Tag Archive | hope clark

Guest @hopeclark reviews her fave #restaurant in @edisto_beach @McConkeysJS #foodiefriday

This guest post is by C. Hope Clark from www.chopeclark.com

hope clarkMcConkey’s Jungle Shack

~~Every Visit to Edisto~~

My current mystery series takes place on Edisto Beach, South Carolina, a secluded, noncommercial piece of sand that reduces down to around 600 people off season, exploding to several thousand when weather turns warm. Having just released the series’ third book, Echoes of Edisto, I currently work on book four, which means yet another trip to the beach. Research, you know.

And a girl has to eat after sweating over all those words. At the beach, that means a dose of seafood here and there. The residents refuse to allow franchises, so that means each eating venue reigns unique. My restaurant preference depends on what I want to eat that day, but when I’m not sure, my go-to place is McConkey’s Jungle Shack on Jungle Road.

McConkeyLogo

Trust me, the term shack is not used loosely. The handful of tables are set on a porch, cooled with fans and an over-worked air-conditioner in the summer (sorry, humidity stays), and warmed with porch heaters inside rolled down plastic sides in the winter. The months in between just means you eat outside under a roof. The kitchen is bigger than the dining area.

The wait staff all wear colorful t-shirts, often tie-dyed, with the Tarzan-looking character on a vine. I own six of those shirts, by the way, for the times I miss Edisto. The staff has worked there for ages, and the service has never failed me, usually with the food arriving way quicker than expected. The place may be small, but they can work a crowd like nobody’s business.

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The menu has its regular favorites like fish tacos, fish and chips, shrimp, and hand-formed burgers (I prefer pimento cheese and jalapenos on mine, as does Callie Morgan in my books), and if you eat there, you’ll see them all come out of the kitchen, usually by your table on their way to another. The place isn’t big as a minute. A huge selection of beers and ale, and yes, wine.

Burger

But the main draw, in my opinion, is the homemade touch. All the desserts are from scratch, from bread pudding (yum) to peanut butter pie. And some days you see something entirely new on the dry erase board beside the kitchen entrance, simply because the cook had a different sweet tooth. In the winter I experienced the best black-bean soup I’ve ever tasted, again not on the regular menu. In the summer maybe a different sort of wrap. You never know until you show up what the specials might be.

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I guess I deem McConkey’s symbolic of Edisto Beach, touting a name that has represented the area for almost 140 years. While the family’s history is quite colorful, and uniquely tragic, the restaurant is successful and sound, a beacon to all who arrive from the mainland. Take a seat at one of the hand painted, beach scene tables, enjoy the local paraphernalia hanging around the place, and don’t look for a dress code. Wear whatever you happen to have on because it’s more about relaxing and having a good meal. After all, you’re at the beach.

Oh, and by the way . . . the best sweet tea on the island.

BIO: Hope Clark’s newest mystery, Echoes of Edisto, is available August 5 wherever books are sold. Echoes is book three in this highly popular Edisto Island Mystery Series, and if you head south to the coast, chances are you’ll find a copy in most rentals on Edisto Beach, South Carolina as well as on the shelves of the Edisto Bookstore with all the other Hope Clark books. www.chopeclark.com

BLURB from Echos of Edisto:

Edisto Island is a paradise where people escape from the mainstream world. Yet for newly sworn-in Edisto Police Chief Callie Jean Morgan, the trouble has just begun . . .
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Lowcountry Bribe @hopeclark #southernlit #mystery #whodunit

Lowcountry Bribe (A Carolina Slade Mystery Book 1)

4heart

Synopsis

Slade is a South Carolina Agriculture Department manager in the low country. She deals with handling loans to local farmers. When a farmer tries to bribe her, Slade follows rules on reporting, but things do not go as expected.

Wayne is a Federal investigator special agent assigned to the case.

The bribe was in the beginning and now it seems that Slade’s life is in danger. Together, they have to figure out how to eliminate the threat while dealing with governmental bureaucracy.

Opinion

I enjoyed this book for a 3 main reasons

1. It was fast paced. From the moment Slade was propositioned, there was some sort of action happening.

2. I knew a lot of the locations where the action was taking place. I am acquainted with the area because I go down to the low country area often to go to the beach and buy seafood. It made the story more realistic.

3. I could relate to some of the bureaucracy that Slade was up against. In the story, it seemed like an exercise in “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” And then it did.

It was hard for me to rate this story. I loved the plot but I cannot say that I liked Slade as a person. She was very brusque with a gruff, terse manner. However I did feel sorry for her. She tried to be a good wife, mother, and government employee. At the same time, she is an unhappy person. It seemed that everything she tried to do for the right reasons got twisted and things would go wrong.

Since I think that the author did not write Slade to be likable, I feel like I should give “points” for that. Times like this I wish I did half points. I think this is a solid 3.5. Since my rating does not have a 3.5, I gave this book 4 hearts.

I thought there was enough suspense, as I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out who was the mastermind behind the entire conspiracy. As the reader, I knew early in story who was the briber but you get the impression that he was not working on his own. The author wraps up the story in a way that satisfied my need for justice.

Notable quotes

Rules were absolute; that’s the way I was raised. If I followed the rules, I’d be just fine.” – Slade

Instinct told me to forget the conversation. Federal law told me I didn’t have that option.” – Slade

Should you buy? If you like suspense and thriller, you will like this. If you like Southern literature, especially novels that are set in the Low country, you will appreciate the references in this book even more. I am ready to read the next books in this series to see what else happens to Slade.

Book details from Goodreads
File Size: 1442 KB
Print Length: 274 pages
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books (January 31, 2012)
Publication Date: January 31, 2012
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Book 1 of 3 in A Carolina Slade Mystery (3 Book Series)

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