Goodnight Moo By Mollie Cox Bryan: Review/Giveaway/Guest Post

Nov 14, 2020 | 2020 Articles, Food Fun, Mysteryrat's Maze, Sandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy
& Mollie Cox Bryan

This week we have a review of Goodnight Moo by Mollie Cox Bryan, along with a fun cow related guest post by Mollie. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book, and links to purchase it.

Goodnight Moo by Mollie Cox Bryan
Review by Sandra Murphy

Brynn MacAlister is a cheese maker and cow lover. She’s also a soft touch for rescued animals, as her veterinarian friend, Schuyler, knows. When a Scottish Highland cow, Jewel, is in need of a foster home, she joins Brynn’s three cows. It’s pretty obvious to all, Jewel’s already home.

Brynn and her helper, Wes, are sponsors for a cheesemaking contest which takes a lot of planning and stress. First there’s no air conditioner, then it’s too cold. The contest isn’t her first concern after an accident with a tractor results in the death of a farm worker. Questions arise—was it an accident or murder? A good friend and neighbor is implicated. Before the community can recover, a second death, definitely murder, happens and hits closer to home for Brynn.

Brynn is working with a handicap. She has a concussion so her memory is a bit scrambled and she tires easily. It’s not in her nature to rely on others, but in this case, she has no choice. Even a walk to the pasture to check on her cows exhausts her. Wes is injured and treated as a suspect by the police and Brynn feels helpless to prove his innocence.

The killings seem to center around a local teenage girl who has a reputation for changing boyfriends faster than gossip can keep up with. Brynn is able to talk to her a couple of times, but the girl is guarded in her answers so no help. Suspects include the cast-off boyfriends, the girl’s father, Brynn’s helper, and a carnie in town for the festival.

Brynn is fitting in with the townspeople and more comfortable with her business. There’s a lot of work to be done yet but with Wes’ help plus her friends, she might be able to pull it off. The series is an enjoyable one, with information about cheesemaking blended into the storyline without distracting from the mystery. And who could resist a Scottish Highland cow, a shorter version of a familiar cow but with long hair and bangs? Readers will want to know what’s next for Brynn, Wes, and of course, Jewel.

Bryan also writes the Cora Crafts mysteries (4, reviewed here) and the Cumberland Creek series (7). Goodnight Moo is the second in the series with Christmas Cow Bells, the first, reviewed here.

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch in St. Louis Missouri. A Murder of Crows, edited by Sandra Murphy (a popular title so you need her name to search), has twenty-one cozy stories. Each features the collective name of an animal and a crime. The animals range from tarantulas, koalas, wolves, bears, jellyfish, toads, cats, dogs, alpaca, goats, penguins and more. No animals were harmed. The people weren’t so lucky. Available at the usual outlets, print or ebook.

Fun Cow Facts
By Mollie Cox Bryan

I confess: I love cows! I grew up in rural area in Pennsylvania—Raccoon township, just outside of Aliquippa. There was a farmer’s field behind the homes across the road from us. Cows grazed there, and once, they escaped and I was awakened by a cow poking her head in through my bedroom window, mooing loudly.

Here’s some fun facts you may not have known about cows.

• Cows are vegetarian.
• Cow’s vision is almost 360 degrees. Having a near-panoramic view allows them to watch for predators. But they don’t see well straight in front of them so they will typically turn their head to look at you.
• Cows can detect odors up to six miles away.
• Cows are very social and don’t like to be alone. If one is isolated, it’s usually because she is sick or about to give birth.
• Happy cows make better milk. If farmers name their cows and show affection, cows will produce more milk. In fact, studies have shown that cows who are comfortable around humans are less stressed when milked. When cows are stressed, they produce cortisol, a hormone that inhibits milk production.
• Mahatma Gandhi described cows as “a poem of compassion.”
• The idea that cows are dumb is a myth. Studies have shown that cows have learning associations and use past experiences to determine their future actions.
• Cows remember and recognize faces even after long periods of time. Cows also have good spatial memory. They can remember where things are located such as food, water, shelter, best grazing spots, and most importantly, the location of their babies.
• Cows are sensitive. Like humans, cows love to play. When let outside after being cooped up for too long, cows run, prance, and jump with joy. They may dislike certain individuals and can hold a grudge for years against other cows and people who have crossed them.
• Cows form strong bonds and friendships, choosing to spend much of their time with just a few preferred individuals. They even have best friends.
• Cows have strong maternal bonds. When allowed, a mother cow may nurse her calf for as long as three years. The mother-child bond continues after weaning; mothers and their calves remain close to each other for life. There is also a sense of maternal community as other cows in the herd will help nurture calves, if necessary.
• Cows grieve. When a calf is taken away, the mother will cry and bellow for hours, even days, and may fall into a deep depression. Mother cows will search for their babies, visibly distressed. The calves also cry for their mother when separated.
• Cows communicate. Yes, they “moo,” but they also use different body positions and facial expressions. Another way cows “chat” is by mimicking each other’s actions. If one cow gets up from eating and starts walking across the field, other cows may get up and follow. This group behavior and networking is a type of communication between the cows.
• Cows love affection—to be petted, stroked, and scratched behind the ears.

Which one of those fun facts surprised YOU the most?

To enter to win a copy of Goodnight Moo, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “moo,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 21, 2020. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. BE AWARE THAT IT WILL TAKE MUCH LONGER THAN USUAL FOR WINNERS TO GET THEIR BOOKS DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS.

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. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode went up this week!

You can use this link to purchase this book from indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy, and KRL gets a portion of the sale:

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

Mollie Cox Bryan is the author of the Cora Crafts Mysteries, the Cumberland Creek Mysteries, the Buttermilk Creek mysteries, the Hollywood Classic Star Biography Mysteries, and the new Victoria Town Mysteries Novella series. Her books have been selected as finalists for an Agatha Award and a Daphne du Maurier Award and as a Top 10 Beach Reads by Woman’s World. She has also been short-listed for the Virginia Library People’s Choice Award. Mollie lives in Waynesboro, Virginia, and is the mother of two young women pursuing their dreams in the music business. Subscribe to her newsletter here:

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. A cozy featuring cows instead of cats or dogs!

  2. Jewel sounds like a fun addition to the farm!

  3. I did not know that cows could smell odors six miles away! WOW!!
    That is amazing!!! Thank you for the chance to win this great giveaway!!!

  4. That cow can smell six miles away!! WOW!!!
    Thank you for the great giveaway!!

  5. Enjoyed reading about the cow facts! tWarner419(at)aol(dot)com

  6. Sounds like a great read. Looking forward to reading the book.

  7. I’ve been following this series.
    Can’t wait to get the next
    issue. thanks

  8. This is a great series, I would love to win this book. Thanks for the opportunity.

  9. When my children were small we started going to a dude ranch in upstate NY. They got to meet many animals… including the cows. I’d love to win this book and share it with them (they are readers now).

  10. Sounds like a fun book! My grandfather was a diary farmer, but I didn’t know a lot of these facts

  11. awwwww that is adorable that cows use different body positions and facial expressions. i never would have known that!

  12. We have a winner!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.