"The Moonshine Shack Murder" By Diane Kelly: Review/Giveaway

 Review by Cynthia Chow

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

This unique mystery introduces Hattie Hayes, proprietor of the about-to-open very legal Moonshine Shack in Chattanooga, Tennessee. While her family has infamously run moonshine since the Prohibition era, in just two days Hattie plans to be selling her own Firefly brand of flavored Mason jar moonshine out of her new specialty shop for tourists and locals. A disagreeable interaction with Limericks Irish bar owner Cormac O’Keefe has her realizing that she should have listened to the warnings about his shadiness, as Cormac immediately breaks their agreement to sell her moonshine in favor of a cheaper vendor. Hattie’s Granddaddy is infuriated with the scalawag, but perhaps not as much as the person who slashes Cormac’s throat open with a broken jar of Hattie’s Firefly cherry-flavored moonshine.

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Image Source Berkley
While handsome Officer Marlon Landers doesn’t seem to outright suspect Hattie of committing the crime, the fact that his great-grandfather long ago arrested hers ensures that their relationship will be a little bumpy. Hattie’s Granddaddy neither forgives nor forgets, and as much as she rolls her eyes at his contempt she knows that she must do everything she can to protect him from suspicion and danger. Cormac seemed to have stirred up no small amount of distrust or disgust, and while Hattie doesn’t truly believe in Karma, someone certainly has seen to it that he’s gotten his just reward. A quick-handed bartender, shafted workers, and broken business contracts all give more than one person enough motive to have wanted Cormac dead. Helping Hattie to ensure a smooth Moonshine Shack opening are her besties Kate Pardue and Kiki Nakamura, one of whom is in the last stages of pregnancy and the other the talented freelance artist who created the Firefly logo. When her home is broken into while Grandpappy is asleep on the job, Hattie knows she will do everything she can to ensure that her business keeps running, her family is safe, and she gets the tantalizing reward promised to her by the horse-riding police officer.

The gorgeous cover immediately sets readers up for an intoxicating, atmospheric read.  This new mystery series by one of my favorite authors explores the overlooked commerce of legalized moonshine, something I wasn’t aware still existed. Hattie’s craft is more akin to craft beer, with her cinnamon-flavored moonshine a little too fancy compared to the blindness-inducing white lightning. While Frat boys may attempt to take advantage of free samples, Hattie intends to build up a strong business plan and marketing designs that may or may not have been influenced by Cracker Barrel. Hattie’s teasing relationship with the swaggering cowboy Marlon is intriguing and promises much for the future, and with business heating up just as fast as their flirtations this should be the start of a rousing and raucous series full of southern cuisine, hilarious characters, and a dismissive massive gray cat.  

To enter to win an ebook or print copy of The Moonshine Shack Murder (winners choice), simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "moonshine,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 21, 2021. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. If entering via comment be sure to include your email so we can contact you. BE SURE YOU STATE WHETHER YOU WANT PRINT OR EBOOK. 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! 

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

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).
 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. Shades of the Hatfield's and McCoy's.
    Sounds like a good read. Love to get
    in on the beginning of a series.
    thanks. txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  2. oh this sounds so good! cant wait to read it

  3. Interesting storyline. Looking forward to reading.

  4. Interesting storyline. Looking forward to reading the book.
    I prefer a Print copy.

  5. Sounds like an awesome read. Can't wait to read it.

  6. I'm intrigued by the title and cover. It looks like a book to
    hold my interest. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

  7. Would love to get a print copy! tWarner419(at)aol(dot)com

  8. I'm so anxious to read this book. I'd love to win a print copy.

  9. I'm so anxious to read this book. I'd love to win a print copy.

  10. In all honesty I didn't really need to read the review, the obvious cozy mystery cover got my attention. I once pointed out to another author how they're choice of covers was potentially off-putting to a cozy mystery reader since it evoked feelings of thrillers/dramas that aren't what you want to read if you're looking for a cozy mystery (and when you *are* looking for something along those lines, you probably don't want to read something claiming to be a cozy mystery).

    This sounds (and looks) good, so throwing my hat into the ring for the chance at an ebook.

  11. I am a fan of this author! lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com


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