Fri. Jun 9th, 2023

Book cover

Boyer, the author of the Liz Talbot mysteries, launches a new stand-alone series with this novel featuring likable Southern private investigator Hadley Cooper. The story starts out warmly as she reunites with lifelong friends Gavin Kinloch, a local cop; Joe Vincent, a retired investigator; and Gavin’s military macaw to celebrate her 40th birthday early in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, with a vegan meal in her honor. On Hadley’s actual birthday, she bikes over to the shore of Sullivan’s Island to watch the sunrise and admire her “fantasy” oceanfront home; she ends up rescuing the runaway bichon frize of nearby resident and heiress Eugenia Ladson. The two women become fast friends, and soon Hadley is attending the chatty happy hour gatherings of Eugenia and her pals. Eugenia suspects that her husband, Everette, is unfaithful, and she craves “incontrovertible evidence” to use against him in a divorce proceeding. Then Eugenia is found stabbed to death, and Everette is the prime suspect. However, Hadley knows that he was out of town at the time of the murder. Meanwhile, she housesits for the lavish beach house while attempting to free local restaurant hostess Kateryna from a murder rap. Also investigating is her ex-boyfriend—Charleston police detective Cash Reynolds—and there’s plenty of unfinished romantic business between the two. Over the course of this book, Lowcountry-based readers will revel in the author’s vivid descriptions of the local cuisine (“fried chicken, country ham biscuits, chicken bog, shrimp and grits, macaroni salad, potato salad, corn salad, pimento cheese, and on and on”), the friendly populace, and the sun-drenched atmosphere of Charleston and Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina. She also effectively establishes Hadley as a good person and keen investigator with a complex backstory. Boyer’s fans and new readers will find much to enjoy as Hadley and her eclectic group of boisterous new friends sleuth their way to this mystery’s conclusion.

By cb2gp