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Dark Secrets of the Bayou

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Catherine “Tink” Mabry, an up and coming attorney, is shocked by her recent inheritance from her estranged family on the bayou. After her mother died during childbirth, Tink’s father had quickly relocated them to the big city of Atlanta, Georgia. With no memory of her mother, she is determined to learn more about her lineage and decides to visit the bayou town of Kane, Louisiana. Candace, Tink's co-worker, and best friend agrees to make the trip with her.

Before she has time to explore her family’s history or decide what to do with the declining property, local murders plague Tink’s homecoming. She quickly finds herself caught in the middle of a multiple murder investigation—and quite possibly, the prime suspect. When Candace retreats back to Atlanta, Tink finds support among an unlikely cast of characters and sets out to discover clues that have haunted and tormented her family for generations.

Could a concealed crime from the 1800s, or the family's estate itself, harbor keys to unlocking the past?

The more they learn, the more they question whether some secrets are best left buried.

Kindle Edition

Published November 27, 2020

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About the author

Kim Carter

19 books61 followers
Kim Carter is an American award-winning author and critically acclaimed writer of gripping suspense, chilling thrillers, and haunting historical mysteries.

Ms. Carter is widely known for her vibrant characters in her Clara and Iris Mystery series, a couple of overly curious widows who turn into private investigators. These funny women were inspired by Kim's mother and her mom's best friend. Book one of this series, Murder Among The Tombstones, was chosen Finalist for the 2018 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award and a recipient of the 2017 TCK Publishers' Readers' Choice Award.

Ms. Carter's Mysteries and literary works include; Sweet Dreams, Baby Belle, When Dawn Never Comes, Deadly Odds (chosen Editor's Pick in Books Shelf Magazine in 2022), No Second Chances, 'And The Forecast Called For Rain,' and her newest mystery Dark Secrets of the Bayou. "Bayou" has been awarded a Reader's Favorite Editorial 5-Star Review, also chosen #1 Finalist for Best Historical Mystery from Reader's Favorite 2021 book awards, and was awarded a 2021 Killer Nashville Finalist for The Silver Falchion Awards. In 2022 "Bayou" was chosen by The Author Shout book awards as a Recommended Reads.

All of Kim's novels can be purchased online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BAM, and Indie Bound. Kim's writing career started after she suffered an illness that made her housebound for a couple of years. An avid reader of mystery novels herself, she embarked on writing to fill her time. Kim's health struggles and successes have been chronicled on Lifetime Television in early 2000, and in The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Women's Day Magazine, and Guidepost.

Now, with seven acclaimed mystery titles to her credit, Kim worked in many different capacities in county government. Still, it was ultimately her job as a correctional officer that offered her opportunities to talk and interact with a diverse group of people. Her experiences run the gamete from inspiring success stories to tragic endings as she writes within her mysteries.

Kim began networking and made connections with numerous homicide detectives, medical examiners, and prison officials. Her research has taken her to many places, including morgues, death row, and the occasional midnight visit to cemeteries to gain material for her novels.

Kim is a college graduate of Saint Leo University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. She is an avid reader, loves gardening, and has raised four successful grown children; she currently resides outside Atlanta, Georgia.

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5 stars
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19 (21%)
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Displaying 1 - 29 of 29 reviews
Profile Image for Linda Strong.
3,882 reviews1,629 followers
January 14, 2021
Nobody was more surprised than Tink Mabry when she inherits a plantation in Louisiana. Her mother had died in childbirth and her father took her to Georgia when she was only a few weeks old. Her father wants her to sell it sight unseen. But Tink is nothing if not an independant thinker.

Not ever knowing her mother and having had no contact from her grandparents, she's eager to explore her family's history.

Along with her best friend who makes the trip with her, they discover that this may involve much more than she thought. Immediately falling in love with the plantation, she is told about the recent murders in her area .... and unfortunately, she is the prime suspect.

The first part of this book takes the reader back to the 1800s when the plantation was first built and owned by the wealthy Sinclair family. All was not on the up and up back them. There were secret mergers, smuggling, secret rooms and tunnels, voodoo, murder.

So how do murders in present time relate to the crimes of the 1800s?

This is well written with a complex plot filled with intriguing characters, surrounded by suspense. The atmosphere, at times, is dark and gloomy, which propels the reader deeper into the story. It's a real page turner leading to an unexpected ending.

Many thanks to the author / Raven South Publishing /Netgalley for this Historical Mystery. Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
Profile Image for Joyce.
1,649 reviews30 followers
November 13, 2021
523 pages

4 stars

The quick romp through history at the beginning of the book had me a little confused, but it cleared up later.

Atlanta Attorney Catherine “Tink” Mabrey is shocked when she inherits a mansion in Kane, LA. Her mother’s parents, whom she never met or spoken to, have bestowed upon her their home in Kane. She wants to see it, but her overprotective father just wants her to sell it. The determined Tink goes down to Kane with her friend and co-worker Candace.

Candance is a little mouthy and irritating, and I was surprised she was such a close friend to Tink.

In Kane, brothers, Ben and Don are surprised to find dead, mutilated bodies tangled in their capture line for alligators. A man and a woman. Ben is shocked to find that the woman is the one that Deputy Cassius has a crush on. Two government inspectors from the big city come to assist Sheriff Isaac in his investigation. They are dead ended after finally deciding that Ben and Don have nothing to do with the murders.

Following some mishaps, Tink and Candace finally arrive in Kane and are astounded at the size and grandeur of the rundown plantation. They meet Ms. Paloma who had assisted Tink’s grandparents as best she could. At least as much as two detestable people may be assisted. She was present when Tink was born to her mother, Olivia. Ms. Paloma is a kind and caring woman who loves Tink on sight. Tink looks just like her mother.

Strange things begin to happen. Tink is horrified to discover a mannequin with its hands removed in her kitchen. Ben runs to the rescue, Paloma follows and the police are called. Now, Tink becomes a suspect for the police.

Very slowly, Tink, Ben, Paloma and her cousin begin to put the pieces together. Attorney Blaine Biggs gets another clue - a big one that puts his life in danger. Don, Ben and Paloma’s cousin discover a hidden tunnel from his place to the mansion. Tink is in big trouble. Her father rushed to her side.

The identity of the killers turned out to be a huge surprise to me.

This book is well written and plotted. The transitions were a little shaky in places. For the most part, the book flowed smoothly. Ms. Carter ramped up the tension in the story at just the right time. It was a great book and I look forward to reading more of her work. I liked Tink, although she was a little quick to become hysterical. Oh, please! I liked Ben. He seemed to be level headed and a very nice person. I really liked Paloma. She was a great character.

I want to thank NetGalley and Raven South Publishing for forwarding to me a copy of this very good book for me to read, enjoy and review. The opinions expressed here are solely my own.
Profile Image for AndiReads.
771 reviews62 followers
November 11, 2021
Dark Secrets of the Bayou is a dark and secret filled thriller including historical Civil War Times, voodoo and obscene wealth.

Catherine "Tink" Mabrey inherits a rolling family estate from grandparents that she never met. Against the advice of her father she moves forward to check out the property on the bayou. Alongside this story, we are pulled back into the 1800's to learn more about the family Tink never heard about. The historical "before" piece of the book was filled with horrifying stories and chapters ending in cliffhangers.

I loved how the author intertwined the stories and kept the suspense throughout the novel. The characters were very believable and engaging. Piece by piece you begin to see the whole picture and the mystery becomes clear.
A great thriller for all who enjoy thriller, particularly recommended for Civil War buffs, historical mystery lovers and of course those of us that love all things Louisiana !
Profile Image for Terri.
78 reviews
January 26, 2022
An absolute pleasure to read

Full of twists and turns. Loved the history entwined with the mystery. Can't wait to read more of her books.
Profile Image for Catherine Townsend-Lyon.
Author 2 books107 followers
February 14, 2021
A Twisty & Unique Mystery At It's Best!

I have been a Kim Carter reader and fan for many years, and her 7th chilling book of 'Dark Secrets of the Bayou' did NOT disappoint. This one is a unique, complex, and haunting mystery and the best one of hers I have read to date. And I mean this as a BIG compliment.

From the very opening, the author sets the families' stage of their past and historical lineage from the 1800s. For Catherine, one of the main characters, history begins crashing into the present. She never could get her father to share about the family's history or her mother; she never had the chance to know.

Once she learns of her inheritance located on the bayou in Louisiana and decides to visit, pandora's box opens to chilling secrets, murderous mayhem, and this gripping story takes off!

The only spoiler is? You are going to lose some sleep when reading this one! It is tough to put down because it pulls you in its twisty plot that you need to know what happens next. I enjoy Kim's writing style as tight and polished, and this story had to be complex to write as it is action-packed but has just the right flow and structure. And, wow, what a gripping ending to this one.

It is another tasty mystery for all Kim Carter fans, and I highly recommend it if you love mystery thrillers' reads!

Cat Lyon's Reading Den ~ Lyon Literary Consulting
Profile Image for Chris Harris.
53 reviews4 followers
June 9, 2022
Tink is a fascinating character. I loved her from the beginning. The history part was intriguing, I liked that the author shows what was in the past and then turned to modern time. I was on edge many times, I was puzzled on another and was cheering for Tink though out all of the book. The author definitely knows how to write thrilling and suspenseful mysteries, she surely kept me glued to the page. With this said, I think it's obvious why I'm rating this book with five stars and of course, I recommend it to all fans of the genre. I loved it.
Profile Image for Seraphia.
1,740 reviews19 followers
January 29, 2021
Dark Secrets of the Bayou is a thrilling serial killer novel that is stems from a tragic past and brings readers into the “present” day killings full of suspense and danger. Dark Secrets of the Bayou is the first book that I have read by Kim Carter, but I’m willing to bet that it won’t be the last.
Dark Secrets of the Bayou is one of those dark suspense novels that grabs you from the beginning and keeps you page-turning to learn what is going to happen next. This author starts the story back mid-1800s and I was hooked. I loved how this book is so deeply steeped in the historical element. Piece by piece this author brings this story together by giving us engaging characters from such a historical time period of when of when things were so dynamically different in comparison to today. So much tragedy takes place, but I couldn’t get enough of the storyline.
I practically devoured the “Before” part of this book. The horrors revealed both shocked me and spurred me to delve deeper. When the author shifts to the “Now/Present” I was curious as to how she was going to tie things all together. Catherine “Tink” becomes the primary focus of the storyline. She learns of an inheritance from family she’s never met before. You can immediately tell that her father wants her to have nothing to do with it, but I like that he allows her to make her own decisions. Tink is an interesting character in my opinion. She seems fragile at times, but then she shows that she has some backbone.
This book has a fantastic cast of characters. I will admit that there were moments of where I wasn’t too keen on Candace. I felt that she was a bit…too abrasive and rude. But then she has her good moments of where she is a proven asset to Tink. I’ll admit that there is quite a bit of tragedy in this book, and I did shed more than a few tears. Those moments only made me enjoy this book before because that just shows how good this book is.
There are chills, thrills, and danger. I was on the edge of my seat more than once with this book. This book is so much like a puzzle, of where piece by piece it comes together. I love a good mystery and this book definitely delivers on that. I was eagerly trying to piece together who the killer was before the big reveal. I would begin to suspect certain characters, but then I’d deny my intuition.
This is one of those truly hard to put down books that will have you page-turning to the very end. If you like a dark suspenseful novel then this book is a must read. There are some dark moments, but the author keeps things from being too grisly for those who prefer not a lot of darker details. I highly recommend this book and am rating it 5 out of 5 stars. I can’t wait to read more by this author in the future.
Profile Image for Sharon.
Author 38 books375 followers
March 5, 2021
I'm not going to lie; I finished this book out of sheer stubbornness.

It starts out reasonably well, with a section of historical fiction about the Sinclair family. There's some hoodoo and some grifting, and some mandrake root that of course gets mishandled and leads to insanity .... and a family curse.

Then, we get into the modern day, when Catherine "Tink" Mabrey inherits the family estate from grandparents she's never met. Of course, just as she shows up in town, a series of murders that appear to be based in the family curse take place.

I saw the whodunnit coming for miles, but the reveal was so poorly handled that I don't even know what to say about it other than to put something behind a spoiler alert, so ... .

And all of that is *before* we get to the quality of the writing. This book is riddled with passive voice and malapropisms (what on earth is "pungent heat"?), as well as some vaguely bigoted phrasing (why is the one mixed-race guy we meet referred to as "nothing to write home about, with wiry hair and features that betrayed a mixture of races in the past" while all the white folks in Kane, Louisiana, pop. 3,000, appear to be beautiful? And why are all of the other people of color described as "bronzed," as though they're a set of preserved baby shoes?).

The epilogue felt rushed and thrown on to make up a word count.

The worst malapropism of all was reserved for the author's bio, in which she describes her work as "running the gamete ..." Folks, the word is *gamut.* A gamete is one of the haploids that makes up a zygote. Gamut means "range or scope."

And guess what? All of this is a pity. Why? Because with some additional editing, this book could have been pretty good instead of just irritating the crap out of me.
Profile Image for Nan.
1,059 reviews1 follower
December 19, 2021
A modern murder mystery with its roots firmly planted in the 1860s on a Louisiana plantation. Tink inherited a plantation she knew nothing about from grandparents she never knew. The mansion is in a state of disrepair and Tink decides to stay for a while to look into reconstruction. Right before Tink’s arrival there were two murders on the bayou - a very unusual occurrence. When one more murder occurs and Tink is threatened, the only commonality among the crimes is Tink herself. Luckily she has already gained a supportive group of friends and they help keep her safe. The mystery kept me guessing until the end and Tink was a great protagonist. The flashbacks were interesting although sometimes they went on a bit too much for me. I received an advance copy of this book and voluntarily left a review.
Profile Image for CR.
2,794 reviews27 followers
April 15, 2021
This is such a thrilling story. The beginning tells the story of two plantation owners in Louisiana during the Civil War Era and how combining their plantations, a little piracy, a secret club of wealthy land owners, and some backstabbing can build an empire. Throw in some voodoo, madness, and a curse and we have the Sinclair family legacy. Fast forward to present day when Catherine "Tink" Mabry discovers she has inherited the Sinclair estate from her estranged grandfather. Her paths cross with Ben who has gotten sucked into a brutal killing spree that has ties to the Sinclair fortune. This is one of those stories that keep you guessing the entire time. It's an exciting, action filled, thriller with a little romance. I highly recommend this one for an exciting weekend read.
1,494 reviews26 followers
November 14, 2021
I love Louisiana and I love a good mystery. Put these two together and there was NO question as to whether I wanted to read this book. But would it live up to my expectations from the cover page detail? ABSOLUTELY!

Tink never met her grand parents and yet they left her their old home in Louisiana. While her Father presses her to just sell it and move on, she’s pulled in and wants to see it, so she and her friend head off to Louisiana. Too bad they soon become murder suspects and need to clear their names without become two more bodies that are discovered in the bayous.

Full of twist, turns, creepiness at times and a great blend of past and present. You cannot go wrong reading this book…you’ll be hooked and just as surprised as I was with the ending. An awesome read!
Profile Image for Jane.
238 reviews
January 30, 2021
Wow! This book was so good! The storyline was well-written and sucked me in from the start. I loved how it started with a flashback and moved forward. It was very engaging and the atmosphere was written and described perfectly. It was chilling and suspenseful and I loved it! There were hard truths and secrets and ended with a great ending! You definitely won't be disappointed when you pick this one up! The characters were interesting and had unique personalities which were just right for this story. I was impressed by this author's storytelling and the writing was smooth and sucked me in right from the start! This was first book from this author and it definitely won't be the last!
Profile Image for Book Him Danno.
2,396 reviews54 followers
February 1, 2021
Kim Carter created a interesting story that with the first half of the book during the 1800's with the beginning of the plantation. The author gives readers the family history of not just the home but also of Catherine. Kim Cater was able to create the setting of dark and gloomy as part of the character in the story. The cast of characters even the home itself is part of the characters within the story.

The chapter left cliffhangers daring readers to keeping going long into the night.

Dark Secrets of the Bayou is a creative dark mystery that reader will not be able to put down.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the copy of Kim Carter Dark Secrets of the Bayou
45 reviews
April 14, 2021
I was initially dawn to this one because of the cover and I’m so happy I picked it up. I was hooked from the get go. It starts out on a plantation in the Louisiana bayou in the Civil War era and includes an intriguing family history filled with pirating, treachery, voodoo, and madness, and of course a secret treasure and a curse. Then it jumps to present day where Tink inherits the plantation from her estranged grandfather and gets sucked into the plans of a serial killer on the hunt for the treasure. This is an action packed book that will keep you on the edge of your seat with a splash of romance. The ending was slightly disappointing but very sweet and fitting.
Profile Image for Rose.
151 reviews4 followers
November 18, 2021
As I was reading, never judge a book by it's cover came to my mind! It was the cover, and title of this book that led me to request an advance copy from NetGallery for an honest review.

Hands down, one of the best books I've read in awhile! It was an adventure from start to finish, keeping up the suspense of who done it til the final pages.

Tink inherits an estate from family she never knew. The book starts with the back story, generations before Tink which sets the scene for the coming adventure of murder, intrigue and history that was kept secret for so long! I was slightly disappointed that one secret was not revealed but in the end, it didn't really matter.
2,249 reviews16 followers
February 6, 2021
This is one of those books that the author keeps us guessing. I was surprised with the ending, I did not see that coming. This book kept me on the edge of my seat and it was hard to put down. Tink inherits a house and she goes to the Bayou to learn about her mom and her heritage. There is a murder and she is a suspect. This has a list of characters that add to the story and round it out. There is action, suspense, mystery and a past that maybe should have stayed there. Great book.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
792 reviews8 followers
January 17, 2021
The first half of this book is set in the 1800’s and tells the history of the family’s involved in this story line. The second half of this book is set in the present where the family secrets must be revealed. The synopsis grabbed me from the beginning. The bayou, family secrets, and an old plantation house. The first half of the book was rather slow as there was so much family history. The last half of the book was much better but the ending felt rushed to me and me confused
Profile Image for Bookish.
1,464 reviews27 followers
February 9, 2021
A first read for me by Kim Carter, I was intrigued by the description and jumped at the chance to read this book. I love a good mystery/thriller story and this delivered. Tink goes home to investigate the family history and secrets her father tried to hid but quickly find herself in over her head with new murders that land her under investigation. This book had it all family secrets, murder, mystery and kept me turning pages waiting to find out what happens.
Profile Image for Barbara  Daniels Dena.
371 reviews17 followers
September 30, 2021
Buckle yourself in as this is a thrilling ride and you certainly don't want to fall by the wayside as the twists and turns come fast and furious. This is the first time reading this author and it will not be the last. Several times I knew, aha, I had it figured out, but alas, as always I failed in my self-imposed job as a sleuth. This author is awesome and the best in this genre. I am off to another of her mysteries. Best read I have had in ages!
Profile Image for Marissa Claus.
3 reviews2 followers
January 29, 2021
This book was a fantastic read. The cliffhanger endings in chapters and the twists and turns to keep me reading. I really liked how the past was entwined with the present. The details really helped paint a picture of simple life in the bayou. The author does a great job developing the plot of crime, mystery, thriller, and historical aspects. I am looking forward to future reads from Kim Carter!
Profile Image for Monica C.
95 reviews1 follower
February 1, 2021
The first half of the book took place in the 1800s and went back and forth through different years. It outlined the family history. The second half follows Tink, who has received an inheritance from family she never knew and looking for clues about the past

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Carol.
1,050 reviews6 followers
October 21, 2021
I really loved this book. I generally love books set in Louisiana and this was no exception. When you add in an old plantation, a bayou and family secrets I'm hooked. The book starts in the Civil War era and flashes forward to present time and the author achieves this effortlessly. Voodoo, madness, pirating and a serial killer wrap up this intense suspenseful book.
Profile Image for Carol.
1,050 reviews6 followers
October 21, 2021
I really loved this book. I generally love books set in Louisiana and this was no exception. When you add in an old plantation, a bayou and family secrets I'm hooked. The book starts in the Civil War era and flashes forward to present time and the author achieves this effortlessly. Voodoo, madness, pirating and a serial killer wrap up this intense suspenseful book.
Profile Image for Karen.
44 reviews2 followers
November 11, 2021
This is actually the first book from Kim Carter that I have read so far, but I should say that it won't be the last one! When I first read the book blurb I was already intrigued! I really enjoy complex and haunting mystery books and this one was exactly what I expected! Dark secrets buried in the past are about to be revealed! Excellent read!
11.3k reviews49 followers
February 15, 2021
Her father moved them to the city after her mother died and she will go back, when she gets an inheritance. They will be secrets which need to be uncovered. What secrets will be found? See how she gets on

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
7 reviews1 follower
August 2, 2021

Lots of surprises! I hate figuring out a mystery before the author reveals it, and this one did not disappoint! Didn't see this one coming! Love how Kim Carter weaves so much history into her stories. I felt like I was right there in the bayou while I was reading it!
Profile Image for Books  Shelf.
275 reviews18 followers
November 10, 2021
The cover is mind blowing! A suspenseful mystery that started with a flashback and moved forward, which was the first thing that hooked me! Well written storyline, fantastic characters, and excellent writing style! Recommend it!
12 reviews
September 27, 2022

Captivating read. I couldn't put it down. Interesting characters and surprises around each corner. Loved the plot. Highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for Jade O'Hara.
110 reviews4 followers
November 10, 2021
Dark Secrets of the Bayou by Kim Carter is a thrilling and mysterious story. There were times that it became dark but it made me want to keep reading. The premise was really great - this was what hooked me. The characters are interesting and well-developed, the plot is intriguing. Overall, I think this story is definitely worth your time. Oh, and the end was unexpected so... you're in for a treat.
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