Is that you, Marilyn?

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 29, 2013

SALISBURY — Liz Talbot, who starred in “Lowcountry Boil,” is back in Susan M. Boyer’s second mystery, “Lowcountry Bombshell,” still talking to a certain ghost, still settling into her new life.
Boyer writes of Stella Maris, a small town on an island near Charleston, S.C., familiar territory. Boyer lives in Greenville, S.C., but she has a love for the coast.
The way she starts this mystery is decidedly ga-ga. A woman the spitting image of the late Marilyn Monroe shows up to hire her — to keep her from being killed on the anniversary of Monroe’s death. Uh-huh. When the woman starts on her story, Liz smiles politely but thinks she’s completely nuts.
The client’s name is Calista McQueen; she’s changed it from Norma Jeane Baker, just like the movie star. As Calista describes her life and ticks off the similarities, many arranged by her neglectful mother and suspicious aunt, Liz just keeps nodding. How strange is it that Calista was married to a baseball player named Joe?
Liz has a brother who’s a cop on tiny Stella Maris, and that teen-age ghost friend named Colleen, and a high-school girlfriend named Moon Unit. So, you know, if this is the first of her books you’ve read, it’s going to be out of the ordinary.
“Lowcountry Boil” was a USA Today Bestseller, an Agatha Award winner for Best First Novel, a Macavity nominee for Best First Novel, won a 2012 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, and was a 2012 RWA Golden Heart finalist.
“Lowcountry Bombshell” seems to have enough weird twists and turns to entertain the mystery lover. After all, you have to find out just what’s going on with Calista, her coincidences and the band of shady characters who threaten her.
Boyer’s press material says she loves three things best, her family, books and beaches. She imbues that love in her female private detective, Liz, who looks to have a pretty busy schedule from now on.
Boyer will have a reading and signing event at Literary Bookpost, 110 S. Main St., on Friday, Oct. 4, beginning at 5:30 p.m.