A Liz Talbot Mystery
Private Investigator Liz Talbot is a modern Southern belle: she blesses hearts and takes names. She carries her Sig 9 in her Kate Spade handbag, and her golden retriever, Rhett, rides shotgun in her hybrid Escape. When her grandmother is murdered, Liz high-tails it back to her South Carolina island home to find the killer. She’s fit to be tied when her police-chief brother shuts her out of the investigation, so she opens her own. Then her long-dead best friend pops in and things really get complicated. When more folks start turning up dead in this small seaside town, Liz must use more than just her wits and charm to keep her family safe, chase down clues from the hereafter, and catch a psychopath before he catches her.
A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Susan M. Boyer has been making up stories her whole life. She tags along with her husband on business trips whenever she can because hotels are great places to write: fresh coffee all day and cookies at 4 p.m. They have a home in Greenville, SC, which they occasionally visit. Susan’s short fiction has appeared in moonShine Review, Spinetingler Magazine, Relief Journal, The Petigru Review, and Catfish Stew. Her debut novel, LOWCOUNTRY BOIL, is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart® finalist and a 2012 Daphne du Maurier award recipient.
MEET SUSAN’S HEROINE
FROM LOWCOUNTRY BOIL
LIZ: I declare, I don’t know how these rumors get started. Michael and I are ancient history. He’s married to my cousin Marci. You’ll have to ask him how well that’s worked out. A few gossips from back home like to speculate about why I choose to live in Greenville, four hours away. I assure you, it has nothing whatsoever to do with Michael Devlin.
ANGI: So what about Nate?LIZ: Nate? He’s my partner—okay, so he’s also my ex-brother in law, but I don’t hold that against him. He and Scott the Scoundrel are nothing alike. Nate is my best friend.
ANGI: Anyone else in the picture?LIZ: Not at the moment. I’m focused on my job. Nate and I have worked hard the last few years, and our agency is really taking off. Honestly, I’m too busy to date. My Golden Retriever, Rhett, keeps me company.
ANGI: What’s your favorite song?LIZ: Anything by Kenny Chesney. But my current favorite is—okay, it’s a tie between I’m Alive (a duet with Dave Matthews) and Seven Days, both from the album, Hemingway’s Whiskey.
ANGI: Do you find time to read and how often?LIZ: I love to read. When my case load allows, I read every night. I love romances and mysteries. My favorite books are both.
ANGI: What’s the funniest thing RHETT--your shotgun-riding-golden Retriever—has ever done?LIZ: Well, he’s a constant source of entertainment. But I got the biggest kick out of the time, right before Scott and I separated, when Rhett defended me in an argument by peeing down Scott’s pant leg and all over his Berluti loafers. Rhett was just a puppy. I love that dog.
ANGI: What sound or noise do you love?LIZ: Ocean waves crashing on the beach.
ANGI: I just spent a week at the beach and know exactly what you mean. I even recorded a sunset to bring home with me.
ANGI: What is your biggest vice?LIZ: Mamma’s fried chicken and biscuits with gravy.
ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: What’s your favorite case you’ve ever investigated?LIZ HAS TO ANSWER: The most unusual would have to be the time Nate and I were hired to find a trailer missing from a local trailer park. I can’t name names, you understand, but a high-profile client had stashed his mistress in a trailer park. He reasoned it was unlikely he would run into anyone in his social circle there. Also, trailer parks tend to have fewer security cameras than hotels, apartment complexes, or condos. It was a nice trailer park, well kept.
One day his mistress—let’s call her Amber, because it starts with “A”—comes home from her day job and the trailer simply isn’t there. No one saw anything, because everyone else was at work, too. Our client suspected his wife had found him out and had the trailer moved—and likely burned—but he could hardly inquire, and she was behaving normally.
As it turned out, Amber had been previously involved with another gentleman. This genius—let’s call him Genius—had two post-Amber romances in progress. Claimed he loved them all, including Amber, who had broken his heart, et cetera. Bambi (female number two) found out about Candy (female number three). Bambi kicked him out—his primary residence was with her—threw his stuff in the yard and set fire to it. By way of further retaliation, Bambi hid his stash of cocaine. He, in turn, kidnapped her pet yellow-and-white Indian python and was holding it until he got his drugs back.
Genius hid the snake in the trailer after Amber left for work. When he and Bambi agreed on terms, he went back to retrieve said snake—I don’t know the snake’s name—but it wasn’t in the laundry bag Genius used for transport.
Apparently, he was afraid the missing python would harm Amber, and rightly so. Genius couldn’t tell Amber the problem, so he had the trailer hauled away to a remote location. Bambi hired two thugs to rough him up and take the trailer apart to rescue her pet.
We traced them through the haulers who moved the trailer. Candy, who had paid for Genius’s car, found them via GPS tracking. She roughed up Genius some more. He deserved it.
The thugs, at our suggestion, put the trailer back together, and Genius had it returned to the trailer park. Unfortunately, Amber declined to reenter the premises knowing a snake had been loose inside. I can’t say I blame her. I purely do not like snakes.
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MEET SUSAN on GLIAS
I’ll give away a copy of LOWCOUNTRY BOIL on Tuesday to one commenter from both days. Comment both days to enter twice. Winner’s choice of format.
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LIZ HAS A QUESTION FOR READERS!I get a lot of grief for moving away from my hometown. When I’m honest with myself, I admit I miss it. Do y’all still live where you grew up? If you’ve moved away, do you ever get homesick?