Book Reviews - December/January 2023 Releases

December 2022
Written By: 
Ashley Daniels
Photographs by: 
courtesy of the Publishers

Local authors cover topics that are close to home

The Ghost of Alice
By Christine Vernon
Independently Published
Release Date: January 17, 2022

This historical novel, another one penned by local writer/painter/performer Christine Vernon, is based on the legend and folklore of the infamous Alice Belin Flagg. Vernon, whose ghost history tours are well known in the Murrells Inlet area, embraces the history of Flagg’s life story and sweeps us away, her imagination filling in the pieces through dialogue and rich descriptive detail.

Vernon masterfully recreates the legend of Alice Flagg, which she says she has told tour guests hundreds of times, on the pages of The Ghost of Alice. Opening in modern time, with three girls paying a visit to Alice’s grave stone in All Saints Cemetery (It’s said that she returns here from time to time to search for her engagement ring), the book continues to delve into the ill-fated romance between Alice and a man her family disapproves of over the wealthy man they’ve arranged for her to marry. The complicated drama, a blend of fact and fiction, is one fit for film. 

Death on the Golden Mile: A Myrtle Beach Mystery
By Caleb Wygal 
Published by Franklin/Kerr Press, $14.99
Release Date: 2022

The Golden Mile, known to many as a relaxing respite with pricey real estate that stretches along the beautiful backdrop of Myrtle Beach’s soft sands and ocean, goes dark in this murder-mystery novel – the fourth in a series of Wygal’s mysteries set here. It all starts with main character Clark Thomas rereading three-year-old texts from his dead wife, followed by a dinner invitation from a female stranger, who had earlier taken a seat in front of him at his bookstore, Myrtle Beach Reads. Death on the Golden Mile weaves then into a sort of murder-mystery dinner at an oceanfront mansion one dark and stormy night (Hurricane Karen), involving the stranger, the dinner host (a retired Hollywood music composer and puzzle-lover), a murdered guest among attendees, and Clark. Before he is accused of murder himself, Clark must unravel the clues of “whodunnit” that night, while also learning more behind the complex death of his wife, Autumn.