Palmetto Poison a Carolina Slade Mystery
Palmetto Poison-A Carolina Slade Mystery is book #3 in C. Hope Clark's cozy mystery series set in low country South Carolina. But don't worry even if you haven't read the first book Lowcountry Bribe or the second book Tidewater Murder you can jump right into Palmetto Poison but more likely than not you'll want to read the whole series and start with Lowcountry Bribe to fully understand the main character and what drives her. All of the books in the series feature the same clever and witty page-turning dialogue and story that moves the plot without being the least bit predictable.
Carolina Slade is the protagonist, a multi-dimensional character that you feel an immediate connection with even as she's sloshing through a puddle of lemonade in her J.C. Penney loafers! Funny and real with the determination to follow through, Slade is immensely likable. She's a working single mom with two kids who is an agriculture department investigator. Something I knew nothing about until I read Lowcountry Bribe. Then there's a boyfriend (Wayne Largo) who is also a co-worker, his ex-wife DEA agent Pamela Largo, Wayne's long-lost sister, Kay, and Carolina's family dynamics. All of the characters are believable and Clark is adept at fleshing out even minor characters.
As a fan of place based writing, C. Hope Clark does not disappoint. Her vivid and abundant descriptions of South Carolina along with the history, Southern sayings and traditions give the reader a glimpse of what it means to live and work in this rich cultural region. The book begins when Slade and Director Margaret Dubose visit small town Pelion, South Carolina at the annual Pelion Peanut Fair to inaugurate the town's new firehouse. From this humble speaking gig Slade is brought into a mystery when the son of a wealthy peanut farmer is killed in a car wreck. The son also happens to be the governor's nephew. Politics, crime, greed and peanut farming form the backdrop of this suspenseful story that weaves its way through the book to the very satisfying ending. If you are a fan of mystery, suspense and strong female protagonists this series is worth a read.
I'm looking forward to many more adventures with Carolina Slade as the ending of Palmetto Poison hints at!
*Note* I received a complimentary copy of Palmetto Poison in exchange for an honest review.
C. Hope Clark