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Oddity by Eli Brown and Karin Rytter (illustrator)
The Old Boat by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey
Paladin's Strength by T. Kingfisher
Plantation Shudders by Ellen Byron
The Raconteur's Commonplace Book by Kate Milford

Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett
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Restaurant to Another World Volume 3 by Junpei Inuzuka and Katsumi Enami (Illustrations)
Séance Tea Party by Reimena Yee
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Tin by Candace Robinson and Amber R. Duell
Victor and Nora: A Gotham Love Story by Lauren Myracle and Isaac Goodhart
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The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life by Dani Jansen

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Plantation Shudders: 03/31/21

Plantation Shudders

Plantation Shudders by Ellen Byron is the start of the Cajun Country mystery series. Maggie Crozat has moved back to Pelican Louisiana to help at the Crozat Plantation B&B. Her first night back is a full house with everyone there for the Fête de l'été. The last couple to arrive, a grumpy newly wed elderly couple, end up dying that night.

While it's clear the husband died of natural causes, it's just as clear that his wife was poisoned. Maggie hoping to save the family business and keep her grandmother out of jail decides to investigate. It doesn't help that the local sheriff has a financial interest in wanting the Crozat B&B to fail.

With a cast of characters and a limited setting, the novel has a similar format to Murder on the Orient Express (1934). Certainly each of the guests had a reason to dislike the murdered woman but the actual crime isn't as well coordinated as in Christie's novel.

The setting had me nervous. I expected more rhapsodic praise of Southern gentility than even the Cat in the Stacks series by Miranda James. Maggie, though, appears to be more realistic about her town's history and her family's culpability as former slave owners.

The second book in the series is Body on the Bayou (2016).

Four stars

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