Friday, February 10, 2017

Lowcountry Crime - #FridayReads

I was pleased when Jim Jackson asked me to contribute to an anthology titled Lowcountry Crime. Each story involves a crime north of cozy, south of noir, and take place in the lowcountry. For those of you who don’t know what the lowcountry is, the area can best be described as that portion of the Southeastern United States characterized by low country, generally flat—whether barrier island, tidal marsh, tidal river valleys, swamps, piney forests, or great cities like Charleston and Savannah.

Lowcountry Crime is published by Wolf Echo Press and is available here. Individual novellas are available on every ebook platform. I’ve read and enjoyed all three of the other stories. Here’s a rundown:

Trouble Like A Freight Train Coming,
by Tina Whittle is a prequel to her Tai Randolph Mysteries. Tai is accustomed to murder and mayhem…of the fictional variety. As a tour guide in Savannah, Georgia, she’s learned the tips are better when she seasons her stories with a little blood here, a little depravity there. She’s less experienced in real life criminality, however, preferring to spend her days sleeping late and her nights hitting the bars. But when she gets the news that her trouble-making cousin has keeled over while running a marathon, Tai finds herself in a hot mess of treachery and dirty dealings. Worst of all, the clues lead her straight into the moonshine-soaked territory of the most infamous smuggler in Chatham County—her Uncle Boone.

The novella is set in Savannah several years prior to the inheritance of her Atlanta gun shop and her first encounter with security agent Trey Seaver, who ultimately becomes her partner in both romance and crime solving. For readers familiar with the rest of Tai’s adventures, this story is a chance to watch her develop her sleuthing chops. For those meeting Tai for the first time, welcome to her slightly reckless, somewhat hungover, not-quite-respectable world.

Polly: I’ve read a couple of the Tai/Trey books and loved them, so I thoroughly enjoyed this novella. Check out all of Tina’s books.


Blue Nude, by Jonathan M. Bryant introduces us to Brad Sharpe, who has problems. Not just the problems you would expect resulting from traumatic injury and a destructive divorce.
His ex-wife has gone missing and a priceless Picasso has been stolen. The cops have pegged Brad as a person of interest in both cases. Worse, a violent sociopath might want Brad dead. Only with the help of friends and his knowledge of the Georgia Lowcountry can Brad fight to clear his name and resolve the case of the Blue Nude.

Polly: I found the descriptions of the area fascinating. I didn’t know any of it, and now I want to go exploring. Check out all of Jonathan’s books.

In Low Tide at Tybee, James M. Jackson
brings three of his Seamus McCree series characters (Seamus, his darts-throwing mother, and his now six-year-old granddaughter, Megan) to Tybee Island, Georgia to vacation and escape winter up north. Megan spots a thief going through their beach bags, after which their vacation unravels with a series of twists and turns that will leave you guessing until the end, trying to figure out who done what.

Polly: In Jim’s series, which I’ve also read, Seamus is a financial crime investigator, and that opens the door to some interesting stories. Check out all of Jim’s books.


And finally, The Last Heist by yours truly. Coincidentally, my last published novel, Kindle Scout winner, Indiscretion, takes place partly in Charleston, so I resurrected my diamond thief character, Paul Swan, and built the story around him. It takes place pre-Indiscretion while Paul is still active in his not-chosen-but-forced-upon-him profession. You have to read the novel to find out why, but I digress.

Paul Swan travels the world buying exotic automobiles for wealthy clients, but underneath his believable cover is a first-class, never-been-caught diamond thief. When he sees a picture in the Charleston newspaper of a magnificent diamond necklace on the wife of a visiting South American strongman, he can’t resist the temptation to steal it. Paul doesn’t anticipate what he finds in the hotel room’s safe besides the jewels. Now he has to figure out how to stop a political catastrophe without exposing himself as the thief who stole the diamonds, and he has three people complicating his effort: a sexy TV reporter angling for a story, a suspicious cop eager for an arrest, and a rogue mercenary bent on ending his life.

Check out all my other books on Amazon.

I hope you will enjoy a trip to the lowcountry. Consider the area for your next vacation.


Polly Iyer is the author of eight novels: standalones Hooked, InSight, Murder Déjà Vu, Threads, and Indiscretion, and three books in the Diana Racine Psychic Suspense series, Mind Games, Goddess of the Moon, and Backlash. A Massachusetts native, she makes her home in the beautiful Piedmont region of South Carolina. You can visit her website for more on Polly and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

8 comments :

  1. Thanks for the write-up Polly. This was my first gig editing novellas, a process I found interesting and enjoyable, in large part because Polly and the others were willing to work with me to improve their already-strong stories.

    Also, while Polly has provided links to Amazon, the individual novellas are also available in ePub, iBook, and Kobo formats from your online retailer of choice.

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    1. Glad you were specific about which platforms, Jim. I mentioned it generically. It was a pleasure working with you and Jan. The editing was excellent.

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  2. Thanks for including me here, Polly -- can't wait to read your story (I've finished Jon's and I'm looking forward to yours and Jim's)

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  3. Thanks, Tina. I loved all the stories. Whew!

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  4. This is a great review, Polly. I would never have been aware of this book -- nor would I have looked for anything like it because it's not a genre I typically read. However, I'm now intrigued. You just may have made a sale! :-)

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  5. I'm glad it piqued your interest, Linda. It really is a fun book. If you read it, I hope you enjoy it.

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  6. What an interesting concept to have the anthology, but also have the individual stories available as well. Great idea.

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  7. It was the brainchild of Jim Jackson, and he published all of them. The stories are fun. That's an unbiased opinion. :-)

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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