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The Murder Pit

(A Moose River Mystery #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  3,299 ratings  ·  339 reviews
Daisy Savage finally has everything she wants. A new husband. A bunch of kids. A charming old house.

What she doesn't want is a dead body.

When a frozen pipe in the basement of her century-old home leads her and her husband downstairs into a newly discovered crawl space, they find a coal chute they didn't know they had. And a corpse inside of it.

Things become complicat
Kindle Edition, 326 pages
Published May 6th 2014
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Sherry Sharpnack Yes. I didn't understand WHY the kids were being home-schooled in the first place. In my experience, folks home-school their kids b/c they disagree w/…moreYes. I didn't understand WHY the kids were being home-schooled in the first place. In my experience, folks home-school their kids b/c they disagree w/ methods of teaching/information taught by the public schools, eg very religious people not wanting their kids to be taught evolution. Yet Daisy doesn't even go to church and was turned off by overly-religious folks in her home-schooling co-op. ???(less)
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Mar 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
The Murder Pit

I am not sure if I read the same book that everyone else did. Here is what I feel are the Pro's and Con's:

▲ It was a light, pop-corn type read.

▲ No sex, just innuendo.

▲ No violence, just a dead guy.

▲ I finished it.

▼The Author/Editor made a lot of mistakes, enough to pull you out of the story occasionally and go 'Huh?'. This might make you lose your place as you check back in the book for some confirmations.

▼ Was there a book before this one? I know there wasn't, but there are part
Apr 28, 2015 rated it did not like it
One thing I’m compelled to gripe about: Why do people reviewing books always give a recap of the plot? I can get that from the synopsis on the book’s jacket. I don’t come to Goodreads for 50 plot recaps.

This book was...unsatisfying.

“You take that back.” “Takes one to know one.” Do grownups really argue this way?

In this case, a man writing a female protagonist in the first person has resulted in a Mary Sue of horrific proportions, a wet dream of a wife and mother whose only flaw is adorably ignor
Donna Foston
Mar 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
Very slow. It seemed like a long commercial for home schooling, although the mom never did anything that resembled a lesson. However, we did read every mundane detail (several times) of her taking food out of the fridge and preparing a meal. I figured out whodunnit long before she did. Just not a satisfying read for me.
Mark Baker
Apr 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2020
Life is going well for Daisy Savage. Recently remarried, she, her husband, and their blended family are settling into the old fixer upper they just bought. While her husband, Jake, bemoans the work, Daisy fell in love with the place despite the work. The house seems to have quite a few secrets, and Daisy finds one in their basement’s crawl space – an old coal chute. Unfortunately, that discovery also comes with a dead body, and the victim is someone that Daisy recognizes. With the small-town rum ...more
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a new author for and I will be looking for books by him. I found the book entertaining and some creative writing. I especially like the way the body was discovered. There several twist and turns as the story develops. The mystery is secondary to normal reactions of those involved. I had almost finished before I realized who was guilty. Daisy has her house of dreams only to find a dead body in it. To make matters worse Daisy knows him as she went on a date with him just after her divorce. ...more
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
I am not sure what a "cozy" mystery is supposed to entail but this story was quite slow going and the murder mystery was nearly secondary to the homeschooling. It went into such detail about the homeschooling, that it nearly felt like a sales pitch for it.
Karen Kerr
Apr 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
The first half was really good. I enjoyed the characters and the premise. But things changed at about half way, as though the author was tired or in a hurry. Typos and general poor editing abounded in the second half. For all the investigating of the murder, no one discussed the question of "how" was the victim murdered. That seems to me to be a major part of an investigation. The characters also ignored the question of "when." And why would a long ago, one-date wonder be the main suspect? Motiv ...more
Kitty Tomlinson
Feb 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Daisy, her new husband, Jake, and their mixed 4 children family have moved into a century old home in Moose River, Minn. Life takes a strange turn when Daisy and Jake find a body in their previously unknown coal chute. The body happens to be a gentleman that Daisy had one date with 2 years ago.
Fun series. Will read more.
Mar 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: on-kindle
This book had so much potential but it was never fully realized. The blended family living in an old house needing restoration in a small town in Minnesota.......good start. I thought the homeschooling angle might be interesting but there was very little schooling going on (Daisy, the mom, spent more time helping her daughter, who had decided to attend public school, do her homework than teaching the younger three). Then there was the "murder"...if you could call it that. There was no informatio ...more
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A nice light murder mystery
May 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Cute and fast read. Nothing too deep but the story was ok. I liked the characters and could relate to the need to find out who put the body in the house.
Sherry Sharpnack
Feb 29, 2020 rated it liked it
This is the first book in a new cozy mystery series. Daisy and Jake are newlyweds w a blended family and a money pit of an old house. While thawing frozen pipes, they find a dead body hidden in a previously-undiscovered coal chute. Daisy cannot let the police solve the murder by themselves -b/c she actually knew the corpse. She had gone out to dinner w/ him once. Therefore, Daisy becomes a suspect so MUST solve the mystery herself!

The things I liked: references to marital sex w/o actual bodice-
Altivo Overo
May 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Cozy or silly?

I guess the small town setting accounts for a lot, but this seemed a bit overly simple. The humorous bits were good, but some of the connections in the plot are just too weak for me.
Mar 15, 2015 rated it liked it
A light, humorous mystery that begins with a frozen pipe in the crawl space in a house in MN that needs a whole lot of work. Neither Daisy nor Jake had even ventured into the crawl space in the six months they lived there, so were really surprised, when entering it to thaw the frozen pipe with a hair dryer, to find a door to a coal chute they didn’t know they had. Even more shocking is the dead body in it; someone Daisy had gone on one date with the deceased before Jake came into her life.

This i
Jun 25, 2016 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Not recommended
Recommended to Ranooshe by: Goodreads
When I started reading this book I thought it was a refreshing change from the stereotype amateur sleuth: A half-crazy, very stupid (not always in a funny way), sex-hungry, single woman. This sleuth is in a happy family: supporting husband, well-behaved children and friendly community/
However, as I read on, this was the only refreshing thing about this book. The author explains the same idea over and over again. From different angles and by different people till one wants to shout: "Enough alrea
Debbie West
Jan 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
I thought this would be a good cozy mystery. I was confused at first because the author has a man's name but is written in 1st person by a woman. A little dry humor is okay. There isn't anything really funny, no suspense, just a boring little mystery that a supposed mom if 3 homeschoolers & one public schooler is investigating. I homeschooled our one son for 4 years until high school graduation. So I know what us involved. This author has no clue! Not a word of math, science, geography, history, ...more
Sara M.
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
I have 3 issues with this book:
1) The main character (Daisy) was immature, dull, and no matter what, I could not bring myself to connect with her. And for someone who hated judgmental people, she was the most judgmental character in the entire book.
2) The book spent too much time discussing homeschooling and the main character's views on how children should be educated rather than the actual mystery. It took away from the book and made it seem a little too long winded.
3) The book spent too muc
Joanne Roberts
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Personally, I didn't care for this novel, but there were few sticking points that weren't personal preference. The writing was solid. The characters were dimensional. The mystery had twists and some clues. The book clearly set up for a series without being full of info dumps. It was fairly clean. Most strikingly of all, the author is a man who writes a pretty convincing female protagonist. Great job there. (Say what you will, writing cross-gender is never as easy as it sounds.) I also liked that ...more
Cathy Cash
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I liked the book and this is why. It was an easy read. Sometimes at the end of the day I just want to open a book and relax. I don't want to have to do a lot of thinking about who is who, and just what did they do in the last chapter that is important to remember for this chapter.

It was lighthearted, funny, and just what I needed to relax.

I noticed that some people said there was no sex, just hints of it. I don't need sex in every book I read. The way the book was written I think it was appropr
Becky Almon
Mar 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Ok cozy

This is an ok cozy mystery. I couldn't really get interested in the characters. I would have liked more development. The blended family living in the supposedly haunted house had the potential for more. Why mention the ghost and then not use it?

This is the first of a series, so hopefully the next will build a more interesting set of characters.
Namitha Varma
Jan 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: cosy-mystery
The characterisation, plot movement, conversation, were all just right for this subgenre of Mystery/Thriller, even if this book is now on the side of leisure than pace. However, no one ever mentioned the police giving a reason for death after the autopsy - just curious. And there was no closure to the character of the annoying detective. She should have at least come by to apologise.
Maralynda Kernutt
Dec 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good story line

Story was great, but there were a few editorial errors that made me have to backtrack. But just a little. I would recommend it for a fun read.
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Two stars only for the mystery. I subtracted the others due to the author's overly heavy-handed homeschooling angle and derision of public school. It was simply too much and detracted from the plot of the story. The irony is that, rather than paint homeschooling in a positive light, the author perpetuated the stereotype of homeschooling as not a real education. Despite the main character waxing at length about the learning by experience that her 4 children were doing, there were zero scenes wher ...more
Nov 05, 2018 rated it liked it
The Murder Pit is the first book in A Moose Mystery Murder series. I was in the mood for something that felt a bit like Halloween for me and this fit the theme I was looking for plus it was free on my Nook.

Daisy is excited to find a great historical fixer upper house, at least until her and her family move in and start to learn the true extent of the problems in the house. While defrosting some pipes Daisy notices a small door and opens it finding a coal chute that she did not know about when bu
Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Author Jeff Selby does a good job of portraying a blended family’s domestic life in this cozy mystery. The real drama is saved for the discovery of a body in their home’s coal chute rather than family conflict. Set in the small town of Moose River, Minnesota, the freezing winter is vividly described, as is the small town ambiance where citizens not only gossip about everyone’s business but pass judgment all too quickly.

Jake and Daisy Gardener are strong characters who both have a sense of humor,
May 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Meh. I read this in part so I could say I've read something other than fan fiction this year. Some of the fan fiction is a lot better.

Anyway, it's a small town mystery, set in Minnesota in winter. The author did a pretty good job of describing the cold.

Daisy and her new husband find a dead body in their fixer-upper Victorian house, and so the rest of the story is Daisy trying to solve the murder.

The characters aren't quite the typical mystery characters: Daisy homeschools her kids; her husban
Naznin Azeez
Jun 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Quite an interesting story about how a family finds a dead body stuffed in a coal chute that they didn't know of. Things go from bad to worse when Daisy, the homeowner recognises the dead person and also the small town people assume the worst : that she had put the dead body there. It seems like the dead person had no enemies whatsoever. So, how did he end up dead?. It's a good mystery that I finished in almost one sitting...

But one thing that put me off is the constant talk about homeschooling.
May 08, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked the book, it was decently paced and the plot was a fun perspective I haven't read a lot of. There were moments I didn't appreciate like the jokes about mental illness and physical challenges and of course, if you can, vaccinate your children. Overall the story was enjoyable and easy to follow if not too easy, I did guess the outcome and the climax of the story could have been a little longer - we had been waiting for a while. The conclusion was smooth and I was satisfied with the develop ...more
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Cute Cozy Mystery

This was a pretty good quick read. Establishing characters for a series usual leaves a first book caught up in those details. This did a nice job of balancing story and character introduction. There were a couple of things I had issues with. Having a kid use his computer to "hack" a site and then using another computer to log into said site, seemed off. Getting to the crux of the matter could have been done in about 100 less pages. Would make a great beach or vacation read. Not
Robert Borremans
Jul 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
An interesting plot that takes place in a small Minnesota town with a surprise ending.

But, between the beginning and the end, it is slow moving filled with family-oriented dialogue that does little to advance the storyline. At times, I grew weary and totally disinterested in the characters and side stories. Then, all of a sudden, the ending pops up and the murder is solved in less than one chapter.

Mr. Shelby is a good writer, but the book did not hold my interest. I recommend Murder Pit, but do
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #112 - The Murder Pit 1 2 Jul 09, 2015 12:54PM  

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Jeff Shelby grew up around the beaches of Southern California and graduated from the University of California at Irvine. He is the author of the bestselling Noah Braddock series (Killer Swell, Wicked Break, Liquid Smoke), the stand alone thriller Thread of Hope, and the Deuce Winters series (Stay At Home Dead), written under the name Jeffrey Allen. He lives in Dallas, TX.

Other books in the series

A Moose River Mystery (7 books)
  • Last Resort (A Moose River Mystery Book 2)
  • Alibi High (A Moose River Mystery #3)
  • Foul Play (A Moose River Mystery Book 4)
  • You've Got Blackmail (A Moose River Mystery Book 5)
  • Assisted Murder (A Moose River Mystery #6)
  • Death At The Diner (A Moose River Mystery Book 7)

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“I'd forced books on my kids from the day they were born and, as it turned out, it had been completely unnecessary because all of them liked to read. Or maybe they liked to read because I'd read aloud nearly every children's book in print.” 0 likes
“do it when it's daylight.” He laughed again. “Daisy. No one else is coming in.” “That's not what I'm worried about.” “Then what are you worried about?” I rolled closer to him. “How did whoever killed Olaf find that opening?” He thought for a moment. “I don't have a good answer for that,” he admitted. “I mean, you couldn't just walk into our yard and see it,” I said. “It wasn't visible. You would've had to know it was there.” He nodded. “Yeah, suppose so.” “The only people who could've known about it were the owners before us,” I said slowly. “Or the owners before them...” I sat up straight. “So it has to be one of them.” Jake looked dubious. “I don't know about that.” “How could it not?” I asked, smacking the pillow. “No one else would've known.” “You're assuming two things,” Jake said. “One, that the previous owners knew about the opening. We've lived here for” 0 likes
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