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Murder and Moonshine: A Mystery (Moonshine Mystery Series #1)

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  144 ratings  ·  38 reviews
A debut mystery set in the heart of moonshine country and brimming with Southern charm

All small towns have secrets—and plenty of them—as every small town waitress knows. Daisy is no different. A young, recently-separated waitress at H&P's Diner in sleepy southwestern Virginia, she hears more than her fair share of neighborhood gossip while serving plates of hash and pe
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published December 17th 2013 by Minotaur Books
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Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

Murder and Moonshine is a debut mystery for Carol Miller. Set in rural Virginia, it begins when a reclusive old farmer stumbles in to the H&P Diner and dies, foaming at the mouth. Waitress, Daisy McGovern, is horrified, and even more so when ATF Agent Ethan Kinney shows up to investigate his death. Daisy bears a grudge against the FBI who, in the wake of her father's tragic death five years before, seized her family's farm and she is determined to ensure Agent Kinney doesn't stay long. Then
My interest really perked up when I started reading Murder and Moonshine when I realized it was set in rural Virginia. A different setting, loaded with possibility. There is no start up, just BAM! straight into a guy croaking in H&P diner. The setting, characters and story line were all interesting, but the book lacked personal detail about the characters and some set up to make the story richer. We never learn what's actually wrong with Daisy's mom nor what happened to Daisy's husband. He j ...more
Oswego Public Library District
Small Southern towns carry deep secrets. When an elderly reclusive man falls dead under suspicious circumstances in a roadside diner, a young talented baker/waitress with an ailing mother is left to sort out the clues. The author shines when depicting the beautiful Virginia hills and in creating characters that authentically jump off the page. Daisy, Rick, and the other residents of the community are vividly drawn characters. Daisy, in particular, is fascinating, a strong woman who listens to th ...more
This debut mystery shows much promise for the author's future. A Southern setting, moonshining, an old café in which the main character Daisy works, a quirky aunt who has turned the family Victorian into a inn where Daisy and her ill mother live and who shoots a 20guage shotgun at suspected human and animal interlopers out back frequently, two backwoods brothers and an ATF agent are all part of the scene. Ethan, a handsome ATF agent shows up to look into the death of a recluse living at Fox Holl ...more
It's always refreshing to come across a mystery with a sleuth and a setting that isn't cut from the same pattern as so many others. Carol Miller's debut mystery Murder and Moonshine is definitely a departure. I'm afraid it will get overlooked since it came out in December amidst the holiday rush. That's a shame because Daisy McGovern stands out as a strong, determined woman.

Daisy doesn't have it easy. Her father and her father-in-law died in the explosion of a propane tank. She and her mother lo
This book has a little bit of everything in it. It has murder, people running moonshine, a little bit of a love story and somehow it all comes together. It starts off with a man walking into the dinner and then dying. You are then given a back story on the main characters and a piece of land that people wanted. From there it goes on a wild ride with an ATF agent, who comes into town and then another strange death, which puts everyone on edge. There are many things happening and it has to deal wi ...more
I'll admit I bought this book because I liked the title and I'm very glad I did. The last few months I've gotten into reading mysteries and I've found out that after a few pages I can tell if I'm going to like the book or not. With Murder and Moonshine it took only the first page and I was hooked. The writing caused the characters to jump off the page and land into my mind like I'm watching a play or movie and yeah its that good. I was very sorry to see it end but ducky will be back later this y ...more
Carol Miller serves up a big dose of Southern hospitality in her debut novel, Murder and Moonshine. This murder mystery is quite puzzling but it is the delightfully appealing cast of quirky characters that kept me glued to the pages of this compelling story.

Daisy McGovern has her hands full with her ill mother and gun-toting honorary Aunt Emily when local recluse Fred Dickerson unexpectedly passes away in the diner where she is a waitress. This spunky independent young woman is struggling finan
I am not a big mystery reader, but there was something about the jacket copy of this book that caught my eye. It starts with a death in a small town diner and the reasons slowly open up to turn into something much more sinister than I expected. Intertwined with the murder is Daisey’s tragic past and when the ATF agent comes to town, the reader learns just how deep the resentment of this federal agency runs in this small community. That tension created a very subtle, but satisfying, romantic subp ...more
3.5 stars for this one!

The setting for this story is Pittsylvania County, VA, a small town in the southwest portion of the state. Pittsylvania is full of lively characters, moonshine, and the best peach cobbler in the state. WARNING – If you are a peach cobbler fan, be sure to have a helping (make it a big bowl) before you start reading this book, I promise, you will not regret it.

Daisy (Ducky) McGovern is a recently separated young woman. Her husband, Matt, just left for work one morning and n
Daisy Hale is a waitress at H&P's diner in Virginia. She is shocked when an old recluse stumbles into the diner and dies at her feet. She is doubly shocked to find out that Rick Balsam has purchased her childhood home which was confiscated by the ATF. When an agent of said bureau comes to town to investigate the death, Daisy isn't sure if she should help him or keep family secrets to herself. This was a pretty good book. I enjoyed the characters and would read more of these.
Sharon Chance
With her debut novel, Murder and Moonshine, author Carol Miller does a very credible job of creating a fast-moving mystery filled with suspense, eccentric characters and a fascinating background of the hills of Virginia.

Miller's main character, Daisy, is a plucky gal who has a lot on her plate, with taking care of her momma, trying to make a living as a waitress at the local diner, and attempting to regain her family's homestead. When she is pulled into the middle of a murder investigation, Dai
Daisy has a lot of responsibilities for a young waitress--her ailing mother, the sad past that lost them the family mansion. When a man walks into the diner where she works and keels over, Daisy doesn't realize that her whole life is about to change. First, an agent from the group she most hates--the ATF--walks into the diner asking for directions, then it seems like she's out of a job when there's another death. The local bad boy--a friend of the husband who deserted her--wants something, but D ...more
This is a debut novel that is first in a projected series. Small Southern towns carry deep secrets. When an elderly reclusive man falls dead under suspicious circumstances in a roadside diner, a young talented baker/waitress with an ailing mother is left to sort out the clues. The author shines when depicting the beautiful Virginia hills and in creating characters that authentically jump off the page. Daisy, Rick, and the other residents of the community are vividly drawn, realistic characters. ...more
I plucked this off the shelf @ the library and took it home and read it, despite the fact that I am almost always mildly insulted when people try to write Southerners. This time was no exception, and I find myself wondering how this book is not YA or something due to its incredibly simple writing style, cardboard characters, bad boy/good boy dynamic, exhaustive expository and three-page climax. Silly and unimpressive, I will not be reading any more of this Chicagoan's "Southern" books.
If Carol Miller continues this series, I think she will have a hit on her hands. Virginia is the setting for this story of murder and moonshine. Daisy, a young waitress, finds herself in the middle of the towns latest death. On a quiet day, in the gossip center of town,the diner, an old hermit Dickerson, enters the diner, mumbles the word "burger" and drops dead. Soon Daisy and her friends find themselves involved with guns, F.B.I. agents, the local police and oh yes, moonshine. Secrets that mos ...more
Chris French
The book was cute. You have Ducky who is a waitress at her family friends diner in the boondocks. The story opens with a death of an oldtimer during the breakfast shift. What the people in the diner think is a normal death turns out to be murder. Throw in a couple of moonshiners, a federal agent, and old aunt that likes to take pot shots at with an rifle early in the morning you have a book that will take you for a hilarious ride which it didn't disappoint. One of the few books that the ending t ...more
Clara Roberts
This was a fairly interesting mystery but could have been better. It seemed as if all of the character lacked principals. Much of the behavior was bizarre, such as an old woman shooting her shotgun out her back door. I really did not care much for the book.
Nothing like a good story about southeastern Virginia and the good ole boys and their white lightening. Funny and fast moving new mystery
Carol Miller's first novel is a winner!! The setting is Southwestern Virginia; the characters are well developed - easy to keep up with who is who. I really enjoyed this mystery and look forward to reading more by this author!
Patricia Leggett
It was okay. I was surprised by the ending and a little bored with all of the antics the heroine got into which made the story unbelievable.
Murder and Moonshine is by no means a bad book or a bad mystery. But it is also not an exceptional one in any way. As likeable and three dimensional as its protagonist is and as elegant as the setup of the mystery are, its resolution is laughably paint-by-numbers and the setting is, well, not quite irrelevant, but not the sort of rich, real representation of a slice of place that I look for from a book deserving of being called regional fiction (Ron Rash, she ain’t). But overall it is a pleasant ...more
A very enjoyable debut mystery. The setting is novel and the characters engaging. I hope the author doesn't try to create a love triangle. I liked the bootlegging brothers and the slightly dotty aunt. There's room for growth but I will be looking for the next one.
Great 1st book!! the storyline stayed at a fast paced although at the onsight with the "southern" terms, I thought the story would sag--not so! the behavior of the 2 brothers was about to become "too much" when the author cleverly backed off, this was also the time the storyline picked up to push thru to the end! Again--N I C E
Kate Potter
Grammatically, this book was a disaster. But, readers must have loved it because two more murder and moonshine books are planned. It's a gentle mystery with some murder thrown in. Plucky young female protagonist. No one gets the girl.
Sue Em
Solid, entertaining debut set in rural Southwestern Virginia with fresh characters and well-developed plot. I'm looking forward to visiting there again.
Oct 30, 2014 Amy added it
The setting is near Danville (the big city folks) and out in Pittsylvania county. The rest of the locations are fictional but the characters have some real spark. Daisy is a country girl who was a college student until tragedy strikes her family. Her accent and opinions are true to the locale. The rest of the cast is also entertaining. Wonder if there will be more books to find out if she winds up with the local boy or the "revenooer". Good story and current to the news.
Allison Bosco
good debut novel
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Carol writes the Moonshine Mystery Series. MURDER AND MOONSHINE was named an Amazon Best Book of the Month and a Library Journal Starred Debut of the Month. She lives in Roanoke, Virginia.
More about Carol Miller...
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