Lowcountry Boneyard

by Susan M. Boyer
Henery Press, April 2015, $31.95

Susan M. Boyer’s Lowcountry Boneyard is the latest in her Agatha Award-winning Liz Talbot series. One of the great pleasures of these well-crafted mysteries has been watching the South Carolina sleuth grow from a bumbling beginner in Lowcountry Boil to the seasoned PI we meet here. Liz, whose fussy Southern Belle-ish mother lives only to make certain her daughter doesn’t wear white after Labor Day, has been hired by rich Colton Heyward to find his daughter, Kent. In the South, there’s rich and then there’s rich. Kent’s mother belongs to the mega-wealthy Bounetheau family, members of old-Southern aristocracy, and they often appear more interested in keeping their skeletons in their closets than they are in finding Kent. Besides, Kent has run afoul of family tradition by involving herself with a group of artists, and—oh, the horror!—is herself considering a career as an artist. So Liz doesn’t get much help from the family. Fortunately for her, though, she is aided in her investigation by Colleen, her investigation- loving best friend. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Colleen has been dead for 17 years, and there’s a limit to the physical action an astral entity can perform. Colleen can, though, interrupt conversations by interjecting witticisms into Liz’s ear when she’s talking to suspects, though, so when Liz replies to Colleen, she looks like a loonie. No matter. There are other loonies in this deftly paced mystery, among them, Kent’s twin uncles, Peter and Payton Bounetheau. But perhaps the Bounetheau’s twins’ bizarre peculiarities are only a clever way of covering up their mysterious business interests. Like the other Lowcountry mysteries, there’s tons of humor here, but in Lowcountry Boneyard there’s a dash of darkness, too. A fun and surprisingly thought-provoking read.

Betty Webb
Teri Duerr
April 2015
Henery Press