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Prose 'n Cons™ Mystery Magazine

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Mystery & True Crime • News, Features & Interviews

Susan M. Boyer’s Southern Charm Makes for a Fun, Feisty, Female P.I.

Susan M. Boyer has a lot in common with her fictional southern P.I. Liz Talbot. “We both appreciate cute shoes and bubble bath,” Boyer says. “And we share a certain fondness for hand sanitizer. She gets to do all manner of exciting things I would never do, and I make her do the things I wish I could make myself do - like run in the mornings.”

  In Lowcountry Boneyard, released April 2015, Liz is asked to find the missing daughter of the wealthy Heyward family. It seems, though, she faces resistance and secrets every step of the way. Aiding Liz is her very much alive boyfriend and co-investigator Nate Andrews, and her very dead - yet incredibly persistent - friend Colleen.

  You may, at first blush, wonder how a “guardian spirit” fits comfortably into a mystery series set on the Boyer-created island of Stella Maris in South Carolina. Thanks to the author’s light touch and naturally informal dialogue, it actually works quite well. Regardless of Colleen’s input, it is still Liz who solves the mystery, making the book a good, solid whodunit.

  Lowcountry Boneyard is the third book in the Liz Talbot Mystery Series, but the first one read by Prose ‘n Cons. Jumping in mid-series was easy. Boyer provides enough detail to bring the reader up to speed without bogging newbies down in unnecessary detail. Her plots are snappy, yet not so rushed that you forget the individuals populating the book.

  As with any book series, it’s important to Boyer to maintain a relationship with both new and loyal fans of Liz Talbot. To help keep the town alive in readers’ minds, her web site offers both a map and city directory of Stella Maris. “Most of the island is committed to memory,” she says, “but I do refer to the map on occasion, just to make sure I stay consistent.” Of the directory, says Boyer, “I had so much fun with that. They’re like extended family.”

  Lowcountry Boil, the first book in the series, won the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. Boyer’s books have also appeared on USA Today’s bestseller list.

  When asked if there was talk of turning the popular series into a TV show or movie, Boyer’s southern charm takes the forefront. “Yes, my family and friends discuss it quite a bit. And readers often ask when I meet them at conventions, book festivals, signings and so forth. As far as I know, no one in the movie or television industry is entertaining the idea.”

  As part of her promotional tour for Lowcountry Boneyard, Boyer made appearances in the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida. One of her northernmost stops was at the Malice Domestic conference in Maryland, which happens every year in early May.

  Release date for the fourth book in the series, Lowcountry Bordello, is November 2015. As Boyer says, “Liz is having a busy year.”

  For more details on the Liz Talbot Mystery Series, or to learn more about the author’s scheduled appearances, visit susanmboyerbooks.com. PnC

Reprinted from the Spring 2015 issue of Prose ‘n Cons™ Mystery Magazine

(updated October 2015)

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