Is There Too Much Mayhem in Mardi Gras?

It’s Mardi Gras season—time for bright colors, King Cake, masks, beads, and parades. I never celebrated the holiday until I moved to Louisiana. And let me tell you, I’d missed out on a lot of fun!


When I was sixteen, my mother’s best friend promised to take me to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. She was in her early thirties, a good fifteen years younger than my mother, so deemed extremely cool. Alas, I got a speeding ticket and had to perform community service. As I washed the fire trucks for the second time, I wondered if I’d ever celebrate the decadent holiday enjoyed by my brothers and sisters in the South.


When I moved to Louisiana, I experienced my first true Mardi Gras season. That memory, the one of washing fire trucks instead of catching beads, popped into my brain. I vowed to celebrate every season of this elusive holiday, even if it was just wearing a mask and eating King cake.


After a couple years getting my feet wet with purple and green and gold, John and I starting hosting a Mardi Gras party—just a small group of people enjoying good food and fellowship. We don’t go crazy and we all remember what happened at the party the next day. But we indulge in King Cake, masks, and beads. Lots of beads! This year we’re trying out a Mardi Gras mystery dinner party, which seems appropriate since I write mystery books.


Speaking of mysteries, the fourth installment of my Small Town Girl Mysteries is out, “Mardi Gras and Mayhem.” My characters planned a fun trip to New Orleans, and got much more than they bargained for:

Just a fun girls’ weekend in New Orleans during Mardi Gras...except for the murders.

Chantilly Romero held an important place as a mover and a shaker within the New Orleans business world. An upstanding member of the community, everyone admired and respected her.


But she had her secrets. Did she run an illegal high-stakes poker game out of her whiskey distillery? Had her bodyguard committed a few dastardly deeds, so Chantilly could profit? Did Chantilly’s husband die by his own hand, or did she help him along to the pearly gates?


Regardless, the police never found proof of any wrong doing. Did someone take matters into their own hands?


If you like my books, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one. If you haven’t, do me a favor. Go to my website,, and see what you think. If you’re more of an Amazon person, I’m on there too. And get in touch with me, let me know what you think.


In the meantime, I’m working on the fifth book, “Sweet Tea and Suspects”, due out this summer. I’m also starting a brand-new series called Purgatory Road. It’s darker and grittier, but won’t keep you up at night—too much, anyway. Oh, and I’m planning our Mardi Gras party. Hopefully, we’ll have less dead bodies than the characters in my latest book.


Jann Goar Franklin graduated Russellville High School in 1989. You can reach her at