Friday, April 24, 2015

Lowcountry Boneyard by Susan M. Boyer

  Publisher: Henry PressGenre: Mystery
Author: Susan M. Boyer

 ISBN-13: 978-1941962473

3rd in Series

 Where is Kent Heyward? 

The twenty-three-year-old heiress from one of Charleston’s oldest families vanished a month ago. When her father hires private investigator Liz Talbot, Liz suspects the most difficult part of her job will be convincing the patriarch his daughter tired of his overbearing nature and left town. That’s what the Charleston Police Department believes.
But behind the garden walls South of Broad, family secrets pop up like weeds in the azaleas. The neighbors recollect violent arguments between Kent and her parents. Eccentric twin uncles and a gaggle of cousins covet the family fortune. And the lingering spirit of a Civil-War-era debutante may know something if Colleen, Liz’s dead best friend, can get her to talk.
Liz juggles her case, the partner she’s in love with, and the family she adores. But the closer she gets to what has become of Kent, the closer Liz dances to her own grave.

You know how when you read a period or historical novel and you smile when the characters do something specific to those times, like ring up the operator to make a phone call or dip the quill pen into an ink well before composing an urgent missive? These small details unobtrusively set the time and location. 
(I had to smile again just now when autocorrect assumed I wanted "cartridge" after ink.)
In Susan Boyer's mystery we are in present day, yet all the tasks performed electronically amaze me; a mixture of awe and a little envy. It is also scary how fast and easily one's personal information is available.

The case Liz is called in on, a month after local P.D. fail to make progress on it, is more than a career challenge. It opens Liz's thoughts to how swiftly life can change, how easily those you care about can be lost. 
As part of the story, Liz's dead best friend, now spirit guide, Colleen, pops in as she pleases.
With her mind reading ability and ability to see some future events, specifically as to how Liz will be involved, she is a valuable asset to the P.I. biz. However, Colleen seems to have her own agenda.
This is a tale of two cities: Greenville and Stella Maris.
It is also a story about money and family relationships.

Liz has a partner, in several senses. Nate says that he studied up on "things I'm interested in and things I'm afraid of. Women are both."
Although Nate does have a lot of emotional stress as Liz continues to put herself in danger, I thought it was out of character for him to follow her home to protect her, then get so drunk he wouldn't have been able to if that need arose. We repeatedly see people doing stupid things, which makes them more relatable as actual humans.

Two things I especially liked about the way the ending was written.
The two P.I.s discussed how it all came together, explaining clues anyone may have missed. And even further it was explained again at family dinner.
I appreciated one exciting scene near the conclusion where all of the sentences were sort, giving a choppy,zagging type feel which matched what was happening.

I did receive this book in exchange for my honest review.
I may have appreciated a little more background on Colleen, since I read this as a stand alone. I am looking forward to the next books in this series and will read the previous books while I wait.

Author Links:

Susan M. Boyer is the author of the USA TODAY bestselling Liz Talbot mystery series. Her debut novel, Lowcountry Boil, won the 2012 Agatha Award for Best First Novel, the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, and garnered several other award nominations. Susan loves beaches, Southern food, and small towns where everyone knows everyone, and everyone has crazy relatives.  You’ll find all of the above in her novels.
Susan lives in Greenville, SC, with her husband and an inordinate number of houseplants.


  1. Great review for a great book! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Laura, thank you so much for this lovely review! I'm so happy you enjoyed the read! That line of Nate's you quoted is one of my personal favorites. :)


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