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Murder and Moonshine

(Moonshine Mystery #1)

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  354 ratings  ·  71 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 peach
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published December 17th 2013 by Minotaur Books
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Average rating 3.45  · 
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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 Hank
Nov 11, 2013 rated it liked it
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 just ...more
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mysteries
Sometimes one needs to go through a lot of junk to find a really good new mystery series. This was not my idea of a really good mystery series...
Although, if what the author was going for was the dumb bomb blonde stereotype for the protagonist, she nailed it.
Apart from that, the amount of repetition in her language is astounding. If you take out the words "big-city folk" and "my momma" there goes a third of the book. Of course, I have to come back to the fact that if what was wanted was to infa
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 88-books-in-2018
Im from Southwest Virginia which is where this great mystery takes place. I felt right at home. I loved it. Lots of county and good folks. Probable situations. Totally enjoyed the characters and the mystery. Didn't figure the killer till revealed.
Look forward to book 2.
Feb 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
Still smarting from the recent abandonment of her husband, local waitress Daisy McGovern focuses her time on work at the H & P Diner and caring for her ailing mother in the slow pace of southwestern Virginia, all while fending off unwelcome advances of local moonshine-brewing ne'er-do-well Rick Balsam. Complications ensue when elderly recluse Fred Dickerson staggers into the diner, mumbles the word "burger" twice and drops dead a few minutes later. (Yeah, I know, he probably wasn't referring to ...more
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-virginia
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
DelAnne Frazee
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Title: Murder and Moonshine - Moonshine Mystery Book 1
Author: Carol Miller
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Published: 12-17-2013
Pages: 305
Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense
Sub-Genre: Women Sleuths; Cozy Mystery; Amateur Sleuths
ISBN: 9781250019257
Reviewed For NetGalley and St Martin's Press
Reviewer: DelAnne
Rating: 4.5 Stars

A fun read for mystery lovers of all kinds. Quick and fun to read. "Murder and Moonshine" moves at a fast pace and holds reader's interest easily. Well developed c
Jane Irish Nelson
Oct 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary, mystery
Maybe 3.5 stars. This book starts off slowly, and it is not clear in the beginning exactly when it is set. But eventually it becomes clear that it takes place in the present. Our main character, Daisy, has some secrets in her past — secrets everyone in town knows, but outsiders don't. After a local recluse dies dramatically at the diner where Daisy works, a stranger arrives. A stranger from the dreaded ATF, who were responsible for some of Daisy and her mother's problems. But Daisy decides to he ...more
Not the best start for a first in a series. To many inaccuracies for me. I felt like the author did not know much about southern life or moonshine. Seems like she just searched on Google for some stuff and took that as fact. Being the great-granddaughter of a moonshiner I do know about it. Being a person who drinks 'shine I know a lot about it. Just because 'shine is brown does not mean it is aged. Even clear 'shine can be aged. ...more
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fun read! I started and finished it easily within one weekend. The characters were good and the story kept me guessing and engrossed the whole time. This novel is set in Pittsylvania County, VA, which the county to the east of mine. It reads, though, like it is further west - closer to the mountains, like in Patrick County. Regardless, loved the characters and the references that make it genuine for the area overall. Fun read! It's a keeper. I can see reading it again in a few years. ...more
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
So it started out a little rocky. I thought there should have been a novella prequel or something that told a little bit about the backstory of Daisy (aka Ducky). They were explained throughout the story. SPOILER ALERT
I would like to have know how Ethan was recused from the "grave." It kind of just jumped a few weeks after Rick helped Daisy. I will be reading book 2, A Nip of Murder.
Overall a very good book for a debut novel.
Margret Thorpe
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I picked it up quite by accident in the Los Gatos library and read straight through it because it is set in my childhood hometown area. It was a good page turner, but I feel it could have been fleshed out a little bit more with the plot and not hurried up so, but the characters and story line were believable and enjoyable.
Samantha Forbes
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
The book keeps you turning the pages, but it ended very abruptly and was so odd. I’ve never seen the word ‘grunt’ used so many times in a book. It was also pretty obvious at points that she decided to break out the thesaurus unnecessarily to interject a few big words.
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great start to a new series.
Apr 24, 2020 added it
Shelves: did-not-finish
The beginning didn't grip me and reading felt like a chore, so I'm setting this aside. There are just too many books on my tbr list. ...more
Dec 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
A quick, entertaining read. Didn’t blow me away, but I enjoyed it.
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
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 l
Oct 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 03, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My first book by Carol, & it was great! It got me interested from the beginning, kept me in the middle, & I couldn't wait to finish it. The whole book had me interested. Loved it.
Dec 04, 2013 rated it liked it
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
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
Sharon Chance
Dec 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
patrick Lorelli
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
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
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
H. P.
Oct 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-spec-fic
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
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
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
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Carol Miller is the author of the Moonshine Mystery Series featuring Daisy and Rick, a small-town diner waitress and the local bad boy moonshiner, in sleepy southwestern Virginia. MURDER AND MOONSHINE was named an Amazon Best Book of the Month and a Library Journal Starred Debut of the Month. Carol is an attorney and an avid gardener. She lives in Virginia.

Other books in the series

Moonshine Mystery (3 books)
  • A Nip of Murder (Moonshine Mystery Series, #2)
  • An Old Fashioned Murder (Moonshine Mystery, #3)

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