Friday, October 26, 2018

Mardi Gras Murder by Ellen Byron | Blog Tour with Guest Post and Giveaway

The Blurb

Southern charm meets the dark mystery of the bayou as a hundred-year flood, a malicious murder, and a most unusual Mardi Gras converge at the Crozat Plantation B&B.

It’s Mardi Gras season on the bayou, which means parades, pageantry, and gumbo galore. But when a flood upends life in the tiny town of Pelican, Louisiana — and deposits a body of a stranger behind the Crozat Plantation B&B — the celebration takes a decidedly dark turn. The citizens of Pelican are ready to Laissez les bon temps rouler — but there’s beaucoup bad blood on hand this Mardi Gras.

Maggie Crozat is determined to give the stranger a name and find out why he was murdered. The post-flood recovery has delayed the opening of a controversial exhibit about the little-known Louisiana Orphan Train. And when a judge for the Miss Pelican Mardi Gras Gumbo Queen pageant is shot, Maggie’s convinced the murder is connected to the body on the bayou. Does someone covet the pageant queen crown enough to kill for it? Could the deaths be related to the Orphan Train, which delivered its last charges to Louisiana in 1929? The leads are thin on this Fat Tuesday — and until the killer is unmasked, no one in Pelican is safe.

A simmering gumbo of a humorous whodunit, Mardi Gras Murder is the fourth piquant installment in USA Today bestselling author Ellen Byron’s award-winning Cajun Country mysteries.

Mardi Gras Murder by Ellen Byron
Series: A Cajun Country Mystery, #4
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publication Date: October 9, 2018
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 9781683317050
ISBN-13: 978-1683317050
e-Book File Size: 5191 KB
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The Guest Post

Courir de Mardi Gras

My new Cajun Country Mystery, MARDI GRAS MURDER, revolves around the Cajun tradition of Courir de Mardi Gras. When I tell people, I’m generally asked, “What exactly is that?”

Courir de Mardi Gras translates to “Fat Tuesday Run.” On Mardi Gras morning – or the prior weekend for some runs – people meet at a central location. Some walk, some ride horses. Others travel along the run on flatbed trucks. All are masked and dressed in vibrant costumes sewn together in patchwork style, sporting fringe and appliques. Many of the Mardi Gras – yes, for the courir, Mardi Gras also a proper noun – wear capuchon, pointed hats resembling dunce caps. The face masks, usually created from wire mesh, are a study in folk art with their creative “found” decorations. Bottle caps become eyes. Look closely and you’ll see that the hooked nose on a mask is recycled milk jug handle. I incorporated all of this into MARDI GRAS MURDER.

Led by a capitaine, who’s unmasked and un-costumed, the revelers party their way from house to house, pranking agreeable homeowners and begging them for ingredients to use in a communal gumbo. Musicians are an important addition to the runs, and Mardi Gras often break into a chorus of La Danse de Mardi Gras, also known as the Mardi Gras Song. At some point in the courir, a homeowner may release a live chicken that the Mardi Gras trip over themselves trying to catch. Many Runs are men-only, due to the drinking and carousing. But over the last twenty years, male-and-female runs, all-women runs, and family runs have sprouted up, and their ranks grow every year. I decided to make Maggie’s friend, Gaynell Bourgeois, a capitaine in my story, to give the female runs a shout-out in my book.

The courirs culminate in communal gumbo parties featuring more music, dancing, and booze. Some Mardi Gras unmask, others don’t. These days, the gumbo is usually already made and the ingredients gathered from the run are saved for the future. Being that this is Louisiana, the partying usually doesn’t end with the gumbo festivities. Many communities have fais do dos – dances – in the evening, where the Mardi continue their playful charades.

I haven’t experienced a Courir de Mardi Gras myself, but my friends Jan and Kevin, have. Armed with great costumes, they left their home in New Orleans one year to join the Cajun Country festivities. Someday I hope to participate in a run myself. Until then, I’ll be living vicariously through Jan and Kevin’s wonderful photos, taken during their firsthand experience with this unique event.

Photos courtesy of Jan Gilbert and

The Author

About Ellen Byron

Ellen Byron authors the Cajun Country Mystery series. A Cajun Christmas Killing and Body on the Bayou both won the Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery and were nominated for Agatha awards in the category of Best Contemporary Novel. Plantation Shudders was nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Daphne awards. Mardi Gras Murder launched October 9th. 

Ellen’s TV credits include Wings, Just Shoot Me, and Fairly OddParents. She’s written over 200 national magazine articles, and her published plays include the award-winning Graceland. She also worked as a cater-waiter for the legendary Martha Stewart, a credit she never tires of sharing.

Visit Ellen on the web at these locations:

The Giveaway

Follow the tour, to read other Guest Posts, plus interviews and reviews!


October 20 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, RECIPE

October 20 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

October 21 - The Power of Words – REVIEW

October 21 - Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 22 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

October 22 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST

October 23 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

October 23 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 24 – Lisa KS Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 24 – cherylbbookblog – SPOTLIGHT

October 25 – I Wish I Lived in a Library – REVIEW

October 25 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

October 26 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

October 26 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW

October 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

October 27 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

October 28 – The Montana Bookaholic – CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 29 – Mallory Heart's Cozies - REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 29 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

October 30 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

October 30 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 31 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 31 –Varietats – SPOTLIGHT

November 1 - Island Confidential - REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 1 - Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

November 2 - MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 2 - Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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