July 27, 2016

Rave Reviews for Murder on Moonshine Hill–5Stars!!

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Murder on Moonshine Hill, the second amateur detective Jenna Scali murder mystery by Joan Curtis is another fantastic, fast paced mystery.  I love murder mysteries and this is one of the very best I’ve read. You won’t want to put it down.  Jenna finds herself at an Inn in the North Carolina Mountains.  Jenna’s relationship with an estranged childhood friend and the tangled web it weaves finds you not wanting to put the book down.  You won’t know “who did it” until you get to the end.  I got very involved in the characters, just like I did while reading the first Jenna Scali mystery, e-Murderer.  Jenna living in Athens with her two cats strikes a special relationship with her character for me.  I live in Atlanta, GA, have two cats, and am in Athens on a regular basis. If you haven’t read e-Murderer, don’t miss out.  It’s a must read too!

Reviewed by Karla MacKenna

Jenna receives an invitation to a wedding … the bride, Marcy, used to be her best friend, but that was 10 years ago.  There has been no other contact. Dragging her friend, Quentin, she bites the bullet and goes.  She’s still smarting from the way Marcy treated her and she thinks she will use this opportunity to find out why her friend turned against her.

Arriving at their destination, Marcy sees a lot of people from her past which stirs up a lot of memories both good and bad.  She did not expect to find a dead body.

The wedding is cancelled. But then the police arrest Marcy. Jenna does what Jenna does best … sticks her nose where it doesn’t belong, putting her life in danger.

Not overly suspenseful, but a really good mystery, it’s a fast easy read.  I read it in 2 sittings.  I love all the characters.  I have never seen so many dysfunctional people all in one place at one time.

There is Marcy who breaks down and tells Jenna how abusive her intended is, Tom.  There is Tom’s mother, who doesn’t seem to like Tom. There is cousin Clayton, who doesn’t seem to like Tom.  The ex-boyfriend makes an appearance and he doesn’t like Tom, either.

There is Jenna’s mother and aunt … both a little on the ditzy side.  Marcy’s mother and her husband and her father and his trophy wife add to the long list of suspects, especially as the trophy wife and intended groom were having an affair.

It’s a book also filled with humor … which appears sporadically throughout.  I found myself chuckling out loud.  This one just hit all the right buttons for me.

I do recommend that e-Murderer be read first.  There are several references to the events of the first book. I’m keeping fingers crossed that there will be further adventures for Jenna and her friends. She’s an intriguing character.

Many thanks to the author who provided a digital copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Reviewed by Linda Strong of Strong Book Reviews.

5 Stars

Once again I am glued to my couch by one of Joan C. Curtis’ enthralling mysteries; unable to put down Murder on Moonshine Hill. I so enjoyed the antics Jenna Scali got herself into within the pages of the first book in the series, e-Murderer, I was intrigued to find out what trouble a friend’s wedding and murder would create for her. I didn’t want to stop reading.

The way Joan describes the characters, the scenery, and the entire setting, let alone the placement of twist and turns, clues, and potential suspects, is riveting. I tried to solve the mystery most of the way through, yet once again, she got the better of me with a surprise ending.

I have grown to really enjoy Jenna, her BFF Quentin, and her gentle copper crush, Rich, so much; I definitely would love to experience them again.

Reviewed by Bernadette Boas, Ball of Fire, Inc.


Murder on Moonshine Hill by Joan C. Curtis is an interesting story in the murder and mystery genres, featuring powerful characters and a gripping plot, a story of how far a girl will go to find justice for her best friend. Ata wedding, someone gets murdered and Jenna’s friend is arrested.

Jenna wants to learn the truth so she takes matters into her own hands. Her investigation will lead her to the real murderer, but does she have what it takes to face such an evil? There are very interesting things about this story, and I have to avoid the temptation of spoiling the fun for readers by revealing too much about the plot.

Murder on Moonshine Hill is a gripping, well-written story. I loved the prose and the engaging, plot-driven dialogue. Jenna is one of those protagonists readers want to follow in a series; well-developed with areas where readers want to be part of their progress. There is something very dangerous and attractive about her, her uncanny curiosity, and how it plays out in the entire story is fascinating. I loved the cast of characters, the conflict and how it creates a sense of suspense. The plot is fast paced, and readers can’t tell where Joan C. Curtis is leading them. I admire the author’s originality when it comes to plot and characterization, and won’t hesitate to recommend this one for any reader looking for something fun, surprisingly entertaining, and engaging. Joan C. Curtis is now one of those writers I will be watching closely.

Reviewed by Christian Sia Reader’s Favorite

Set against the idyllic mountains of North Carolina, Murder on Moonshine Hill is a powerful entry in the Jenna Scali Mystery series by Joan C. Curtis, a tale of murder and a woman’s courage to seek justice. Jenna expects anything unwelcoming the moment she chooses to attend her friend’s wedding, but when someone gets murdered at the wedding, one has to find out how it happened, why it happened, and who made it happen.

Jenna might have said it was just one of those bad days, but her friend is behind bars and the killer could be walking free. Find out what happens when she decides to discover the truth.

Very suspenseful and laced with mystery, Murder on Moonshine Hill is one of those books that will set readers’ hearts racing, with a carefully conceived and well-executed plot and a cast of dazzling characters. JoanC. Curtis is a genius when it comes to building conflict and she knows how to weave beautiful literary elements into a fast-paced plot – such as suspense, tight and engaging writing, a great sense of mystery, and characters that wholly grab the reader’s interest. The writing is focused and the author did a great job with point of view. One of the things that made me enjoy this book a lot is that the author limits herself to relevant pressing issues, so the reader doesn’t have to wade through a maze of things to get inside the story. The characters are irresistibly attractive and Jenna stands out as a strong and well-realized protagonist. Focused writing with compelling characters make Murder on protagonist. Focused writing with compelling characters make Murder on Moonshine Hill a great success in the murder and mystery genre.

Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers’ Favorite

Murder on Moonshine Hill: Jenna Scali Book 2 (A Jenna Scali Mystery) by Joan C. Curtis is a murder mystery that follows Jenna as she reluctantly attends an old friend’s wedding. Jenna and Marcy used to be best friends, but fell out after a tragic incident that affected them both. This left them unable to continue their friendship to the same degree, and then they drifted apart. There was some bad feeling between them that grew as the years passed … until Jenna receives an invitation to Marcy’s wedding. The invitation contains a cryptic message that results in Jenna feeling obliged to attend. When she arrives, she discovers an array of characters and relationships, and a mysterious death – or rather murder – leads toMarcy being the prime suspect and Jenna fearing for her own safety.

This is a classic whodunit. The characters are very well developed and the author, Joan Curtis, goes to great lengths to describe each person and their relationships with the ‘cast,’ whether by blood or more tenuous. The plot is intricate and there are motives galore which draw the reader in to try to solve the case. The setting is well described and believable and if there isn’t a Moonshine Inn in real life, perhaps there should be. The twist at the end is unexpected and the ending is satisfying and complete. The character of Jenna is likeable and well developed so that the reader empathizes with her as the protagonist. This well thought out mystery will keep the reader wondering to the very end.

Reviewed by Jane Finch for Readers’ Favorite

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Those Who Enjoy a Good Mystery Will Enjoy The Clock Strikes Midnight

Five-Star Review from ReadersFavorites!

Reviewed by Jeffrey Brooke-Stewart for Reader’s Favorite5star-shiny-web

With The Clock Strikes Midnight, Joan Curtis has written a true page-turner. The plot follows a successful businesswoman named Janie as she takes a journey back over her life. The diagnosis of terminal cancer (given on the opening page, so no plot spoiler there) rouses Janie’s determination to take care of unfinished issues. The story begins in Savannah, Georgia, but quickly moves to Atlanta where the author deftly describes the contrasts of various parts of that city.

Joan C. Curtis takes the reader through Janie’s life story and that of the previous generation. The characters of her family and friends are developed with sensitivity, even though some of them are very unattractive. Central to the plot is an understanding of Janie’s family–her mother, step-father and her sister, in particular.

In the process, the author describes Janie’s determination and her progress towards settling the old issue before the cancer causes her death. Exactly what that issue is does not become clear until the final pages. But it becomes obvious that it involves the murder of Janie’s mother by her step-father, Ralph. Ralph’s plea of innocence only added to the uncertainty and suspense.

On a number of occasions the reader may anticipate the ending, but each time a new variable is introduced to maintain the uncertainty and tension! The result is a fast-moving suspense-filled yarn. Those who like a good mystery will enjoy this book.