October 4, 2015

A Hidden Charm of Coastal South Carolina by C. Hope Clark

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.

Big Bay and Scott Creeks discretely divide the scythe-shaped beach from the much larger Edisto Island providing the coastal residents a sense of seclusion. The natives have left another life behind to settle where it doesn’t matter what you do, who your family is, or where you were born. But the Southern is still there, steeped rich and proud, and you accept it when you cross the bridge.

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


  1. Recently made my first visit to SC...Santee....LOVED it!

    Beautiful state. Hope to see more of it in the future.

    Good luck and God's Blessings!

  2. I've been to South Carolina many times, but as is so often the case, I've not seen much of the really good stuff. Thanks for sharing some ideas for a new trip through the Palmetto State.

  3. Congratulations on your new series.
    While I'm not a mystery reader, I do appreciate a good series. Edisto Island sounds like a great place for a setting. I do know that readers who love mysteries are usually the most dedicated of all readers. Wishing you much luck in your newest venture.

  4. Very interesting blog. Edisto Island sounds like paradise.

  5. I never tire of speaking of Edisto. It's on the edge of the world and relaxing. Right now they are flooded as is a lot of the state of SC. But we'll weather it. We've been through enough hurricanes, that's for sure. But such a setting makes for a wonderful mystery or two.

  6. I hope your head is above water there. Our rain has slowed here in eastern North Carolina but the wind has picked up. Please be safe. I've been to many places in South Carolina, including Charleston and Hilton Head, but I've never been to Edisto Island. Now I want to go. Thanks for posting, and continued success with your writing endeavors.

  7. Love Hope Clark. Read these books, then go read her Carolina Slade mysteries. If you're a writer, check into her Fundsforwriters website. This gal is a total professional in everything she does.

  8. Lovely state. Hope Joaquin hasn't caused you too much trouble. FundsforWriters is a helpful site. If you haven't visited, do.

  9. I read MURDER ON EDISTO and was really captivated by it. We lived in Charleston for a year and a half while my husband was an officer on a ship stationed there. Great restaurants downtown! Happily, we lived there during a hurricane-free year.

  10. I've visited SC several times. We once stayed on Kiaweh Island. It remains one of my favorite vacation spots. I've toured Boone Hall outside Charleston three times. Charleston is a great city.

  11. You've brought a relatively unknown area to my attention, thanks Hope!

  12. Joaquin has caused some trouble for sure. Have two adult sons and a DIL staying with me tonight thanks to curfew in Columbia, water contaminated, highways blocked, etc. Lost a huge pine in the yard that will keep me busy next week or two. But everyone is safe. Have not heard of casualties which is always good.

    But SC is a beautiful state, from the foothills to the coast. A state proud of its people and heritage. Good place to live and work. And that atmosphere makes for great mysteries!

  13. The way you describe the unspoiled area makes it sound like virtual paradise, a place worth seeing time and again. What else could one do in such a setting but unwind. Though evidently not the character in your new series. How exciting!

  14. Just returned last night from a weekend at Edisto Beach. We launched Edisto Jinx at the Edisto Bookstore, and the community comes out en masse! Plus it was the annual Plantation Tours weekend where I was a docent at one of the plantations. Thanks y'all for reading and commenting. If you need a place to relax and unwind, with no commercialism, this is the place to go.

  15. I've never been to South Carolina, but your write-up makes me want to visit. Especially, I'd like to visit Edisto or one of the other islands off the coast. And for sure I'll read your book before I go. Thanks for your description.


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