Monday, July 8, 2013

South Carolina RV Travel Mystery!

It's been a while since the last post. Sorry about that. Here's why.

Last March I decided to write a novel. One based on RV travels in South Carolina. It took longer than expected. Probably because this is my first fiction book. Haven't written fiction since high school. And that was long ago, done in Latin. On horn books. Well, almost.

Furthermore, I've had about enough interaction with traditional book publishers to last a lifetime. Maybe two lifetimes. So I decided to put this novel out as an e-book. Through the excellent Amazon's Kindle publishing program. Quicker and less stressful than trying to work with a traditional publishing house.

DLP Cover Smaller

Here's a link:

When you download the book will set you back $2.99. If you don't have a Kindle or Nook or WhatEver e-book reader, just download one of Amazon's reader applications for your desktop PC, your laptop, your iPad or Android tablet, or even for your SmartPhone!

The Amazon apps are free and install themselves. You'll find the link to them in the right-hand column of the book's page on Amazon.

Here's the description of the book from the Amazon site:

"That pretty school teacher-lookin' lady with the fancy car's layin' dead up there in her tent! Dead fer shur! Somebody Come Help!" ten-year-old Henry P. Giles howled as he ran lickety-split across the overgrown putt-putt course toward the bath house at 'Hathaway's Family Golf and Fishing Resort.' "Momma! Come Quick! I didn't touch nothin'! Just looked in."

Iroquois County folks said Hathaway's Campground had seen better days. Folks old enough to remember. Now, all but a few of its forty campsites were closed for repair. The putt-putt golf course and fish pond lay virtually abandoned.

The only recent improvements at this rustic institution were a sophisticated website and two huge signs out on I-95. The 'resort' they described had little in common with Hathaway's Campground beyond its Highway 158 address.

Two Iroquois County deputies answered the Sunday morning 911 call. It took only a quick look to persuade them this was just another of Hathaway's "Off I-95" suicides. They even found two large prescription pill bottles, one full, one empty, beside the body.

Retired USC professor, Dr. Ray Raether, though, didn't agree. Ray and his constant canine companion, Samantha, had been in their Aliner just across the road the previous day when their new camping neighbor arrived. They'd gone over to help set up her tent.

Ray had encountered his share of suicidal students while teaching at USC. Even more drug abusers. The vivacious young woman he met across the road at Hathaway's was neither suicidal nor a drug abuser. Ray would stake his Aliner on it. But if not suicide or a drug overdose, what explained her death?

Samantha, at 110 pounds, was large even for an American Alsatian. She'd been born at the Schwarz Kennels in Oregon, with breed developer Lois Schwarz herself assisting. Samantha was protective. But in a quiet, attentive way. Those steady, expressive yellow eyes were what most people remembered. She seemed to know instinctively whether anyone she met was good or bad, and allowed only those she considered good near her. Or near Ray!

Ray Raether's suspicions alone wouldn't have triggered a more comprehensive investigation of this latest Hathaway's Campground death. But the new arrival had signed Hathaway's Campground registry as "Victoria Limpkin Prentiss." And she'd told Mrs. Hathaway she planned to have dinner that night with a Limpkin cousin from Charleston.

The death of a Charleston Limpkin relative couldn't go uninvestigated in South Carolina. Or even under-investigated. As if to make the point, newspaper and television news reporters began arriving at Hathaway's less than two hours after the 911 call.

More comprehensive investigation of Victoria Limpkin Prentiss's death meant Iroquois County Sheriff's Department Chief of Detectives Salvatore Patrick Ryan himself would handle the case. Sal was a retired New York City Police detective who bore little resemblance to either Don Knotts or Andy Griffith.

After Ray shared his doubts about Victoria Limpkin Prentiss's death with Sal over a remarkable breakfast at Sadie's Restaurant in downtown Iroquois, Sal invited Ray and Samantha to help him with the case. Their investigation took them from Iroquois County to Charleston and back. Nothing they learned was as it seemed, or as it was supposed to be, as they uncovered the true cause of this lonely and peculiar death.

Hope you enjoy the book. I've already started the second in the series. Suggestions are welcome.


  1. Most people don't know that about the Amazon apps. I happened to stumble across your blog, and I am glad to say I did. I look forward to reading your book. :)

  2. Thanks, Clarissa. Hope you like it. Paperback available soon.