Author: Susan M. Boyer
Series: Liz Talbot Mystery (Book 3)
Publication: Henery Press; First edition (April 21, 2015)
Description: Where is Kent Heyward?
The twenty-three-year-old heiress from one of Charleston’s oldest families vanished a month ago. When her father hires private investigator Liz Talbot, Liz suspects the most difficult part of her job will be convincing the patriarch his daughter tired of his overbearing nature and left town. That’s what the Charleston Police Department believes.
But behind the garden walls South of Broad, family secrets pop up like weeds in the azaleas. The neighbors recollect violent arguments between Kent and her parents. Eccentric twin uncles and a gaggle of cousins covet the family fortune. And the lingering spirit of a Civil-War-era debutante may know something if Colleen, Liz’s dead best friend, can get her to talk.
Liz juggles her case, the partner she’s in love with, and the family she adores. But the closer she gets to what has become of Kent, the closer Liz dances to her own grave.
My Thoughts: This is the third book in the Liz Talbot mystery series. While I'm curious about her other cases, this book stands alone quite well. Liz is called on to investigate the disappearance of Kent Heyward. The police have moved the case off the active list despite the pressure put on by her socially prominent parents. Liz immediately begins nosing around and soon uncovers all sorts of possible suspects from her shady uncles, to her chef boyfriend, to her new artist friend. Liz knows that she is getting warmer when someone sends her a rattlesnake as a way of discouraging her interest in investigating.
Liz is also a little preoccupied by the state of her relationship with her partner and love interest Nate. They have been having a sort of long-distance relationship for a while with Nate based in Greenville and Liz near Charlotte. One of Liz's reasons for staying in Charlotte is the ghost - guardian spirit - of her childhood best friend whose presence she hasn't shared with Nate. Colleen's existence, her close ties with her family, and her desire to preserve her island home from real estate developers are strong reasons to stay in Charlotte. Nate feels he has equally strong reasons to stay in Greenville. This disagreement causes a break in their romantic relationship but they are also business partners working as private investigators.
The more Liz and Nate investigate the more they learn about long-buried family secrets. Liz finds herself in danger on a number of occasions. Luckily, she has a guardian spirit to direct her actions and help keep her safe.
This was a fun mystery with a decidedly Southern flair. Liz calls on her Southern charm a number of times as she is investigating. I like her relationship with her family with an over-protective older brother and a mother who seems to think proper makeup can solve a lot of problems.
"Maybe she knew her best friend had inappropriate thoughts about her guy. That sort of thing typically makes a woman behave unpredictably."I received this eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here.
"You know a lot about women, do you?"
"I study up on things I'm interested in and things I'm afraid of. Women are both."