with a dash of romance, will love this book.
Another enjoyable Mindy Starns Clark book. I really like the blend of mystery and romance in her books. This one had a historical plot and a current day plot that intertwined, that she jumped back and forth between. I think I liked this one a bit more than some of her others (Shadows of Lancaster County, etc), because it was set in my part of the country (New Orleans and the bayous of South Louisiana). Really good book, hated to see it end :)
A clean and fun read that combines treasure hunting and history with mystery and suspense to create such an intriguing read that even if you figure out one component you'll want to keep reading for the rest! The author did throw in some romance that although remained clean for the Christian reader audience was still cheesy and unnecessary in my opinion, but overall I enjoyed this book and would suggest it to anyone looking for a good read ;)
I've always loved southeastern Lousiana and southern Mississippi where I grew up. Rarely do I find an author that can put the details down that I've experienced living in the south, but Mindy has done so. It's a great story and a great storyteller. I didn't see the end coming. It was my first of Clark's books but I went from it to two more in quick succession.
Like the other two of her books I have read, I think Mindy Clark writes the perfect novels. This one has an exciting plot of murder and mystery, intrigue and romance. While I figured out the main guilty party earlier than her other books, it still is a fun read and has helped me want to learn more about the Cajun culture. Excellent read.
I have read several of Mindy Starns Clark's books, and always enjoy them. This one is a real "keeper" on my book shelf, and I will have no problem recommending this to a reader who enjoys Christian mysteries. I look forward to Ms. Clark's next book.
Good book, very interesting read about Cajun country and its ways. My sister lives in the deep South of Cajun country (we were raised in north Louisiana). The author did a great job of bringing the book to an end. I do enjoy her books. This is the second one I have read.
I really like this author and she writes a couple of different series. This one had me wondering who was trust worthy or who was not. And I love that the author can tell her stories with no bad language or sex!