DEATH BY CHANCE
SERIES: A Josiah Reynolds Mystery #16
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Worker Bee Press
RELEASE DATE: October 18, 2021
FIVE STARS! “Abigail Keam has written a fresh and entertaining story. Her well-developed mystery has many avenues to explore, but it all comes together well with surprise connections, a shocking turn of events, added peril, and a WOW ending! -Kathleen Costa, Kings River Life Magazine
Halloween is right around the corner when Lady Elsmere throws an elaborate Civil War costume ball. Wearing a nineteenth-century ball gown, Josiah ventures into the party’s corn maze to find her dog, Baby, and take him home, only to find Baby standing over a fallen scarecrow. But is it really a scarecrow?
Josiah doesn’t have time to find out because someone dressed as the Grim Reaper bolts out of the shadows, swinging a scythe and heading straight for her.
Our heroine picks up her skirts and flees, yelling, “Death! Death in the corn maze!”
As I was rounding a corner in the corn maze, Lincoln ran into me almost knocking me down. His eyes were wide with fright, and the boy pulled on my arms. “Come! Come away!”
I grabbed him tightly by the shoulders. “What is it, Linc?”
Looking beyond me, Lincoln shuddered and wrestled away from me, leaving me in the dust as he ran away. I turned to see what was troubling Lincoln when I spied the upper part of a scythe moving across the tops of the corn sheaths. It gave me a start.
If Lady Elsmere had hired actors for her party, she didn’t bother to notify her staff. I was very puzzled. I knew the Grim Reaper would soon encroach upon my row, so I tiptoed to another part of the maze, listening for other people and my dog. I wasn’t quite sure if I should be wary. If Lady Elsmere had hired someone to scare the bejeebies out of her guests, she didn’t remember it when the Grim Reaper showed up in her ballroom. She seemed genuinely surprised, but Her Ladyship was known for playing games. This was a game, wasn’t it?
With all the mayhem that had happened over the past several days, my nerves were frayed, so I decided to skip the rest of the ball entirely and go home, but I had to find Baby, my English Mastiff, first. I glanced at the full moon before moving down the intersecting pathways. Where was that dog?
Baby howled. Somewhere deep in the maze, Baby howled again, and he didn’t stop howling.
My heart froze.
I know my dog, and that was a howl was of desperation and fear. He needed help. I cried out, “BABY, MOMMY’S HERE!” I ran, or rather shuffled, down one path and then another following the sound of his cries until I chanced upon him. Baby was standing over something which I couldn’t make out. Since Baby was agitated and can’t see very well with only one eye, I held out my hand so he could sniff me. “It’s me, Baby. It’s me.”
Recognizing my scent, Baby wagged his tail.
“Good boy. Good boy.” Grabbing hold of his collar, I pulled Baby off whatever he was standing over. I bent closer, peering at what seemed to be a scarecrow dressed in a Confederate general’s uniform. A cloud drifted over the moon, making it more difficult for me to see. I took a solar light from a straw bale and studied the form more closely.
Was it a dummy? I gingerly poked the form with my shoe which came away with blood on it.
Oh, my goodness! It was a person! This was no scarecrow!
It’s hard for me to kneel, so I had to lean on Baby to get close enough to feel for a pulse. That is until Baby growled. Jerking my head up, I spotted the Grim Reaper standing motionless at the end of the path, quietly observing me.
“I need help. This person is injured.”
The reaper swung the scythe around as though he was to cut a row of wheat or someone’s head off, marching toward me. The only thing that sprang to mind was “Danger, Will Robinson. Danger!” from the Lost In Space TV show. I don’t know how I sprung up, but the next thing I remember I was running with Baby nudging from behind trying to get around me. It was every woman or dog for her/himself.
I quickly glanced over my shoulder only to see the Reaper giving chase. I ran across the lawn, through a crowd smoking on the patio, and burst into the ballroom, screaming, “Death! Death in the corn maze!”
Do I know how to party or what!
Death By Chance • Abigail Keam
Worker Bee Press © 2021 used by permission
Abigail Keam is the award-winning and Amazon best-selling author of several series including the Josiah Reynolds Mystery Series about a Southern beekeeper turned amateur female sleuth. “I hope my readers come away with a new appreciation of beekeeping from my Josiah Reynolds Mysteries.”
She also writes the Mona Moon Mystery Series–a rags-to-riches 1930s mystery series which includes real people and events into the story line. The series is about a cartographer who is broke and counting her pennies when there is a knock at her door. A lawyer, representing her deceased uncle, announces Mona has inherited her uncle’s fortune and a horse farm in the Bluegrass. Mona can’t believe it. She is now one of the richest women in the country and in the middle of the Great Depression!
The Last Chance For Love Series tells of strangers who come from all walks of life to the magical Last Chance Motel in Key Largo and get a second chance at rebuilding their lives, and The Princess Maura Fantasy Series.
One thing Miss Abigail loves to do as an author is to write real people and events into her stories. “I am a student of history and love to insert historical information into my mysteries. My goal is to entertain my readers, but if they learn a little something along the way–well, then we are both happy.”
Abigail loves honeybees and for many years made her living by selling honey at a farmers’ market. She is an award-winning beekeeper who has won 16 honey awards at the Kentucky State Fair including the Barbara Horn Award, which is given to beekeepers who rate a perfect 100 in a honey competition.
She currently lives on the Palisades bordering the Kentucky River in a metal house with her husband and various critters. She still has honeybees.
Abigail Keam is offering an ebook copy of Death By Chance to one of my readers! (Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read Death by Chance by Abigail Keam?