Envision Granny from the “Beverly Hillbillies,” minus the moonshine, in overalls and living in the Texas-Louisiana’s swamps. That should give you a good idea of who Boo Murphy is. Jed Clampett could always rein Granny in, but nobody is gonna rein In Boo Murphy. She’s the cantankerous old woman that is the heroine in Sylvia Dickey Smith’s newest book “The Swamp Whisperer.”

The unlikely heroine was introduced to readers in the last Sidra Smart mystery, “Dead Wreckoning.”

Murphy, along with her sidekick and trusty companion, Dawg, and Cousin Sasha embark on an adventure full of mystery, mayhem, and murder. Discover secrets hidden in the swamps between the Texas and Louisiana border. Learn legends of the Atakapa-Ishak Indians that lived in Southeast Texas centuries ago. It also wouldn’t be a Sidra Smart mystery without a few spirits involved. Boo also picks up a couple of new companions along the way.

Boo must solve the mystery without the help of Sidra Smart since Sid and Aunt Annie are on their own adventure trying to get to a wedding in New Mexico.

Born on the Swamp, Boo plans to die on the Swamp, but not any time soon. Join her as she takes you on an adventure in a world most have never experienced for themselves, even though it is nearby, here in Orange County.

Smith has been honing her craft and it shows. When Sidra Smart cussed for the first time in “Dance on His Grave” it felt a little out of place. That was five books go. The dialogue in Swamp Whisperer feels genuine and natural. Smith’s use of descriptive phrasing makes it easy to visualize the Swamp and its surroundings. You feel like you’re there.

This is the fourth book in the Sidra Smart series. She has also published the award-winning historical novel “A War of Her Own” which is set in World War II around the shipbuilding industry in Orange. The first three mysteries in the Sidra Smart series have been re-released by her current publisher.

One of the things that make Smith’s books more enjoyable for us is that they’re all set in Orange County.

Smith will be here this weekend for book signings. You can catch her 9 a.m., until everyone is gone, Friday at Farmers Mercantile. Smith estimates that end time to be between 1 and 2 p.m. Saturday, Smith will be at the Bridge City Heritage Festival.

At an adjoining table at the Heritage Festival will be her sister Glenda Dickey. Glenda just released her first book, “God Momma,” available this week. It hasn’t even been available for me to read, yet. From what Glenda sent me, it sounds like a book based on life, love, the power some have over us and breaking free. I hear tell it is nonfiction. Ask her about it when you drop in at the Heritage Festival Saturday and pick up a copy. Glenda said she hadn’t planned on joining the “family business” but it became apparent there was a story that needed to be told.

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.