Title: Death by Bourbon
Publisher: Worker Bee Press
Release Date: September 2012
Pages: 196 pages
About the Book:
Charming and handsome Addison DeWitt takes a sip of bourbon at an engagement party and falls into a fit a few minutes later. Josiah thinks it was murder, but no one believes her except for her friends, Lady Elsmere and Meriah Caldwell, the famous mystery writer. The three of them try to outsmart the suspected murderer, but the killer is always three steps ahead of them in this fast-paced, witty and fun who-dun-it! Death By Bourbon is the fourth installment in the award-winning Josiah Reynolds mystery series. Josiah Reynolds is a retired art professor who keeps honeybees as a hobby. She lives in an iconic house called the Butterfly designed by her now deceased husband. An amateur sleuth, Josiah lives in the glamorous world of Thoroughbreds, oak-cured bourbon and antebellum mansions, struggling to uncover the truth in the Kentucky Bluegrass, which keeps its secrets well.
As my loyal readers know, I am a big fan of stories with strong women. Josiah Reynolds and her friends are definitely that. Over the previous three books Josiah has been thrown off a cliff; her husband left her, taking off with all of her money; and her daughter became a professional thief. But she is a survivor and manages to keep going and keep her Southern bearing through everything that life tosses at her.
The first few chapters of Death by Bourbon were very confusing to me because the author does not give a lot of backstory but seems to assume the reader has read her previous books. By chapter four, and after re-reading the first three chapters, I was able to figure out who was who and what was going on. The plotline is typical mystery fodder, but it is the characters and the Kentucky upper class lifestyle that really make the story come alive.
Here’s one of my favorite quotes from the book:
Sometimes right and wrong look the same in the daylight, but opposite in the reflection of moonbeams.
and here’s another:
It must be in our genes to possess beauty, whatever form it comes in.
If Agatha Christie and Lilian Jackson Braun had a few too many drinks at Churchill Downs and a seventh grader transcribed their notes, this book might be the result. it’s a fun read, but it could have been better written.
I give Death by Bourbon 3 1/2 shots.
About the Author:
Abigail Keam is an award-winning author who writes the Josiah Reynolds mystery series about a beekeeper turned sleuth.
Death By A HoneyBee won the 2010 Gold Medal Award for Women’s Lit from Reader’s Favorite and was a Finalist of the USA BOOK NEWS-Best Books of 2011.
Death By Drowning won the 2011 Gold Medal Award for Best Mystery Sleuth and also was placed on the USA BOOK NEWS-Best Books of 2011.
Ms. Keam is also an award-winning beekeeper who lives on the Kentucky River in a metal house with her husband and various critters.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for review from First Rule Publicity from the author as part of a virtual book tour. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”