Death By Betrayal

A Josiah Reynolds Mystery 20

Fiction - Mystery - Sleuth
196 Pages
Reviewed on 06/09/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Gaius Konstantine for Readers' Favorite

“The day was sunny. I felt happy. The bees were buzzing. The Butterfly was in good order. Everything seemed fine.” And then it was not. Death By Betrayal: A Josiah Reynolds Mystery Book 20 by Abigail Keam is a tale of murder and deceit. For those familiar with the author, it is another novel about Kentucky's Josiah Reynolds, who has the misfortune of possessing a strange talent. That talent is finding herself involved in murders more often than not. If you are new (like me) to this series of books, here is what you need to know. Josiah Reynolds is a middle-aged woman living on her farm in Kentucky. She is not perfect and is a bit broken, both physically and psychologically. When her beau's farm hand, Palley, gets it into his teen head to enter a demolition derby, Josiah offers him an old car that has been sitting on her property for years. As no good deed goes unpunished, this act of generosity opens a can of worms that will threaten everything Josiah holds dear.

After reading Death By Betrayal, I realized something. I have discovered Kentucky's no-nonsense contemporary version of Hercule Poirot. The novel is a murder mystery, the plot straight and simple, yet there are some unique aspects to this book that set it apart from similar titles. Abigail Keam writes in the first person, but she is actually talking to you directly and engaging you with her style. As I read this book, it was easy to picture myself sitting with Josiah as she unloaded her troubles over a cold drink. The characters are well-developed and unique, and while I was rooting for Josiah, she also has unlikable qualities (like Poirot) that make her all the more realistic. A good mix of secondary characters coupled with a brisk pace round out this story and push immersion to a formidable level. It's a great read for fans of murder mysteries who are looking for something different and original.