Third in the Liz Talbot Mystery series, this engaging
crime story is set in South Carolina. Comfortable in her
island-based home, Liz Talbot is a PI who is phoned by a
man in the city of Charleston whose daughter has
disappeared. Naturally, she wants to help.
LOWCOUNTRY BONEYARD has the interesting addition of
Colleen, Liz's friend, now deceased, who helpfully haunts
her. Unusual to say the least but being non-corporeal has
its advantages in some investigations. Kent Hayward, Liz
learns, is a woman of twenty-three who caused family chaos
by telling her old-money parents that she wanted to move in
with her boyfriend, a chef in a celebrated restaurant. Liz
sees nothing unusual in the young woman's choices and the
police have called off the search. But this doesn't mean
that Kent vanished of her own accord.
Amusingly, Colleen chats to Liz at intervals so Liz has
taken to wearing earbuds in the hope that her responses
will be taken as those of a person on the phone. Unlike the
Sue Grafton books, which remain stuck in the 1980s, the
business of investigation digs into Facebook pages, Wi-Fi
hotspots and i-Phone traces, and even so some people stay
missing. Liz's personal relationship with her business
partner Nate is difficult because they each work out of
different cities, building up business. Nate believes Liz
should want to live with him and takes offence.
The boyfriend, Matt, seems a hard-working, aspiring chef and
is worried for his girlfriend. The police are treating him
as a suspect. If the missing girl wants to live with him,
why wouldn't he know her location? The family, maids and
friends are all part of the investigation conducted by Liz,
giving us a broad picture of society in Charleston. I
noticed Liz attaching a GPS tracker to a car; I believe
this amounts to an illegal wiretap and could get her
licence revoked. Somebody gives her a taste of her own
medicine, and she doesn't enjoy it.
The local foods sound scrumptious and the locale
descriptions are enough to entice us to be tourists.
There's just enough undercurrent of dark menace to be
convincing and the PI detail is as convincing as Grafton. I
am not at all surprised that Susan Boyer's first book won
several crime awards and this instalment, LOWCOUNTRY
BONEYARD, deserves to go just as far.
“Has everything you could want in a traditional mystery:
a credible and savvy protagonist, a meaty mystery, and
setting that will make you want to spend time in South
Carolina. I enjoyed every minute of it.” – Charlaine
Harris, New York Times Bestselling Author of Day Shift
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