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review 2016-08-15 09:00
Review: Lowcountry Book Club by Susan M Boyer (@susanmboyer)
 

Series: Liz Talbot Mystery, #5
Publisher: Henery Press
Published: July 5, 2016
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Length: 268 pages

My reading tastes encompass many genres, but a few things remain constant: I liked a strong heroine, exceptional dialogue and enough action or mystery to keep me guessing and engaged. Whether it's a romance, a cozy mystery, a romantic suspense, an urban fantasy, or some crazy, mixed up, mashup of genres, those are my three must haves in a good read. This series has all of them in spades.

Though this series is set in the genteel region of Charleston, South Carolina, where manners and breeding are the by words to live by, and the seeming pace of everyday life matches the slow as honey speech, there is plenty of mystery just below the surface of even the most sedate lives. That's actually one of the reasons I like it so much, the notion that there is so much more below the surface and with a bit of patience, some stellar planning and a bit of luck, it can all be brought to the surface.

This time Liz and her new husband Nate are investigating the murder of a local heiress and philanthropist. The police think her husband did it, and don't plan on looking any further. It's up to Liz and Nate to discover just who would want the woman everybody adored dead and keep an innocent man from going to jail.

All of the wonderfully eccentric characters from the first books are back, including Colleen, the guardian of Stella Maris, and Liz's wacky family. I just can't help but smile, every time I read about them. This was a wonderful addition to the series, and kept me in suspense about the whodunit right till the end.

Henery Press and Netgalley provided me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

 
Somebody pushed Shelby Poinsett out her second-floor library window and it wasn’t her husband. At least that what Charleston’s most prestigious law firm wants Liz Talbot to prove. Liz must run the spectrum of Southern society, from the local homeless shelter where Shelby volunteered to the one-hundred-year-old book club where Charleston’s genteel ladies are dying to join, to bring a killer to justice.
    
 
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Source: www.musingsandramblings.net/2016/08/review-lowcountry-book-club-susan-m-boyer.html
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review 2015-11-09 09:00
Quote-Tastic: Lowcountry Bordello by Susan M. Boyer

 


Lowcountry Bordello

 


Liz Talbot Mystery, #4

 

Susan M. Boyer


Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Henery Press
Date of Publication: November 3, 2015
Number of pages: 272


 

 

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN    Kobo

 

The Charleston streets are dressed for the holidays in sophisticated Southern style: topiaries adorned with red ribbons, garland entwined with white lights, and poinsettias potted in gold planters. The high class bordello in a stately historic home is certainly no exception. When Private Investigator Liz Talbot’s dear friend Olivia swears she saw a dead body in the parlor of this bordello, one Olivia accidentally co-owns, Liz promptly comes to her aid.

With her wedding back home on Stella Maris less than a week away, Liz must juggle one elderly madam, two ex and future in-laws, three ghosts in the bordello, four giddy bridesmaids, five lovely courtesans, six suspicious patrons…and a partridge in a pear tree as she tries to keep her bridesmaid out of jail and live to walk down the aisle.

In the following scene, Liz has rushed to Charleston when her good friend and bridesmaid, Olivia calls hysterical, needing her help. When Liz gets to her, Olivia tells her that her husband, Robert is dead on the floor in the house they are sitting in front of. After talking to Olivia and calming her down, she finds out that the house belongs to Olivia's Aunt Willowdean and Olivia had been visiting her this evening. When Olivia came downstairs she found a man dead on the floor. A man she thought was her husband. Liz takes Olivia back into the house, only to find that their is no body, no blood and no evidence of a murder. Liz calls Robert to make sure it wasn't him.


Quote:  
“Robert is fine. He’s at home with Campbell and Shelby.”

Relief battled disbelief on her face. “But whose body was on the parlor floor?”

Just then I was thinking Olivia was likely having some sort of psychotic break involving hallucinations. “Is your aunt safe in that house tonight?”

Olivia laughed harshly. “Of course she is.”

“How can you be sure of that if you think someone was killed in there? That doesn’t make a lick of sense.”

“Trust me. No one is going to hurt Aunt Dean. She is well-defended. She’ll likely never even have to use the twenty-two she carries in her robe, or whatever else she happens to be wearing. She sleeps with it under her pillow. Has for years.”

I felt like I was missing too many pieces to this puzzle. “Olivia, who do you think killed somebody in the parlor with the pineapple?”

“Well, it sure as hell wasn’t Professor Plum.”

I closed my eyes and drew a breath for strength. “Olivia.”

“It had to’ve been Seth.”

“Who is Seth?”

“Seth Quinlan. He’s my second cousin on Daddy’s side. We don’t talk about him much. He’s illegitimate.”

“Did you see him here tonight?”

“No, but he lives in the guesthouse. It had to be him.”

“Why is that?”

“Liz, you have to promise me you won’t breathe a word of any of this.”

“I can’t promise you any such of a thing. What I can and do promise you is that I will do everything in my power to help you. You know I will.”

She grabbed my hand and squeezed, then nodded. “Seth has been blackmailing me for years.”

I squinched my face at her. “We’ll come back to that in a minute. Who would he have killed, and why?”

“It could’ve been anyone.”My frustration was building. “Olivia. What do you mean by that? Clearly, it couldn’t have been anyone.”

“Well it damn sure could’ve been a lot of people. That…” she gestured towards the house, “…is the classiest bordello in town. Patronized by gentlemen from some of the most prominent families in Charleston. And Aunt Willowdean is the madam.”


Review: 
I was excited to see another Liz Talbot Mystery so soon after the last installment; and one with quite the provocative title. I'll be honest, I didn't read the blurb, so I didn't realize that this had a bit of a Christmas theme going on, Although the poinsettias and ornament on the cover should have given that away.

So Liz and her partner and fiancé, Nate are getting ready for their wedding, being held in 1 week, just 5 days before Christmas. They are wrapping up all their current cases in preparation for the big day and their honeymoon. So of course, trouble shows up in the form of a dead body found by her good friend and bridesmaid Olivia. But when Liz gets to Olivia, the body is gone. Liz know has two big questions. A) Who was killed? B) Where did the body go? And she needs to get them answered before Olivia winds up as the prime suspect.

I had a lot of fun with this story. There wasn't as much danger as previous books, but there whodunit was much twistier. Colleen, Liz's childhood best friend and the guardian spirit of Stella Maris, was back. She is one of my favorite secondary characters and I can't wait to see what happens in the next book. (Hint: due to the events at the end of this story.)  I wouldn't advice reading this as a stand alone book, especially as Liz and Nate relationship has been steadily growing throughout the series.

If you like a bit of paranormal in your cozy, along side a heaping helping of charm and gentility mixed with southern eccentricities, you should definitely give this series a try. Another 4 star read.

Thanks to Netgalley and Henery Press for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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Source: www.musingsandramblings.net/2015/11/quote-tastic-lowcountry-bordello-susan-boyer.html
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review 2015-04-28 09:00
Great Escapes Interview & Review: Lowcountry Boneyard by Susan M Boyer

 


Lowcountry Boneyard

 


Liz Talbot Mystery, #3

 

Susan M Boyer

 


Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Henery Press
Date of Publication: April 21, 2015
Number of pages: 286
Cover Artist: Phil Hyman Photography

 

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN     Kobo
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 Rivers 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 Rivers, the closer Liz dances to her own grave.

Interview: 

Today, we welcome Susan M. Boyer to Musings and Ramblings. Let's all give a big Geeky welcome!

Thank you so much for having me over today! I feel completely at home, being a book geek myself. I was that child who begged to be dropped off at the library and didn’t want to be picked up until closing time.

Let's start with some writer specific questions before moving into the fun stuff. That way everyone can really get to know the person behind the writer. We will finish things off with a round of Think Fast. Ready for the interrogation to begin?

By all means—interrogate away.

 

Writing Specific

Is your writing style more plotter or pantser?
I’m a card-carrying plotter. If I didn’t start with an outline, I’d go off on so many tangents my characters would all quit in frustration. That said, I often change course while writing. I just update the outline carry on.

How do you deal with Writer's Block?
It’s like the monster under the bed. I choose not to believe in it. If I don’t feel creative when it’s time to write, I just start typing. Sooner or later I find my way back into the story.

How involved are you with Social Media and self-promotion?
I’m accessible to readers on social media, and I enjoy interacting with them and getting to know the ones who are inclined to participate. I don’t see it as promotion, but rather as a way to interact with others who enjoy Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Tell us something about yourself that's not in your bio.
I love to sing karaoke. Miranda Lambert songs are my favorites.

How did you choose the genres you write in?
I chose mysteries because I enjoy puzzles, and mystery is one of my favorite genres to read. I read very eclectically, which is why you’ll also find Southern fiction, romance, and paranormal elements in my mystery novels.

 

Fun Stuff

What was the last movie/concert/show that you saw?
I recently saw Wicked at the Peace Center in Greenville. Loved it!

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
I’d love to be able to make a dramatic gesture with my hands and have the house clean itself. That would save so much time and money. Or teleportation. That would make travel so much easier. Or telekinesis—that would be very cool. It’s so hard to pick just one.

What was the name of the last book you read?
Saint Odd, by Dean Koontz

If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, fictional or real, who would it be and why?
Marilyn Monroe. I’ve always been fascinated by her. And after researching her for Lowcountry Bombshell, I’d love to ask her a few questions.

What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
A ridiculous number of condiments and a few leftovers from night before last—penne Alfredo with chicken.

 

Think Fast

Elvis or Sinatra? Sinatra
AM or PM? PM
Summer or Winter? Summer
Cake or Pie? Pie
Car or Truck? Car—a red sporty convertible of some sort

Thanks for coming by and spending some time with us. Any final words of wisdom to pass along?

I wish I had wisdom to share. Thank you so much for having me! This has been great fun.

Review: 

It's been a year and half since I read Lowcountry Boil and Lowcountry Bombshell, books 1 & 2 in the series. I enjoyed them very much and have been randomly checking to see when the next book would be out. I was thrilled to be able to finally get in on early on Netgalley.

Though it has been awhile since I read the previous books, I was quickly able to dive right back into life on Stella Maris. Liz was just as I had remembered her, with her Junior League outfits and slight germaphobia juxtaposing her Sig Sauer and investigative work. Liz is an interesting character with an eccentric circle of family and friends.

More time was spent off island, than in the previous books.  This helped to underscore the choices that Liz had to make concerning her Point of Contact duties with the Guardian of the Island, her best friend Colleen, and her boyfriend and partner Nick. There were more close calls for Liz in this book, keeping Colleen hopping and really ramping up the intrigue.

I enjoyed this addition to the series. It was well thought out, plotted out and stayed true to it's southern roots. I gave this 4 stars. I just hope that we don't have to wait another 18 months for the next installment.

Thanks to Netgalley and the the publisher for the opportunity to read and review the book.


Author Bio:

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.

To connect with the author online:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads


Source: www.musingsandramblings.net/2015/04/interview-review-lowcountry-boneyard-susan-boyer.html
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review 2014-09-04 15:44
Another Great Installment
Lowcountry Bombshell: A Liz Talbot Mystery - Susan M. Boyer

This is the second book in the Liz Talbot cozy mystery series. I loved the book, but I hope the author isn't planning on dragging out the love triangle into the next book. I really hoped for Nate and Liz to get together after reading the first book, and I was not disappointed. Michael needs to go away and deal with putting his life back together. Liz has made it quite clear Nate is the one for her and Michael is part of her history, not her future.

 

As to the mystery, it was very entertaining and a bit kooky at first, then turning all too real. Liz takes Calista McQueen on as a client and needs to keep Calista alive through the night of August 4th and the morning of August 5th, so Calista can finally break the Monroe curse. The Monroe in this case is Marilyn Monroe - blond bombshell (hence the title); Calista's and Marilyn's lives are running parallel with each other and Calista is now the age that Marilyn died from an overdose. Someone is playing mind games on Calista, who is convinced she is in danger of dying on the anniversary of Monroe's death. The story takes some twists to become a very real threatening plot to kill more people so that the killer can get his hands on Calista's money.

 

The only quibble I had with the story and the last is that although Blake is the Chief of Police for Stella Maris and Liz's overprotective brother, he can never be reached when things get hot and the plot is moving. Seriously dude, put your damn cell on vibrate or something! I do hope, since Calista is now making Stella Maris her forever home, that she and Blake get together.

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review 2014-09-04 15:20
So glad I tried this new series
Lowcountry Boil: A Liz Talbot Mystery - Susan M. Boyer

I am not one for Southern literature. Not that I hate Southerners or anything (actually some of my dearest friends are from the South - a byproduct of being in the military), but as a Mid-Atlantic born-and-bred Yankee, I can't always connect or relate to Southern characters or settings.

 

Well, hot damn, I think there needs to be an exception - this new series is awesome! I love Liz Talbot and the wonderful world of Stella Maris that the Susan M. Boyer brought to life. This is book one, and I think I found another long term series reading. There are several plot lines running through the story but they somehow managed to sensibly intertwine at the end and the killers are revealed. The one crucial part to bringing the plot forward was the way in which Liz and Blake took Elvis seriously regarding "the phantom". Most authors would play off Elvis' mental development challenges as fodder for humor, but Boyer uses Elvis' "patrols" and Blake's patience with Elvis to move the plot along. No humor at the expense of people, but there is humor and just down home goodness without venturing into Southern stereotypes.

 

One caveat - there is a lot of characters in this book, as it sets up the storyline and the townspeople. There is a list of characters and descriptions in the front of the book. I didn't need the list, as the characters became really well defined.

 

Bottom line - this is how I felt at the end of the first story.....

 

 

 

 

HIGHLY RECOMMEND

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