J.Nelson Eldridge

The Merch

There is no statute of limitations for murder. And former nightclub owner Josie Chapman knows it. In the genteel heart of Charleston, SC, a secret buried for forty-four years, is resurrected with dire implications for Josie, his wife and his two closest friends. The Merch is a taut, viscerally acute mystery set in 1970, when the Holy City known to modern day tourists and romantics was the best kept secret in America and The Merchant Seaman's Club was the hottest nightclub on the east coast. Human society, nature and the supernatural intersect with characters who have little in common with old South aristocracy modern day visitors love to believe makes up the life blood of the city. This is the Charleston of vibrant ethnic and cultural and economic classes far more real. Fantastic groups and individuals clash, blend and wallow in the mire of striving and surviving in secret, during a time of nationwide social upheaval. This is the real story of the city. This is a story of a city that pants as well as breathes. In the real Charleston, real people sweat, not just from the heat and humidity, but from fear and the anxiety of desire. This is the Charleston that remembers its history, not simply her heroes, but past slights, past crimes and, in remembering, settles debts decades old. This is the Charleston which gave birth to the one now on display to the world.
564 printed pages
Original publication


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