Do you love stories set in the South? I do. Especially South Carolina. I’ve only been there twice but know I’ll return. Today’s review is of just such a book. But there is a twist. : )
Remember my bear, Humphrey? This is his debut book review. There will also be a prize. Name Humphrey’s brother who is up for adoption, *hint hint* it starts with an H, and it was mentioned in a prior post. All lucky readers who include the name of the bear in their comment will be entered into the drawing. You’ll have the opportunity to become the new housemate of this delightful, soft, and cuddly bear, or to add it to a holiday stocking, or send it to a favorite child. One name will be drawn from the hat and announced in next weeks post.
Now, back to Humphrey. It seems he has been raiding my bookshelves. He reads romance in all genres, everything from suspense to Regency, and he has an opinion on every book. I asked him if he’d write reviews. He lit up a cigar and puffed for a while and then quietly asked if he would have to rate the sex scenes. He assured me that he had no problem reading them but a gentleman doesn’t talk about such things. I reminded him that the story is of greatest importance in a review, everything else is icing.
“Mint Juleps, yes, lots of ice,” Humphrey said. “Take notes. You can put this on that blasted blog thing.”
He lost me for a moment, but then snatched up the mystery novel, Lowcountry Boil, by debut author Susan M. Boyer. Susan is a fellow 2012 Golden Heart finalist, and her story also took 1st place in the 2012 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence.
I wrote fast, as Humphrey dictated:
Sassy P.I., Liz Talbot, inherits her grandmother’s house on a fictional barrier island, Stella Maris, in South Carolina. She’s a modern Southern belle and carries her Sig 9 in a Kate Spade handbag. Turns out her grandmother was murdered, so Liz gets involved in the investigation. That ticks off her brother who is the police-chief. She talks often to her dead best friend who aids in pointing her in the right direction but not giving away too much information. There’s a whole host of zany characters, a dog named Rhett, a hot partner named Nate, an old love, an ex-husband, a sister, a cousin, a couple of sinister characters, and an entire small town community.
Ms. Boyer does a smashing job of portraying the gentility and general weirdness of the South and its inhabitants. The scent of magnolia blossoms and salty sea breezes, the “bless your hearts,” and references to everything being solved by gravy and lipstick, adds to the story. There are a ton of suspects and the author does a great job of tying up all the loose ends, and bringing the mystery to a full boil.
Lowcountry Boil is the first book in the Liz Talbot Mystery series.
Humphrey gives it five paws. I agree.
Susan has been making up stories her whole life. She tags along with her husband on business trips whenever she can because hotels are great places to write: fresh coffee all day and cookies at 4 p.m. She lives in Greenville, SC, but you can visit her at: www.susanboyerbooks.com
Amazon and B&N in print, and also available on Kindle and Nook.