MURDER IN THE BAYOU BONEYARD, the sixth book in the Cajun Country Mystery series by Ellen Byron, is a fun Halloween-themed romp through the bayou! From the darling cover to the opening sentence to the very last paragraph, Ms. Bryon is a captivating storyteller. Her strong descriptive voice brings the narrative to life and immerses the reader into the spirit of the holiday. However, protagonist Maggie Crozat isn’t a fan of all that Halloween entails which leads to humor and mayhem. Nevertheless, she conjures up a “Pelican’s Spooky Past” package for both her family-owned and locally-owned plantation B & Bs to attract guests, since the state of Louisiana proudly bills itself as the most haunted in America. Her family’s theme for guests is “Food and Crafts” which is my kind of Halloween event… nothing spooky for me!
In addition to the Spooky Past package, the Crozat Plantation B & B is opening up their new spa. The lovely descriptions capture the relaxing theme of the setting and lulls the reader into a sense of wellbeing… until a rougarou starts harassing guests. A cross between a werewolf and vampire, the rougarou is seen by multiple guests at multiple B & Bs which sends guests packing and cancelling reservations. It’s devastating for the already hard-hit family-owned businesses. I love how the author interjects a spooky Bayou legend into the mystery, intertwining it with a murder, which adds to the theme of Halloween. On top of worrying about the monster and a murder, Maggie has a wedding to plan while being blindsided with greedy distant relatives who have descended upon the Crozat plantation. Poor Maggie can’t catch a break because things go from bad to worse with every chapter. Ms. Byron builds the tension in the story with each passing page until I could not put the book down until I finished the very last word!
Maggie’s mom, Ninette, is the chef for the Crozat B & B, and serves plenty of mouthwatering dishes to their guests. Ms. Bryon includes several recipes at the back of the book and the recipe for Sugar High Pie caught my eye. As the author puts it, it’s like a candy bar inside a pie! With a base similar to pecan pie, the addition of chocolate, raisins, and coconut raises the scrumptious level to the stratosphere! It’s definitely rich and plenty sweet and a little goes a long way, but your taste buds will be highly gratified with the sugar high they receive from this Sugar High Pie!
Maggie Crozat, proprietor of a historic Cajun Country B&B, prefers to let the good times roll. But hard times rock her hostelry when a new cell phone app makes it easy for locals to rent their spare rooms to tourists. With October–and Halloween–approaching, she conjures up a witch-crafty marketing scheme to draw visitors to Pelican, Louisiana.
Five local plantation B&Bs host “Pelican’s Spooky Past” packages, featuring regional crafts, unique menus, and a pet costume parade. Topping it off, the derelict Dupois cemetery is the suitably sepulchral setting for the spine-chilling play Resurrection of a Spirit. But all the witchcraft has inevitably conjured something: her B&B guests are being terrified out of town by sightings of the legendary rougarou, a cross between a werewolf and vampire.
When, in the Dupois cemetery, someone costumed as a rougarou stumbles onstage during the play–and promptly gives up the ghost, the rougarou mask having been poisoned with strychnine, Maggie is on the case. But as more murders stack up, Maggie fears that Pelican’s spooky past has nothing on its bloodcurdling present.
A special thanks to Ellen Byron for providing one lucky winner with a print copy of MURDER IN THE BAYOU BONEYARD! Giveaway is limited to U.S. residents. Contest ends Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at 11:59 pm PST. Please use the Rafflecopter box located below to enter. The winner will be announced on this page and on Cinnamon & Sugar’s Facebook page, as well as notified by email (so check your spam folder!)
Ellen Byron: Sometimes one recipe begets another. I was making the Pecan Coconut Pie Bars from the recipe in A CAJUN CHRISTMAS KILLING, my fourth Cajun Country Mystery, when inspiration struck. What if I took a frozen pie crust, made the pecan base, and threw in a bunch of stuff with the pecans? Thus Sugar High Pie was born.
The name comes from the fact that in addition to that basic pecan base, the ingredients in this dessert include dark chocolate, milk chocolate, coconut, and raisins. When you think about it, it's like a candy bar inside a pie.
While you're welcome to follow the recipe below and enjoy the ensuing deliciousness, feel free to experiment. Add a half cup of chopped dates or dried cherries. Or both. Just make sure you share the recipe with all of us!
- 1 unbaked 8- or 9-inch pie crust, frozen or your favorite recipe
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 whole egg
- 3 egg whites
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup pecan pieces
- 1/2 cup milk chocolate bits
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate bits
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F).
Cream brown sugar and butter until well blended.
Beat in egg and egg whites, one at a time.
Stir in bourbon, salt, and corn syrup.
Add pecans, chocolate, raisins, and coconut, one ingredient at a time. Stir to blend well.
Pour mixture into pie crust. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until middle sets or a knife inserted in the pie comes out clean.
Pin to Pinterest:
I was provided an advance copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I have always enjoyed seeing the little kids dressed up. More than the spooky part! ?
I love Halloween! Scary movies, dressing up, trick or treat, making Halloween goodies, decorations. My favorite holiday next to Christmas.
I’m all in except for the scary movie part.
I love Halloween but not scary stuff! I love the little kids in costume knocking on my door. I will miss that this year 🙁
I agree. It will be sad not seeing the kids.
I used to like scary things when I was much, much younger. Not anymore. Thanks for the review.
I’m the same!
First, that sugar high pie looks scrumptious! I don’t mind spooky activities. Not a fan of Halloween horror, though.
I’m not a horror fan either. And it is delish – super sweet!
When my daughter was younger, she loved spooky Halloween activities, especially haunted hayrides. The Sugar High Pie looks amazing and I can’t wait to make it!
Hi Celia! Ooh, a haunted hayride sounds fun!
I have to try that pie. It sounds amazing! I watch Hocus Pocus and Casper every year.
That sounds like fun!
I love Halloween. The treats and Costumes who won’t love it.
The costumes are my favorite part.
Halloween is my favorite time of year. Love horror movies.
You’re braver than me!
Pie sounds amazing ! I like watching the kids go by in costumes since mine are to old now!
I miss my daughter dressing up. She’s too old,too.
Not a spooky fan. Am a Snoopy fan! Bring on the treats!!
Omg, I love Halloween! I don’t do haunted houses anymore, I don’t like jump-scares. Lol. This pie though!!! Tomorrow is grocery day, I’m adding the ingredients that I don’t have to my list. I see a delicious pie in my future…. Pecan is my favorite so this is right on target to add pounds.
I don’t like spooky, fun yes!
I love Halloween. I miss going into haunted houses.
We don’t celebrate Halloween but I always give out candy to the trick or treaters. I’m not a huge fan of scary things but I can handle spooky. ?
I like to see Halloween decorations, read scary stories and watch scary movies. When my son was little we did the trick or treating and pumpkin carving. Thanks for the chance.
I like spooky Halloween fun! I don’t like scary, bloody movies.
I’m a huge Halloween fan. I love to shut off all the lights and watch horror movie all night long! There isn’t anything I don’t love about Halloween ?. Thanks for the recipe it looks really good! The cover is awesome! I am in love with that basset hound his face is adorable!
I am a huge fan! And I’m a fan of Halloween theme reads. Can’t wait to read this book! ?
I like Halloween except I think some of the haunted houses have gone too far they are supposed to be for kids and now they have ones that are just too scary for adults I am not a fan of those, I do love Halloween as it doesn’t involve family the reason I say that is my family is all over Ca and I am in Ia. I wish they would of come with me back here as eventually they would of liked it like i do. I am excited to read and review your book in print. Thank you for offering a print so I can read and review,.
I haven’t done any of these for a long time, but I used to love hayrides, bonfires, corn maze. Also enjoy driving around checking out Halloween displays.
This book sounds great. I can’t wait to see Maggie in action. Too bad I can’t really visit Pelican Louisiana
Really spooky things aren’t my style. But cute little trick or treaters are pretty fun.
Not really. I’m old.
My family loves Halloween but we go for a softer side to it since we have a lot of little ones that come around. We go for the scarecrows, cornstocks and pumpkins. Black cats and skeletons are okay as long as they aren’t dripping blood.
I use to love spooky Halloween but as I’ve aged,I seem to have mellowed into a cute/fun Halloween person
No, I’m not.
I love G-rated Halloween activities, you know — the ones geared toward children. I enjoy all the planning and decorating, and then seeing the joy in the little ones’ faces!
Love going to haunted houses with my friends!
OMG, Kim, thank you for a glorious review and fabulous recipe. You are AMAZING!
I love hosting your wonderful books and can always count on getting to try out your scrumptious recipes. They’re always a hit! Congrats on your new release!
I love seeing the kids having a good time and all dressed up in their costumes. I’m not much into the scary stuff.
I love haunted houses and corn mazes. I love everything about halloween!
I just got scolded by the blog for posting comments too fast, so I’ll take a break from indie responses, but I’ve read all the comments and LOVE THEM! XO
I love everything just not the scary stuff!
Love dressing up on Halloween. It is one of my brothers and a cousins birthday so we have more to celebrate on that spooktacular day.
I am the Halloween Queen! I love a good spooky Haunted House! I decorate my yard and inside my house every year! Thanks for the chance!
I used to LOVE decorating our yard. I stopped two years ago when our daughter went to college. We live in the hills and never get trick or treaters anyway.
I am not a fan of scary, but spooky works. Our favorite is to see the kiddos in costume, last year it was storming— and this year it is COVID. We may save a few pounds though— not loading up on pass out treats. I must try that pie recipe! It looks so yummy!
the treats and fun yes – the spooky no.
Love Halloween! Love spooky and scary in a kid kind of way – like haunted houses. I’m not a Friday the 13th type.
Yum on the Sugar High Pie recipe.. I love, love Halloween! Ever since I can remember, I’ve always dressed up, at 67 I still do & now go Trick/Treat with my 6 year old grand-daughter. I gave up decorating the yard, when my kids got too spread out to have Halloween parties/ gatherings at my house.. (we get no Trick/Treaters at my house). Halloween is one of my favorite holidays!!
Sheryl, I love that you still dress up!! That’s fantastic!
Sometimes I like going into a haunted house. But they not had any around us for a while now. Thank you for a chance to win a print copy of Murder In The Bayou Boneyard.
I’m a big fan of spooky activities and spooky movies. Thanks for this amazing giveaway.
I enjoyed taking my kids trick or treating when they were little. Now I will go to friends homes & have a good time but usually I stay home with my Shadow(cat) to make sure he is OK. We go to festivals during the fall season. Thank you for the recipe and the chance to win.
I am not really a fan of spooky things.
I love spooky Halloween activities!
I love Halloween activities but I don’t like things to be tooooo scary. Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com
When I was a kid I loved it, but not so much now. I like seeing other ones, especially kids enjoy it though.
I love spooky Halloween activities. Thanks for the chance to win.
Thank you for the giveaway! I used to love Halloween when I was a kid but not so much anymore. I do love seeing my nieces and nephew in their costumes and I know I would really enjoy trick or treating with them if they lived closer.
Yes I used to have Halloween parties and go all out on the decrations, even a fog machine! What fun, but I’m older now so I stock up on candy corn and chocolates and binge watch Halloween movies. It’s just as much fun! Thank you!!
I am a fan of spooky, but not gory/horror.
I am so ready for a spooky fall. And, that pie.
YES…I AM A FAN OF HALLOWEEN.
I am a fan of Spooky Halloweenie things
Yes, I am!
Yes, I love visiting haunted houses.
No, I’m not a fan of spooky things!
Used to be. But not any more
Not a fan of the super spooky, extreme Halloween spook houses where they have blood, gore, chain saws and other extreme decorations/activities. Keep it simple and just some what spooky. No need to go overboard! This sounds like a delicious fall recipe which I’m anxious to try. I want to read the book too!
I don’t enjoy scary stuff. I like the cute Halloween decorations and the kids dressed up in their costumes.
Yes I am I love this time of year
Great review thank you
I used to love going to Haunted Houses, and going through corn mazes. Thank you for the recipe, and this chance to win!
Not really a spooky Halloween fan. All about the candy!
I agree with the above poster! Spooky isn’t as important as candy! LOL
I love Halloween but am not a fan of super scary decor or movies
I used to love going to haunted houses on Halloween, but now I like to hang out with a bunch of friends at home.
I am a fan of spooky Halloween activities.
I’m not much of a fan of spooky Halloween activities I prefer more lighthearted Halloween fun. ?
I am a big fan and the spookier the better.