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Review: The Stills by Jess Montgomery

Title: The Stills

Author: Jess Montgomery

Year Published: 2021

Category: Adult fiction (mystery)
Pages: 352
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location (my 2021 Google Reading map) USA (OH)

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): Ohio, 1927: Moonshining is a way of life in rural Bronwyn County, and even the otherwise upstanding Sheriff Lily Ross has been known to turn a blind eye when it comes to stills in the area. But when thirteen-year-old Zebediah Harkins almost dies after drinking tainted moonshine, Lily knows that someone has gone too far, and―with the help of organizer and moonshiner Marvena Whitcomb―is determined to find out who.

But then, Lily’s nemesis, the businessman George Vogel, reappears in town with his new wife, Fiona. Along with them is also her former brother-in-law Luther Ross, now an agent for the newly formed Bureau of Prohibition. To Lily, it seems too much of a coincidence that they should arrive now.

As fall turns to winter, a blizzard closes in. Lily starts to peel back the layers of deception shrouding the town of Kinship, but soon she discovers that many around her seem to be betraying those they hold dear―and that Fiona too may have an agenda of her own.

Purchase Links: Macmillan | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Jess: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Review: When I saw this book on offer from TLC Tours I was excited since I liked The Widows, the first book in the series. I haven't read book 2, but these can each work as stand-alones. This book is well written and a good story.

The story is told through alternating chapters: Lily, the sheriff, and Fiona, the mobster's wife. Lily is the more straightforward, reliable character: strong, reasonable, honest, and caring about the people in her town. She enforces the laws even when she doesn't agree with them, trying to do what is right in all circumstances. Fiona, on the other hand, is dishonest, conniving, reliant on the men in her life, and scared. Scared of her husband, his bodyguards, their maid, and being left behind. What I liked is that, as the story progressed, Fiona gained strength and smarts, manipulating events to better her own life.

Montgomery is good at setting the time and scene. Small town Appalachia in the 1920s during prohibition and the growth of unions cannot have been an easy life and that shows in the clothing, the houses, the, lives the people living in the town of Kinship. I can see these books becoming a really good TV series. 

Challenges for which this counts: 
  • Cloak and Dagger
  • Historical fiction

Review Tour:

Monday, March 8th: PhDiva Blog and @thephdivabooks

Tuesday, March 9th: @jessicamap

Wednesday, March 10th: Nurse Bookie and @nurse_bookie

Thursday, March 11th: Kahakai Kitchen

Friday, March 12th: Bewitched Bookworms

Friday, March 12th: @thebookclubmom

Monday, March 15th: Living My Best Book Life and @livingmybestbooklife

Wednesday, March 17th: Leighellen Landskov and @mommaleighellensbooknook

Thursday, March 18th: Reading Reality

Thursday, March 18th: Berit Talks Books and @berittalksbooks

Friday, March 19th: @bibliolau19

Monday, March 22nd: @aimeedarsreads

Tuesday, March 23rd: @lovelyplacebooks

Thursday, March 25th: Pacific Northwest Bookworm and @pnwbookworm

Friday, March 26th: Amy’s Book-et List and @amysbooketlist

Monday, March 29th: @the.caffeinated.reader

Wednesday, March 31st: @welovebigbooksandwecannotlie

Friday, April 2nd: Books and Bindings

Monday, April 5th: Buried Under Books

Wednesday, April 7th: Helen’s Book Blog

Friday, April 16th: Books Cooks Looks

Saturday, April 17th: Blunt Scissors Book Reviews and @bluntscissorsbookreviews

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