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Isabella Moon Kindle Edition

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Length: 384 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the start of Benedict's plodding debut, Kate Russell, a recent transplant to the sleepy town of Carystown, Ky., is convinced she knows where nine-year-old Isabella Moon, who has been missing for two years, is buried. Sheriff Bill Delaney is skeptical, especially after Kate admits that Isabella herself led her to the burial site in a dream. Even Kate's only friends, Lillian Cayley and her daughter, Francie, doubt Kate's claim. But Isabella's disappearance is only one of the secrets that lurk beneath Carystown's idyllic exterior. As Kate pursues the matter on her own, Delaney digs deeper into Kate's own troubled past in South Carolina. Soon after the town's intricate web of lies and the long-buried secrets of the Birkenshaws, Carystown's richest family, come to light, Kate finds herself in a fight for her life. A predictable conclusion, underdeveloped characters and implausible subplots make for a less than satisfying thriller. (Oct.)
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From Booklist

Sheriff Bill Delaney has his hands full. There's a new lead in the case of a nine-year-old who vanished from a commune two years ago, and a local woman has been viciously murdered, stabbed in the back with a pitchfork. Worst of all for Bill, the heat being generated by upset local citizens has put a strain on his happy marriage. When he discovers the body of the nine-year-old in the corner of a remote cemetery, he's at a loss to explain to the media just how he found it. That's because Kate Russell, new in town, told him where to look, claiming the little girl came to her in a dream and led her to the burial spot. But a little investigation leads Bill to conclude that Kate is not who she claims to be, and his healthy skepticism over all things supernatural puts Kate at the top of his list of suspects. Benedict creates an entertainingly lurid atmosphere as she peoples a small southern town with not one but two psychopaths, a ghostly apparition, and various neurotic young women with some pretty twisted views on romance. Wilkinson, Joanne

Product Details

  • File Size: 1013 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Gallowstree Press (March 22, 2012)
  • Publication Date: March 22, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007O1CD8A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,321 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Laura Benedict is the author of the dark suspense novels BLISS HOUSE (Pegasus Crime), DEVIL'S OVEN, a modern Frankenstein tale, ISABELLA MOON, and CALLING MR. LONELY HEARTS (Ballantine). Her work has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, PANK, and numerous anthologies like Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads (Oceanview), and Slices of Flesh (Dark Moon Books). She originated and edited the Surreal South Anthology of Short Fiction Series with her husband, Pinckney Benedict, and edited Feeding Kate, a charity anthology, for their press, Gallowstree Press. A Cincinnati, Ohio native, Laura grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and claims both as hometowns. She currently lives with her family in the southern wilds of a Midwestern state, surrounded by bobcats, coyotes, and other less picturesque predators. Find out more, enter her monthly contests, and follow her blog at laurabenedict.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on October 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In Carystown, Kentucky, the only person more mysterious than the ghost of Isabella Moon is the woman she has been appearing to. Kate Russell arrived in Carystown just a few years ago and made a quiet life for herself in the quaint little town. But, after Isabella, who disappeared two years ago, leads Kate to the spot where her body was hastily buried, Kate risks telling Sheriff Delaney, knowing her own past is at risk of exposure. And Delaney is curious about the attractive and illusive Kate... Soon, though, he has his hands full with a murder of a town matriarch, the death of a high school student and the discovery of Isabella Moon's body. He wonders if these events are all connected and why Kate seems to be at the center of it all. Who is she, really, and what is happening in this small town?

Laura Benedict's debut novel, ISABELLA MOON, is part ghost story, part murder mystery and part examination of the dark side of small town America. While the plot is interesting and suspenseful, it is the characters who really make it compelling. Sheriff Delaney is the classic crotchety career cop, but he is also an outsider to Carystown. Despite having married a woman from one of the town's aristocratic families, he is not originally from Carystown and can see it and its inhabitants with an objective eye. Kate's friend, Francie, is a tough and independent woman, but she is carrying on a secret affair with the town's rich golden boy, Paxton. Paxton himself has a nasty drug habit and is still living at home with his ailing yet strong-willed mother.

When Francie's mother, the well-respected Lillian Cayley, is murdered right after Kate takes her searching for the body of Isabella Moon, Francie's relationships with both Kate and Paxton begin to deteriorate.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on October 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
It has been two years since nine years old Isabella Moon disappeared and the failure to resolve the case eats at Sheriff Bill Delaney. Rationalizing that these things do not happen in quaint Carystown, Kentucky fails to lift the despondent law enforcement official.

No one is more surprised than newcomer Kate Russell when she sees the ghost of Isabella; she follows the spirit to the spot where the little girl was buried. It takes tremendous will power for Kate to inform Bill what she saw as she has dark secrets that could lead to her arrest. Initially Bill assumes Kate is a flake, but he cannot get her statement out of his mind; so reluctantly he digs at the spot she mentioned and uncovers the corpse. Clues lead to Paxton Birkenshow, a blue blood with plenty of money. He is seeing Kate's best friend Francie, a black woman who does not want their relationship made public as her mother believes he is weak. Paxton and Kate mutually despise each other, but she has other woes besides being a suspect in the Isabella murder; her dangerous secret has come to town to reclaim her. These secrets keep Bill busy while changing his life forever.

This is a refreshing original mystery that occurs in a twenty-first century Peyton Place like town. There are many key interesting characters with some providing a third person point of view that moves the exciting story line forward with a reasonable degree of believability and understanding. ISABELLA MOON is a multifaceted police procedural intertwined with subplots that come together to forge a well written recommended whodunit.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
"People who lie avoid eye contact. And she wasn't lying. At least, not about this." Kate Russell knew very well that she was telling the truth, but would anyone believe her? The disappearance of nine-year-old Isabella Moon some two years ago continued to haunt Sheriff Bill Delaney. Personally, he believed she had run away. Nonetheless, the fact that she had never been found, dead or alive, only compounded the mystery. Carystown, Kentucky was a quiet small town, not the sort of place one would look for a mystery. That is, until Isabella disappeared.

Kate is a recent arrival in this Southern community and a psychic, a gift she wished she did not have. She has come to tell the sheriff that she can take him to Isabella's grave because the dead girl has spoken to her. What would your reaction be to such a claim? And then, what might follow if Kate's story is true?

Laura Benedict's debut novel is a blend of romance, the paranormal, and crime. Unfortunately, for Kate and the sheriff Isabella is only the first to call on Kate for help and the discovery of the girl's body leads to even darker secrets long kept hidden in the hearts and psyches of Carystown's citizenry. As is often true things aren't as they seem nor are people.

Isabella Moon is a story for those who like their mysteries laced with romance and the supernatural. While for this reader the tale seemed to be rather loosely conceived so that it meandered to a conclusion rather than building to it, Isabella Moon is still a first novel worth noting.

- Gail Cooke
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Myfanwy Collins on March 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Any of you city slickers who imagine small-town life is dull ought to read Laura Benedict's suspenseful, sexy, and haunting debut novel, Isabella Moon, as this book set in Carystown, Kentucky, proves otherwise. It's a page turner that is just as much about character as it is about plot. In fact, the characters are richly, artfully drawn with Benedict's deft hand.

And just who is Isabella Moon? Well, she's the missing girl who comes back to haunt the novel's protagonist, Kate, and reveal her secret. But like pulling a thread--one secret revealed leads to another, until all of the town's ugly skeletons are revealed and we learn once and for all that secrets are dangerous and that buried secrets don't stay that way for long.

I was drawn to this book when I saw the spooky book trailer last year and I have to say it did not disappoint and many a night after I'd put the book down and shut out the light, I kept the covers pulled up tight under my chin.

If you like books that keep you guessing, that keep you on the edge of your seat, and that present you with believable, sympathetic characters, then this book is for you. Read it.
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