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Plantation Shudders

A Cajun Country Mystery, Book 1
Narrated by: Meredith Mitchell
Length: 7 hrs and 29 mins
4 out of 5 stars (106 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Check in for some Southern hospitality in Plantation Shudders, the Cajun Country series debut from Ellen Byron.

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 couple keels over dead within minutes of each other - one from very unnatural causes - Maggie and her family suddenly become suspects in a murder.

With the help of Bo Durand, the town's handsome new detective, Maggie must investigate to clear her name while holding the family business together at the same time. And the deeper she digs, the more she wonders: Are all of the guests really there for a vacation, or do they have ulterior motives? Decades-old secrets and stunning revelations abound in Ellen Byron's charming cozy debut, Plantation Shudders.

©2015 Ellen Byron (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible narration

The narration was so bad I could only listen to 5 minutes before I called Audible and had them refund my account. She sounds like a instructional robot or news anchor. No inflection not even an accent - nothing! I can't review the story because I couldn't listen long enough. I gave 1 star because I couldn't leave it blank.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Unimpressed.

Author: I felt that she thinks her readers are stupid. Every thing is explained, laying the story out so plainly like the stories we read when we were little kids. I think she has an issue with southerners, and her villains are all fat/pudgy. The most developed character was the dog. Finally, toward the end there was a display of humor but the narrator ruined it.
Narrator: better suited to a "how-to" book. Very poor with comedic tones and delivery, everything seemed monotone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Beatrice
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 08-17-15

It Was Okay

It was okay. I wish I could give it two and a half stars. The characters and story were interesting. However, there were a few instances that did not ring true for me. I found it hard to believe that a sheriff could cause problems for a well respected family that owned a business. There were a few other things but I don't want to give anything away. It also a dragged a bit in several areas and I had to skip ahead. I'm not sure I will get the next book in this series if Audible makes it available.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Thought provoking book

In Plantation Shuddersn by Ellen Byron, Maggie Crozat has moved from New York to help her family's B&B on the location of her family's former plantation in Cajun Country. They get an assortment of guests, including a whining older man and his ever- smiling wife. At night, during a storm, the lights go out, triggering a fatal heart attack in the curmudgeon. Then his wife, in a panic, takes a pill for her anxiety and soon falls over dead as well. The sheriff, Rufus, who hates the Crozats because of an ancient feud between the families, arrives and declares the house a crime scene. Fortunately, Rufus isn't the official investigator, but the Crozat family is alarmed to learn that the long- time detective is retiring and the replacement is Rufus's cousin, Bo Durant.

When the tests come back showing that while the husband died naturally, the wife was poisoned, Maggie gets involved in trying to solve the case in order to save her family's business. She is forced together with Bo and finds him actually sympathetic. Sparks begin to fly between them, but when another guest is murdered, the urgency increases. The pair must work fast before the murderer leaves the area.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting to listen to Plantation Shudders. The various characters have unique personalities, and the guests come from widely disparate backgrounds. We see a trio of frat guys, a honeymooning couple, a single man, and the Cajun Cuties, who are some women who run a Cajun fan club and bring people from New York to visit the area. Maggie, her parents, and her Gran Mere (grandmother) also get us invested in them. I really enjoyed meeting Bo and seeing the tension between him and Maggie, since they are drawn to each other but come from warring families. I especially appreciated seeing the character of Bo's son, a boy on the autism spectrum who doesn't speak but turns out to be highly artistic. I quickly found myself falling in love with this boy. Getting to know someone with special needs in a book will help readers see someone as a genuine individual when they encounter a person with such issues.

In addition to the characters, I really enjoyed the setting of this book. I have very little experience with the Cajun country in reading about it and have never been near the area in person. I felt that I got a better sense of the region, its issues, and its unique culture. I appreciated the tension created for Maggie that she now works as a tour guide in a plantation once owned by her own family and all the internal conflict that potentially can create.

The audio edition of the book is performed by Meredith Mitchell. She uses a very slight Southern accent for the main narration and a little stronger accent for some of the Louisiana characters, like Maggie, and a much stronger accent for someone like Gran Mere. I appreciated the way Mitchell makes the book seem even more lively than reading it visually would have done.

Plantation Shudders proved to be a well- written book that I really enjoyed. The mystery was intriguing, with an interesting solution, and the characters were fun. I give the book five stars!

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Best Cozy Mystery

consider this my favorite book of the year for cozy murder mysteries and a lot of red herring touches.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Leslie
  • LONGMONT, CO, United States
  • 09-19-16

Story was so-so but narration was pretty bad

What did you like best about Plantation Shudders? What did you like least?

The location was interesting and had potential but the characters didn't really hold me. The reader was the biggest drawback. While she did the dialog well, she read the rest of the story with a weird up and down sing-song that never changed no matter what was going on.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Meredith Mitchell?

Anyone who can read with a little drama.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It is a better read than an audio book.

Would you listen to Plantation Shudders again? Why?

No, I would not listen to Plantation Shudders again. I think these types of books would be better read by a man and a woman because the woman doing the men's parts was just awful to my ear.

Would you be willing to try another book from Ellen Byron? Why or why not?

No, I do not think I will try another book from Ellen Byron because I have a feeling they are going to follow very much the same pattern.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Meredith Mitchell?

No, I will not listen to another book narrated by Meredith Mitchell. I did not like her accent in this book. Perhaps if she read something without characters she would be a better narrator.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There were not moments in the book that particularly moved me.

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MURDER IN CAJUN COUNTRY

What made the experience of listening to Plantation Shudders the most enjoyable?

This book was set in lovely Cajun country, at an Inn and full of mystery and suspenseful surprises!! Loved the variety of characters and the tension between the two families.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes

What about Meredith Mitchell’s performance did you like?

I cannot say enough about the reading of this mystery. Meredith Mitchell brought each character to life for me with her wonderful rendition of each voice. She is just about the best narrator that I have had the pleasure to listen too!!!!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

MURDER AT THE CAJUN COUNTRY INN

Any additional comments?

I truly enjoy this book and it wonderful plot, well rounded characters and build up to the conclusion of catching the murders.