Lowcountry Boil – (A Liz Talbot Mystery Book 1) is author Susan M. Boyer’s first book, a riveting Southern tale about a private investigator’s mysterious endeavors. A funny yet gritty take on what it feels like to come home, just in time to see those familiar walls as they come crumbling down around us. Boyer’s storytelling is colorful and alive, teleporting us to this fictional Island called Stella Maris where we can root for her wonderfully flawed protagonist.
Liz Talbot thought she left her home behind for good until an unexpected tragedy happens. When she realizes that her beloved grandmother was murdered, she takes matters into her own hands. Armed with her Sig 9 and accompanied by her golden retriever named Rhett, Liz starts to unravel the mystery.
Being home, however, is not as easy for her as she imagined, and not just because of the personal tragedy. Her brother, the local police chief, does want nothing less than to make things easy on her, and the appearance of her long-dead best friend’s spirit complicates things even further. While she takes a stand to solve this puzzle – no matter the outcome -, Liz is reminded of her family’s values, and what it truly means to live on that gossipy, but ultimately wonderful Southern island.
Lowcountry Boil is not your typical debut. Boyer is clearly in her element here, totally ruling the setting, being the creator of every brick and stone of this fictional Island. She manages to depict the Southern way of life with all of its flaws and marvels, painting us a picture that is hard to forget. The suspense is real and does not feel artificial, as the author allows us go to places without holding our hand.
This book is, without a doubt, one of the strongest mystery debuts ever, and is highly recommended for those who love quality detective stories.