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Murder Under a Wolf Moon By Abigail Keam: Review/Giveaway/Interview

IN THE July 25 ISSUE

FROM THE 2020 Articles,
andKathleen Costa,
andMysteryrat's Maze
SECTIONS

by Kathleen Costa

This week we have a review of Murder Under a Wolf Moon by Abigail Keam, along with an interesting interview with Abigail. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of Murder Under a Wolf Moon, and a link to purchase the book from Amazon.

Murder Under a Wolf Moon A 1930s Mona Moon Historical Cozy Mystery by Abigail Keam
Review by Kathleen Costa

“Madeline Mona Moon is not your typical young lady. She is a cartographer by trade, explorer by nature, and adventurer by heart.” —Abigail Keam, Mona Moon Historical Cozy Mystery

Moon Over Kentucky
It’s been a year since Mona Moon moved to Lexington, Kentucky, to fulfill a codicil in the will that had her inheriting all of her paternal uncle’s substantial estate. Her fortune couldn’t have come at a more opportune time since the country is deep in the Depression and employment opportunities are limited for an adventurous woman like herself. Some relatives thought themselves deserving a larger piece of the pie causing serious animosity and personal peril, but standing up to the conflicts only proved Mona was formidable and more than capable to manage Mooncrest Farm and Enterprises. She’s improved working conditions within the household and the company and continues her charitable donations when a good project or cause arises, but the world is a dangerous place and due to some high-profile kidnapping cases, she’s dogged by a couple of Pinkerton agents for her protection. The biggest obstacle, if one’s soulmate is an obstacle, to Mona’s “independence streak” comes in the form of the handsome “Lord Bob,” Lawrence Robert Emerton Dagobert Farley, Marquess of Gower, ninth in line to the British throne. Their relationship often snarky, only masks the fact she’s lost her heart…marriage? It has been danced around flirtatiously, but she is still reticent to say the “I do-s” in the fear her independence will be lost. Despite all these changes in her life that have brought mystery and danger, Mona still craves adventure!

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) HERE
Murder Under the Wolf Moon (June, 2020)

Murder Under a Wolf Moon earns 5+/5 Jeweled Wesekh…Page-Turner Deluxe!
As an adventurer at heart, Mona was excited to learn she’d be attending a party where the host’s father-in-law is the famous egyptologist Sir Jonathon Alden. His daughter, Elspeth Neferet Alden, has married Mr. Cornelius Vanderbilt Hopper, and the party is to present the new, and young, Mrs. Hopper to Lexington society. But, Mona is suspicious about their marital bliss having found the new bride crying and is that a bruise on her arm? Cornelius has the position, however distant from the Vanderbilts, but limited funds. His new wife has the funds, but needs the position since many shun her for her Egyptian heritage on her mother’s side. Mona has an interest in Elspeth’s situation, learning, too, that she is an accomplished woman, and Elspeth sees Mona as a positive role model and one suited to help her…”Stay alive!” Threats on her life are clear; she saved the letters to prove it. Mona sees inconsistencies, questionable family dynamics, and way too many seem to be hiding something, but, however you look at it, somewhere in all this is an adventure.

Buckle Up! Abigail Keam has once again created an entertaining and very compelling drama with a strong, no nonsense woman…I love Mona! She’s snarky, bold, and not against crossing the legality line a bit, snogging with “Lord Bob,” or throwing the conventions of womanhood into many faces. Keam’s writing style is engaging and descriptive along with incorporating historical references to create the mores and gender issues, biases and prejudices, phrases and quips, and fashion and environment of the 1930s. Remember it is the South, so class struggles exist. Abigail Keam’s drama doesn’t follow a traditional cozy formula which is a compelling change of pace. The drama doesn’t focus entirely on a murder mystery, but don’t fuss, a body makes an appearance. But, many are not revealing all, holding back motivations and details, and Mona knows it: from Elspeth’s death threats unfolding in unexpected ways to household manager Thomas’s request for a charitable donation (no check, cash), from her lawyer and friend Dexter’s past broken engagement to Lord Robert’s need to address Lady Alice. There are so much to talk about…Anyone up for a book club?

Don’t miss it! There is a “Glossary” in the back which includes definitions, background, and historical information about terms, events, and persons mentioned in the story. It is fascinating by itself!

Be a Big Abigail Keam Fan!
Along with this delightful four-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 The 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

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 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 year 2 of retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband of 26+ years.

Interview with Abigail Keam:

KRL: How long have you been writing?

AK: I’ve been a professional writer for 11 years, although I started writing stories in grade school. By the end of 2020, I will have written 30 books.

KRL: When did your first novel come out? What was it called? Can you tell us a little about it?

AK: My first novel, Death By A HoneyBee, came out in 2010. It was the first of the Josiah Reynolds Mystery Series about a beekeeper turned amateur sleuth. The 14th Josiah Reynolds mystery will come out this fall.

Abigail Keam

KRL: Have you always written mysteries/suspense? If not what else have you written?

AK: I love puzzles so it makes sense that I love writing mysteries, but I also have a sweet romance series, Last Chance For Love, about Eva, who buys a run-down motel in Key Largo, Florida, where the people who stay there have their lives magically transformed. I also have written the Princess Maura Fantasy Series—a YA series.

KRL: What brought you to choose the setting and characters in your latest book/series?

AK: My latest series is the 1930s Mona Moon Mystery Series. I love history, and doing research about the 1930s is a joy. The series takes place in the Bluegrass of Kentucky where I live, so I am very familiar with this area’s history and landmarks. It’s about a young woman who inherits a fortune and a Bluegrass horse farm. I weave real people and events into the narrative to make the story more authentic. The fifth book, Murder Under A Wolf Moon, came out June 22nd.

KRL: Do you write to entertain, or is there something more you want the readers to take away from your work?

AK: I write to entertain, but I also write to inform. I try to make my books as accurate as possible even down to the dialect and clothes, especially my Mona Moon series. I don’t shy away from controversial topics, such as how women and minorities were treated during that time, but I hope I write in such a way that the reader enjoys the book. If he or she learns something in the process, then I consider it a win-win situation.

KRL: Do you have a schedule for your writing or just write whenever you can?

AK: I would love to have a schedule but I only write when I can. But I manage to get out four books a year.

KRL: Do you outline? If not, do you have some other way that you keep track of what’s going on, or what needs to happen in your book when you are writing it?

AK: I write by stream of consciousness. I never do outlines. I have a vague idea of the plot but I sometimes don’t know the identity of the murderer until the last chapter. I let the characters take me where they want to go. Often, I have to wait for days until the characters tell me where they want to go. Of course, if I did an outline, I might be able to write faster, but somehow outlines don’t work for me.

KRL: If you had your ideal, what time of day would you prefer to write?

AK: Morning. I get up at 4 a.m. and write until I’m tired. Everyone else is asleep and the world is mine.

KRL: Did you find it difficult to get published in the beginning?

AK: It was a nightmare. I have kept all my rejection letters. Everyone in the business told me that no one wanted to read about a middle-aged beekeeper. I was told to write young, young, young. “No one wants to read Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple anymore?” I asked. I didn’t believe it, so when the new technology came along I formed my own company and published. It was the best decision I ever made. The Josiah Reynolds Mysteries is my flagship series, and it has many writing awards.

KRL: Do you have a great rejection/critique or acceptance story you’d like to share?

AK: I don’t let people critique my work. Letting people critique one’s work can make an author crazy. I write for myself. If readers like my work, they’ll buy it. If not, they won’t.

KRL: Future writing goals?

AK: I’m always working on improving my writing skills and wish I could write faster. I would like to put out six books a year, but I doubt that will happen.

KRL: Writing heroes?

AK: All heroes must have a flaw. Sherlock Homes was a drug-addict. Hercule Poirot was fussy about his appearance. They must have an Achilles heel.

KRL: What kind of research do you do?

AK: I do extensive research for the mysteries, and the facts are double-checked by my team. I put an addendum in the back of the Mona Moon Mysteries for my readers’ pleasure.

KRL: What do you read?

AK: History, biographies, and light reading. Reading is one of the life’s great pleasures.

KRL: Favorite TV or movies?

AK: Too many to list, but I love noir movies from the 30s, 40s, and 50s. Gilda with Rita Hayworth is my favorite movie.

KRL: Any advice for aspiring or beginning writers?

AK: What a writer needs most is confidence, and listening to other people will drain that confidence. Also, less is more in the adjective department.

KRL: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

AK: I made my living by beekeeping, and sold honey at a local farmers market for many years until my books took off.

To enter to win an ebook copy of Murder Under a Wolf Moon, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “wolf,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 1, 2020. U.S. 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. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. A new episode went up this week.

You can use this link to purchase this book from Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

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.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dianne Casey July 26, 2020 at 1:28pm

New author to me. Looking forward to reading the book.
diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

Reply

2 Jaime Minter July 26, 2020 at 5:07pm

Great interview and thanks for the chance! JL_Minter(at)hotmail(dot)com

Reply

3 Kara Marks July 26, 2020 at 7:56pm

I’d love to read this! legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

Reply

4 Mary Holshouser July 29, 2020 at 9:27am

I missed the ’30’s. Got here om
1940. Would be interesting to
read about what that time was
like and have an entertaining
read. thanks
txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

Reply

5 Kim Heniadis
Twitter: @KHeniadis
July 29, 2020 at 5:52pm

This is a new series for me… I’m going to have to track down the previous four books in the series since I’m partial to mysteries in the 20’s – 40’s.
A recent post from Kim Heniadis: The Finders by Jeffrey B. Burton : Book ReviewMy Profile

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6 Lorie
Twitter: @mysteryrat
August 10, 2020 at 10:52am

We have a winner!

Reply

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