Blame It On the Moon

A Haunted House Mystery

Fiction - Thriller - Psychological
317 Pages
Reviewed on 04/20/2024
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Author, Lou Pugliese is retired from two careers: a senior manager at Toyota Motors with national (US) and
international experience, and a business professor at a small, liberal arts college in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.

Lou and his wife Kathy (and their dog Mitch) are now settled in Green Cove Springs, Florida. His writing influence.
comes from both careers, extensive travel, and a passion for obscure research. Outside of his mystery and
historical fiction writing, he published his dissertation on the roots of prejudice, and has had poetry published through VoxPoetica.

Lou belongs to the Mystery Writers of America and the Florida Writers Association (FWA), hosting the monthly FWA chapter for Clay County

    Book Review

Reviewed by Olga Markova for Readers' Favorite

Blame It On the Moon by Lou Pugliese transports us to a haunted 19th-century house in Northern Virginia, Arlington. We meet Richard Eugene Craft, the sole resident of the house. Richard’s great-granduncle and later his brother had owned the house. When Richard's brother died, Richard inherited the house. For a time, he lived in the house with his young family, but his son and wife both died there. Years later, widowed and lonely, Richard retired from his corporate executive career and returned to the house, hoping to write the great American novel. But an unexpected encounter with the ghost of a nineteenth-century slave spurs Richard to adopt Lincoln, a bouncy Sheltie, and sign up for a paranormal research class at the local university. What lies ahead for Lincoln and Richard?

Lou Pugliese’s Blame It On the Moon is a fascinating, suspenseful blend of paranormal adventure, crime, historical fiction, and science fiction. Spooky apparitions, Ouija board spiritual seances, and macabre artifacts awaited me as I investigated the mysteries of Richard’s haunted house. Passionate romance, protective friendship, the adorable Sheltie Lincoln, and hilarious humor balanced the suspense and enhanced my enjoyment of the story. But what fascinated me most were the scientific and theological aspects that transpired once Richard and his friends discovered the secret diaries of his great-granduncle. The breathtaking climax tied all the loose ends together and confirmed some of my guesses. I highly recommend this riveting mystery to adult paranormal fans only. There is graphic intimacy unsuitable for younger readers.

Nino Lobiladze

Blame It On the Moon by Lou Pugliese will appeal to mature fans of historical mystery, crime and family drama, the supernatural, and adventure. Richard Craft returns to his family home in Northern Virginia to work on a novel in peace. But this old house has seen too many deaths since the Civil War to be peaceful. Strange noises, disturbing dreams, and ghost sightings make Richard look deeper into the issue. A paranormal researcher named Audrey Welsh helps Richard find out whether this house of historical significance is haunted. A retired cop, Don Weston, and a historian, George Hunt, study the Civil War collectibles found surprisingly well preserved in the cellar of the house. One shocking discovery leads to another, and soon Richard learns more about his family history than he bargained for.

In Blame It On the Moon, Lou Pugliese combines strong elements of adventure with an intriguing family drama. The author adds a well-researched background to this entertaining story. Pugliese describes an archeological excavation with precision, leaving no doubt that he knows the subject well. The characters are remarkable and finely written. Richard's bond with his dog, Lincoln, and the dad jokes he often makes are among his most memorable and enchanting traits. The talented Audrey also easily wins hearts with her wit and open-mindedness. Good food connoisseur, Don, and a New Age enthusiast, Vicki, are my favorite secondary characters. Blame It On the Moon also offers a charming romance. The main plotline skillfully balances between mundane reality and the supernatural, while the intrigue steadily thickens until the last riveting twist at the end.

K.C. Finn

Blame It On the Moon is a work of fiction in the historical, paranormal, and mystery genres. Penned by author Lou Pugliese, the plot follows Richard Eugene Craft as he navigates the mysterious happenings in his ancestral home in Arlington, Virginia, which once served as a Civil War field hospital. As Richard delves into the house's history, he encounters unexplainable occurrences and gains allies in his quest for answers, including a dog, a potential love interest, and historians. With a rich blend of ghostly encounters, murder mystery, romance, and archaeological exploration, the novel offers a unique take on the haunted house genre with unexpected twists and turns, and a multifaceted narrative that kept me engaged from start to finish.

The dynamic cast of characters, from Richard to his allies and adversaries, were all characterized by their unique dialogue and attitudes, making them distinct, relatable, and interesting. The recurring theme of finding friendship in unexpected places resonates deeply as a result because each well-crafted interaction feels empathetic and real. This deep character and narrative work blends well with the multi-genre themes and the attention to detail in crafting the atmosphere in every scene, allowing the settings and their dark, mysterious appeal to match the emotional tone of each scene and heighten it all the more. I also really appreciated the exploration of loneliness and connection, mirrored in Richard's journey as he navigates the challenges of his haunted home. This was a subtle theme that built powerfully over the course of the interesting plot for a great emotional payoff at the end. Overall, I would certainly recommend Blame It On the Moon by Lou Pugliese as a hauntingly delightful read that lingers in the mind long after the final page is turned.