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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Murder Under A Black Moon: A 1930s Mona Moon Historical Cozy Mystery, Book 6 is a historical sleuth mystery written by Abigail Keam. It was Kentucky Derby Day, and Mona’s attention was divided between dealing carefully with her scheming Aunt Melanie; planning her upcoming wedding to Lord Robert Farley; and managing the excitement that was accompanying the visit of Mrs. Alice Roosevelt Longworth, Teddy Roosevelt’s daughter and an outspoken character in her own right. As they sat in the Moon family’s viewing box with their friends, Willie and Dexter Deatheridge, Mona was distracted by the sounds of an argument from the adjoining box. Mona’s recall of the seating arrangements in the box would come in handy later after the unexpected murder of Rusty Thompson during the first race. Someone had stabbed him in the eye with a hatpin, and Willie Deatheridge, whose distinctive hatpin had been the murder weapon, was taken away by the police. Mona knew Willie was innocent; now she just had to figure out who the killer really was.
Abigail Keam’s Murder Under A Black Moon immerses the reader in the 1930s Kentucky horse racing scene where established landowners are coping with the effects of the Great Depression and those not affected as severely are noting with some disdain how newcomers and the nouveau riche are snapping up lands and expecting to be accepted as blue bloods. Keam’s plot is ingenious and entertaining, and her recreation of the time was a pleasure to experience. The author provides readers with plenty of fodder for solving the mystery, though they may want to watch out for red herrings, and the inclusion of Alice Longworth, William Powell, and Jean Harlow in the story further enhances the magic of this engaging historical mystery. Keam’s characters are true-to-life and believable, and her writing is smooth and flowing. Murder Under A Black Moon is most highly recommended.