Saturday, August 7, 2021

Ellen Byron

Ellen Byron is the Agatha Award-winning author of the Cajun Country Mysteries. The USA Today bestselling series has also won multiple Best Humorous Mystery Lefty awards from the Left Coast Crime conference. She also writes The Catering Hall Mysteries (under the pen name Maria DiRico), and will launch the Vintage Cookbook Mysteries (as Ellen) in June 2022.

Byron’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.

A native New Yorker who attended Tulane University, Byron lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and rescue chi mix, Pogo. She still misses her hometown - and still drives like a New York cabbie.

Byron's new Cajun Country Mystery is Cajun Kiss of Death.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Her reply:
The other day I found myself short on reading material, which is kind of ridiculous because I have tons of physical books in my house and e-books on my Kindle Fire. But I think I was propelled by the urge to do something denied to me during the pandemic – pay a visit to my local library and browse its shelves. As I scanned the books, I came across the Ian Rutledge series written by the mother-son duo that goes by the pseudonym Charles Todd. I adore historical mysteries. It may be my favorite genre. I read and loved the Todd’s series in the past because it features a British WW1 veteran-turned-Scotland Yard inspector who suffers from shell shock, which we now know as PTSD. I’m fascinated with WW1 because no matter how often someone tries to explain to me what triggered it, I don’t understand. I also have an odd fascination with trench warfare. (For the best description of that, I recommend Robert Graves’ autobiography, Goodbye to All That.)

Back to the Todds. I checked out their 2019 release, The Black Ascot. The title refers to the first Ascot horse races after the death of King Edward VII, when attendees all dressed in black from head to toe, eschewing their usual colorful outfits and chapeau. I’ve just begun the book, which revolves around a man who may or may not have committed a murder shortly after the Black Ascot, and then disappeared. Ten years later, Inspector Rutledge hears a rumor of a sighting and sets out to find the man and possibly absolve him of the charge. I’m in my happy place when I’m reading one of the Todd’s fine historical mysteries.
Visit Ellen Byron's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Ellen Byron & Wiley and Pogo.

Q&A with Ellen Byron.

--Marshal Zeringue