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Publisher's Summary

Are peanuts capable of murder? Carolina Slade will bust this shell game.

Big money, big politics, crime, greed, and big farming - Slade, an agriculture department investigator in the steamy state of South Carolina, once again finds herself planted in a dangerous mystery.

Her assignment? Find out if there's a sinister connection between the drug-dealing arrest of wealthy peanut farmer Lamar Wheeler and the gruesome death of Lamar's teenage son in a car wreck. Especially since the dead teen is Governor Dick Wheeler's nephew.

Of course, the governor's people practically sky-write STAY AWAY FROM THE FIRST FAMILY over the Palmetto state's capitol dome in Columbia, which doesn't make Slade's job easier. Couldn't she simply back off from what appears to be a tragic and ugly - but private - family matter?

Not with hot-tempered DEA agent Pamela Largo on the case. Ex-wife to Senior Special Agent Wayne Largo, Slade's romantic interest, Pamela's hell-bent on using Lamar Wheeler's situation to re-open a cold case involving an Atlanta drug lord and Wayne's long lost sister, Kay.

Soon Slade's shoveling shooflies uphill against Pamela's obsessions, the drug lord's vendettas, the governor's secrets, and the bizarre realization that those secrets involve peanuts.

©2014 Hope Clark writing as C. Hope Clark (P)2015 Bell Bridge Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

couldnt put it away

loved it. love Slade and Wayne. such a great story. cant wait to start the next.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A white-knuckle ride with a fantastic protagonist

What made the experience of listening to Palmetto Poison the most enjoyable?

The reader got the "voice" of the main character really well and drew me right into the story.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Absolutely - every time I thought to "put the book down" because my walk or my drive in the car was over, I'd end up sitting in my driveway or parked on my front step, unable to stop listening. Every time it seemed that things couldn't go more wrong, they did. Sometimes I wanted to wring Carolina's Slade's neck and tell her to smarten up, but I couldn't stop reading.

What does Pyper Down bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Pyper Down was able to make me feel like I was hearing each character when they spoke. Her inflection and tone were perfect, especially the "thoughts" going through Slade's head.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Everyone told Slade to just let it go, but she couldn't - and neither will you.

Any additional comments?

Carolina Slade is an intriguing character with all kinds of baggage and an irresistible urge to get to the bottom of things even when persisting might cost her everything; her job, her friends, her lover and even her life. And then there's Special Agent Wayne Largo, another compelling character, Slade's lover with agenda of his own that doesn't always match Slade's. There is mystery and misdeeds, all wrapped up with politics, drugs, greed and money and there's no telling who Slade can trust any more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Couldn't put this down!

If you could sum up Palmetto Poison in three words, what would they be?

Peanut Roller Coaster

Who was your favorite character and why?

Pamela Largo, the nemesis.

Have you listened to any of Pyper Down’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but I have listened to dozens of audio books and Pyper fared in the middle of the talent I've heard. Pyper is not monotone, but she has a level voice with less lift than I'm used to. It's almost like you would listen to a poet read their work with the drawn out lines. Despite that very slight distraction, the book is so compelling I was carried through and never wanted to pull my earbuds.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed and cried and had to hide on a remote lounge chair on my cruise so no one would see me. This was the perfect read for a cruising holiday. It kept me relaxing and listening for hours each day.

Any additional comments?

C. Hope Clark has blossomed into a real contender in the mystery writing world. I'd love to meet her at a book signing and hear her speak.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

New Fan!

Palmetto Poison, a real treat from the typical southern summer read. Although third in a series, it was my first, but C Hope Clark writes in such a seamless and amazing way that I did not miss a beat! I felt like I had known Carolina Slade for years, within listening to the first 30 minutes of the book I wanted to call her up for a drink on the back porch. This story has it all, drugs, politics, peanuts, and a nudist resort which had me guessing the heroes from the villains until the very end.
C Hope Clark I cannot wait to see what is next from you!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Engaging, exciting and a new experience for me!

I don't normally read whodunnits and especially ones set in the deep south of the States. But I've known of C. Hope Clark's reputation as a writer for a long time and agreed to take the audio version and consider giving it a review. I was intrigued whether her reputation was well-deserved or not. I was also intrigued to read any book where the blurb opens with "Are peanuts capable of murder?"!

As the book began I was not too hopeful. I wasn't keen on Pyper Down's voice and her characterisations were not always consistent. Her tone for the narrator in conversation with others was very different to the same character in narration, which irked me a little. Sometimes voices for different characters slipped a little too. But, once I got used to this I started to really concentrate on the story itself.

I'm so glad I did.

Despite not having read the first book in the Carolina Slade series, I quickly got into the characters - Slade herself, her family, her work colleagues and her guy, Wayne Largo. The story initially didn't matter too much to me (not a great mystery fan remember) but that rapidly began to change.

One of the signs of a good book, for me, is when something happens to a character which genuinely upsets you. That happened for me in Palmetto Poison. I remember shouting out loud "Oh no! No - you can't do that!" and choking back an unmanly tear. At that point I knew I was hooked and remained so I remained to the very last word.

Of course, now I want to read the first book. More to the point, now I'm desperate for the third in the series too. I want to know more about these characters - C. Hope Clark cleverly sets up scenarios which leave you wanting more - and see how things evolve and resolve. I'm sure I won't be disappointed.

So if you're a fan of this genre of fiction, Palmetto Poison is absolutely one you want to read or listen to. And if you're not? Well, try it anyway. Like me, you just might fall in love with a new genre.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great mystery full of family drama and suspense

What did you love best about Palmetto Poison?

Carolina Slade has a lot to deal with - an angry governor, her boyfriend's ex-wife, a teenage daughter who thinks Slade is too old to have a handle on reality, and prefers to take advice from her sassy aunt. From mystery to romance, peanut farms to nudist resorts, this book has something for everyone!