My mystery settings are in South Carolina, period. Nowhere else. Loving this state like I do, having visited and worked in every single of the 46 counties, I can talk it because I’ve walked it. So my protagonists do, too. But recently I received a huge challenge from my publisher. Write a new series.
My Carolina Slade series takes place in various rural reaches of this beautiful state: Edisto Island, St. Helena Island, and Pelion . . . so far. I was ready to jump into two more books in Newberry and Pickens, near my alma mater Clemson University, both gorgeous areas with fantastic culture, tales and ghosts to draw from, but this time the publisher wanted an entire series set in one locale. That meant it had to be unique, and special, and not the cliché of Charleston, Myrtle Beach or Hilton Head.
I knew it had to be Edisto Beach.
Edisto has no franchises, no neon, no traffic, and you’ll never find a taxi. Forty-five minutes from Charleston, in the direction of Savannah, this tucked away beach has become a mecca getaway to many. The visitors always come back, and some have ritually frequented this obscure piece of paradise for many years.
The grand majority of rentals are homes, not motel rooms. Every block has public access to the beach. The restaurants are mom and pop, and the grocery store runs out of bread all the time.
Plantations still exist on the island, some dating back to the 1700s. Wildlife of deer, gators, raccoon and more still commands the marshes and wooded areas, and the birdlife of egrets, terns, herons, pelicans and gulls is rivaled nowhere else in the country. Sea island cotton created some of the wealthiest Southern landowners pre-Civil War, and Gone With the Wind’s Tara had nothing on the ante-bellum era of Edisto.
Edisto heals, relaxes, and welcomes you to reconnect with nature from dolphin watching to kayaking, from bike trails to salt-water fishing from sand or boat deck. No night clubs, and they prefer your porch lights stay off at night so as not to confuse the hatching Loggerhead turtles.
My character Detective Callie Jean Morgan loses her husband and daughter, and returns to Edisto to heal and come back to life. As in any good mystery, she does not achieve that end as she had hoped. Murder follows her, and she must dig deep, reclaim her investigative skills, and capture a killer before he nails her. She has her son to safeguard, her sanity to reclaim . . . as well as the entire population of Edisto Beach to protect, because Edisto has a reputation, a history, and a way of life that deserves saving.
And and exciting prize: C. Hope Clark offers her newest release, Edisto Jinx. Leave a comment and contact info in case you’re the winning draw!
C. Hope Clark:
Murder on Edisto is C. Hope Clark’s debut book in her second mystery series, The Edisto Island Mysteries. A lover of all things South Carolinian, she’s Southern through and through and lives half the year on fresh water Lake Murray, and half the year on salty Edisto Beach. She is also editor of FundsforWriters.com, chosen by Writer’s Digest for its 101 Best Websites for Writers, for the past 14 years. Her educational newsletters for writers reach forty thousand readers each week, and she has freelanced for Writer’s Digest, The Writer, Writer’s Market, Guide to Literary Agents, Turf Magazine, Landscape Management and more. www.chopeclark.com / www.fundsforwriters.com