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Authors: Susan M. Boyer

1 Lowcountry Boil

Praise for Lowcountry Boil

“Imaginative, empathetic, genuine, and fun,
Lowcountry Boil
is a lowcountry delight.”

Carolyn Hart, Author of
What the Cat Saw
(October 2013)

“Plenty of secrets, long-simmering feuds, and greedy ventures make for a captivating read...Boyer’s chick lit PI debut charmingly showcases South Carolina island culture.”

Library Journal

“I love this book. And you will too.  Witty, droll, clever—and just a tad quirky!  This light-hearted and authentically Southern mystery is full of heart, insight, and a deep understanding of human nature. Susan M. Boyer is a fresh new voice in crime fiction!”

Hank Phillippi Ryan, Anthony, Agatha & Macavity Winning Author of
The Other Woman


Lowcountry Boil
avoids caricatured Southerners and pulls the reader in like the draw of a riptide with a keeps-you-guessing mystery full of romance, family intrigue, and the smell of salt marsh on the Charleston coast.  A welcome visit home with people you want to know and, in some cases, are glad you aren’t related to.  A fun summer read!”

Cathy Pickens, Author of the
Southern Fried
Mysteries and
Charleston Mysteries


Lowcountry Boil
bubbles with all the ingredients of a great Southern mystery: A feisty firecracker of a main character, a magnolia-scented atmosphere, and pages full of simmering suspense and intrigue.”

Karin Gillespie, Bestselling Author of
The Sweet Potato Queens’ First Big-Ass Novel
(with Jill Conner Browne) and the Bottom Dollar Girls series


Lowcountry Boil
offered an intriguing mystery and a unresolved romance which should keep enthusiasts of both genres happy and eager to read the next book in the series...The book was a page turner full of southern charm. I gobbled it up quickly and I can’t wait to read the sequel. Five stars out of five.”

Lynn Farris, Mystery Review Examiner at Examiner.com

“Susan M. Boyer has crafted a thoroughly entertaining story in
Lowcountry Boil
, and she’s made sure to include all of the tastiest ingredients a southern mystery calls for: the murder of a family member, prickly relatives, advice from a long dead friend, a sensory-rich island setting, and of course, one savvy belle of a protagonist who is not afraid to ruffle feathers, cross lines or pack heat.  You won’t be able to put this book down!”

Beth Webb Hart, Bestselling Author of
Grace at Low Tide
,
Adelaide Piper
, and
Sunrise on the Battery

“What do you get when you cross a Southern mystery, a ghost of a warning, a love triangle and a savvy protagonist who will stop at nothing? Easy, you get a page turning read—
Lowcountry Boil
.”

Donnell Ann Bell, Bestselling Author of
The Past Came Hunting

“Boyer’s deft hand at Southernese adds a rich texture to the narrative and breathes sass into the coastal setting, leaving no doubt that this author is a fresh new voice on the mystery scene.”

Maggie Toussaint, Author of
Death, Island Style

LOWCOUNTRY BOIL

A Henery Press Mystery

First Edition

ebook edition | September 2012

Henery Press

www.henerypress.com

All rights reserved.  No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever, including internet usage, without written permission from Henery Press, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. 

Copyright © 2012 by Susan M. Boyer

Cover design by Kendel Flaum

Author photograph by Phil Hyman Photography

This is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

ISBN-13: 978-1-938383-05-2

Printed in the United States of America

For Jim,

I could have looked the world over and not found a better man.

Acknowledgments

I am so insanely, ridiculously blessed. My heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped me along the way to making this book a reality. There are many of you, and I have a clawing fear I’m going to have a blonde moment and accidentally leave someone out. Nevertheless, here goes.

Mega thanks to my family for their patience while I spent countless hours playing with my imaginary friends. Thank you, Jim, for making my life possible. Thank you to my mom, Claudette Jones, for sharing with me at an early age your love of reading, and my dad, Wayne Jones, for telling me at an early age that paper will lie still for anyone to write on it. Thank you, my brilliant sister, Sabrina Niggel, my first reader and fierce cheerleader, and my mega-talented brother, Darryl Jones, for inspiring and encouraging me to chase my dream. Thank you to the best, most supportive brother-in-law a girl ever had, Joe Niggel, and the best, most supportive sister-in-law, Danielle Jones. Thank you, Jennifer, Melanie, Jimmy, and Brandon, for forgiving me for not being like the other kids’ moms.

Huge thanks to our extended family and friends for their long-term suffering and encouragement, especially Sandra and Wilson Childers. My dear friend Sandra was one of my first readers. Wilson thinks we can now buy a plane. His boundless optimism has helped me through the rough spots. Thanks, Casey Williams, the Queen of Pain—my Jazzercise instructor—also an early reader. I’d love to thank all of our family and friends by name for their years of encouragement, but you all know there are far too many of you. (Please refer to the first sentence regarding how ridiculously blessed I am.)

Mega huge thanks to my dear friends and critique partners who have read this novel so many times I bet they can recite it: Sarah Cureton, John and Marcia Migacz, and Bob Strother. Special thanks to Bob’s wife Vicki for her support. Thanks to the members of the Greenville Chapter of the South Carolina Writers’ Workshop not thanked above, my first critique group, bless your hearts. Here I know I’ll leave someone out, and I’m so sorry: Phil Arnold, David Burnsworth, Kevin Coyle, Barbara Evers, Betsy Harris, Steve Heckman, Jim McFarlane, Dana Neilson, Valerie Norris, Carole St Laurent, Pat Stewart, and Steve Stewart. Thanks to those in the Saturday novelist group not already mentioned, Melissa Lovin and Melinda Walker.

Thank you, Kristen Weber, for giving me permission to tell my story my way, and then asking all the right questions to help me make it better. Thank you, Evan Gregory, for your efforts on my behalf and for helping me to do this my way.

Thank you, Donnell Ann Bell, for preventing me from setting my hair on fire many, many times. A special thank you to my new Hen House sisters and fast friends, Terri L. Austin and Larissa Reinhart for all the hand-holding and late-night Twitter therapy. Thank you to my friends at Sisters in Crime, the Guppies, Romance Writers of America®, Palmetto Romance Writers, and Kiss of Death Chapter of RWA®.

Thank you to everyone at the Warsaw, IN Hampton Inn for providing me with an ideal place to write without distractions, and for the endless supply of coffee, tea, and cookies.

Last, but certainly not least, thank you Kendel Flaum, for having a dream and taking me along for the ride—and for being a brilliant editor.

Stella Maris Residents of Note

TALBOTS
(Districts 3 and 4) 

* Talbot, Emma Rae Simmons . . . Liz’s Grandmother (Simmons: District 3)

* Talbot, Frank . . . Liz’s Father; Retired (Talbots: District 4)

Talbot, Carolyn Moore . . . Liz’s Mother; Active Volunteer

Talbot, Blake . . . Liz’s Brother; Police Chief

Talbot, Liz . . . Private Investigator

Talbot, Merry . . . Liz’s Sister; Director of Teen Council

Chumley   . . . Liz’s Parents’ Bassett Hound

 

DEVLINS
(District 1) 

Devlin, Stuart . . . Michael’s Father; Deceased

Devlin, Kate Sullivan . . . Michael’s Mother; Retired

Devlin, Adam . . . Michael’s Brother; Manager Island Hardware

Devlin, Deanna Stevens . . . Adam’s Wife; Works at Island Hardware

* Devlin, Michael . . . Liz’s 1
st
Love; Owns Devlin Construction

Devlin, Marci Miller . . . Michael’s Wife; Liz’s Cousin; Bank Teller

 

GLENDAWNS
(District 2) 

* Glendawn, John . . . Owns The Pirates’ Den

Glendawn, Alma Ferguson . . . Married to John; Owns The Pirates’ Den

Glendawn, Moon Unit . . . Owns The Cracked Pot

Glendawn, Elvis . . . Unofficial Bike Patrol for SMPD

 

SULLIVANS
(District 5) 

* Sullivan, Grace . . . Liz’s Godmother; Owns B&B; Psychic

Sullivan, Henry . . . Grace’s Brother; Rector at St. Frances

Sullivan, Nancy Emerson . . . Henry’s Wife

Sullivan, Mackenzie . . . Henry’s Son; Town Solicitor

* Sullivan, Lincoln . . . Henry’s Cousin; Mayor of Stella Maris

Sullivan, Mildred Kingsley . . . Lincoln’s Wife

LIZ TALBOT’S CIRCLE
 

Stevens, Colleen . . . Liz’s Best Friend; Deceased

Andrews, Nate . . . Liz’s Partner; Private Investigator

Andrews, Scott . . . Liz’s Ex-Husband; Nate’s Brother

Rhett . . . Liz’s Golden Retriever

STELLA MARIS POLICE DEPT
 

Talbot, Blake . . . Liz’s Brother; Police Chief

Cooper, Clay . . . Police Officer

Manigault, Sam . . . Police Officer

Murphy, Rodney . . . Police Officer

Cooper, Nell Baker . . . Clay’s Mother; Dispatcher

Glendawn, Elvis . . . Unofficial Bike Patrol

 

EXTRAS
 

Bradley, Kristen . . . Merry’s Roommate

Causby, Troy . . . Merry’s Boyfriend

DiTomei, Phoebe . . . Owns Phoebe’s Day Spa

Harper, Warren . . . Town Doctor; Medical Examiner

Lyerly, Zeke . . . Owns Lyerly’s Auto Repair

* Pearson, Robert . . . Talbot Family Lawyer; Councilman Dist 6

 

* Denotes Town Council Member
 

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