Lest Hattie end up behind bars, she must distill the evidence herself and serve the killer a swift shot of justice — The Moonshine Shack Murder (A Southern Homebrew Mystery) by @DianeKellyBooksTweet
Character Guest Post – Benjamin “Granddaddy” Hayes
from The Moonshine Shack Murder By Diane Kelly
Hey, folks. I’m Benjamin Hayes. To Hattie, the star of our story, I’m Granddaddy. Hattie just opened a shop on Market Street in Chattanooga, right in the middle of that tourist area along the Tennessee River. She calls her store The Moonshine Shack. I couldn’t be more proud of her. She took our old family moonshine recipe and started making the stuff commercially. I bet she’ll make a pretty penny at it, too. Hattie’s got a business degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. But, in addition to all that book learning, she’s got lots of natural gumption. Not to brag, but she gets that gumption from me.
She got the moonshine recipe from me, too. Heck, as soon as she was old enough, I taught her how to make shine on the old still behind our mountain cabin. She took to it like a frog takes to water. She’s a natural.
‘Course the Hayes’ family history with shine wasn’t always a happy one. My pap got put in the pokey during Prohibition. Sheriff Landers, the head of law enforcement for Hamilton County, had been after him since liquor went illegal. Thanks to a flat tire, the sheriff finally caught up with my father. You’d think they would’ve sprung my old man from the clink once Prohibition ended, but did you know they made those men serve out their full sentences? Didn’t matter that what they did was legal now. It was illegal when they got caught and prosecuted, so they had to do their full time. Still, I had some fun memories of riding in the backseat of our old Ford Flathead V8, getting tossed around like a sack of potatoes while my pappy outran the law. Good times.
The years have passed, and I’m not that little boy anymore. In fact, I’m nearing ninety years old. Some might look at me and think I’m not long for this world, but they’d be wrong. I got a lot of life left in me yet. I plan to hit one-hundred at the very least. In the meantime, I keep Hattie company at her Moonshine Shack, even help out now and then. I sit out front and whittle, and encourage passersby to come on in and try her wares. She sells lots of girly flavors, like apple pie and blackberry, but she sells the pure stuff, too. She even named it after me – Granddaddy’s Ole-Timey Corn Liquor. She sells her stuff in mason jars, but my stuff sells in earthenware jugs. Once the hooch is gone, the jugs make a musical instrument that’s easy to play. Matter of fact, you can hear some jug band music at the shop. Hattie’s got jug band and bluegrass music playing all the time. Makes the place feel like a party-or at least it did until the crook who runs the Irish bar across the street up and got himself killed out here, right in front of Hattie’s shop. I hope they catch the killer soon so we can all breathe easy. Hattie’s using her smarts to try to figure things out, but sometimes it seems as if the police don’t appreciate her help.
Come on by and see us at The Moonshine Shack. You can grab a jar or jug of shine, and take a load off out front in one of the rocking chairs or on the porch swing. Hope to see you soon!
In this intoxicating new cozy mystery series, the future for modern-day moonshiner Hattie Hayes looks bright–until death darkens the doorstep of her Moonshine Shack.
The Hayes family has made moonshine in Chattanooga since the days of Prohibition, and Hattie is happy to continue the tradition, serving up fun, fruity flavors in mason jars for locals and tourists alike. All signs indicate her new ‘shine shop will be a smashing success. What’s more, mounted police officer Marlon Landers has taken a shine to Hattie. For the first time ever, the stars seemed to have aligned in both her work and romantic life. But when a body ends up on her store’s doorstep alongside a broken jar of her Firefly Moonshine, it just might be lights out for her fledgling business.
The homicide detective can’t seem to identify the person who killed the owner of a nearby bar. The only witness is Hattie’s longhaired gray cat, and Smoky isn’t talking. When the detective learns that the victim and Hattie had a heated exchange shortly before his murder, she becomes her prime suspect.
Lest Hattie end up behind bars like her bootlegging great-grandfather a century before, she must distill the evidence herself and serve the killer a swift shot of justice.
Diane Kelly writes stories that feature feisty female lead characters and their furry, four-footed friends. Diane is the author of over 30 novels and novellas, including the Death & Taxes, Paw Enforcement, and House Flipper mystery series. In 2021, she’ll launch two new series, the Southern Homebrew moonshine series and the Mountain Lodge Mysteries. Find Diane online at DianeKelly.com, on Twitter and Instagram @DianeKellyBooks, and on Facebook at her Author Diane Kelly page.
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