Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Getaway With Murder: The Mountain Lodge Mysteries by Diane Kelly #Review


Getaway With Murder: The Mountain Lodge Mysteries
Cozy Mystery
Brand New Series
Setting – North Carolina
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250815975
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250815972
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08R2L2ZJL

Getaway With Murder is the first in a cozy series from Diane Kelly set in a lodge in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where secrets hide behind every hill.

As if hitting the half-century mark wasn’t enough, Misty Murphy celebrated her landmark birthday by amicably ending her marriage and investing her settlement in a dilapidated mountain lodge at the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With the old inn teetering on both a bluff and bankruptcy, she must have lost her ever-loving mind.

Luckily, handyman Rocky Crowder has a knack for rehabbing virtual ruins and for doing it on a dime, and to Misty’s delight, the lodge is fully booked on opening night, every room filled with flexible folks who’d slipped into spandex and ascended the peak for a yoga retreat with plans to namastay for a full week. Misty and her guests are feeling zen—at least until the yoga instructor is found dead.

With a killer on the loose and the lodge’s reputation hanging in the balance, Misty must put her detective skills to the test. Only one thing is as clear as a sunny mountain morning—she must solve the crime before the lodge ends up, once again, on the brink.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Misty Murphy celebrates her 50th birthday in an unusual way. She signs divorce papers and moves to the inn she has purchased at the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains. While the inn needs a considerable amount of help, the divorce does not. She and her husband have parted amicably and remain friends.

After a misstep with one contractor, Misty meets Rocky Crowder. He gives her a bid for the work needed that won’t break her budget while adding a fantastic new space and even better he can start the work immediately.

Rocky’s speedy maintenance and construction and Misty’s new hire Brynn allow her to host a yoga retreat that fills every room for the whole week. But the week doesn’t go smoothly as the yogi instructor is found murdered. This isn’t good for Misty or her business. She didn’t know she was going to have to add detective to her innkeeper skills but with the yogis set to leave in just a few days, she is going to have to catch a killer before the bus arrives to take them back down the mountain or die trying.


I really enjoyed this story.

It is so great to have a protagonist leave a marriage and both parties are happy and remain friends both for themselves and the college-age sons. There is no tension and no animosity. In fact, her husband sends her a wonderful gift and offers his help after the murder. This all means Misty Murphy is comfortable in her own skin and ready to take on the huge venture she has ahead of her.

I also am very happy with Rocky Crowder, like Misty, he has grown children he spends time with but his wife is out of the picture. This leads he and Misty to make an unusual arrangement that works for both of them with the promise of their relationship growing in interesting ways.

Misty’s assistant Brynn is more of a wild card as she didn’t reveal some things about herself during the interview. Misty also makes quick friends with the diner owner, Patty, across the parking lot.

All these characters are believable and well fleshed out for the first book in the series. Misty has a connection to the inn from her childhood too which makes her huge move and purchase very understandable.

The guests are a diverse group and barring that someone traveled literally over hill and dale to kill Sasha Ducharme Carlisle one of them is a killer. So Misty has access to all the suspects and the rooms in which they are staying. I enjoyed the way she handled her investigation by getting to know her guests. She took part in some of the yoga sessions and observed them during breakfast and their downtimes in the evening. At one point, I took a little break to formulate my own suspect list more formally because I was as in the dark as Misty and the police. The author was very tricky. She gave an excellent clue to the culprit that I totally dismissed.

Diane Kelly really took her time describing the location of this inn including Misty’s trek up the mountain, and when the guests took a hike. I loved that. She painted wonderful pictures of the area for someone like me that has never had the pleasure of traveling the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Another element that I really enjoyed was that Misty has a cat named Yeti and Yeti gets to pen some short chapters from his point of view. Knowing what a cat is truly thinking is never really possible but the author really captured this cat’s catitude really well. They are also good for a chuckle or two.

Getaway with Murder was such a captivating mystery. I had a hard time putting it down when I had to close my eyes to sleep. I did that one more chapter thing until my Kindle fell to the floor as my eyes slid shut and my hand let it go. The next day I hurried through my work so I could get back to it.

This book has everything I look for in a Perfect Escape – Strong characters that are easy to become invested in, a setting I loved to visit and want to visit again and again, and a mystery that tests me by being well-plotted.

I am excited about this series. The author needs to tread carefully because while an inn brings in a new set of guests for each installment, she can’t kill too many people on the premises because tourists will not want to stay there. It will be fun seeing how the series continues.


Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Diane Kelly writes stories that feature feisty female lead characters and their furry, four-footed friends. Diane is the author of over 30 novels and novellas, including the Death & TaxesPaw Enforcement, and House Flipper mystery series. In 2021, she’ll launch two new series, the Southern Homebrew moonshine series and the Mountain Lodge Mysteries.

Author Links: 

Website   Facebook   Twitter  Newsletter signup

Also by Diane Kelly


Find More Books by Diane Kelly Here

Click on covers for more book information or to order from Amazon.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring The Moonshine Shack Murder (A Southern Homebrew Mystery) by Diane Kelly #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @BerkleyMystery @DianeKellyBooks


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to feature The Moonshine Shack Murder today!

The Moonshine Shack Murder (A Southern Homebrew Mystery)
by Diane Kelly

About The Moonshine Shack Murder


The Moonshine Shack Murder (A Southern Homebrew Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Tennessee
Publisher: Berkley (July 6, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0593333225
ISBN-13: 978-0593333228
Digital ASIN : B08KPKD22T

In this intoxicating new cozy mystery series, the future for modern-day moonshiner Hattie Hayes looks bright–until death darkens the doorstep of her Moonshine Shack.

 

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.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Hattie (love that name, it was my grandma’s) Hayes comes from a long line of moonshiners and now she is keeping the tradition alive with The Moonshine Shack where she will sell her grandfather’s shine along with her own brand with fruity flavors. She hopes her “Shack” and her “Shine” will be a hit with tourists and locals.

Hattie holds a grand opening party where she meets the tavern owner from across the street. She thought she had him convinced to carry her “shine” but when she goes to deliver his first order he backs out of the deal. Then a few nights later he is found dead on the Shack’s porch with a smashed jar of her moonshine nearby. She was upset by his deceit but she would never have killed the man. The only witness appears to be Hattie’s cat but he isn’t talking so she becomes the homicide detective’s #1 suspect. Officer Landers is on her side and tries to help her distill the evidence to clear her name and put the real killer behind bars.


Ms. Kelly has given her new Southern Homebrew Mystery a fantastic start. I liked these characters immediately, okay I loved her grandfather. He leaves the senior home every day to help her out at the store. When the customers are scarce he sits in the rocker on the front porch and whittles the cutest little animals. He also takes a nap here and there and there is a scene that had me giggling and you will too. I love the close relationship he has with his granddaughter. He is so proud of her for carrying on the family tradition. She is smart and savvy and knows how to market her product. Those characteristics come in handy when trying to sleuth out a killer.

Hattie has her two besties helping her out too but one is due to have a baby any day so that means she will have less time to help out. Officer Landers is such a nice man and good at his job. He takes a special interest in keeping Hattie safe and his horse is adorable. I love that this relationship is taking a romantic turn. Marlon and Hattie’s families have a history but I don’t think some old feud will come between them. I also approve highly of Hattie bringing her kitty Smoky to the shop each day. Seeing him lying in the window in the sunshine each day gives the place a real homey feel.

The mystery is very well-plotted and it quickly becomes apparent that the former barkeep has his fair share of enemies which really opened up the suspect pool. Some of his employees/girlfriends rank high on Hattie’s list but a local lawyer and other shopkeepers and a certain restaurant owner all had motives to kill the man. Hattie works hard to pare down the suspects and catch the killer because when the case wraps she has a special event she is looking forward to. I did enjoy the way she did her investigating but I took a shine to one person early on and never eliminated them. Sure I missed something I was surprised by how the ending played out and that I actually picked the right character.

As I said this series is off to a fantastic start. The location is ideal and the characters are interesting. I am excited because the author has just scratched the surface and can take this series in so many directions. I want to get to know all the characters better. I can’t wait to return to Chattanooga and The Moonshine Shack for a sample or two and whatever trouble Hattie gets herself wrapped up in.

The Moonshine Shack Murder was a pure pleasure to read and I enjoyed it very much.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Diane Kelly

Diane Kelly writes stories that feature feisty female lead characters and their furry, four-footed friends. Diane is the author of over 30 novels and novellas, including the Death & Taxes, Paw Enforcement, and House Flipper mystery series. In 2021, she’ll launch two new series, the Southern Homebrew moonshine series and the Mountain Lodge Mysteries.

Author Links: 

Website   Facebook   Twitter  Newsletter signup

Purchase Links 


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Also by Diane Kelly

Find More Books by Diane Kelly Here

Click on covers for more book information or to order from Amazon.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”