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Author: Bill Noel
Date/Time: Friday 03/13/2020 at 11:00 AM
Book: No Joke and Relic
Synopsis: In our favorite retired academic's 16th cozy ("No Joke"), four aging comedians deliver anything but laughs when they descend upon Folly Beach, a small, laid-back barrier island near Charleston, SC. Chris Landrum's introduction to the newcomers is when he averts disaster by escorting one of them out of the center of Folly's busiest street, a task made even more difficult since the jokester, wearing a long, wool coat over red swim trunks and black patent leather shoes, is flailing a fishing rod at anything that moves, be it vehicle or human. In addition to the stranger not knowing why he's in the center of the street, he claims to have discovered a dead body at the beach. The problem is he can't remember if he saw it that day, the previous month, or perhaps four years earlier. Jokes, lies, secrets, dead bodies, several murder suspects, and danger follow the comics. It's up to retired bureaucrat Chris, along with his cadre of quirky pals, to sort out what's going on before some of them are added to the list of victims. Then, in the 17th ("Relic"), Chris and his friend Charles Fowler's peaceful morning to the lighthouse on Folly Beach takes an abrupt turn. They encounter a woman who tells them she got separated from her husband during a storm, then claims they'd been relic hunting. Her husband can't verify what he and his wife were doing. He's dead — murdered. With the horrific death on everyone's mind, Theo Stoll, another of Chris’s friends learns his recently widowed daughter-in-law is moving to Folly saying she wants to be near her only living relative. But, what does the woman Theo has never met really want? A family connection or to con the wealthy retiree. Lies, contradictions, stories of ghosts, pirates, Civil War relics, and buried treasure, combine with no shortage of murder suspects to challenge Chris and his friends to solve the crime that's stumped the police. Not only solve it but solve it before more are killed.
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