Friday, August 26, 2016

Review: Blue Moon by Wendy Corsi Staub

Blue Moon (Mundy's Landing, Book #2)
by Wendy Corsi Staub
Release Date: July 26th 2016
2016 William Morrow
Kindle Edition; 448 Pages
ISBN: 978-0062349750
Genre: Fiction / Murder
Source: Review copy from publisher

4 / 5 Stars

A century ago, the Sleeping Beauty Murders terrified picturesque Mundy’s Landing. The victims, like the killer, were never identified. Now, on the hundredth anniversary, the Historical Society’s annual “Mundypalooza” offers a hefty reward for solving the notorious case.

Annabelle Bingham, living in one of the three Murder Houses, can’t escape the feeling that her family is being watched—and not just by news crews and amateur sleuths. She’s right. Having unearthed the startling truth behind the horrific crimes, a copycat killer is about to reenact them—beneath the mansard roof of Annabelle’s dream home . . .

My Thoughts
Blue Moon is the second book in the Mundy's Landing trilogy and I quite liked this one far more than the first book, Blood Red.  I also took a liking to the villains, the killer and the somewhat shady historical keeper, as they were far more interesting than Annabelle and Trib who I just wanted to throttle half of the time.  And I rather liked how the author built up to the crime, leaving the reader wondering if anything was going to happen or not, which was suspenseful on its own.

From the beginning, although the author set up the chapters the exact same way as the first novel, with excerpts pulled from an old diary as well as thoughts from the killer, the whole atmosphere seemed a bit different.  There was this layer of suspense over everything that wasn't there before which I rather liked, and to be honest, I really didn't figure out who the killer was until the very end.  The person did come up on my radar once, but I dismissed it as not possible because it would have been too obvious so I turned my attention to other possibilities. I don't think I would have made a good detective.  So I was a bit surprised when I discovered who it was and full of praise for the author as it's not often that I can't figure out who the person is - I am always a fan of an author who can pull a surprise like this.  

I really enjoyed trying to figure out the Sleeping Beauty Murders as a lot more information was revealed in this installment; I liked the historical information on the previous owners of Annabelle's house, trying to figure out what happened there along with her, and although I thought I had it figured out, it was a bit worse than I originally thought.  I definitely liked how the clues were laid out and given to the reader; it is a suspense novel after all, and not a historical one so they should be given out that way. I am not always a fan of reading a killer's POV, but this was rather interesting and well done.  I was glad to see the brutality was also kept to a minimum as that is one of the reasons I am not crazy about following the killer's POV - it can sometimes be rather brutal.  I also enjoyed Ora in this one especially as she could be somewhat deceptive in her dealings with documentation regarding the original murders; I found her to be quite interesting and always wondered what she would do next to protect information and material regarding the murders.  A sneaky old lady, to be sure.

I am still not sure why Sully and Barnes were in this one though.  They really had no purpose, and although I enjoyed their chapters, it did take away from the overall effect of the novel as they had no use here.  Although I suspect the author may be setting up for something in the last novel of this trilogy, I felt her efforts were wasted and these two characters kind of slowed down the overall effectiveness of the plot.  

I also have to mention that I was not a big fan of Annabelle, especially with regards to how she treated her son who suffers from GAD.  The author may have wanted to introduce readers to the anxiety disorder, but I really feel she didn't do justice to it in this novel.  She made Oliver seem like a lost little boy who was scared of everything, and his parents coddled him like a two year old.  Neither of Oliver's parents ever tried to talk him through situations or made him face his fears safely, rather they just avoided situations or treated him like a baby. Having personal experience with anxiety, it was a bit frustrating to read and I definitely think it could have been handled better.  And Kim? I don't even want to go there.

Blue Moon is a rather interesting story that kept me engrossed most of the time.  I enjoyed the diary entries by the original killer, the POV of the modern killer, and the search for answers by today's townspeople who are still wondering what happened 100 years ago.  I was not a big fan of the main character though, and I think it says a lot when I was looking forward to reading others' POV instead of Annabelle's as she was annoying.  I am a big fan of Ora's just because I find her so interesting and a bit devious, which I never suspected in the first novel, and I am now wondering what she will do in the next novel, Bone White.


  1. I really enjoyed this read and looking for the next one in this series.