Murder Under a Western Moon



Mona Moon is the American Phryne Fisher! 

Murder Under a Western Moon

A Mona Moon Mystery Book 11

by Abigail Keam

Genre: 1930's Historical Cozy Mystery


Mona Moon is the American Phyrne Fisher!

 "Whew, what an incredible 'couldn't put down' experience!" -Kings River Life Magazine

FIVE STARS! "Murder Under a Western Moon is a great foray into historical mysteries and serves as another charming, humorous, and well-written installment of the series." -Readers' Favorite

Mona Moon and her new husband, Robert Farley, Duke of Brynelleth are about to board an ocean liner to Merry Old England for their honeymoon when Mona receives an urgent telegram from Rupert Hunt, her eyes and ears in the Moon copper mines.


Since the copper mines are the financial backbone of Moon Enterprises, Mona has no choice but to drop her plans and travel to Montana on the next train. She and Robert descend into a world of seething resentments, bitter accusations against Moon Enterprises, and bad decisions that pose a threat to Mona's world. She travels incognito to search out the truth of Rupert's allegations against the mining management. She must decide if Rupert is trying to prevent an innocent man from being hung for murder or if he is part of a grandiose plot against her. After all, Mona had been kidnapped by Rupert while searching for the Swift silver mine a year ago. Rupert is a scoundrel, but Mona hired him to be 
her scoundrel. Is this another of Rupert's games? Regardless of the threat, Mona must get to the bottom of it. Thank goodness Robert is by her side . . . or could Robert have his own agenda?

Mona Moon and her new husband, Robert Farley, were halfway up the passenger ship’s ramp that would whisk them away to Great Britain where they would spend their honeymoon at the Duchy of Brynelleth, Robert’s ancestral home, when a messenger frantically flagged them down.  “Miss Maplewood!  Miss Maplewood!  I’ve got an urgent telegram for you.”

Robert touched Mona’s elbow as if to guide her forward.  “Leave it, Mona.  It’s nothing more than a congratulatory telegram on our marriage.”

“Only Violet knew which ship we were taking to Great Britain and our assumed names.  I must read it.  It might be important.”

“Anybody could have tracked us down.  Let’s get on board first.”

“Wait, Lord Bob,” Mona replied, using her nickname for Robert, who was Duke of Brynelleth.  She made her way down the ramp.  “Excuse me.  Pardon me.  So sorry,” she said, after bumping into passengers on the ramp going in the opposite direction.

Exasperated, Robert followed.  “Mona, we have spent the last five days fending off newspaper men by sneaking to New York.  Now I want some alone time with you so I can do things that no one mentions in polite society.”

“Well, how rude,” gasped one matron passing by.

“So sorry, Madame,” apologized a red-faced Robert, tipping the brim of his hat.  He ran after Mona.  “See what you made me do?”

“I never told you to loudly broadcast our personal lives to the public.  I think that esteemed lady might need smelling salts,” Mona said, grinning and looking over her shoulder at Robert.  She finally reached the dock and yelled while waving her arm, “Here, boy.  Here.”

“Miss Maplewood?”  Maplewood was the assumed name the Farleys were traveling under.

“The one and only.”  She tipped the courier fifty cents.  

After he didn’t leave but looked expectantly at her, Mona said, “You may go now.”

“I’m sorry, Miss, but the telegram requires an answer.  I’m not supposed to leave without it.”

“It’s Mrs.,” Mona replied absentmindedly as she tore open the telegram and read.


“What is it, darling?” Robert asked, noticing Mona’s face drain of color.

Mona handed Robert the telegram.

“That’s not cricket,” Robert said after reading it.  “What do you want to do?”

Mona asked the telegram messenger, “Do you have a pencil, young man?”

“Yes, ma’am.”  The lad handed Mona the pencil tucked in his cap.

Mona scribbled a line on the pad the boy handed to her.  “Send this off immediately and tell no one about my reply.  Understand?”  She gave him a dollar.

He gazed at the silver dollar in surprise.  “Thank you, ma’am.  I won’t tell a soul.”

“Get along with you and send that off as soon as you get back to the office.”

“To whom do you want this message sent, ma’am?”

“To the sender of this telegram.  Hurry and don’t lollygag.”

The boy tipped his cap and ran off.

“Oh, dear.  I forgot to give back his pencil,” Mona muttered, realizing it was too late to call him.  She didn’t want to attract attention and tucked the small pencil in her purse.  She turned to face Robert, trying to act nonchalant. “Have the reporters recognized us yet?”

Robert looked about casually, glancing at the knot of reporters and photographers reporting on people of note embarking on the ship to Europe.  Well-known passengers were reported in the society columns of the newspapers.  “Not yet, but if we linger any longer, they will.  The black wig you have on helps, but we need to leave before we are spotted.  I see one eyeing us now.”

A photographer, chattering to a few of his colleagues, kept glancing at Robert and Mona.

Robert turned away as did Mona.  “What do you want to do, my love?”

“Robert, I’ve got to go to Montana.  That’s our biggest copper mine.  Whatever trouble is brewing there, I’ve got to put an end to it.  Too much is at stake.”

Taking a deep dissatisfied breath, Robert hailed a porter and gave him their luggage claim tickets.  “Bring them off the boat and onto the dock.  I think they are in our stateroom.  Please hurry.”  Robert handed the porter two dollars.  “I’ll give you three more if you can bring our trunks down in six minutes.”

The porter gawked at the two dollars.  “Three more dollars?”

Robert nodded.

The porter rushed up the gangplank, pushing passengers out of his way.  The usual tip was twenty-five cents. 

Hiding his great disappointment that their honeymoon was interrupted, Robert wrapped his arm around Mona, knowing she was let down as well.  “It will be all right, darling.  We have our entire lives to enjoy our honeymoon.”

Mona pressed her hand on Robert’s arm.  “Oh, Robert.  I’m so sorry.  Our trip is ruined.”

The porter rushed down the ramp with their trunks just as Robert kissed Mona’s hair, causing the wig to shift a bit, exposing her platinum hair.  

An alert newspaper reporter, seeing the platinum hair, yelled. “Hey, guys, it’s Mona Moon and the Duke of Brynelleth, her new husband!”  The group turned and eyed them suspiciously. 

Robert grabbed a fist full of dollar coins from his pants pocket and handed them to the porter.  “Our plans have changed.  Put these trunks in storage.  I’ll have someone call for them.  You will be contacted.  What’s your name friend?”

“Bill Moses.”

Seeing the contingent of reporters now rushing toward them, Robert began pushing Mona along the wharf and toward the cab stand.  “Sorry, darling, but we’ve got to run.  No time to wait.”

Both Mona and Robert jumped into a cab before anyone could snap a photograph of them.  The cabbie merged into a line of cars and was soon lost in the hustle and bustle of New York traffic.  

Looking out the back window to see if they were being followed, Mona ordered, “Take us to Penn Station, please.”

The cabbie nodded and sped toward the railroad station.

Mona leaned into Robert and wrapped her coat closer around her.  “Montana, ready or not.  Here we come!”  

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Murder Under a Blue Moon

A Mona Moon Mystery Book 1

Top 10 mystery reads by Kings River Life Magazine!

Mona Moon is not your typical young lady. She is a cartographer by trade, explorer by nature, and adventurer by heart. But there’s a problem. Miss Mona is broke. It’s during the Depression, and National Geographic has just turned down her application to join an expedition to the Amazon. What’s she to do? Perhaps get a job as a department store salesgirl. Anything to tide her over until a next assignment.

There’s a knock on the door. Who could this be in the middle of the night? Holding a revolver, Mona reluctantly opens her door to a man wearing a Homburg hat and holding a briefcase. “I bring glad tidings. Your Uncle Manfred Moon has died and left you as his heir to the Moon fortune. You are now one of the richest women in the country!” he says. Mona’s response is to point her revolver in his face. If the stranger is telling the truth, she will apologize. If he is a fraud, she will shoot him. That’s how Mona does things in 1933.

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Award-winning author Abigail Keam writes the Mona Moon Mystery Series—a rags-to-riches 1930s mystery series, which includes real people and events into the story line. “I am a student of history and love to insert historical information into my mysteries. There is an addendum at the end of the mystery to give more information. My goal is to entertain my readers, but if they learn a little something along the way—well, then we are both happy.”

Miss Abigail currently lives on the Palisades bordering the Kentucky River in a metal house with her husband and various critters.


2010 Gold Medal Award from Readers' Favorite for Death By A HoneyBee
2011 Gold Medal Award from Readers' Favorite for Death By Drowning
2011 USA BOOK NEWS-Best Books List of 2011 as a Finalist for Death By Drowning
2011 USA BOOK NEWS-Best Books List of 2011 as a Finalist for Death By A HoneyBee
2017 Finalist from Readers' Favorite for Death By Design
2019 Honorable Mention from Readers' Favorite for Death By Stalking
2019 Murder Under A Blue Moon voted top ten mystery reads by Kings River Life Magazine
2020 Finalist from Readers' Favorite for Murder Under A Blue Moon
2020 Imadjinn Award for Best Mystery for Death By Stalking 2022 Finalist in Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Finalist for Best Historical Category - Murder Under A Full Moon
2022 Finalist the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award for Best Historical Category - Murder Under A New Moon
2022 Death By Chance: A Josiah Reynolds Mystery Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Finalist for Best Cozy Mystery
2022 Top Ten Mystery Novel by Kings River Life Magazine for Murder Under A Bridal Moon: A 1930s Mona Moon Mystery
2022 Top Ten Mystery Novel by Kings River Life Magazine for Murder Under A British Moon: A 1930s Mona Moon Mystery


Q&A With the Author:


What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Hello Cozy Mystery Readers.  My name is Abigail Keam and I write the 1930s Mona Moon Mysteries and the Josiah Reynolds Mysteries.  I love history and do extensive research on any book that I write.  In my1930s Mona Moon Mysteries, I weave real people and events into the stories.  I research the popular food of the time, people’s everyday habits, clothing, and world views.  The 1930s was an exciting time with women protesting for better pay, union strikes, banks closing, political division, and people scrambling for work during the Great Depression.

In Murder Under A Western Moon: A 1930s Mona Moon Mystery, Mona abandons her plans for a honeymoon with Robert Farley, Duke of Brynelleth and hurries to her family’s copper mine in Montana because of a murder and a possible strike by the miners. 

There she unravels corruption, deception, and sabotage at her copper mine while escaping various attempts on her life. 

What I love about Mona is her power.  She has money, position, and grit.  She uses her money and position to influence others and does not apologize for it.  She relies on her own strength of character to push her agenda.  She is the American Phryne Fisher!

Do you have any other books you are working on that you can tell us about?

Mona will eventually go on her honeymoon with Robert in Murder Under A Honey Moon which will come out in 2024. I write another mystery series—the Josiah Reynolds MysteriesDeath By Theft: A Josiah Reynolds Mystery will come this fall in 2023.  Josiah is a beekeeper who keeps stumbling over dead bodies.

Can you tell us about what you have planned for the future?  

I had only intended to write three Mona Moon mysteries, but they were so popular, I wrote more.  I enjoy researching history about the 1930s and weaving it into the Mona Moon mysteries.  My planned three books have now turned into 12 books, and I will keep writing about Mona Moon as long as readers enjoy her. At the end of each book, I have an addendum which further explains the history in the book.  I have discovered some wonderful historical women while doing my research.  My task is to write an entertaining mystery with some interesting history. 

How long have you been writing?

I wrote my first short story in the second grade—Bobby Bobo Got Baptized At The Big Bone Baptist Church.  My teacher called my mother and told her how good it was. My mom immediately ordered The Happy Holisters Mysteries for 7-10 years old.  I received one mystery book per month via the mail. I have been writing continuously since then, but I have been writing professionally since 2009 and have written over 40 novels. Check me out at  

Anything more you would like to say to your readers and fans?"

Like my protagonist, Josiah Reynolds, I am also a beekeeper and have won many awards at the Kentucky State Fair.  If the reader comes away with a new appreciation of honeybees and the history of the 1930s from my two mystery series, then I am happy.  I receive many emails and DMs from readers, and their praise encourages me to improve my craft.  I love writing and telling my stories.  It gives me a deep satisfaction.  

Feel free to sign up for my HoneyBee newsletter -  

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  1. Thanks for the great post. This book should be perfect for me.

  2. Neat to learn about your book, haven't heard of a hamborg hat before this.

  3. I'm loving everything about this. Adding to my list.


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