"Death by Greed" 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

Josiah Reynolds has several personas: a retired art history professor, a widow with an interesting backstory, a mother of an adult daughter, girlfriend to forensic psychiatrist Hunter Wickliffe, and a country diva. She raises bees, boards thoroughbreds, and her constant companions are an English Mastiff and a rescued horse; she is also a successful entrepreneur with a honey business and catering/event venue out of her farm. She’s challenged everyday by her physical limitations courtesy of a tragic accident; she walks with a limp, wears a hearing aid, and don’t mention her kidneys. She is, however, an admirable woman, loyal to her friends, far from a pushover, and not shy to voice her opinions, even if they come with a bit of snarky retort. She’s also plagued by finding herself entangled in more than a few suspicious deaths, seventeen at last count, and her involvement, often the bane of local detectives, usually facilitates an arrest. So, add amateur detective to her personas!

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Image Source Worker Bee Press
Death by Greed
Earns 5/5 Forlorn Longhorns … Engaging Entertainment!

“What to do! What to do!” Josie is standing there dumbfounded looking at the two very agitated creatures. Josie was horse-sitting Comanche, a prized stallion, and seeing a huge Texas longhorn snorting and stomping was cause for alarm. Jo’s efforts to get the bull’s attention only had him turn on her … then on the barn door! The vet, Esau Clay, recognizes “Tex” from a nearby breeding facility, but vouches for his normally gentle demeanor. Josie agrees to house Tex temporarily, and in return she expects to join the vet who plans to confront the owner, get to the bottom of how Tex escaped, and more importantly, uncover the reasons for the cattle prod burns all over Tex’s hide. But, when they arrive, they find the barn in disarray, conditions are atrocious, animals in poor condition, and a foot sticking out of the office door. Answers won’t be forthcoming, now that the owner is dead. Make that eighteen homicides!

Josie reluctantly accepts a plethora of exotic animals into her care, relocates some of her own animals, and worries about the loss of revenue and the cost of the special care and feeding of her new guests, so she’ll not be deterred from getting involved to quickly resolve the murder and get restitution from the victim’s estate. Detective Lucas McCain, assigned to the case since no one in this “podunk community” has homicide experience, will be a serious challenge with his informal manner, penchant for criticism, inexperience with farm animals, and do I detect a bit of a snarky tone? Has Josie met her match?

Top Notch! Abigail Keam does well to keep her Josiah Reynolds Mystery books fresh and exciting with this eighteenth book calling attention to the nuances of “greed.” In this drama, the business of breeding exotic animals is explored with animal cruelty as a key element, and to illustrate the old adage that “No good deed goes unpunished,” Josie is forced into court by one heir of the victim, targeted by the other with a sticky attack, and dismissed by yet another who has no interest in the animals or covering their care. This added drama won’t stop Josie, an animal activist herself, whose suspicions force her to investigate not only the murder, but the breeding business. In her snooping she exposes some interesting felonies that may put a target on her back. There are a few characters who are need of serious karmic intervention along with shocking connections and motives and more perilous predicaments than one woman can handle, but fortunately, Josie was there to assist in the arrest and with a comprehensive wrap up, there were several happy endings.

Abigail Keam’s cast of characters is an enjoyable diverse bunch and key to my enjoyment as well as enriching the drama with multi-generations, descendants of a few notable figures, and rich with varied personalities, skill sets, and abilities. A favorite literary star, Josiah is a middle-aged woman with serious physical problems, financial concerns, and not one to acquiesce. There’s also the quirky Velvet Maddox the local animal whisperer, the criminal lawyer Shaneika Mary Todd, and the Lady Elsmere with a colorful past. Of course, Keam’s books always include fascinating details on historical figures, exotic animals, and the honey business along with insights into animal rights and protections. A favorite series, and this book was one of the best!

Preorder ALERT! The new year will see Death by Theft, the next book in the series, released, but it is on PreorderHERE. I can’t wait for more animal hijinx along with a missing prized foal and … a nineteenth murder investigation?

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, with its crazy animal antics and strong female lead, she writes 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

Enter to win an eBook copy of Death by Greed by Abigail Keam by making a comment below about any of our four-legged friends: (1) a favorite pet, (2) an experience at a farm, or (3) your favorite honey or use for honey or simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "greed." A winner will be chosen April 22, 2023. 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 you HAVE to 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 episode 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. I like honey in my tea. Some people say that unpasteurized honey is better, but I have my doubts.

  2. My uncle had a farm and when I was a kid we used to visit him often. He had an old farm house and a large shed full of farm machinery. We had a lot of good times there.

  3. I realized not all honey is created equal when a neighbor let me try theirs. It was very floral like eating perfume. I decided to stick with my store-bought favorites instead for use in hot tea when I'm feeling under the weather. Some times, I skip the tea and go straight for a spoonful.

  4. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham


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