Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Murder Mardi Gras Style

Mardi Gras is the ultimate festival for food, fun, and mayhem, which also makes it the perfect time and place for a fictional murder or two.
While Mardi Gras (also called Carnival in some countries) means “Fat Tuesday” in French, it really describes the entire season from Epiphany to Mardi Gras day, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. The whole idea is to indulge with balls, parades, fun, and food before everyone settles down and gets serious for Lent which lasts 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Easter.
The balls and parades during Mardi Gras in New Orleans are put on by clubs called “krewes.” The krewe members ride on floats and often they are masked so no one knows their true identity. You can see—with all of the parades, parties, crowds in the streets, and hidden identities—why Mardi Gras could be an excellent place for a fictional murder in a novel or even at your own party. Here are some ways to celebrate Mardi Gras with crime fiction.
New Orleans Mourning by Julie Smith
New Orleans Mourning by Julie Smith
New Orleans Mourning by Julie Smith
In New Orleans Mourning, the King of Rex (Rex is the biggest and most famous Mardi Gras parade), is gunned down during the parade by someone dressed as Dolly Parton. Smith’s female rookie cop, Skip Langdon has to find the killer in all the Mardi Gras mayhem.
Fat Tuesday by Sandra Brown
This one starts out with policeman Burke Basile accidentally shooting and killing his own partner when a drug raid goes horribly wrong. Believing the criminals at the drug raid orchestrated the shooting, Basile vows to get vengeance.
No Mardi Gras for the Dead by John Donaldson
A New Orleans criminal psychologist named Kit Franklin, finds a woman’s body buried in her garden. She learns the dead woman was a hooker who died 27 years earlier, and the trail of the case is more than cold until a tie is discovered to a rich family who are great friends with the psychologist’s boss. Then things get messy.
Death Swatch by Laura Childs
Cozy lovers might prefer this story about New Orleans scrapbook store owner, Carmela Bertrand, who goes to a Mardi Gras party and finds a parade float designer dead. Carmela and her best friend immediately go on a quest to find the killer.

This is an excerpt of a post that originally appeared in Criminal Element

From the Endymion 2013 Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans

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