We all know eccentric Southern characters. They live in our towns; they may even be related to us. And certainly they populate our Southern literature. When asked why Southern writers so often used these types of characters in books, Carson McCullers replied that it’s because we can still recognize them. Well, Calista McQueen, the heroine of Lowcountry Bombshell certainly fills the bill of eccentric Southern character.
McQueen, looking like a picture-perfect likeness of Marilyn Monroe, is a recent transplant to Stella Maris, a fictional island near Charleston, S.C. She was born the day the late actress died and now fears that anniversary date may be her last birthday. For that reason she seeks the help of private detective Liz Talbot.
Accustomed to odd clients, Talbot is nonetheless intrigued by McQueen and a little skeptical of her alleged similarities with Monroe from the names of her client’s former husbands to her celebrity-obsessed family. However, there may really be someone out to get McQueen as she is a very rich woman. Talbot is on the case.
This book is not great literature; it’s a light mystery that keeps the plot moving along and has humor that anyone who’s lived in a small Southern town will understand. There’s a diner called the Cracked Pot where people gather as much for the gossip as the down home cooking. The town is not real, but Charleston is nearby and a few real Charleston places — the historic Blind Tiger Pub and critically acclaimed Anson – are thrown in to give the story authentic flavor.
This is Susan M. Boyer’s second Liz Talbot detective book. The first, Lowcountry Boil, earned her the Agatha and Daphne du Maurier awards. She’s a resident of Greenville, S.C., and has published short stories in several local and regional magazines.
— Lynn Lofton, email@example.com