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Murder at the Moonshine Inn
by Maggie King
The story is full of twists, turns, and humor, and should please both cozy and traditional mystery fans.
~The Book’s the Thing
This story is very well-written, with a well-developed mystery and a grand cast of quirky characters.
Settle in and invite your own bookclub to share in this complex and thought provoking multiple murder mystery.
Murder at the Moonshine Inn: A Hazel Rose Book Group Mystery
Koehler Books (November 15, 2016)
Paperback: 288 Pages
E-Book ASIN: B01LXL1VXD
When high-powered executive Roxanne Howard dies in a pool of blood outside the Moonshine Inn, Richmond, Virginia’s premiere redneck bar, the victim’s sister enlists Hazel Rose to ferret out the killer. At first Hazel balks—she’s a romance writer, not a detective. But Brad Jones, Rox’s husband, is the prime suspect. He’s also Hazel’s cousin, and Hazel believes in doing anything to help family. Never mind that Brad won’t give her the time of day—he’s still family.
Hazel recruits her book group members to help with the investigation. It’s not long before they discover any number of people who feel that a world without Rox Howard is just fine with them: Brad’s son believes that Rox and Brad were behind his mother’s death; Rox’s former young lover holds Rox responsible for a tragedy in his family; and one of Rox’s employees filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against her. The killer could be an angry regular from the Moonshine Inn—or just about anyone who ever crossed paths with the willful and manipulative Rox. When a second murder ups the ante Hazel must find out who is behind the killings. And fast. Or she may be victim #3.
Interview with the Author
What initially got you interested in writing?
As a devotee of Nancy Drew, I wrote mysteries in grade school. In high school I poured my considerable adolescent angst into bad poetry. After that, the only writing I did for many years was on the pages of my journal. During the last year I lived in Los Angeles, three of my co-workers took creative writing and screenwriting courses at UCLA Extension. I read their work and was impressed by their talent. I also thought, “Hmm. If they can do this …” At the time I belonged to a mystery book group (it was the model for the Murder on Tour group in my Hazel Rose Book Group series) and felt confident that I could turn out a mystery. When I moved to Virginia in 1996 I took a writing course at the University of Virginia and reawakened my love of writing. I took more classes and started writing on a regular basis.
What genres do you write in?
What drew you to writing these specific genres?
I love reading mysteries, as the puzzles intrigue me. Also, I worked as a computer programmer for many years, and programming is a problem-solving skill. Essentially, I married my occupation to my reading interest.
How did you break into the field?
My first publishing credit was “A Not So Genteel Murder,” a story I contributed to the Virginia is for Mysteries anthology (2014, Koehler Books).
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
I want them to say, “Wow! I never saw the end coming.”
I want them to be entertained, but I also want them to think about some of the questions I pose: “What would you do for your family? Is there anything you would not do for them? How important is money? Would you go to any lengths to acquire it?”
And I want them to relate to my characters and look forward to the next adventure for Hazel Rose and her book group.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
The readers: I love meeting them, either in person or on social media. I love to learn what they like to read and what they think of my work, and the work of other authors.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
Keeping focused on my actual writing. Besides personal distractions, I’m challenged by the myriad of writing-related tasks facing writers these days (promotion, marketing, social media, to name a few). Although I enjoy it all.
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
Write every day, even if you can only squeeze in fifteen minutes. Get away from the computer occasionally and engage in physical activity like walking, gardening, working out, etc. Jot down or record your ideas as they come to you. Read a variety of genres, including newspapers. Pick two or three authors whose style you like and study how they structure their stories and create characters. A good book about mystery writing is You Can Write a Mystery by Gillian Roberts (I studied her Amanda Pepper series).
What type of books do you enjoy reading?
Mysteries, literary fiction, biographies, spiritual growth
Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?
I enjoy walking, reading, travel, cats, theatre, film, TV shows on DVD, especially foreign-productions (although now I’m working my way through all seven seasons of the West Wing).
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
Thanks so much for hosting me, Shannon. I enjoyed your questions and connecting with your readers.
About The Author
Maggie King is the author of the Hazel Rose Book Group mysteries, including the recently-released Murder at the Moonshine Inn. She contributed the stories “A Not So Genteel Murder” and “Reunion at Shockoe Slip” to the Virginia is for Mysteries anthologies.
Maggie is a member of Sisters in Crime, James River Writers, and the American Association of University Women. She has worked as a software developer, retail sales manager, and customer service supervisor. Maggie graduated from Elizabeth Seton College and earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Rochester Institute of Technology. She has called New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California home. These days she lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, Glen, and cats, Morris and Olive.
It’s wonderful to be a guest on The Pulp and Mystery Shelf. Thank you for having me.