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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Lowcountry Boneyard (Liz Talbot, #3)

Lowcountry Boneyard - Susan M. Boyer

Third in the series and it doesn't even come close to disappointing.  This is a cozy, but it could also be called a procedural, as Liz and Nate are P.I.'s.  What it definitely isn't, is fluffy.  I suppose if one wanted to be pedantic it could be called a traditional mystery, but the line there is so blurred it really makes no never mind.

 

Lowcountry Boneyard is about a missing young woman from a prominent Charleston family.  Her parents hire Liz when the police run out of leads after a month of searching and determine Kent left of her own volition.  Liz's investigation turns up secrets only a very old-money-wealthy family can bury.

 

The setting is about 50/50 between the fictional island of Stella Maris and Charleston, South Carolina.  I've read other books that evoke Charleston more vividly, but Stella Maris just comes alive for me.  Liz's family could be considered the ideal and I find their interactions help keep the story light and entertaining.  I purely love Liz's father - although I wholeheartedly disapprove of his "rat hunt"; not eco-friendly at all.  Colleen becomes a more fleshed-out character in this one too; hopefully she doesn't end up a superhero equivalent.  What I think I love the best though, is that real time passes between books: this one takes place over 2 years after the last one and major changes take place in Liz's life during that time that the author doesn't over-burden the reader with.  I always find it a bit absurd when a series has the MC involved in multiple murder cases within a short span of time.

 

The plot solution wasn't a shocker - but I didn't guess how things would play out either.  Ultimately I had the right twists but the wrong players.  I don't feel confident that I wasn't meant to take the deductive path I did though, and my enjoyment didn't suffer for it.

 

If you like your mysteries fluffy, or with everything tied up in a bow at the end and justice–legal or karmic–to have been meted out, you aren't going to enjoy this book.  But if you enjoy a solid mystery, really well-written–one you can sink your teeth into, and enjoy a ghost/angel in your reads, this is the series I'd recommend.