by Kathleen Costa
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.
Home, Holidays, & Homicides
Violet Rhinehammer’s original plan was to nail the interview for her dream journalism job, move to California, and become famous on the national stage, but circumstances, that can only be described as karma, derailed her plans: a murder and rerouting of her flight to Holiday Junction. She has previous experience reporting on homicides as the lone reporter in Normal, Kentucky, and associated with Mae West and her various investigations, but even with a nose for news, California was a bust. The owners of the Junction Journal, sisters-in-law Marge and Louise Strickland, were impressed by Violet, so now, she’s juggling the role of editor, reporter, and photographer making the local rag more popular and lucrative. Another small village was the last thing Violet wanted, but as it turns out, Karma knew what it was doing!
Holiday Junction lives up to its name in a big way. The village is a mecca for every holiday during the year, and they go all out to entertain the hordes of tourists with several special events. Violet resisted getting actively involved as she isn’t a fan of most holidays, but she’s made good friends, resigned herself to having her mother, and later her father, following her, and, somewhat against her will, has been wrangled as the village’s Merry Maker, a very secret, centuries old, jolly cheer spreader position highly regarded by the village. She did wrangle Darren Strickland, local “Bar” owner, as an unwilling co-Merry Maker, but when her mother’s nosiness, a family trait it seems, makes her aware of her daughter’s extracurricular activity, the secret identity might be exposed.
New Year Nuisance Earns 5/5 Sparkle Balls … Clever & Quirky Gem!
Having family and friends arriving for a visit was not at the top of Violet’s list, but she was glad to see Mae West. They weren’t always the best of friends back in Normal, Kentucky, having spared over Mae’s efforts to be discreet during her investigations and Violet nosying for a scoop to launch a national career. But, Violet knew there was more to Mae’s visit than catching up on all the gossip back home, and when Mae threatened to leave if she had to stay at the Inn rather than with Violet, it was confirmed that something’s up!
As usual, Holiday Junction has pulled out all the stops to celebrate the New Year with shops all decked out, the miniature Village on display, and the Sparkle Ball to cap off the midnight festivities. But, Violet is on overload with her responsibilities at the paper and the secret job of Merry Maker which may be in jeopardy with her friend in town. She’d hope enlisting Darren’s help would relieve some of her stress, but finding him with Fern Banks, Violet’s mean girl, was disturbing. Darren is known to be, to many in town, a “knight in shining armor,” which could be problematic when another young woman he tried to help ends up dead. Hillary Stevens was quite a handful, trespassing and perpetrating pranks, protesting and spouting her opinions, and everyone knew she had a strained relationship with her parents, but as one witnessed remarked, “…doesn’t mean she deserved this.”
3…2…1…Fun! Tonya Kappes has penned a delightful crossover story with Mae West from A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery series joining in this fourth holiday mystery. Mae hoped to spend some girl time with Violet, but having been corralled my Violet’s mother had her inappropriately thrilled there’d been a murder needing to be solved. Having Mae join the team was bittersweet; she’s well versed in how to complete an investigation, build a suspect list, and wiggle out of trouble, but she’s also in the way, doesn’t seem to grasp the concept of totally secrecy, and seems bent on playing matchmaker. There’s an interesting sibling-like dynamic playing out between Violet and Mae which would be fun to repeat. The investigation reveals some interesting conflicts Hillary had that could be motives for murder from oblivious family to secret friends, from council members to the … Merry Maker? The journey was also filled with sipping, bonding, gossiping, and a surprising midnight arrest.
Tonya’s writing style puts the “M” in mystery, the “E” in entertainment, and definitely the “Q” in quirky. She provides fun sensory-filled description to clearly depict the environment, character appearances, and inner thoughts as well as banter and predicaments to illustrate the multi-generational personalities. Violet is well-rounded as a strong willed character and competent reporter/snoop, yet there is a softer side as she succumbs to Darren’s advances. Tonya incorporates clever southernisms sharing her own Kentucky roots, and reminding me of my own grandma. Also included is Notes From the Merry Maker to end the story.
Holiday Cozy Mystery
Four Leaf Felony (2022) Reviewed HERE
Mother’s Day Murder (2022) Reviewed HERE
Halloween Homicide (2022) Reviewed HERE
New Year’s Nuisance (2023)
Chocolate Bunny Betrayal (March, 2023) Amazon Preorder HERE
Violet Rhinehammer discovers a dead body during the Hip Hop Hurray Easter Festival, and one of the bunnies vying for the top spot was witnessed leaving the crime scene. Her investigation exposes more than delicious desserts at the bake-off competition raising the issue whether those contestants have motive to commit murder.
Be a Big Fan of Tonya Kappes!
“Southern Hospitality with a Smidgen of Homicide!” USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes pens a variety of series. With this Holiday Cozy Mystery series, she also has A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery and Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery along with exciting ghostly-, magical-, and caffeinated-themed series. For ghosts, she has Ghostly Southern Mystery and Kenni Lowry series. Add some magic with a Magical Cures Mystery and Spies and Spells series. And finally, get a little caffeinated with her Killer Coffee Mystery. She also has an enjoyable online presence and various events enticing fans to gather to talk, share, and partake in the fun!
To enter to win an ebook or print copy of New Year Nuisance (winner’s choice), simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “new year,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 18, 2023. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. BE SURE TO STATE IF YOU WANT PRINT OR EBOOK.
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