I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
I really do love this series; reading it is like visiting a home town. The settings and characters feel familiar (especially Liz's daddy).
I also really love Boyer's choices when she writes; she'll start with a predictable, out-there cozy cliche, but take it in a different direction. She'll have fun with it, but not take it seriously. Unlike another cozy author I read recently who took her story in a similar direction but tried to make it work, only to make a hash out of the entire thing.
Lowcountry Bonfire starts off with a woman setting her husband's car and his clothes on fire; retaliation for the affair he's been having. When the firefighters pop open the trunk to control the fire they discover more than his clothes. But Zeke was killed with strychnine and his wife didn't have access to any and she's devastated that he's actually dead.
Liz and Nate start investigating and Liz finds a 20 year off-the-grid gap in Zeke's history that opens up a viable channel for investigation. What she discovers is fun for the reader in a Jason Bourne-ish kind of way, but ultimately it's the investigation closer to home that yields more results - realistic ones that are far more horrifying and heartbreaking.
Colleen's ghost doesn't get a lot of airtime here, although there was at least one scene where I thought she was just cruel; I like that she later had to face the consequences of taking a thing too far.
I like where the author has Nate and Liz too; they're an old married couple now ::grin:: but they have a nice affectionate balance in their relationship that is believable and I've always liked that Nate respects her independence and ability to take care of herself.
This book might not have had all the gasps that previous books have had, but it was a very solid mystery with a red herring that was sort of fun to explore. And if I ever have any renovations done on my house I am SO getting a secret compartment put in!