"Death by Magic" By Abigail Keam: Review/Giveaway

Review by Kathleen Costa

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

Sassy Southern Sleuth

Josiah Louise Reynolds raises honey bees, sells the honey, rescues horses, and rents out her home, The Butterfly, for special events along with her friend Eunice Todd. Jo is a woman of a mature age, widowed, and is physically flawed with a bad leg and hearing challenges. She has strong opinions and can be quite snarky, especially with her good friend Lady Elsmere who gives as good as she gets. She does, however, vehemently stand by her friends and family which includes her daughter Asa. Her boyfriend [Dr.] Hunter Wickliffe, a forensic psychiatrist, wants more from their relationship, but his multiple marriages and her past has her preferring status quo. She is very busy with her farm, but it’s obvious she hasn’t met a puzzle that didn’t spark an overwhelming desire to be solved. This has too often led her, and some of her friends, into trouble and labeling her a “persona non grata” with the police department, but she’s the best thing they wish they could ignore.

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Image Source Worker Bee Press
Death by Magic earns 5/5 Fatal Fortunes...Engaging and Entertaining!

Good friend Lady Elsmere is hosting a fundraiser event to help protect retired thoroughbreds from being destroyed or shipped overseas and sold for food, and with a captured “audience,” she can press further her stance against excessive breeding of such horses. It’s a grand evening of sweet treats, silent auctions, and a fortune teller. “Doom and gloom” Lettie Lemore is a self-professed, yet popular, psychic offering entertaining glimpses into personalities and their future. Except, she really riles up Rutherford Robert Lee when she tells him he will commit murder, then be murdered himself. He experiences chest pains, and Josiah helps to settle him down, but when asked who he is predicted to murder, he says, “You!” [Enter puzzle.] To avoid a self-fulfilling prophesy, Jo enlists several friends to check into the psychic’s background and any possible connection to Rudy Lee. Little is uncovered, except for a body...Rudy is found dead!

Brilliant! Abigail Keam’s writing style has made her a favorite author on mine and listed on my “You’re the Top! of 2020.” She always makes her mystery a true mystery, a compelling journey, easy to follow with engaging side stories, varied characters with flaws for realism, and a murder puzzled out in a creative, sometimes, perilous manner. In Death by Magic, the victim was somewhat a surprise, karmic, of course, but unexpected. The possible motives and suspects were then methodically revealed ending with her signature-style “Didn’t see that coming!” The mystery isn’t overly complex, easy to follow, yet clever and satisfying. Keam’s descriptions embellished the Kentucky setting making it a “bucket list” destination as well as illustrating the various characters. Her dialogue is witty, snarky at times, and real for the personalities and the emotions. “Fur” fans will enjoy Jo’s roommates, English mastiff Baby and the clowder of in- and outside cats. Despite being the fourteenth book and much has happened with relationships and lots of criminal activity, newbies will find it easy to get hooked...totally entertaining! 

Google Worthy! I always look forward to learning something new from the extraneous information, insights, or historical references often found in cozy mysteries. In Keam’s Josiah Reynolds Mystery series she includes information on beekeeping and honey varieties (Don’t toss that crystallized honey!), thoroughbred horses, and chickens! I googled more about the different varieties of chickens and the color of eggs they lay, but bluish or green eggs? Sounds like science fiction, Sam!

Alert! The next Josiah Reynolds adventure, Death by Shock, is set to release in April, 2021; Preorder HERE. Josiah joins in with an archeological dig at Fort Boonesborourgh, but instead learns of a conspiracy to commit murder. However, the primary persons implicated are identical twins.

Be a Big Abigail Keam Fan!

Award-winning Abigail Keam is a favorite author of mine, and along with this extremely entertaining soon-to-be fifteen-book Josiah Reynold Mystery series, she wrote the delightful four-book Mona Moon Mystery series following a rags to inherited riches story of the silver-haired Mona Moon who finds herself too often embroiled in murder. She also wrote the five-book Last Chance for Love series and the five-book The Princess Maura Tales Epic Fantasy Series. Something fun and engaging for any taste! 

Website — Abigail Keam

Facebook — Abigail Keam, Author

Amazon Author Page — Abigail Keam

To enter to win an ebook copy of Death By Magic, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "magic,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 27, 2021. 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 goes up next 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. Sounds like a fun read. Being a lady of mature age,
    I can relate to her situation. Putting this on my "read
    list". thanks. txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  2. Well, that would certainly galvanize somebody to solve a mystery! Count me in!

  3. This looks like an enjoyable and entertaining book to read.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  4. New author to me. Would really like to read the book.

  5. Looks like a fun read. Thanks for the chance! JL_Minter(at)hotmail(dot)com

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Sounds like a fun read. Cute cover


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