Monday 15 November 2021

Book ~ "The Moonshine Shack Murder" (2021) Diane Kelly

From Goodreads ~ The Hayes family has made moonshine in Chattanooga since the days of Prohibition and Hattie is happy to continue the tradition, serving up fun, fruity flavors in mason jars for locals and tourists alike. All signs indicate her new 'shine shop will be a smashing success. What's more, mounted police officer Marlon Landers has taken a shine to Hattie. For the first time ever, the stars seemed to have aligned in both her work and romantic life. But when a body ends up on her store's doorstep alongside a broken jar of her Firefly Moonshine, it just might be lights out for her fledgling business.

The homicide detective can't seem to identify the person who killed the owner of a nearby bar. The only witness is Hattie's longhaired gray cat and Smoky isn't talking. When the detective learns that the victim and Hattie had a heated exchange shortly before his murder, she becomes her prime suspect.

Lest Hattie end up behind bars like her bootlegging great-grandfather a century before, she must distill the evidence herself and serve the killer a swift shot of justice.

Hattie recently gave up her job to open a shop selling the moonshine she makes from recipes passed down from generations.  Marlon is a local police officer who rides by on a horse.  He stops by her store often and they become friends, though Hattie hopes it will become more.  He annoyingly refers to her as a "filly" and I hope he stops that.  

To promote her business, Hattie goes around and meets the business people in the neighbourhood, hoping there will be some synergies for working together and cross-promotion.  She gets resistance from the Cormac, the pub owner across the street.  Late one night Hattie heads to her store because she doubts she had locked up properly.  She hears a commotion in front and finds Cormac murdered and the weapon seems to be a bottle of her moonshine, which makes Hattie a suspect.  Though Marlon and the police officer in charge tell her to stay out of it, Hattie starts snooping around to find out who murdered Cormac so she can prove her innocence.

I've read many books (and series) by this author and I thought this one was okay ... it's the first in the Southern Homebrew Mystery series.  I liked the writing style.  It is written in first person perspective from Hattie's point of view.  It was a quick light read and is a "cozy mystery" so there is no swearing, violence or adult activity.  Having it set in moonshine country made an interesting and different setting.

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