Murder Under Redwood Moon

The Murder, Tea & Crystals Trilogy

Fiction - Paranormal
319 Pages
Reviewed on 02/22/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Murder Under Redwood Moon is a work of fiction in the paranormal mystery, crime, and adventure subgenres, and is the opening novel in The Murder, Tea & Crystals Trilogy penned by author Sherri L Dodd. The work is best suited to the general adult reading audience. Arista Kelly's tranquil life in the California Redwoods takes a dark turn when her recurring visions and a ghostly presence disrupt her peaceful existence. With a penchant for herbs and crystals and a connection to nature, Arista's unique lifestyle intertwines with the mysterious events unfolding around her. The discovery of a classmate's body and the looming threat of a serial killer force her to confront the encroaching darkness in her once-idyllic mountain sanctuary.

Author Sherri L Dodd has crafted an engaging and atmospheric novel that skillfully blends elements of realistic mystery with the supernatural, creating a gripping narrative that keeps readers on edge. The character of Arista is both relatable and enigmatic, drawing readers into her world of herbs, crystals, and mystical experiences. I really enjoyed the skill and care that was put into her development, her dialogue style, and the close narration, showcasing her every thought and idea so that we readers develop a lasting bond with our heroine. The story's atmospheric setting in the Santa Cruz Mountains adds an extra layer of intrigue, with excellent lexical choices to bring out cinematic backdrops, but also add those truly immersive details that make for a multi-sensory escape into reading. Overall, Murder Under Redwood Moon is a compelling blend of the mystical and the macabre, and I would highly recommend it to fans seeking endearing character-led mystery tales with plenty of immersion and suspense.

Asher Syed

In Under Redwood Moon by Sherri L. Dodd, Arista works in a crystal shop in a secluded Californian town while grappling with unsettling events around her. Michelle's mysterious attack and Henry's abrupt departure add to the unease. Seeking solace in her rituals and her aunt's guidance, Arista learns of a family relic, an Ouija board. As she discovers more, the confusion around her parents' abandonment of her starts to take a different shape. While she supports her friend Shane amidst hospitalizations, Sheriff Michaels investigates the disturbing occurrences of disappearing women. Evan's confession about black magic rituals further complicates matters. With potential suspects emerging and a sense of foreboding looming, Arista's ability to foresee danger becomes crucial in deciphering the sinister events unfolding in her community.

In Murder Under Redwood Moon, the native backdrop of the state my wife grew up in is brought to life. There is something eerie and beautiful about the majesty of the redwoods in the place where Arista and her community find themselves embroiled in a series of horrific events. Sherri L. Dodd's writing skillfully portrays Arista's journey, including the symbolism she weaves through, the standout to me being a particular owl. I love the shifting points of view, and Dodd even includes those of the serial killer's victims, The portrayal of the Ouija board is far more sympathetic than in other novels, and the characters speak of its potential for both good and harm. The dialogue that Dodd writes feels as authentic as her setting, and I have no qualms about getting lost in whatever she writes for us next. Very highly recommended.

Angelique Papayannopoulos

Murder Under Redwood Moon: The Murder, Tea & Crystals Trilogy by Sherri L. Dodd is an exciting paranormal thriller. The story revolves around 23-year-old Arista Kelly, a practicing occultist living in tranquility in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Since childhood, Arista has used crystals and herbs to commune with nature's energy and has lived closely with Bethie, her great-aunt and guardian. In her cottage, Arista begins to experience a ghostly presence. Despite being unfazed by supernatural powers, she becomes frightened by a recurring vision of an ominous upside-down pentagram tattoo. When young women in their community fall prey to a serial killer, Arista realizes that terror is coming to her. With Aunt Bethie by her side and the help of her friends and love interest Shane, the group undertakes to catch a ruthless killer.

This riveting paranormal novel by Sherri L. Dodd combines a thriller and a serial killer plot. From the start, a metaphysical mystery draws the reader into a suspenseful and intense ride. Many characters are introduced, and each one plays a purposeful role in Arista’s dangerous quest. The story builds up steadily into an exciting chain of events, and a surprising ending leaves room for a sequel. Murder Under Redwood Moon is a comprehensive read that creates an air of mystery and a sense of danger. This is a typical good versus evil story with elements of courage and magic. The book will appeal to those who enjoy murder mysteries with a twist of magical and supernatural powers. This is an enjoyable read that will keep you guessing to the end. As a bonus, the author has included a useful witchy dictionary at the end.