Edisto Jinx by C. Hope Clark

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The page-turning hunt for the truth is enough to make this book a tasty treat, but the setting and characters make it hearty meal, with a dash of the paranormal thrown in for dessert.

According to Sophie the psychic, beautiful Edisto Beach becomes a hotbed of troublemaking spirits every August. But when a visitor dies mysteriously during a beach house party, former big-city detective Callie Morgan and Edisto Beach police chief Mike Seabrook hunt for motives and suspects among the living. With tourists filling the beaches and local business owners anxious to squelch rumors of a murderer on the loose, Callie will need all the help she can get–especially once the killer’s attention turns toward her.

Edisto Jinx is a phenomenal read from beginning to end. The psychological twists are as intriguing as the vivid imagery of Ms. Clark’s writing. From characters with just the right amount of flaws to make them realistic, to the eerie peek into a madman’s mind, it is a gem of a story I didn’t want to end.–Sharon Sala, author of Cold Hearts, book two of the Secrets and Lies trilogy. August 2015 from Mira Books

Edisto Jinx has everything you want in a good island read: sand, food, drinks, people you care about, beautiful sunsets, secrets, murder, and page-turning suspense. C. Hope Clark took me to one of the most unspoiled South Carolina islands and gave me plenty of reasons to want to stay with Callie Morgan and a richly drawn cast of beach-town regulars. Pull up a beach chair, dip your toes in the gentle waves, and enjoy!–Cathy Pickens, author of the Southern Fried mysteries and Charleston Mysteries: Ghostly Haunts in the Holy City

Review by EstherBradley DeTally:

C. Hope Clark
C. Hope Clark

C. Hope Clark’s Edisto Jinx is a mystery of seamless twists and turns, with prose sharp, clear, crisp and sure of itself. I ignored the call of ten books piled up on a chair to read, ignored the call of social media, and I carved out two long sessions to inhale this delightful story. Clark is a fun and bright story teller.

The author had me on the first two sentences in the book, “CALLIE STUDIED all the tanned visitors with drinks in their hands. The last time she attended a beach house party she killed the host, earning somewhat of a reputation in the South Carolina community of Edisto Beach.

A low key romp runs through this story, humming and thumping, and I found myself greedy for the next word, the next scene. It is fast paced and fascinating. She captures contemporary beach culture with flat-on awareness. Her descriptions are spunky as Callie describes herself, “Her life seemed a combination of fate and what she scrapped out of it.”

I loved the characters, beginning with Callie herself, and I tumbled immediately into the world of Edisto, with Callie being on the edge of frumpy and quick minded. The story is tight and scenes slide “And then what happens” moments seem like butter on a hot skillet. Callie is tough, bright, and feminine, a little frayed around the edges, with a tongue-licking inclination towards the drink. All the while our heroine, a former detective, survived the death of a beloved husband, and an attempted murder by a stalker.

Her son Ben is approaching manhood, and they have settling into a new life in The Edisto beach community away from familiar urban living in Boston. Callie is middle aged, on the edge of getting older, has begun a low slung relationship with the local acting police chief, a best friend who deals in relationships with spirits, and she’s a detective par excellence.

I loved the delicacy of her vulnerability, her strong and then shaky past, but mostly I loved reading about a serial murderer amongst the summer crowd, and Callie’s astute search and determination to solve a ten year period every August of unexplained murders. I whipped through each page totally immersed in a spinning top of a plot.

Normally I don’t read mysteries. Now and then one appears, and I settle in for a don’t- put-the-book down read. Now I’m hooked. Time to hit the library and look for more of C. Hope Clark’s books. I even found out Edisto was a real place. An intense and enjoyable read!

Review by Gina Evans:

If you are a mystery fan and haven’t read C. Hope Clark’s Edisto Island mysteries, you’re missing out. The latest in the series featuring former Boston PD detective Callie Jean Morgan, Edisto Jinx, grabbed me by the throat at the very beginning and didn’t let go until I finished it. The story is compelling, with Callie again believing in her instincts when no one else does. She trusts her gut about the series of so-called accidental deaths in the small beach town, and once again she’s proven right.

Callie is flawed just enough to make her realistic. Her struggle with her son to be accepted as the person she is will be familiar to any parent who has navigated the transition from parent to full personhood in a child’s view. Clark’s depiction of Callie’s struggle to do it without her usual alcohol crutch made me taste the cold liquid and hear the ice cubes clink. The cast of characters that make up Callie’s family, friends, and neighbors are just quirky enough to be endearing. They make me want to stay on Edisto Island a while, sitting on a porch drinking a cold beverage and visiting.

Clark’s dead-on description of the beach, especially the heat and humidity, made me break a sweat just reading it. The island is the perfect setting, with its gorgeous sunsets, happy vacationers, and laid-back attitudes of local law enforcement. It’s that attitude that hides a serial killer until Callie’s intuition and training reveal the truth—and that’s when the cat-and-mouse game, cleverly played out via social media, begins in earnest.

The page-turning hunt for the truth is enough to make this book a tasty treat, but the setting and characters make it hearty meal, with a dash of the paranormal thrown in for dessert. Treat yourself by reading both books in the series, Murder on Edisto and Edisto Jinx.