a cloudy night sky

Moons & Mystery

Sunshine State Murder series

Are you a moon gazer?

I certainly am. There are few things as beautiful and mysterious as a full moon in a clear sky. But’s it’s also a powerful symbol that I often use in my writing.

In my novel Murder Comes to Elysium, a blood moon rises over Grubber County, Florida. While most of the county gets ready for a moon-gazing party, PI Addie Gorsky tries to ignore it. As she observes, there is enough blood in the world, without the moon getting in on the action. On the night of the blood moon, Addie finds herself in a tight situation. After a close escape, she reflects:

At last, I slipped from the side door and into the night. It felt good, like diving into a cold lake on a hot day, but my relief was short-lived. My eyes traveled upward, to the full moon tinged in red, glaring down like a bloody eye. I hadn’t escaped it after all. The blood moon at China Rose had followed me here.

from Murder Comes to Elysium

Later that night Addie returns to her home base at China Rose, where the moon-gazing party is just wrapping up. After the learned astronomer finally ends his lecture, her thoughts again return to the moon:

The learned astronomer fell silent at last, thank God. His droning voice had worn on my last nerve and on his audience as well, judging from the measly applause. What were all his big words worth after all? The truth of this October night was written in black skies, stars that gleamed like broken glass, and a full moon tinted red—a hunter’s moon. And a hunter’s moon demanded blood.

from Murder Comes to Elysium

On the next clear night, go outside and watch the show that humans have watched for eons. Until then, enjoy this little video, taken on a December night several years ago.

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