Friday, January 1, 2016


Thoroughly Delightful … A GREAT Read!!!

Most people choose houses with their heart and not their head, and Daisy Gardener is no exception. She fell in love the 150-year-old fixer upper that was in need of endless repair, and selected it for her family’s new home. On one a chilly night, she and her husband try to keep an old pipe from freezing, and in the process, discover their money pit is actually a murder pit. But it’s not enough that there’s a dead body in the coal shute … the coal shute they didn’t know existed … the victim of murder might be someone she knows.

I completely, thoroughly, and utterly enjoyed THE MURDER PIT by Jeff Shelby. It’s a fantastic read that is the perfect blend of mystery, suspense and comedic fun.  Shelby has the ingredients just right and serves up a winner! The plot is intelligent and will have you guessing who put the body in the Gardener home and why? Was it an enemy of Daisy looking for a little revenge? Was it karma paying a call? Or was it a body dump for pure convenience?  After all, hefting a murder victim on your shoulder while searching for a hiding place must be mighty tiring.

For me, the first three chapters, while charming, were a little slow. Not slow enough for me to put the book aside, but not as fastly paced as the rest of the story. It was right about chapter four … right there at the end of it … that the novel really took off and never faltered, And I gotta confess … no, not to the murder … but to the fact that I had way too much fun flying through the pages! Shelby has created a wild cast of characters for us to eavesdrop on and suspect of murder. They all have those quirks that turn them into likely suspects. Of course, those idiosyncrasies also point to Moose River being a heck of a place to hang out. What with wrestling matches in the snow and neighbors that will sell out a good friend just because there’s a body found in their basement, it has a certain charm. Well, maybe not under these circumstances, but fun just the same. And as far as character development, Shelby has done a great job in giving us all the background dirt while *surprise surprise* not slowing the story down! How did that happen and could he give lessons to other authors struggling with this premise? It gives this mystery a forward momentum that keeps us on our toes. It’s very refreshing.  

What can I say? If you love mysteries that are smarty written and interspersed with laugh-out-loud humor, then download THE MURDER PIT.  I guarantee it’s even better that I’m describing. You will fall in love with Daisy Gardener and her husband Jake. You’ll find yourself rooting for them all the way and, by the way, I can’t wait to read LAST RESORT the next installment in the awesomely entertaining Moose River mystery series! Definitely giving this one five stars.

Jeff Shelby is the national bestselling author of the Noah Braddock books (Killer Swell, Wicked Break, Liquid Smoke and Drift Away), the Joe Tyler series (Thread of Hope, Thread of Suspicion, Thread of Betrayal and Thread of Innocence) as well as the humorous cozy Moose River mystery series (The Murder Pit and Last Resort.) He also penned the Deuce Winters mysteries (Stay At Home Dead, Popped Off and Father Knows Death, written under the pseudonym Jeffrey Allen. A graduate of the University of California, Irvine, he now divides his time between Texas and Minnesota.


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