New York Times bestselling author Wendy Corsi Staub returns to Mundy’s Landing—a small town where bygone bloodshed has become big business. Hair neatly braided, hands serenely clasped, eyes closed, the young woman appeared to be sound asleep. But the peaceful tableau was a madman’s handiwork. Beneath the covers, her white nightgown was spattered with blood. At daybreak, a horrified family would discover her corpse tucked into their guest room. The cunning killer would strike again . . . and again . . . before vanishing into the mists of time.
A century ago, the Sleeping Beauty Murders terrified picturesque Mundy’s Landing. The victims, like the killer, were never identified. Now, on the hundredth anniversary, the Historical Society’s annual “Mundypalooza” offers a hefty reward for solving the notorious case.
Annabelle Bingham, living in one of the three Murder Houses, can’t escape the feeling that her family is being watched—and not just by news crews and amateur sleuths. She’s right. Having unearthed the startling truth behind the horrific crimes, a copycat killer is about to reenact them—beneath the mansard roof of Annabelle’s dream home . . .
New York Times bestseller Wendy Corsi Staub is the award-winning author of more than ninety novels, best known for the single title psychological suspense novels she writes under her own name. Those books and the women’s fiction written under the pseudonym Wendy Markham have also appeared on the USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookscan bestseller lists.
Her current standalone suspense novel, THE OTHER FAMILY, is about a picture-perfect family that that moves into a picture-perfect house. But not everything is as it seems, and the page-turner concludes “with a wallop of a twist,” according to #1 New York Times bestselling author Harlan Coben.
Her critically acclaimed Lily Dale traditional mystery series centers around a widowed single mom—and skeptic—who moves to a town populated by spiritualists who talk to the dead. Titles include NINE LIVES; SOMETHING BURIED, SOMETHING BLUE; DEAD OF WINTER; and PROSE AND CONS, with a fifth book under contract.
Wendy has written five suspense trilogies for HarperCollins/William Morrow. The most recent, The Foundlings (LITTLE GIRL LOST, DEAD SILENCE, and THE BUTCHER’S DAUGHTER), spans fifty years in the life of a woman left as a newborn in a Harlem church, now an investigative genealogist helping others uncover their biological roots while still searching for her own.
Written as Wendy Markham, Wendy’s novel HELLO, IT’S ME was a recent Hallmark television movie starring Kellie Martin. Her short story “Cat Got Your Tongue” appeared in R.L. Stine’s MWA middle grade anthology SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN and her short story “The Elephant in the Room” is included in the Anthony Award-nominated inaugural anthology SHATTERING GLASS.
A three-time finalist for the Simon and Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award, she’s won an RWA Rita Award, an RT Award for Career Achievement in Suspense, the 2007 RWA-NYC Golden Apple Award for Lifetime Achievement, and five WLA Washington Irving Prizes for Fiction.
She previously published a dozen adult suspense novels with Kensington Books and the critically-acclaimed young adult paranormal series “Lily Dale” (Walker/Bloomsbury). Earlier in her career, she published a broad range of genres under her own name and pseudonyms, and was a co-author/ghostwriter for several celebrities.
Raised in Dunkirk, NY, Wendy graduated from SUNY Fredonia and launched a publishing career in New York City. She was Associate Editor at Silhouette Books before selling her first novel in 1992. Married with two sons, she lives in the NYC suburbs. An active supporter of the American Cancer Society, she was a featured speaker at Northern Westchester’s 2015 Relay for Life and 2012 National Spokesperson for the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation. She has fostered for various animal rescue organizations.
Blue Moon by Wendy Corsi Staub is a 2016 William Morrow publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
As the one- hundred- year anniversary of the “Sleeping Beauty Killer’ murders approaches, Mundy’s Landing is gearing up for the annual 'Mundypalooza', where amateur sleuths and crime enthusiast flood into the community determined to solve the cold case. If someone actually does solve the century old murder, there will be a nice cash prize awarded to them.
For locals, this annual event is a pain, but for Annabelle Bingham it is especially annoying. She and her family live in one of the houses where the 'SBK' deposited one of his victims, all those years ago, which means her home has been dubbed ‘a murder house’. It also means all those SBK fanatics have been circling by her home and gawking. But, on a couple of occasions she has sensed someone lurking on the property, and she's not convinced it is one of the SBK crime solvers.
If that weren’t bad enough, Annabelle is dealing with everyday stress, such as serious money problems, DIY home renovations, and a son with a severe anxiety disorder.
However, when Annabelle makes an interesting discovery in her home, one that could actually be a clue to solving the SBK mystery, she is cautiously optimistic, hoping she could solve the case and help her family’s dire financial situation in the process.
But, what she doesn’t know, is that there is a killer lurking in Mundy’s landing who is also very interested in the SBK murders and in her house specifically, and she could be his next victim.
I really liked the first book in this series- “Blood Red”, and couldn't wait to dive into this second installment.
But, things got off to such a slow start, I was afraid this book might be suffering from 'second book syndrome”. However, my patience paid off as the story finally found its groove and turned out to be a pretty solid mystery/ thriller, after all.
The killer keeps a 'case file' and the reader is able to access his thoughts and actions, but we are left totally in the dark about his identity. The reader is also able to read excerpts from the SBK's journal, which coincide with the current kidnapping and murder spree. These musings are very disturbing and really creepy.
The best part for me was learning more about the 'Sleeping Beauty Killer” and the lurid details of that ancient crime, but this information is not revealed until quite late in the story, but was very absorbing and quite shocking.
The present day crime spree is a bit of a sleeper, and the pacing was just a little bit off kilter this time around, and the suspense was muted in comparison to the first book, at least in the beginning, but at the end of the day, the conclusion more than made up for any imbalances, and I was thrilled by the unlikely hero of the story, which made my day!
Overall, this book was not quite as strong as the first installment, but is still an adequate addition to the trilogy, which I believe will conclude in 2017. 3.5 rounded to 4
Once in a Blue Moon I first started reading books by Wendy Corsi Staub over 20 years ago when she first published. Her stories are always suspenseful and characters believable. Blue Moon is about a series of murders, back in the late 1890's and left the bodies of his victims in three separate houses known as The Murder Houses and recreated in present day buy a deranged killer.We have two serial killers, one who killed three times to cover up the first one and the second known a copycat , just because he was fascinated with the previous murders Sleeping Beauty Murders . Annabelle Bingham and her husband Trib, have a son who has severe anxiety, wanted a change and they purchased one of the murder homes. Annabelle became fascinated with the history of the house and the other two murder homes. Every year the community of Mundy's Landing has an event called Mundypalooza that draws tourists and other gawkers coming to Mundy's Landing to see if anyone can solve the old murders. So far no one has. At the same time Detective Sullivan Leary, Sully, is headed to Mundy's Landing to have a much-needed vacation. She chose Mundy's Landing because she really liked the area having been there previously, in the first book of the series, on a previous case with her partner Barnes. She is hoping to get some needed rest but soon finds herself curious about the Sleeping Beauty Murders.The reader is brought into the mind of two killers and why each one is doing what they are doing. Both sets of murders are sadistic in nature and involve young women/girls. Filled with suspenseful moments, a mother's love for their child and believable characters and events that make this page turner another great story by a prolific author. Even though this is the second in a series, it can be read as a stand alone.
Annabelle starts to wonder if buying one of the notorious Murder houses was such a good idea. Sure, it was cheap, but with a socially challenged son and all of the lookie loos gathering outside, it’s not such a good deal.
One hundred years ago, three young girls, the Sleeping beauties, were murdered. Their bodies dressed in white nightgowns, arms crossed, and left in three different houses. They didn’t live in them. In fact, their identities were never discovered. And their deaths remain unsolved.
Now, the town overflows as people from all over crowd the streets during Mundypalooza, the 100th anniversary of the murders, hoping to solve the crime and win the large reward.
When Annabelle spies a stranger lurking in her back yard, she’s hesitant to report it as she fears the police will brush it off as just another snoop. Perhaps they’re right. But what if they’re not?
Told from several different perspectives, this was a chilling mystery and not easily solved. I had no idea who the killer was, past or present, until the author revealed it.
How Wendy told the story was a good choice, giving us insights from the killer of a hundred years ago through his diary entries, thoughts from the present copycat killer, and the desperate sleuthing of Annabelle.
Sure keeps you guessing as you flip through the pages. I watch a lot of crime shows and Criminal Minds came to mind while I read this. I used it to visualize scenes and that made it especially creepy.
Good stuff for mystery, suspense, and thriller readers. Wendy never fails to get your heart pumping and your body jumping at those strange noises outside.
Mundy's Landing is famous for the murders that occurred years ago. Three girls were found dead in three different houses and the murderer was never found. The houses came to be known as the Murder Houses.
Even though they had second thoughts about purchasing a "Murder House" they went ahead and bought the house. Annabelle Bingham and her husband Trib were thrilled with all the room the house provided for the couple and their son Oliver. The couple felt they could put the bad memories of the house behind them.
That is hard to do in Mundy's Landing particularly at the time of Mundy's Landing Sestercentennial Vault to be opened in 2016. People are gathering to see the town and stare at the Murder Houses which isn't making Annabelle Bingham very comfortable but living where she does she is bound to have tourists coming around.
But girls are disappearing again in Mundy's Landing. No way could the killer of years ago return but it seems there is a pattern being followed and there will be murder before the festivities are over.
This is the first book I've read by Staub and it won't be the last. Be prepared to give a few days for reading as the book is long but very engaging. It would make a good beach or vacation novel. Just don't read it right before you go to bed.
The plot is a little complex. There had been three murders one hundred years ago in Mundy's Landing. The victims had remained unidentified and the killer never captured. This novel centers around a couple buying one of the houses where one of the murdered young women was found. What they don't know is that someone is going to replicate the murders.
This novel is a good combination of character revelation and suspense. It is written from a number of viewpoints. Annabelle is the wife and mother who now lives with her family in the murder house. Their son, Oliver, suffers from an anxiety disorder. Even though he's twelve, he is terrified of many things. Holmes is the name the would be killer has given himself. We follow him too, obsessed with the murders of 1916. He's got three young women chained in an old ice house, just waiting for the exact day. Another character's viewpoint is that of the elderly woman who is caretaker of the museum containing the murder history. We also read entries from the original murderer's journal. Sully, from the first novel in this series, is vacationing in Mundy's Landing and we experience some from her viewpoint too.
Along with multiple viewpoints, the narrative frequently changes from current events to those of the past. That might sound a bit confusing but actually it came off quite well. The different viewpoints are clearly identified and are written in the present tense. The historical parts are written in past tense and were easy to identify.
I recommend this novel to those who enjoy getting caught up in a rather complex plot with lots of character development and a good amount of suspense. I really got caught up in Annabelle's life as she came to grips with living in a “murder house” with a very busy husband and a son demanding much emotional attention. I really liked the way the secondary characters were presented too. All in all, an enjoyable read.
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
Wendy Corsi Staub brings us back to Mundy's Landing, in the second installment of her Mundy's Landing series.
If you enjoy eccentric & colorful characters then take a trip to your local bookseller today. Some of the characters from the first book in the series, "Blood Red," have made their return in Blue Moon. They are more of secondary characters but ones you will recognize. The new characters are delightful in getting to know. What I like about returning characters is the familiarity it brings to the table.
Mundy's Landing is a small & quaint town where evil lurks. It will keep you turning pages to find out who the killer is. Could it be that there are more than one evil killer in Mundy's Landing? Well, you'll just have to read it to find out. I'm not telling!!!
Years ago in Mundy's Landing, there were unsolved murders, known as, " The Sleeping Beauty" murders. Rest assured... Nothing like reading the fairytale. Be prepared for a brilliantly written psychological suspense novel. It will be quite an adventure to read it.
Put the coffee on & keep the lights on!
Thank you, Harper for an ARC of "Blue Moon," in return for an unbiased review. No compensation was received.
"Blue Moon," can be read as a stand alone novel, but why would you not want to buy the first in the series... "Blood Red?"
Thank you, Wendy... You hit it out of the ball park once again!
This book was hard to get into and stay interested. I gave up barely a quarter of the way in because nothing was happening. It did not hold my interest. I hate giving low ratings, but I really didn't like this book.
This is the WCS story that I have come to know and love. I read this one so fast because I just couldn't put it down. The SBK murders were so interesting and I had no idea who was behind them until the end -- I did have a feeling that
The history of Mundy's Landing returns to play a significant role in Book 2! The mystery of the Sleeping Beauty Murders plays out in this book, in which characters are trying to figure out the identity of the three young women found dead in three different homes in the early 1900s. The historical home of the main character this time, Annabelle, offers a clue. In addition, a time capsule that was sealed in the early 1900s is opened at the end of the book. Ora Abrams, the Historical Society curator, is also holding on to secrets. Meanwhile, a dangerous copycat killer is on the prowl, endangering the young women of Mundy's Landing in an effort to recreate the infamous Sleeping Beauty Murders! This one had a huge twist at the end that I was NOT expecting. Nailbiting again.
The story here is less involving than the one in the first novel. The characters are less interesting and likable too; for the most part they are a bunch of whiners. This story involves the 100th anniversary of the Sleeping Beauty murders which is what the town, Mundy's Landing, is most notable for. The antagonist sincerely believes that in today's world of Internet and forensic science, he could duplicate all three murders and get away with. I don't feel there was enough information to allow the reader to figure out who was behind the kidnappings (and soon to be murders). This is merely okay.
The first book in this series was awesome so I was expecting the same fie this one, the second in the series. It was good, but I got tired of all of the SBK's diary entries and there was SO much Purcell Family history that it felt more like a high school history class (not a good thing, in my opinion). I do.look forward to reading the third book of this trilogy because I'm curious as to the goings-on in Mundy's Landing.
This book really held my attention! It's the second of a trilogy, although it's great as a stand alone read. I loved it so much that I've got the other two on order. Looking forward to reading more by this author!
Ms. Staub always provides a fun read, though after the first ten, they can seem a bit formulaic. This one is a cross between thriller and police procedural. Second book in a series of three with much of the first forgotten, I'd better get on with the last one.
A hundred year old murder mystery is about to come alive again. Three young girls were found murdered and placed in 3 different homes 100 years ago. Munday's Landing museum curator has capitalized on this mystery. Now 100 years later she isn't so sure this was the right thing to do.
This is ok. The main characters are WEAK and whiny and quickly get on your nerves. The set up is immense the resolution is immediate. It lacks symmetry and therefore you dont get the risk a thriller is to give you.