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

 Review by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of the post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of the book, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

Moon Over Kentucky

Mona Moon moved to Lexington, Kentucky, over a year ago after learning she’d inherited her paternal uncle’s substantial estate and to fulfill a codicil in the will that dictated she make Moon Mansion her home and run Mooncrest Farm and Enterprises. Despite her extraordinary fortune, literally and figuratively, she has not forgotten the country is in the middle of the Depression making it her mission to support philanthropic projects, improve working conditions, and provide decent employment. There are a few “I deserve more” relatives, especially her Aunt Melanie, interrupting the peace and roadblocks trying to fit in with the “Old Boy’s” club in the horse world, but Mona is quite a formidable opponent. The times, however, are dangerous for some “haves,” and she’s resigned herself to be dogged by a few Pinkerton agents for her personal protection. She’s also resigned her “independent streak” and opened her heart to the handsome Lord Farley, Marquess of Gower, ninth in line to the British throne, to whom she has agreed to marry. But, the nuptials may have a roadblock when a telegram is received from Robert’s father threatening “to disinherit.” All these changes, trials, and tribulations in her life have brought the mystery and danger her adventurous side craves, but good friends and a good man make life complete.

➡ switch to KingsRiverLife.com for more articles ⬅

Murder Under a Black Moon earns 5/5 Hat Pins...Engaging Page-Turner!

It’s 1934. Cavalcade has won the sixtieth Kentucky Derby, and Alice Roosevelt Longworth, eldest daughter of the late former President Teddy Roosevelt, is one of many to enjoy the festivities from Mona Moon’s Derby box. Yet, despite the throngs shoving about to interact with the infamous Miss Alice and her own bold banter with Mona and Mona’s uppity Aunt Melanie, it’s the kerfuffle in the neighboring box that causes the most concern. Jeannie and Zeke Duff, new mega rich couple from Texas, have hopes of breaking into the horse business. They are joined Natasha and Tosh Merriweather and Rusty Thompson, horse trainer and buyer for the rich and famous, and his wife. But, all are a bit embarrassed by the Duff’s son Cody’s argument with his wife Helen...an argument about a woman? Mona sighs when Helen bursts into tears and storms out of the box. But, during the reverie over the exciting end of the race, they hear a scream, not a “I just won a bunch” kind of scream, but a “I found a dead body” scream. Climbing over the railing Mona, Robert Farley, and Dexter Deatherage, Mona’s lawyer, see the group standing over Mr. Thompson’s lifeless body, a woman’s hat pin murderously positioned in his eye. Worse yet, Wilhelmina, friend and Dexter’s wife, is being escort from the area in handcuffs. Connections are not clear, but Mr. Thompson’s professional reputation had been tarnished by a doping scandal...but murder?

Winner by Twelve Lengths! Abigail Keam has transported me back to 1930s Kentucky with the sixth book in her Mona Moon Mystery satiating my Downton Abbey passion with English Lord Farley and many upstairs/downstairs divisions as well as adding a Miss Phryne Fisher personality with the delightfully bold and independent Mona Moon. The murder mystery reveals many possible motives and connections with dark secrets, greed, long held grudges, infiltration by the mob...all excellent motives to ponder. The horse racing community also plays a major role in the drama with fascinating twists, turns, and historical tidbits, but it’s Alice Roosevelt Longworth that grabbed my interest. Abigail Keam always adds such marvelous true and factual details and characters that my enjoyment goes beyond the fiction into the non-fiction. Her writing style is filled with descriptive language, witty banter, and realistic characters that are delicious to follow. The romantic relationship between Mona and Lord Bob continues to  have its problems, but despite that, their teasing and closeness is one to which I can identify. I love this series. Under which “Moon” will the next murder take place?

Don’t miss it! At the back, there is a “Glossary” which includes fascinating and informative biographical and historical information and definitions. It is fascinating by itself, however, using the eBook version, I would have liked the items linked so I could easily and immediately review the information and definitions in real “reading” time. Along with references to political figures and horse-racing legends, I loved the party guests of William Powell and Miss Jean Harlow and George Raft in the hotel, but I was fascinated by the references to Miss Alice Roosevelt Longworth (1884-1980). I went beyond the “Glossary” learning more about her antics, conflicts with her stepmother, political views, crossing party lines to vote Democrat in ‘64 and offering support for Robert Kennedy, and less controversial, her signature fashion statement dubbed “Alice Blue.” Jimmy Carter said of Miss Alice, “She had style, she had grace, and she had a sense of humor that kept generations of political newcomers to Washington wondering which was worse—to be skewered by her wit or to be ignored by her."

Favorite quote from Alice Roosevelt Longworth: “If you can't say something good about someone, sit right here by me.” —The Saturday Evening Post (Dec. 4, 1965)

Mona Moon Mystery

Murder Under a Blue Moon (April, 2019) KRL Review HERE

Murder Under a Blood Moon (May, 2019)

Murder Under a Bad Moon (July, 2019)

Murder Under a Silver Moon (February, 2020) KRL Review HERE

Murder Under a Wolf Moon (June, 2020) KRL Review HERE

Murder Under a Black Moon (October, 2020)

Be a Big Abigail Keam Fan!

Along with this delightful six-book Mona Moon Mystery series, a personal favorite, Abigail Keam pens three other diverse series sure to meet any taste: five-book Last Chance for Love, “an inspirational series where people with problems visit the Last Chance Motel in Key Largo in desperate attempts to change their lives;” five-book Princess Maura Tales Epic Fantasy Series, “a treat for readers who love epic fantasy, sword and sorcery tales mixed with action and a spoonful of supernatural;” and another personal favorite, the thirteen-book Josiah Reynolds Mystery series about “a female beekeeper turned sleuth.” All totally entertaining! 

Website — Abigail Keam

Facebook — Abigail Keam, Author

Amazon Author Page — Abigail Keam

To enter to win an ebook copy of Murder Under a Black Moon, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "black,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 21, 2020. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. 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 these links to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

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.
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.


  1. This looks right up my alley! Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

  2. Thank you for the review. Alice Roosevelt was so much fun to write about, I may have her appear in Mona Moon Mysteries.

  3. New series to me. Sounds like a great story.

  4. this is set a little before my time, but I would like
    to read about it. Sounds like a good story.
    thanks txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com


Post a Comment