Wednesday, December 22, 2021

The Year of the Series - The Wolfe Widow + Murder in the Bayou Boneyard

After the calamity that was 2020 I didn't want to give myself serious reading goals but I did want to do something to help my book stacks get a little more under control.  I've tried getting rid of the ones I want to read but unfortunately I want to read all the books I own.  So I decided to focus on series.  There are so many I have that I abandoned halfway through or came in halfway and never read the first few.  I made a list of ten series and the next book I had to read in them and will be rolling in new books and series as I go along and catch up.  Here are two reviews from that list that I've read recently.

Goodreads:  The Wolfe Widow (Book Collector Mystery #3) by Victoria Abbott

Blurb:  Vera Van Alst doesn’t normally receive visitors without appointment, but she agrees to see the imperious Muriel Delgado upon arrival. Shortly thereafter, Jordan is told that her position is being terminated. Evicted from the Van Alst House, Jordan is determined to find out what hold Muriel has over her erstwhile employer. 

It seems Muriel has designs on Vera’s money and property—not to mention a particular interest in her collection of Nero Wolfe first editions. When Jordan discovers a deadly connection between Muriel and the Van Alst family, it’s up to her to put the house in order and stop a killer from going back to press.

My Thoughts:  This was a fun addition to this series which so far I've really been enjoying.  Not only where there lots of classic mystery references (Nero Wolfe/Archie Goodwin this time) but it's not so much of a whodunnit but a what exactly is going on and why.  There actually isn't a murder at all.  That said there's a lot of investigating to find out just what is going on in the Van Alst house and what is Vera Van Alst hiding in her past.  I liked seeing Jordan network with those around her and make the best use of her contacts without the help of her two best friends whom she has grown to depend on.  It's not the most realistic book but I was so entertained that this didn't bother me.  Really my main issue was that I found the excuse her friends give for being MIA is seriously lacking.  This is a fun series that I think most cozy readers and classic mystery lovers will enjoy.  I listened to the audio and enjoyed it so much I finished it in a day.  My Rating:  Really Liked It!

Goodreads:  Murder in the Bayou Boneyard (Cajun Country Mystery #6) by Ellen Byron-

Blurb:  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.

My Thoughts:  I really enjoy this series and in no small part because of the cast of side characters.  It doesn't hurt that this series features a side character with one of my favorite redemption arcs - Rufus Durante.  At the beginning of the series Rufus is the Crozat family's arch nemesis but as the books go on he humanizes and they eventually become good friends.  I love that this occurs with Rufus still keeping his personality.  He's become one of my favorite characters and I always enjoy his page time.  I love all the spooky stuff in this book with all of Pelican throwing themselves into the Halloween spirit.  The end was a bit of a surprise.  I had some suspects but was surprised by the way everything evolved.  This is a fun series with all the Cajun spooky fun there is.  My Rating: Really Liked It!


  1. I think reading series is a great way to plan a year. I wonder if you will continue doing this in 2022.

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  3. Thanks for your kind comments! An entertained reader is always the goal. I appreciate your support of our cozy world. Happy reading in 2022. Mary Jane Maffini aka 1/2 of Victoria Abbott.

  4. These look like two very good addition to your intention to read through some of your series in 2021. I'd think you've most likely made some inroads.