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Black Moon  By  cover art

Black Moon

By: Jo A. Hiestand
Narrated by: Callum Hale
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Publisher's summary

Each April, the members of a mystery writing group gather on Stanton Moon for camaraderie and to fuel their plots. The moody area seems the perfect setting for hatching a whodunit. Unfortunately, an unscripted mystery materializes like an unsolicited manuscript on a publisher’s slush pile—the leader of their group is found on the moor, her head bashed in and very dead.

Lesley Keeton’s murder takes on the aspects of a novel’s first draft, the suspects shadowy and the killer unnamed. Now, a year later, ex-police detective Michael McLaren is asked to tidy up the plot and expose the killer.

McLaren investigates and discovers anger and jealousy cropping up as often as editor’s red marks on a manuscript page. The group members crafted more than stories—they planned a mass exodus, fleeing Lesley’s tutelage, dictatorship, and tongue lashings. Add a tinge of blackmail, an illegal business, and an affair to this framework, and the deadly combination has the earmarks of a best seller.

In the midst of this, McLaren’s lady friend arrives unannounced and disrupts the case…and unbalances his emotions. Both are tested one dark night in a churchyard when she stumbles into the arms of the killer…and McLaren must rescue her without letting evil go free.

©2019 Jo A. Hiestand (P)2022 Jo A. HIestand

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Black Moon by J. Hiestand

“Black Moon” has a compelling plot, written with both thought and humor. The book is well crafted, interesting, and keeps the reader guessing from beginning to end.
The story has enough intriguing characters for a complex plot. Though, of course the best character is McLaren. He is a thoughtful detective, going through clues step by step. Most of the book's humor comes from his interactions with Jamie, his police contact. Author Hiestand even adds a bit of romance, too, when McLaren’s new lady friend enters the picture.
Jo Hiestand brings reality to her storytelling; She also brings in enough description to add atmosphere and authenticity. She certainly has done her homework about police work. And at times her prose becomes a poetic sketch of locale.

Speaking of description, Callum Hale’s narration does much for this mystery. His voice changes believably to bring all the different characters to life. He adds animation to humorous or exciting scenes, moodiness to description and brings affection to tender scenes. His voice is perfect for this mystery series.

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