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Caroline Slade Mystery Books In Order

Publication Order of Caroline Slade Mystery Books

Lowcountry Bribe (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Tidewater Murder (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Palmetto Poison (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Newberry Sin (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Salkehatchie Secret (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The “Caroline Slade Mystery” is a series of novels by mystery fiction author C Hope Clark. Clark was brought up in several states in the South from Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi. Her grandfather was a cotton farmer in Mississippi and as such, wherever she has gone her heart has always been in the deep south. As a teenager, she went to Clemson University from where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture. After graduation, she went on to work with the US Department of Agriculture where she worked for more than twenty-five years. She would win several awards for her work during this time and it is from her experiences that she writes about the adventures of her protagonist Carolina Slade in the “Caroline Slade Mystery” series. While she loved being a manager in the USDA, she loved writing more and she retired young so that she could become a professional fiction author. She wrote her debut novel “Lowcountry Bribe” in 2012. By 2020 she had more than ten novels in the “Carolina Slade Mystery” and the “Edisto Island Mystery” series. Her novels have been nominated and won several prestigious awards over the years including the Daphne du Maurier by the Romance Writers of America, the Breakthrough Novel Contest by Amazon, the Silver Falchion Award, and the EPIC e-book Award among many others.

Hope is currently married to contract investigator and Senior Special Agent that has been working in federal law enforcement for more than three decades. She met the man while he was working on a bribery investigation into the USDA where she was still working all those years past. The opening scene for her debut novel finds a lot of inspiration from that experience. She currently lives with her all-American special agents just outside Chapin, on the banks of Lake Chapin in South Carolina. Apart from sipping bourbon and eating cake on her back porch, she is also the founder and manager of a weekly newsletter service FundsforWriters.com, which has more than 30,000 subscribers that include published mystery authors, professional journalists, and university professors. The site was recognized as one of the Best Web Sites for Writers by “Writer’s Digest.”

The lead of the Carolina Slade mystery series is Carolina Slade, a woman from rural South Carolina who works for the USDA avenging rural crime. Just like nobody had ever heard of the NCIS before it was popularized by the exploits of Mark Harmon, no one is aware that Feds are looking for and fighting criminal activity across all major American Federal Agencies, including the USDA. But crime and death in rural areas is nothing like what it is in the city as it can be unique and grizzly. In “Lowcountry Bribe” Carolina Slade the country federal manager who is in charge of the small-town of Lowcountry in South Carolina has to dive deep into the dank and deep hinterland when a bribery case goes wrong. She had been following an attempted bribery incident when her investigation dovetails into that of a sting operation led by gent Wayne Largo. Largo is a Senior Special Agent from the IG office in Atlanta. In “Tidewater Murder” the second novel of the series Slade got her promotion and is now a resident of Columbia, South Carolina. When Savannah her best friend is accused of doing some terrible things, Slade is determined to get her off the hook. However, It is not going to be easy and she will get into a lot of trouble for it. “Palmetto Poison” the third novel of the “Carolina Slade Mystery” series sees Slade involved in yet another agricultural mystery and even an attempt on her life. It is quite the story as she tries to solve a riddle involving peanuts when she ends up at a nudist retreat.

“Lowcountry Bribe” the first novel of the “Carolina Slade Mystery” series introduces Carolina, a United States Department of Agriculture official who always plays by the rules. She had been offered a bribe by Jesse Rawlings a pig farmer and while others would have turned it down with a warning, Slade goes ahead to inform her superiors. She is known for her exceptional work coordinating federal loans and ensuring that these loans are paid back by the farmers who take them. Even though she is a Fed, anytime she gets out of the office, she does not carry a gun or go after criminals but rather she goes to inspect farms. But as a federal agent, she is obligated to help agents Eddie Childress and Wayne Largo prove that the pig farmer offered her a bribe. Atlanta is very much interested in the case and Slade is curious as to why the case is getting so much attention. Perhaps there might be more to the bribe. Maybe it could be a high-level fraud scheme given that her former boss had gone missing a few months past while her colleague had supposedly shot himself by accident in the previous week. Slade cannot be sure if the two agents are investigating her or not, as what should have been as easy as getting the pig farmer to repeat his bribery offers became a dangerous adventure. The stakes are now higher than just a reprimand from her superiors or a missed loan payment.

“Tidewater Murder” the second novel of the series sees Carolina Slade try to solve a mystery in her peculiar offhand way. She is determined to fight it out to the bitter end and as usual, does not care who is going to get hurt. She just lost her husband and being a single mum has not been easy. Slade thought moving house and her recent promotion would bring a ray of sunshine into her life until she got the call from the Beaufort Office of Agriculture. An old girlfriend of her named Savanna Conroy heads up the Beaufort Office, where a departmental editor had discovered that there were issues with the file on a huge farm. The Heyward Farm had been granted a $300,000 loan yet the loan documents seem forged with Dan Heyward the owner nowhere to be found. The further she investigates Savannah, the more complicated things became with dead bodies popping out of every imaginable place. She once again finds herself having to work with Wayne Largo who engages her emotions like no one ever can. Facing psychological and physical intimidation, she maintains her pig-headedness even in the face of unimaginable cruelty.

Palmetto Poison, the third novel of the series sees Carolina Slade chasing ghosts in an off the record open-ended case. The first family of South Carolina is somehow controlling the investigation and she is at a crossroads at what to do. Dick Wheeler the governor has been strong-arming her with veiled threats asking her to back off while Margaret Dubose her mentor and boss is giving vague orders asking her to keep on digging. To make matters worse, she also has to deal with three women who have come into town and have brought their own issues. One is Ally her whirlwind of a sister who comes into Columbia to disrupt the family dynamic that Slade has worked so hard to develop. Meanwhile, Wayne Largo’s sister Kay may be coming back into the scene with all her addiction baggage. Wayne’s ex-wife who is one of the most aggressive women Carolina ever met is back in town, bulldozing everyone and everything in her path towards getting back her ex.

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