I confess, I can be a bit picky when looking for a new book, and the title plays a big part in what initially grabs my attention.
I was unfamiliar with author Susan M. Boyer and the story summary for Lowcountry Bordello intrigued me when I first came across it. But with so many books loaded onto my Kindle, all vying for my attention, I have to be honest – the title of this superb cozy mystery was call to me once I forgot the gist of the story. (This is why I still love real books, where you can SEE the cover.)
Boy, am I ever sorry that this one sat to the side for the few weeks it did! Let’s put it this way – did you ever sit down with a few minutes to spare, telling yourself that you’ll just read a chapter – only to find yourself curled up with your second cup of coffee growing cold as you are lost in the pull of a good tale?
Yes, this was one of those books. First of all, this is book #4 in Boyer’s Liz Talbot Mystery Series (with number five due out in the spring of 2016.) While it works just fine as a stand alone, you can bet your Aunt Betty that I’ll be going back to read the first three – this was that much fun, and it kept me guessing who the killer was right to the end.
Lowcountry Bordello offers up a great mix of wonderful characters, a strong protagonist, a helpful ghost, plenty of Southern charm, humor balanced by a bit of grit and darkness, and nail-biting suspense in a clever whodunit. (Whew!) Liz Talbot isn’t someone’s retired auntie dabbling in investigations – she and fiancé Nate run a private investigations business together.
Liz gets a call from her friend (and bridesmaid) Olivia’s husband, Robert, who is deeply worried about Olivia because her behavior is unusual, and he wants Liz to help him get to the bottom of it. No sooner had Liz told him that he needed to have a heart-to-heart with his wife when said wife calls Liz in a panic – asking for her help. Liz rushes to Olivia’s Aunt Willowdean’s house, where Olivia says she found a dead body.
Only when Liz arrives, there’s no body, no blood, and bloody weapon.
What she DOES learn is that the octogenarian Willowdean’s lovely Charleston mansion is actually a bit of a bordello. And when a dead body that closely resembles the one that Olivia claims to have seen turns up in a nearby park the next morning, well, things get interesting. Oh, and her wedding is just a few days away, so the pressure is on to get a resolution before her honeymoon!
Boyer captured all the charm of South Carolina Lowcountry and will have you pining for a visit. Her writing offers the perfect blend of wry humor with a nail-biting whodunit. I enjoyed this book from beginning to end and really did lose the better part of a day after cracking the virtual cover. I’m looking forward to going back to the beginning of the Liz Talbot series and reading from the beginning – just as soon as I get caught up on all the overdue tasks from the last day or so.
Lowcountry Bordello was published by Henery Press on November 3, 2015 and is available on Amazon.com, at Barnes and Noble and in independent bookstores. Author Susan M Boyer can be found on Twitter, Facebook and her website, www.susanmboyer.com.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Henery Press, who provided me with an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts, opinions and typos are entirely mine.