Bayou Moon [NOOK Book]

Overview

Old secrets are rising up to haunt the inhabitants of Louisiana's small, rustic St. Germaine Parish, where no one is quite who they seem, and restless spirits are rumored to roam the woods and the antebellum mansion of the town's richest family, the St. Michels.

Successful New York City artist Mignon Thibeaux doesn't believe in ghosts, but even she can't resist the rumors that the St. Michel mansion may be haunted, especially since its owner, Luc St. Michel, was the same man ...

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Bayou Moon

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Overview

Old secrets are rising up to haunt the inhabitants of Louisiana's small, rustic St. Germaine Parish, where no one is quite who they seem, and restless spirits are rumored to roam the woods and the antebellum mansion of the town's richest family, the St. Michels.

Successful New York City artist Mignon Thibeaux doesn't believe in ghosts, but even she can't resist the rumors that the St. Michel mansion may be haunted, especially since its owner, Luc St. Michel, was the same man whom her mother ran off with 25 years ago before disappearing into thin air. Convinced that there was more to her mother's strange departure, Mignon returns to her hometown of LaValle, Louisiana to investigate. Once there, she doesn't know who she can trust - from the handsome, rugged sheriff who seems to have his own agenda, the guarded Louisiana Supreme Court judge who hides behind a wall of lies, and finally to Eleanor St. Michel, Luc's vindictive wife, who is relentless in her pursuit of the supernatural, convinced that the séances she hosts in the dead of night will appease the spirits and put an end to the hauntings.

Bayou Moon is a gripping tale of murder, revenge, and voodoo in small town Louisiana that captures all the ambience and charm of the rural South. Someone has a secret that must be kept hidden, and God help the one who tries to uncover it...

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429970815
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2010
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 52,166
  • File size: 269 KB

Meet the Author

C.L. Bevill has worked as an army illustrator, a hospital psychotherapist, and has a master's degree in counseling. She resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband Woody and enjoys rollerblading and raising Siamese cats. She is currently working on her next book.

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Read an Excerpt


Chapter OneFRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 10
It’s like a lion at the door;
And when the door begins to crack,
It’s like a stick across your back;
And when your back begins to smart,
It’s like a penknife in your heart;
And when your heart begins to bleed,
You’re dead, and dead, and dead, indeed.

A MAN OF WORDS AND NOT OF DEEDS
IT WAS A WARM, cloudless, Friday morning when a living ghost walked the streets of La Valle, Louisiana. There were some who actually gasped when they saw her. One old woman turned to her equally elderly companion and whispered of the will-o’-the-wisp, an evil diable at work, even in the most powerful magic that was full sunlight. She crossed herself, and spat on the sidewalk where the ghost had trod, vowing to make a protective gris-gris for herself that very night.Bill Martinez, the pharmacist, dropped his customer’s prescription all over the pharmacy’s floor, scattering blue and white pills to the four winds. The customer peered curiously over the counter and asked, “Now what in the name of God has gotten into you, Bill?” He laughed. “A ghost walk over your grave?”Bill stood up straight and banged his head against the bottom of the counter, under which he had been fishing with stubby fingers for a stray pill. “Goddamnit,” he muttered. His eyes were level with the counter for a moment. Then he rose up and looked back outside, watching the woman strolling down the main street of La Valle, as if she had stepped out from two decades past. He stuffed the last of the errant pills into the bottle and passed it over to his customer without saying another word. Finally, it occurred to him that his customer was still standing in front of him, staring. “What?” asked Bill.Jourdain Gastineau, a seasoned and well-connected lawyer on the verge of being appointed Supreme Court Justice, studied the pharmacist with all of the skills he used in politics and in his thriving law practice. He hadn’t known Bill to get upset about anything or anyone, much less so flustered that he had dropped pills all over the floor. He had known the pharmacist for nigh on thirty years, since they were in high school together, playing football in a mud-splattered field behind the school’s main building, not a mile from where they now stood. “You want me to pay for that, Bill?” he said. “I ’spect you might like to get a little return on your investment.”Bill studied Jourdain in return, regaining his composure and most of his good humor. The woman had stopped to look at the pharmacy’s window display, inadvertently centering herself in the large opening. She stood behind Jourdain, just through the plate glass window, looking intently at a display of cameras that Bill had gotten in a few days before. “You want to look out my front window, Jourdain? Then we’ll speak of the money for your prescription. Though I’d think a fella like yourself wouldn’t need a sedative. Being such a cold-blooded lawyer and all.”Jourdain laughed easily. “My wife is having trouble sleeping, Bill. Not that it’s any of your business.” He was not a tall man, nor short. His hair had turned gray, and he wasn’t one to use some fancy hair dye to keep it the color it should have been. But his figure and face belied his fifty-odd years, and his clear brown eyes often sparkled with a vigor that Bill knew other men of their age had long since lost. Most of the time Jourdain’s humor was easygoing, except when it took place in the courtroom or at a mediator’s table. He was a well-regarded man in the small town of La Valle, a man who spent more of his time in Baton Rouge, where the true political struggles happened, and a man who was going to move up soon, if the rumors held any truth. But there had always been that hint of ruthlessness that Bill and others of his ilk had known about. Bill had discovered it on the playing fields of their youth, and suspected that other men had discovered it on the playing fields of the legal system. Furthermore, Bill knew perfectly well that it was Jourdain Gastineau’s name on the prescription bottle, not his wife’s.Jourdain was still laughing when he turned and saw what Bill had already seen. His laugh was abruptly cut off by a loud wheezing noise.Bill rubbed the bump on the top of his head with grim satisfaction. “Talk about something walking over your grave,” he said.Jourdain was wondering if he were having a heart attack, because he couldn’t move. All he could do was stare. Blood roared in his ears. His vision was tunneled at the woman standing almost directly in front of him, as if she were presenting herself to him. It was her. Her fine, beautiful features were the same. That color of hair, burnished bronze, shining brilliantly in the sunshine, was so patently hers. He could remember it vividly. That was her well-shaped figure encased in a little gray business suit. A sensible suit, but curve-hugging all the same, accentuating her long legs.Quite suddenly she looked up, and her green eyes, the color of glass that has sat in the sun for a long time, contemplated Jourdain without a hint of recognition. It seemed like time stretched out forever as their eyes locked on each other. Finally, she turned away and continued her stroll down the avenue, as if she didn’t have a care in the world. She touched a bag of pecans from a stand outside the produce store and passed it by. She bent down to smell Mrs. Regret’s flowers on the corner. She sauntered down the street, as if she were taunting all of those people who were watching her.With his mouth gaping wide, Jourdain watched her, too.“I would have known her anywhere,” Bill said.Jourdain shook himself. He turned to look at Bill. “What do you mean?” he croaked, and winced when he heard himself. He sounded like he had years ago when he was a first-year graduate fresh out of Harvard. In an instant, he had been transported back to the days when his tongue tied at the tip of a hat, and the jewels of merciless wit that now sprang forth readily escaped him.The other man screwed up his face. “Well, goodness, Jourdain. They run off together, come … oh … twenty-five years ago. She was raised here. She still has cousins here. You know the Dubeauxs over to Provencal, don’t you? Or maybe you don’t. They’re not the type to hire such a fancy-pants lawyer as yourself, and you’ve spent so many of the last years down to Baton Rouge. Surely, some of the St. Michels had to expect that one or t’other would be back one day. It wasn’t like they fell off the face of the earth.”Jourdain stared at Bill, not seeing the man at all. His mind was working like a computer, calculating what her presence meant. It’s true, all of it. But that woman … she … . “Isn’t her,” he said positively, finally, determined that it should be so.Bill snorted. “What do you mean? I saw her, too. So did half the townspeople, by the look of the people peeking out their windows. I ain’t seen so many people on Main Street at nine in the morning since the Pecan Festival in July. You’d think the woman was prancing down the middle of the street wearing nothing but a smile and a how-d’you-do?” He smiled at the mental picture that popped into his mind.“Think!” Jourdain raised his prescription bottle and shook it in front of the pharmacist, blue and white pills rattling like a maraca. “Did that look like a woman in her early fifties?”The other man chewed on his lower lip. He took a moment to answer. Damned if she couldn’t be her twin sister, back from years ago, and that is the point Jourdain’s getting at, that it was a whole lotta years ago. But there was only one explanation to be found here, the most obvious one, the one that hadn’t immediately occurred to Bill. He said at last, “No, it’s got to be the other one.”Jourdain nodded and left the pharmacy abruptly. He left so quickly that he didn’t pay his bill, and Bill didn’t think to ask for it until much later. Jourdain went to his Mercedes Benz and almost ran over the postman’s cat, who wandered too much to suit Jourdain or the postman. He left the town of La Valle, driving north.There were many others who noticed the woman. Her auburn hair, her green eyes, and her clean-limbed figure were all pleasing to the eye. Even women responded to her welcoming smile and throaty voice. She stopped several places in the course of the morning, and many people saw her. She browsed through the hardware store. She bought a bouquet of autumn mums. She chatted with two teenage boys on the corner of Main and Jacques Streets, both of whom were obviously playing hooky from school, and couldn’t keep their young eyes off her legs and breasts. Before long, many more people were talking about her. The murmurs moved faster along the main street than she did. She heard the mutters a few times. There were a few people who out and out stared, but no one asked. No one had the courage, because they weren’t sure if they wanted to hear the answers she might give. Nor did they care to understand why her presence coincided so closely with the return of the St. Michels, and the return of an onslaught of rumors.It was the realtor, Vincent Grase, who confirmed her identity. She stepped into his office with a brilliant smile. He had only lived in St. Germaine Parish for fifteen years, and although he had heard the hearsay before, he didn’t put it together with his first client of the day.“Good morning,” said the red-haired woman. Vincent was instantly entranced. He was in his forties, married to a shrew of a woman, and had two shrewish children who didn’t care to follow their father in the real estate business; he was always looking for future Mrs. Grases, whether the female in mind was interested or not.“Good morning,” he responded enthusiastically, rising up from behind his large oak desk. He even took the time to suck in his not inconsiderable stomach for effect. He offered his hand. She took it. There was a quick shake and release, just as Vincent liked his handshakes to be.“I’m looking for a place,” said the beauty.“To rent or to purchase?” asked Vincent. Please let it be a home to buy. Maybe one of those six-figure babies on the south side of town. Hello, Christmas bonus. Maybe ask me over for a brandy one night … .“A rental to begin with,” she answered, waving a hand at one of the chairs in front of his desk. “May I?”“Of course,” Vincent agreed. He even came around the side of the desk to help her be seated, which was, of course, unnecessary. After she had brushed his wandering hands off her body, he asked, “Coffee?”“Yes, please.”“How do you take it?”“Black as sin.” Her throaty voice was almost sinful to listen to, as she gazed up at the realtor with those pale green eyes.Focusing on her answer, and not its implications, Vincent appeared surprised. “Most young woman, such as yourself, seem to care for a bit of sugar, a bit of milk. Something to take the edge off the bitterness.” He busied himself at the table beside his desk, which contained a full coffee pot and all of the essentials. Cups clanked together as he made himself useful.“Isn’t life a little bitter?” she asked, folding her hands across her stomach.Vincent handed her a cup of coffee and watched her full lips take a sip of the steaming brew. He thought that he knew women pretty well, and when the lovely young woman gave him a certain look, he knew that he didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of making any moves on her. Inwardly he sighed. His stomach abruptly expanded itself again in abject resignation.“You mean you drink your coffee black to remind you that life isn’t all peaches and cream?” he asked.“That’s a very accurate way of putting it. Sometimes a person has to remind oneself that life isn’t always sweet and tasteful.” Then she laughed. “Or perhaps it’s just that I simply care for my coffee black.”Vincent looked at her for a moment. He stood propped against the front of his desk, not three feet away from one of the most beautiful women he had seen in years. Finally, he shook himself out of his reverie, and asked, “Do you have a price range for a rental, Miss … ah … ?”“Price isn’t an object,” she replied smoothly, ignoring his attempt to produce her name. “I would like to be comfortable. In a place that has at least one room with a lot of light, and nothing near a freeway. Older properties are just as acceptable as newer ones. Later, I will be looking to purchase certain properties in the area, and naturally I shall require a realtor, such as yourself.”“Naturally,” said Vincent, totting up dollar signs. She wore an expensive suit, a Donna Karan, if he wasn’t mistaken. Her shoes were Ferragamo’s. Her purse was Dooney & Burke. The scent of money poured off her just as her exquisite perfume did. It was the kind of fragrance that Vincent was positive he couldn’t buy his wife in any store around these parts, and one that he was not altogether sure he could afford even if it was available. “Do you mind me asking what kind of business you’re in, ma’am?”“Oh, I’m an artist.” She took another sip. “Just an artist.”BAYOU MOON. Copyright © 2002 by C. L. Bevill. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information, address St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 42 )
Rating Distribution

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(33)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 42 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 6, 2012

    I have all of her books to date. She is an exceptionally funny a

    I have all of her books to date. She is an exceptionally funny and well written author. If you haven't discovered this wonderful set of works including Bubba and Cat Clan then you are truly missing out.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2012

    C.l. Bevill is amazing...i have ALL her books!

    She and Nicky Charles are amazing writers...i recomen all their books! I have yet to find one of C.L's books that doesnt suck you in to the point that i read the moon trilogy and the Lake People books without a pause! She will soon become one one your favorite authors

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2002

    A One-Sitting Read!

    Lovers who have been missing for twenty-five years, the children and a wife they left behind, corrupt politicians and policemen, voodoo and a southern mansion with a ghost. What else do you need to make a great novel - plot, interesting characters (gorgeous guy!), a bit of a twist? Bayou Moon has it all. A fantastic blend of authentic, small-town, Louisiana culture and a sordid crime. Highly recommend! A great first novel from an author I'm sure we'll be hearing from again.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2012

    A wonderful read!

    This book was very entertaining. I didn't want to put it down! Ms. Bevill is a great author and I particularly like her suspense books.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2012

    C L Bevill = Enjoyable Read!

    C L Bevill has a way with a story and I couldn't put this one down! I'd highly recommend her books for a totally enjoyable reading experience!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2012

    So good!

    Worth every penny. If you like this author you will love this novel full of suspense and even a love story.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    first class reading experience

    It is common knowledge that Luc St. Michael and Garlande Thibeaux left their spouses and children and ran off together. Twenty-five years later Garlande¿s daughter, Mignon, a famous painter, returns to St. Germaine Parish in northwestern Louisiana to find the answers that has eluded her all her life. She is a beautiful woman; the exact image of her mother and her return has shaken up many influential people in the town. <P>Mignon¿s plan is working because she believes there are people in town who knows exactly what happened to Luc and Garlande. She needs to shake it out of them using Eleanor St. Michael¿s interest in the spirit world to do so. Already subtle threats have been made against her but Mignon intends to find justice for those falsely maligned no matter who pays the price. <P>This is C.L. Bevill¿s first novel but it won¿t be this extraordinary new talent¿s last. She has written a modern Gothic mystery complete with séances, ghosts, fogs and storms. There are a number of ways this story can be played out so readers have to pay attention to each and ever clue, no matter how small, if they want to understand what is really going on. Bayou Moon is a first class reading experience. <P>Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2012

    GREAT READ!!!!!!!!

    I got started reading Ms. Bevill's Bubba books and now own all of hers. She is definitely one of my favorite authors as each one is different than the next, and yet each one so entertaining in its own way. She can go from funny to intense to heart wrenching all in the same book. Love her, love her love her.

    This book seems to be her first, though I am not sure given that I started with her Bubba books. This was a great read with a little romance and a lot of suspense.

    Keep them coming Ms. Bevill, and I will definitely keep buying.

    -- SPeeD

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2012

    Great Read

    I really enjoy C. L. Bevill's writing. Having read several of her books, I love the fact that her characters are not carbon copies of each other. Bayou Moon has plenty of unexpected twists that kept me guessing. Great book

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2012

    She is one of the best authurs of our time.

    C. L. Beville can write about a southern boy, who is very smart, but acts just like just of the boys to Werewolfs and almost every thing inbetween. I love her Moon series and then you read Rat missle. An excellant writer. Never too long and discribtive or left not understand anyone in the book. Just try one and you will be addicted like me. I do not know why one of the larger publishing houses have not gotten to her yet because there will go all her writting through the roof, but she deserves it all!!!!!!!! Good luck in reading and make sure you leave time in your life to sleep, sometimes you get so wrapped up in her books you forget the time to sleep or even take care of the house and family. J. O.



    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2012

    Ednamode

    I really loved the Bubba books. They were a great read. It made my time working out just fly by. Hope to see more of Bubba in the future. Thanks for the great ride.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2011

    salemgoer107

    Love both the Bubba books, and I'm sure anything by C.L. Bevill will be just as good. Sample?

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2002

    A Good Read!

    Plan on starting this book early in the evening. Once started, it¿s hard to put it down until you¿ve finished it! Bayou Moon has all the best ingredients ¿touches of voodoo; seances; Southern customs, crimes and culture; dirty politicians; colorful characters and a heroine and protagonist who sizzle. Solving Migon Thibeaux¿s mystery of what happened to her mother and her mother¿s lover produces a wonderfully twisted plot. I enjoyed trying to discover ¿who done it¿ and was continually surprised to find who the bad guys and the good guys really were! This is a good read! I look forward to Bevill¿s next novel.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    Awsome book!

    Awsome book! I love love love this author. It had so many twists and kept making me think it was this person or that.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2012

    !!!!!!

    Bevill is one of my favorite authors. This story was great . Bevill never fails. Her stories are fantastic.Suspence and alittle bit of a love. You judge

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    Great read!

    I am so glad I found her books!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2013

    Could not put it down!!!

    Good story and the best part the second book in the series is only $2 and over 800 pages!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2013

    Great Reading Material!!

    I found this to be not only good reading but really informative about the culture of an area of the country that I wasn't very familiar with and loved the descriptive section of the common terms,language and names used in the area by the locals as well. A definite prelude to the second book Crimson Bayou, which is even more intriguing. Looking forward to more of this series!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 23, 2012

    I have read all of Ms. Bevill's Moon Books. I am reading the se

    I have read all of Ms. Bevill's Moon Books. I am reading the second
    part of the &quot;Lake People&quot; and I can honestly say, her books
    need to be made into movies. This could be the next best thing to
    &quot;True Blood.&quot; Keep writing your books and I will keep reading
    them. Rather they long stories or short, I love them all.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 24, 2014

    Very good read!

    Very good read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 42 Customer Reviews

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