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Some friends are as close as sisters. Others closer. Like melt on ice, or your first gasp of breath rising up from a river baptism. Carolina Slade, federal agriculture investigator, considers Savannah Conroy such a friend -- and Savvy’s in trouble. Falsified signatures on a six-figure farm loan, embezzlement, missing tomato crops and murder. The kind of trouble that leads straight to federal prison. Do not pass GO. Do not...

Humph! Not if Slade can help it. 

A tornado of wit and warmth, wisecracking Savannah Conroy is one of the most proficient rural loan managers the South Carolina Department of Agriculture has in its arsenal to keep farmers afloat. She’s damn good at her job. In the fifteen years Slade has known her, Savvy’s never missed a stiletto-heeled step. Why now? What, in the name of butter-drenched grits, is going on? And what -- if not everything -- does Savvy’s lying, cheating, cocaine-snorting ex have to do with the predicament she’s in? That Teddy Dawson is back in Savvy’s bed and has generously provided her a luxury Mercedes convertible are undisputed facts. 

Could it be the love and faith of a good Southern woman caused this manipulating scoundrel to change? Not likely. Once a lowlife maggot, always a lowlife maggot. At least that’s what Slade’s gut is screaming. 

In TIDEWATER MURDER, second installment of the Carolina Slade Mystery series (ISBN10: 1611942578, ISBN13: 978-1611942576, Bell Bridge Books, April 2013, 290 pp), the gutsy protagonist launches into an unorthodox investigation and once again drags her cohort, the charming Monroe Prevatte, with her. From the rooftop of a shed imprisoning abused Haitian workers to the marshes and fields surrounding St. Helena to the dark waters of the Atlantic Ocean, author C. Hope Clark invites readers to join her on another clever, fast-paced thrill ride through the Lowcountry of her beloved South Carolina.  

Even Slade’s beau, Senior Special Agent Wayne Largo, can’t deter her dogged slog toward justice. When it comes to guts and loyalty, the damn woman has blinders on. And Heaven knows Wayne has tried, even going so far as to have Slade officially removed from the case. 

But homesteading a backseat has never been Slade’s forté. Not on her job. Not as the widowed single mother of two. Certainly, not in Wayne Largo’s arms. Why, on God’s green earth, would she change her modus vivendi now?

In TIDEWATER MURDER, Carolina Slade gives as good as she gets -- and the baddies in this mystery dish out trouble aplenty. Fans of the series will continue to love this spirited, sassy heroine. I know I do. I’m giving TIDEWATER MURDER five rousing stars and look forward to the next installment by this talented author.


C. Hope Clark holds a B.S. in Agriculture from Clemson University and has 25 years experience with the US Department of Agriculture. She also manages FundsforWriters.com, a weekly newsletter service she founded that reaches approximately 50,000 writers from professors and journalists to published mystery authors. To learn more about this author and her other works visit her website at http://chopeclark.com/