Murder on Moonshine Hill

Jenna Scali Book 2

Fiction - Mystery - Sleuth
314 Pages
Reviewed on 07/17/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Joan is an award-winning writer who has published 7 books and numerous stories. In her mystery/suspense novel.

Joan’s books have won awards. The Clock Strikes Midnight won FIRST PLACE in Royal Palm Literary awards for Mainstream/Literary fiction and the Silver Medal in the Global eBooks Awards for 2015. The e-Murderer won FIRST PLACE in the Malice Domestic Grants Competition for new writers. Her newest book is Murder on Moonshine Hill, Book 2 in the Jenna Scali mystery series.

Joan has been an avid reader for as long as she can remember. She reads all kinds of books, including women’s fiction, mysteries, biography, and memoir. Her passion as a reader lies closer to literary writing with a commercial bent. Joan says The Clock Strikes Midnight is exactly the kind of book she loves to read.

“I write about characters who remind me of myself at times and my sister at times, but never fully so. My stories are told from a woman’s point of view. Characters drive my writing and my reading.”

Having grown up in the South with a mother from Westchester County New York, Joan has a unique take on blending the southern traditions with the eye of a northerner. She spent most of her childhood in North Carolina and now resides in Georgia.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite

Set against the idyllic mountains of North Carolina, Murder on Moonshine Hill is a powerful entry in the Jenna Scali Mystery series by Joan C. Curtis, a tale of murder and a woman’s courage to seek justice. Jenna expects anything unwelcoming the moment she chooses to attend her friend’s wedding, but when someone gets murdered at the wedding, one has to find out how it happened, why it happened, and who made it happen. Jenna might have said it was just one of those bad days, but her friend is behind bars and the killer could be walking free. Find out what happens when she decides to discover the truth.

Very suspenseful and laced with mystery, Murder on Moonshine Hill is one of those books that will set readers' hearts racing, with a carefully conceived and well-executed plot and a cast of dazzling characters. Joan C. Curtis is a genius when it comes to building conflict and she knows how to weave beautiful literary elements into a fast-paced plot - such as suspense, tight and engaging writing, a great sense of mystery, and characters that wholly grab the reader’s interest. The writing is focused and the author did a great job with point of view.

One of the things that made me enjoy this book a lot is that the author limits herself to relevant pressing issues, so the reader doesn’t have to wade through a maze of things to get inside the story. The characters are irresistibly attractive and Jenna stands out as a strong and well-realized protagonist. Focused writing with compelling characters make Murder on Moonshine Hill a great success in the murder and mystery genre.

Christian Sia

Murder on Moonshine Hill by Joan C. Curtis is an interesting story in the murder and mystery genres, featuring powerful characters and a gripping plot, a story of how far a girl will go to find justice for her best friend. At a wedding, someone gets murdered and Jenna’s friend is arrested. Jenna wants to learn the truth so she takes matters into her own hands. Her investigation will lead her to the real murderer, but does she have what it takes to face such an evil? There are very interesting things about this story, and I have to avoid the temptation of spoiling the fun for readers by revealing too much about the plot.

Murder on Moonshine Hill is a gripping, well-written story. I loved the prose and the engaging, plot-driven dialogue. Jenna is one of those protagonists readers want to follow in a series; well-developed with areas where readers want to be part of their progress. There is something very dangerous and attractive about her, her uncanny curiosity, and how it plays out in the entire story is fascinating. I loved the cast of characters, the conflict and how it creates a sense of suspense. The plot is fast-paced, and readers can’t tell where Joan C. Curtis is leading them. I admire the author’s originality when it comes to plot and characterization, and won’t hesitate to recommend this one for any reader looking for something fun, surprisingly entertaining, and engaging. Joan C. Curtis is now one of those writers I will be watching closely.

Jane Finch

Murder on Moonshine Hill: Jenna Scali Book 2 (A Jenna Scali Mystery) by Joan C. Curtis is a murder mystery that follows Jenna as she reluctantly attends an old friend’s wedding. Jenna and Marcy used to be best friends, but fell out after a tragic incident that affected them both. This left them unable to continue their friendship to the same degree, and then they drifted apart. There was some bad feeling between them that grew as the years passed ... until Jenna receives an invitation to Marcy’s wedding. The invitation contains a cryptic message that results in Jenna feeling obliged to attend. When she arrives, she discovers an array of characters and relationships, and a mysterious death – or rather murder – leads to Marcy being the prime suspect and Jenna fearing for her own safety.

This is a classic whodunit. The characters are very well developed and the author, Joan Curtis, goes to great lengths to describe each person and their relationships with the ‘cast,’ whether by blood or more tenuous. The plot is intricate and there are motives galore which draw the reader in to try to solve the case. The setting is well described and believable and if there isn’t a Moonshine Inn in real life, perhaps there should be. The twist at the end is unexpected and the ending is satisfying and complete. The character of Jenna is likeable and well developed so that the reader empathises with her as the protagonist. This well thought out mystery will keep the reader wondering to the very end.