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100+ novels that take place in Charleston

Is writing a novel on your bucket list? Lucky for you, the month of November is National Novel Writing Month a.k.a. NaNoWriMo. The annual internet-based projectwhich was started by freelance writer Chris Baty in 1999 with just 21 participants around the San Francisco Bay area + now has more than 300,000 writers in 90 countries helps authors of all experience levels in their attempts to write a 50,000 word manuscript in just 30 days.

Around the world, libraries + bookstores are hosting events this month to help participants reach their writing goals. Charleston authors can head to the Mount Pleasant Regional Library on Friday Nov. 16 or Monday, Nov. 26 from 2-5 p.m. for write-ins with other local word slingers.

While the passion for some is putting pen to paper, perhaps you are one of the individuals who help keep their passion burning– i.e. you prefer to bury yourself in a book versus creating one– supporting our authors in their development of new stories for your consumption.

And what better place to both read a book in and base a book about than Charleston? The Holy City ranked No. 1 on a list of the ‘Top 10 Literary Landmarks of the South’ by Publishers Weekly with the Lowcountry’s backdrop serving as inspiration for authors to create entire series– from the cobblestone alleys of downtown’s Tradd Street, to the breeze felt on the shore of Folly Beach + Sullivan’s Island. From New York Times Best Selling Authorssuch as Pat Conroy– to current residents who dabble with writing on the side, writers have created hundreds of books influenced by their time spent here.

Here are 100+ books that take place right here in the Lowcountry, many written by local authors.

Mary Alice Monroe | New York Times Bestselling Author + South Carolina resident
📘Lowcountry Summer Series: The Summer Girls; The Summer Wind; The Summer’s End; A Lowcountry Wedding; A Lowcountry Christmas.
📕The Beachhouse Series: The Beach House; Beach House Memories; Swimming Lessons; Beach House for Rent; Beach House Reunion
📙Last Light Over Carolina; Time is a River; Sweetgrass; Skyward; Turtle Summer (a children’s book).

Pat Conroy | New York Times Bestselling Author + Fripp Island resident
📘South of Broad; My Losing Season; The Lords of Discipline; Beach Music; The Water is Wide; A Lowcountry Heart: Reflections on a Writing Life.

Karen White | New York Times Bestselling Author
📘The Tradd Street Series: The House on Tradd Street; The Girl on Legare Street; The Strangers on Montagu Street; Return to Tradd Street; The Guests on South Battery.

Laura Childs | New York Times Bestselling Author
📘Tea Shop Mysteries: Death by Darjeeling; Gunpowder Green; Shades of Earl Grey; The English Breakfast Murder; Jasmine Moon Murder; Chamomile Mourning; Blood Orange Brewing; Dragonwell Dead; Silver Needle Murder; Oolong Dead; The Teaberry Strangler; Scones & Bones; Agony of the Leaves; Sweet Tea Revenger; Tea for Three; Steeped in Evil; Ming Tea Murder, Devonshire Scream; Pekoe Most Poison; Plum Tea Crazy; Broken Bone China

Sandra Brown | New York Times Bestselling Author
📘The Alibi

Bill Farley | Mount Pleasant resident, journalist, + author
📘Team Player: A Bobby McRae Mystery

Bill Noel
📘 Folly Beach Mystery Series: Folly; The Pier; Washout; The Edge; The Marsh; Silent Night; Ghosts; Missing; Final Cut; First Light; Boneyard Beach; Dead Center; Discord

Sandra Stringer
📘 Folly Beach

Michele Nutwell | Folly Beach resident, journalist, + author
📘Death on Coffin Island; Born on the Edge

H.A. Olsen
📘Saving Sara; A Lone Palm Stands; Savannah Grace

Dorothea Benton Frank | New York Times Bestselling Author who received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from The College of Charleston + an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Charleston School of Law
📘Queen Bee; By Invitation Only; Same Beach Next year; All Summer Long; All the Single Ladies; The Hurricane Sisters; Porch Lights; Folly Beach; Lowcountry Summer; Return to Sullivan’s Island; Bullis Island; The Christmas Spirit; Full of Grace; Pawley’s Island; Isle of Palms; Plantation; Sullivan’s Island

Sheri Mizell
📘Sweet Dreams + The Best Of...

Susan M. Boyer | USA Today Bestseller, an Agatha Award winner for Best First Novel, a Macavity Award nominee for Best First Novel, a 2012 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense recipient, + a 2012 RWA Golden Heart finalist.
📘The Liz Talbot Mystery Series: Lowcountry Boi; Lowcountry Bombshell; Lowcountry Boneyard; Lowcountry Brodell; Lowcountry Book Club; Lowcountry Bonfire; Lowcountry Bookshop

Lyla Payne
📘The Lowcountry Mysteries: Not Quite Dead; Not Quite Cold; Not Quite True; Quite Curious; Not Quite Gone; Not Quite Clear; Quite Precarious; Not Quite Right; Not Quite Mine; Not Quite Alive; Not Quite Free

Sue Monk Kidd | New York Times Bestselling Author
📘 The Invention of Wings

River Wild | Charleston native + current resident
📘 The Artist’s Special Touch

Beth Webb Hart
📘Grace at Low Tide

Steve Brown
📘Carolina Girls

This is by no means a complete list of local authors or novels– just a few that our readers let us know they love. If you don’t see your favorite listed here, comment below and let us know.


The first book I ever read from this list was The Beach House by Mary Alice Monroe. While it’s always fun to read a fiction novel + dream up the scene with your imagination, sometimes it’s even better to read a book and actually picture the characters living out the plot right in your own town.

Have you read any of the books on this list? If so tell me your favorite in the comments below.

Happy reading, Charleston.


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