• Book Reviews

    The Stills: a book review

    Title: The Stills

    Author: Jess Montgomery

    Date Available: 3/9/20210

    Pages: 352

    Publisher: Minotaur Press

    Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery


    The third in Jess Montgomery’s exquisitely written Kinship series, The Stills is a triumph of storytelling by an extraordinary new talent in crime fiction…

    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 Jebediah Ranklin 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.


    You had me at prohibition. That time period in our country combined with Sherriff Lily Ross being based on a real person made for a fascinating and tense read.

    The writing and the attention to detail brought to life what is must have been like to live in the time period. The characters were well developed with this being the third book of the series. However, this book could easily be read as a stand-lone… but don’t do that because you’ll be missing out for sure.

    If historical fiction is your thing, this book will captivate you. It sheds light on a time when women often stepped into male dominated roles and excelled at doing so.

    My only complaint about this book was that it was a bit light on the mystery part. A few good twists would have added some depth to the story.

    I hope this isn’t the end of the series but if it is, it ended on a satisfying note. However, if it was to continue, I’d love a storyline dedicated to the moonshiner’s lives and struggle to survive.

    Thank you to TLC Book Tours and Minotaur Books for the gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

    Purchase Links

    Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble


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