by Susan M. Boyer
Series: Liz Talbot Mystery #10
Publication Date: November 17, 2020
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Henery Press
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but PI Liz Talbot is struggling to feel festive. She hasn’t seen her best friend in weeks and fears she may never see her again in this life. Meanwhile Nate, Liz’s husband and partner, is spending money like he prints it in the attic on a mysterious family Christmas celebration.
Liz’s nerves are shot, and she hasn’t even decked a single hall. But there’s no time to fret. On a beach run, Liz spots a rowboat run aground with Santa inside. Did Old Saint Nick have too much eggnog at the boat parade? No indeedy—Santa’s been shot. And he’s none other than C.C. Bounetheau, patriarch of one of Charleston’s wealthiest families.
Liz and Nate already unwrapped quite a few family secrets while searching for the Bounetheau’s missing granddaughter last year—enough to make them swear to steer forever clear of the entire clan. But as Liz and Nate are the police chief’s on-call detectives, they’re on the case. With no shortage of suspects, they dash to find a killer who may be working his or her way down a naughty list.
Calling this series ‘dependable’ sounds like I’m talking about old shoes, but dependable really is the best word; each of the 10 entries so far have offered up solid writing, great characters (with eccentric family members) and creative and sometimes heartbreaking plots, with just a dash of the supernatural in the form of a ghost to keep things interesting.
Lowcountry Boughs of Holly was no different, though I have to say the storyline was too convenient in a forced kind of way. The entire murder plot, while good, was all too relevant to the solution of a multi-book mini mystery that’s been brewing. Liz has been worried for the past several books about where her husband Nate has been finding the money he’s been spending. It’s been nothing more than a passing curiosity but this is the book where it all comes out. And the coincidental parallels between the two plots beggars belief.
Putting that aside though, I thoroughly enjoyed the story, and as it is yet another Christmas themed mystery, the ending is a charming and happy one all the way around.