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Murder and Moonshine: A Mystery Hardcover – December 17, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (December 17, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250019257
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250019257
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #825,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

After a fire took her father, the government took her family’s land. Struggling to take care of herself and her ailing mother, Daisy McGovern makes ends meet as a small-town waitress. When a local recluse drops dead in H&P’s Diner, a telltale jelly-jar lid suggests that a bad batch of moonshine might be to blame. ATF agent Ethan Kinney soon arrives on the scene and picks Daisy as his tour guide through the unnamed roads of rural Virginia. Daisy also runs interference between Ethan and the “shoot first” Balsam brothers—thanks to Rick Balsam’s long-standing crush on Daisy. Down on her luck but still plenty plucky, Daisy is a sweet southern gal with a loyal heart and a long memory. Readers will enjoy watching the love triangle between Daisy, the local bad boy, and the federal agent unfold. The second book in the series, Mayhem and Moonshine, is coming next year. --Karen Keefe

Review

"With an ordinary heroine ensnared in extraordinary events, a colorful rendering of southern Virginia and a terrifying climax, 'Murder and Moonshine' marks the beginning of a potent series."—The Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Miller's debut amuses but also slices into the heart of a proud region...Easy to read, shot with romance, and full of country aphorisms, this book succeeds both at puzzling and moving readers emotionally."—Library Journal (starred debut of the month)

"Appealing debut...Miller has produced a story full of intriguing clues and misdirection, liberally laced with Southern charm."—Publishers Weekly


"Small-town shenanigans in the Appalachians pit a waitress against a furtive murderer and an even deadlier foe....Daisy is both strong and vulnerable....Miller’s debut uses a light touch and a gift for scene painting in its skillful balance of people and puzzle."—Kirkus Reviews

"Down on her luck but still plenty plucky, Daisy is a sweet southern gal with a loyal heart and a long memory. Readers will enjoy watching the love triangle between Daisy, the local bad boy, and the federal agent unfold."—Booklist

“[A] lively debut. Miller keeps the tone light in Murder and Moonshine while delivering an incisive look at Southwestern Virginia….Moonshine, land deals, and family grudges are folded into the entertaining plot. Miller elevates her debut with a likable heroine, whose involvement…comes from her personal connection with the land and its people. Murder and Moonshine is long on Southern charm, but doesn’t succumb to stereotypes about country life. The characters are a bit eccentric...but they are realistically and thoughtfully explored by Miller.”—Oline H. Cogdill, Mystery Scene Magazine


More About the Author

Carol Miller is the author of the Moonshine Mystery Series - MURDER AND MOONSHINE, which was named an Amazon Best Book of the Month and a Library Journal Starred Debut of the Month, and the forthcoming A NIP OF MURDER (December 2014).

Born in Germany and raised in Chicago, Carol holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and a J.D. from Tulane University. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Visit her at www.carolmillerauthor.com and on Twitter @CMillerMystery.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By James M. Robinson on December 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Whether you are a "mystery" fan or not, you'll probably enjoy reading this tale. From the very beginning, the author draws you into the characters, the locale, and the story. I think most readers would find this a very easy read, but don't let that mislead you, because the writer's style incorporates wonderful descriptions that transport you to a part of the country most people are not familiar with. I would fully expect this to be only the first in a line of successful books from Ms. Miller. Very enjoyable! Congratulations to this new author and to readers: enjoy the experience!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joan Larsen on January 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover
After closing this novel -- read into the late night hours in a single sitting -- I found myself amazed that the author, Carol Miller, could draw the reader into the story as easily as she did. Her setting was unusual -- in a locale in southern Virginia where life seems to continue as it has done for decades -- a world that has done nothing to catch up with our world today. The characters were believable -- every one of them -- small town real . . and the narrative reflected an insular population that had not gone far beyond that town for centuries.

Miller had to know her territory well and the people that still inhabit this other world that seems to reflect only what the past - as we know it - was like. I had heard the word "moonshine" . . . but not for decades, but now she has pulled me into the world of making it in the rural portions of the Blue Ridge where small trailers with some pretty wild characters, characters with guns that work, are still an element to be reckoned with.

Perhaps it was reading about a world we rarely hear about that fascinated me, but the plot continually thickened as well, and the characters came to life early and well. In the end, the author's tale and its writing was good enough that I look forward to a sequel from her soon. Carol Miller is THAT good!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Annie on January 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This book was fun to read- I had to keep reading through the night. The characters were quirky and likable. Actually, they were not so much quirky as believable characters in a setting that is different from the cute country, urban chic, suburban sameness, perfect small town settings of many books. The author drew me into the small world with her words and had me caring about the characters. I wanted their world to be undisturbed and the characters to go on with their lives happily. I loved the touches of romance that seemed realistic. The ending was quite satisfactory but I really want to read more in this world. For one thing, is the "bad boy" really bad?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shelleyrae TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover
There is a touch of humour, romance and moments of high tension in Murder and Moonshine. The story has more authenticity than I usually expect from a cozy mystery and the plot is well thought out, twisting in unexpected directions. While I found the pace a bit slow initially, the story does gather momentum as it unfolds and I was surprised by the denouement. At its heart lies family secrets, murder and a conspiracy of greed.

Daisy proves to be feisty and resourceful with a history of tragedy - from the death of her father and the loss of her family home, to being abandoned by her husband, and to now coping with her mother's prolonged illness. Her motivation to become involved in the mystery makes sense, the murders are linked to her old homestead and both she and her mother are in danger.

Of course, no southern murder mystery would be complete without a cast of quirky characters from the gun toting Aunt Emily to the moonshine brothers, Rick and Bobby.

I enjoyed Murder and Moonshine, and I look forward to seeing how the series develops.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gram Tess on December 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
If Carol Miller continues this series, I think she will have a hit on her hands. Virginia is the setting for this story of murder and moonshine. Daisy, a young waitress, finds herself in the middle of the towns latest death. On a quiet day, in the gossip center of town,the diner, an old hermit Dickerson, enters the diner, mumbles the word "burger" and drops dead. Soon Daisy and her friends find themselves involved with guns, F.B.I. agents, the local police and oh yes, moonshine. Secrets that most small towns seem to have are no stranger here. Among the secrets, and rumors, how is one to know if this death is natural, or if old man Dickerson murdered, and who would have hated this old man enough to murder him? The enchanting small town, and the easy to like characters are very believable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Branfield TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Carol Miller serves up a big dose of Southern hospitality in her debut novel, Murder and Moonshine. This murder mystery is quite puzzling but it is the delightfully appealing cast of quirky characters that kept me glued to the pages of this compelling story.

Daisy McGovern has her hands full with her ill mother and gun-toting honorary Aunt Emily when local recluse Fred Dickerson unexpectedly passes away in the diner where she is a waitress. This spunky independent young woman is struggling financially in the wake of her husband’s disappearance and the unfair seizure of the family farm by the ATF. So she is not all happy when ATF agent Ethan Kinney shows up to investigate Fred’s death. Deciding there is some truth to the old adage “keep your friends close and enemies closer”, Daisy reluctantly joins forces with Ethan to uncover the truth behind Fred’s demise. A second death hits close to home and puts Daisy in danger as she and Ethan close in on the killer.

A series of misdirects and lack of clear motive keep the plot of Murder and Moonshine moving at a brisk pace as Daisy and Ethan investigate Fred’s death. Inside information about the intricacies of the moonshining business provides valuable insight into how Fred was murdered but they are left wondering why anyone would kill the elderly man. The pair are equally mystified by the sudden interest in who owns Daisy’s old family homestead. But it is Daisy’s preoccupation with new owner’s identity that obscures a vital clue and puts Daisy, her mom and Ethan in harm’s way.

Murder and Moonshine has an interesting and well-developed storyline that is full of twists and turns. The eclectic cast of characters is three-dimensional and quite entertaining.
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