"Murder Under a Blue Moon" By Abigail Keam: Review/Giveaway

by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Murder Under a Blue Moon, and a link to purchase it. We have a bonus review of another of Abigail's books after the Murder Under a Blue Moon review.

A Woman Ahead of Her Time
It’s 1933, and Madeline Mona Moon is quite the liberated woman. A cartographer. An explorer. An adventurer. She even wears trousers. But it’s the Depression, and like many, she’s out of work, not selected to join the latest expedition to the Amazon because it “would be too taxing for one of the fairer sex.” She’ll need to find something, anything, since her current financial situation is grim. Then...opportunity knocks on her door; the lateness of the hour causes her to answer with pistol in hand and demanding the man submit to being frisked. However, the man, a lawyer, only brings “glad tidings,” informing Mona that her uncle has passed away naming her heir to the considerable Moon fortune. Despite the treatment afforded her father for his scandalous marriage to her mother, the gardener’s daughter, she is now a rich woman and destined to never work again. However, the will stipulates she must relocate from New York to Lexington, Kentucky, to permanently reside at Moon Manor, manage the various business interests, and agree that any legitimate future heirs must be her off-spring and named Moon. Agreed!

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Murder Under a Blue Moon earn 5/5 Mint Juleps...Totally Engaging Fun!
Mona secretly relishes the shopping, facials, and Jungle Red lipstick thought more suitable to her station as a wealthy woman and a better appearance to present to the Moon family. But, life in Lexington, in the middle of male-dominated horse country, puts her up against the Bluegrass aristocracy, uninvited houseguests, and threats of a contested will. But, don’t count her out! The first battle was gloriously won in her favor...conflict is always tamed with money. However, conflicts become more dangerous; she’s met by an intruder on her first night causing her to discharge her pistol. She also uncovers disturbing notes on the death certificate casting suspicions on her uncle’s death, rumors of recent changes to the will emerge, and several are reluctant to answer her questions. But it’s what she discovers when investigating that could be the most perilous.

“What does it mean, Miss Mona?”
“It means murder, Violet. Murder most foul!”

Downton Abbey with a flare of southern charm! Abigail Keam had me totally...totally engulfed in Miss Mona‘s upstairs/downstairs drama. Like most first books in a series, authors spend several chapters introducing characters and setting up conflicts before presenting the crime, but with Keam’s book, I wasn’t impatient for the drama to ramp up, absorbed in the sensory-laden descriptions of the setting and characters and dialogue that had me worried, frustrated, and biting my nails...I literally cheered reading the first confrontation with Aunt Melanie...you go, girl! The story is well-written, and although the third-person narrative isn’t my favorite perspective, Abigail did it well putting several characters at the center of this page-turner. I like Violet and her budding confidence, cringed over her aunt and those entitled brats, and what a delightful love/hate relationship between “bossy wench” and the “very smug” Lord Bob! Of course, everything revolves around Mona, whose spunky manner, snarky retort, ability to read a situation and act accordingly, and being able to identify with the working class, creates a well-grounded, admirable figure. The end was unexpected. I still had too many on my suspect list by the time Mona was ready to “use it [the final puzzle piece] as a cudgel and hit someone over the head with it.” Of course, it is a different era, so a woman’s place in society, even in post 19th Amendment, is dismissive at least, oppressive at most. Even if you’ve reached a level of experience, education, or financial independence, “men” often do not take you seriously. Warning to all southern gentlemen...watch out for Mona!

Mona Moon Mystery
Murder Under a Blue Moon (April)
Murder Under a Blood Moon (May)
Mona answers the frantic call of her friend Lady Alice Morrell who is receiving death threats. Off to England with her trunks, maid, and trusty pistol, she also encounters a nemesis she hasn’t seen for a longtime.
Murder Under a Bad Moon (July)
Mona’s life has become complicated because she shockingly has some radical ideas: fair wages, health care, unions? Enemies made, the corrupt sheriff has been making her life miserable including an accusation of murder.

Be a Big Fan!
Along with the delightful three-book Mona Moon Mystery series, five-book Last Chance for Love series, five-book The Princess Maura Tales Epic Fantasy Series, Abigail Keam also pens the very entertaining Josiah Reynolds Mystery series. The newest release, Death by Deceit, has earned 5/5 Trunk Surprises for its totally engaging fun! For me this thirteenth book was a delightful introduction to Josiah, a woman of a mature age and physically flawed, who raises honey bees, sells the honey, boards horses, and rents out her home for special events. However, being an amateur detective offers the most challenge, and most entertainment when she and her best friend find themselves a victim of a hit and run, but the discovery of a dead body in her trunk spins this out of control.

Oh, how I love cozy mysteries! Abigail Keam’s writing style is very entertaining with short chapters, each filled with descriptive language and dialogue that deliciously embellished the setting, the emotions and tone, and the various personalities. Josiah is quite refreshing with a sense of humor, enjoyably snarky, and personal predicaments to which I can easily relate. She has a very complicated relationship with Matt, and her past involvement in suspicious deaths has put her as a “persona non grata” with Detective Norbert Drake and the police department both leading to some delightful conflicts. The mystery is not too complex, easily followed with a few suspects and motives to consider, personal peril to nail-bite through, and a “Wow, I didn’t see that coming!” conclusion to make it a satisfying read! There’s an English mastiff and a clowder of in- and outside cats for the “fur friend” lover along with vintage movie and television references, nosy neighbors, and a little black dress for fun! Although much has happened with relationships and lots of criminal activity over the thirteen books, it was easy to get hooked...totally entertaining!

Website — Abigail Keam
Facebook — Abigail Keam, Author
Amazon Author Page — Abigail Keam

To enter to win a copy of Murder Under a Blue Moon, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "blue moon,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 30, 2019. US entries only, and you must be 13 or older to enter. If entering via comment please include your email address, which will only be used to notify you if you win. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode went up this week!

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:


Opens to author website


Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.
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Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.

Comments

  1. Looks like an intriguing new series.
    kozo8989@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Would love to win this. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  3. Murder Under a Blue Moon sounds like a great cozy mystery and I love to read those.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Abigail is a new author to me. Looking forward to reading the book.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sounds good and I love the Cover...
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

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  6. This looks great!

    legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

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  7. I would love a chance to review your book. tcpnop@gmail.com

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  8. I'd love to read this!! Thanks for the review and giveaway! nani_geplcs(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  9. I enjoy a mystery with a strong female character set during times when women were supposed to be demure and obedient . dbahn(at)iw(dot)net

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  10. Sounds like a great read. Thanks for the chance to win!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sounds like a great read. Thanks for the chance to win!
    salvatoresmom71(at)yahoo(dot)com.

    ReplyDelete

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