Monday, November 9

Quote-Tastic: Lowcountry Bordello by Susan M. Boyer

Lowcountry Bordello

Liz Talbot Mystery, #4
Susan M. Boyer

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Henery Press
Date of Publication: November 3, 2015
Number of pages: 272

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN    Kobo

The Charleston streets are dressed for the holidays in sophisticated Southern style: topiaries adorned with red ribbons, garland entwined with white lights, and poinsettias potted in gold planters. The high class bordello in a stately historic home is certainly no exception. When Private Investigator Liz Talbot’s dear friend Olivia swears she saw a dead body in the parlor of this bordello, one Olivia accidentally co-owns, Liz promptly comes to her aid.

With her wedding back home on Stella Maris less than a week away, Liz must juggle one elderly madam, two ex and future in-laws, three ghosts in the bordello, four giddy bridesmaids, five lovely courtesans, six suspicious patrons…and a partridge in a pear tree as she tries to keep her bridesmaid out of jail and live to walk down the aisle.
In the following scene, Liz has rushed to Charleston when her good friend and bridesmaid, Olivia calls hysterical, needing her help. When Liz gets to her, Olivia tells her that her husband, Robert is dead on the floor in the house they are sitting in front of. After talking to Olivia and calming her down, she finds out that the house belongs to Olivia's Aunt Willowdean and Olivia had been visiting her this evening. When Olivia came downstairs she found a man dead on the floor. A man she thought was her husband. Liz takes Olivia back into the house, only to find that their is no body, no blood and no evidence of a murder. Liz calls Robert to make sure it wasn't him.

“Robert is fine. He’s at home with Campbell and Shelby.”

Relief battled disbelief on her face. “But whose body was on the parlor floor?”

Just then I was thinking Olivia was likely having some sort of psychotic break involving hallucinations. “Is your aunt safe in that house tonight?”

Olivia laughed harshly. “Of course she is.”

“How can you be sure of that if you think someone was killed in there? That doesn’t make a lick of sense.”

“Trust me. No one is going to hurt Aunt Dean. She is well-defended. She’ll likely never even have to use the twenty-two she carries in her robe, or whatever else she happens to be wearing. She sleeps with it under her pillow. Has for years.”

I felt like I was missing too many pieces to this puzzle. “Olivia, who do you think killed somebody in the parlor with the pineapple?”

“Well, it sure as hell wasn’t Professor Plum.”

I closed my eyes and drew a breath for strength. “Olivia.”

“It had to’ve been Seth.”

“Who is Seth?”

“Seth Quinlan. He’s my second cousin on Daddy’s side. We don’t talk about him much. He’s illegitimate.”

“Did you see him here tonight?”

“No, but he lives in the guesthouse. It had to be him.”

“Why is that?”

“Liz, you have to promise me you won’t breathe a word of any of this.”

“I can’t promise you any such of a thing. What I can and do promise you is that I will do everything in my power to help you. You know I will.”

She grabbed my hand and squeezed, then nodded. “Seth has been blackmailing me for years.”

I squinched my face at her. “We’ll come back to that in a minute. Who would he have killed, and why?”

“It could’ve been anyone.”My frustration was building. “Olivia. What do you mean by that? Clearly, it couldn’t have been anyone.”

“Well it damn sure could’ve been a lot of people. That…” she gestured towards the house, “…is the classiest bordello in town. Patronized by gentlemen from some of the most prominent families in Charleston. And Aunt Willowdean is the madam.”


I was excited to see another Liz Talbot Mystery so soon after the last installment; and one with quite the provocative title. I'll be honest, I didn't read the blurb, so I didn't realize that this had a bit of a Christmas theme going on, Although the poinsettias and ornament on the cover should have given that away.

So Liz and her partner and fiancé, Nate are getting ready for their wedding, being held in 1 week, just 5 days before Christmas. They are wrapping up all their current cases in preparation for the big day and their honeymoon. So of course, trouble shows up in the form of a dead body found by her good friend and bridesmaid Olivia. But when Liz gets to Olivia, the body is gone. Liz know has two big questions. A) Who was killed? B) Where did the body go? And she needs to get them answered before Olivia winds up as the prime suspect.

I had a lot of fun with this story. There wasn't as much danger as previous books, but there whodunit was much twistier. Colleen, Liz's childhood best friend and the guardian spirit of Stella Maris, was back. She is one of my favorite secondary characters and I can't wait to see what happens in the next book. (Hint: due to the events at the end of this story.)  I wouldn't advice reading this as a stand alone book, especially as Liz and Nate relationship has been steadily growing throughout the series.

If you like a bit of paranormal in your cozy, along side a heaping helping of charm and gentility mixed with southern eccentricities, you should definitely give this series a try. Another 4 star read.

Thanks to Netgalley and Henery Press for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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  1. I could feel Liz's frustration oozing off her. I need to start this series.

    1. I think you would enjoy it. I know I have. :)

  2. Oop! lol I still have these on my tbr pile. They sound great!

  3. Thank you so much for this lovely review! :)


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