"Death by Chance" 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…or Busybody

Fifty-something Josiah Reynolds is technically a widow since her husband died in the middle of their very contentious divorce, a mother of adult daughter Asa, and former professor of art history. Now, she makes a living raising bees, rescuing horses, and running a successful catering and event destination out of her farm called the Butterfly. She is also dealing with physical challenges associated with a terrible accident in her past that left her with a limp along with a loss of hearing requiring she wear a hearing aid and kidneys that might be on their last legs. She is, though, an admirable woman of strong opinions on staving off developers, maintaining eco-friendly management of her land, and honoring Bluegrass culture. She can be more than a bit snarky, but most know, maybe not some law enforcement officials, it’s all in good fun, well, most of the time. 

But, this isn’t fun…“You’re arresting me!” Jo is escorted to a police cruiser by Detective Kelly, friend of the family, under caution and charged as an accessory to murder. How did she get here? Well, her answer is, “No good deed goes unpunished.”

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Death by Chance
Earns 5/5 Hardee Hats…Engaging & Clever Fun

It wasn’t even Josiah’s problem; she’d just come to the defense of her friend, the well-known rock hound Rodney Hiller. The Statler brothers, Curry and Skeeter, are wannabe rock hunters bent on being social media stars, and together they were wailing on Rod and, unlike all the looky-loos and camera film-ers, she and Baby, her English Mastiff, intervene until the police arrived. The brothers were not authorized to set up a booth at the farmers’ market, let alone next to Rod’s station, and when Rod saw the Kentucky agate the two had on sale was the agate stolen from his workshop, the kerfuffle got very physical. Their arrest didn’t end the conflict. Jo witnessed an attempted rematch with Curry threatening further attacks if Rod didn’t drop his complaint. Rod is not one to acquiesce making his own threats, and when the feud escalates with a real injury, crashing a holiday party, and a dead body found in the corn maze, it’ll all be very hard to explain to the detective in charge.

Brilliant Treat! Abigail Keam has written an exciting, yet fresh and entertaining, drama as the sixteenth in her Josiah Reynolds mystery series with a Civil War reenactment and Civil War/Halloween fancy dress ball as a backdrop for murder. A ‘karmic” murder, with many incidents leading up to the discovery of the body, entangles our leading lady who doesn’t pull any punches when dealing with Detective Drake, who already finds Jo’s previous busybody interferences…interfering. Abigail’s writing style is clever with Google-worthy historical references, vivid description, and witty banter. Her well-developed mystery that has many avenues of possibilities, even thinking the wrongfully accused might not be wrong. But, it all comes together well with surprise connections, shocking turn of events, added peril, and a Wow! ending. Along with a page-turner mystery, readers will enjoy the relationship dynamics between Josiah and Lady Elsmere, the DuPuy family, and those who work with her on the farm and her catering business. Definitely a candidate for my Favorite of 2021!

Google-worthy! Abigail Keam’s work is always filled with fascinating information or historical references more than worth further exploration: Kentucky agate, beekeeping, Charlotte DuPuy who sued Henry Clay for her freedom, Civil War and present-day reenactments, and the contributions of black soldiers and women like Mary Bowser, Sarah Seelye and Jennie Hodgers. I always learn so much.

Be a Big Abigail Keam Fan!

Award-winning Abigail Keam is a favorite author of mine, and along with this extremely entertaining Josiah Reynolds Mystery series, she wrote the delightful Mona Moon Mystery series set in the late 1920s and early 30s following a rags to inherited riches story of the silver-haired Mona Moon who finds herself too often embroiled in murder. She also wrote Last Chance for Love series and 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

Join the Honey Bee Club

The first book in Abigail's other series, Murder Under A Blue Moon, was featured on a recent Mysteryrat's Maze Podcast episode. You can click here to listen or listen on the player below. 


To enter to win an ebook copy of Death by Chance, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "chance,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 30, 2021. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. 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 Halloween episode went up this week and another goes up next week.

You can use this link to purchase the book or click here. 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. Ha! The Statler Brothers! Count me in!

  2. Sounds like a book I would enjoy reading. Thanks for the chance.


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