Chocolate Bunny Betrayal By Tonya Kappes: Review/Giveaway

Mar 25, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Kathleen Costa, Mysteryrat's Maze

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.

Holidays & Homicides 24/7
Violet Rhinehammer was excited about reaching the next rung on the corporate ladder having arranged an interview with a national news organization. However, karma stepped in with a dead body and a rerouted plane flight, and although her involvement was key in a successful investigation, she received a “sorry, we’ve hired someone else” disappointment. However, she did claim the ultimate prize: editor and, albeit only, reporter and photographer for the Junction Journal. Despite the fact she’s new and not a big fan of holidays, especially every holiday presented on a town-wide, 24/7 scale, she found herself chosen the town’s Merry Maker, a centuries-old, very secret key role in the community’s celebrations. She, then, pegged longtime resident, bar owner, and one with whom she has a personal interest, Darren Strickland, as co-Merry Maker; it’s his punishment for having revealed her secret identity to her mother Millie Kay. But in truth, Violet truly loves her new home, but worries about the dead bodies that seem to be making the holiday headlines.

Chocolate Bunny Betrayal Earns 5/5 Bunny Tails … Clever, Engaging Cozy!

“Mama brought her hands over her mouth and screamed, “The Easter Bunny is dead!”
— Excerpt From Chocolate Bunny Betrayal

Violet’s Mama has really taken to Holiday Junction participating in the various women’s groups, planning committees, and holiday festivities. With the Hip Hop Hurray Easter Festival near, many, including Mama, are honing their baking skills for the Bake-Off. Frances Green, who won the competition last year, was Mama’s toughest competitor, but still she didn’t waver from her plan to win the top prize: the Golden Egg Trophy. Mama isn’t mean about the competition; she offers Frances a specially created chocolate bunny as a friendly gesture. Checking the clock, Mama is adamant about not being late to the Easter Bunny auditions she’s judging, so off she goes.

It’s the first spring and first Easter celebration for Violet and her mother, and they’re both reveling in all the buzz at Holiday Park: booths were being set up, the local band is rehearsing, children are milling about, and candidates for Easter Bunny are flaunting their personalities. Violet is snapping away for her front-page article, until the scream halted all activities. Everyone is in shock to see one of the Bunny candidates laying on the ground midst the decorated eggs strewn about … dead. Sadly, it’s Frances Greene. Even worse, the half-eaten chocolate bunny Mama had given her may be the murder weapon. “…your mother has been arrested for murder, again?”

Hoppity-rrific! Tonya Kappes has made the holidays special with her Holiday Cozy Mystery series, and with Easter around the corner, book five is a great read for cozy fans. Violet’s mother is quite a handful, not one to trifle with, and even Violet finds it difficult to rein in Mama’s overzealous nature. She doesn’t seem to grasp the severity of being suspected of murder or the definition of “house arrest.” Using her nose for news, an evidence board, and Darren’s input, Violet does find the victim had a few conflicts which expanded the suspect list beyond just Millie Kay. The motives seem your typical fare from getting rid of the competition to seething jealousy or downright anger, but could it be something more personal? That’s where the twist get entertaining. Using her press credentials, Violet asks questions, finds (hides) evidence, and shares (sort of) with law enforcement. But, it does get her and others into troublesome predicaments with break ins, golf cart chases, and crashes. The final conclusion, punctuated by some personal peril, had a surprise arrest. Great fun!

This series is a bit more quirky than other Kappes’ series with the idea of a town, aptly named Holiday Junction, going all out for every holiday with such fervor, but it’s a fun element with the clever names of activities, contests, and links to the crime which adds to the already clever murder mystery, mouthwatering chocolate talk, endearing romance, and a southern family dynamic. Don’t miss the Note from the Merry Maker for a fun little “note” tying up an issue or giving a tiny peek into what’s coming up.

Holiday Cozy Mystery series KRL Reviews
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 (April, 2023)
Thanksgiving Treachery (2023)
Santa Claus Surprise (2023)

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!

Facebook – Author Tonya Kappes
Join the “Cozy Krew”
Become a Member at the Website – Tonya Kappes
YouTube — Tonya Kappes

To enter to win a print or eBook copy of Chocolate Bunny Betrayal by Tonya Kappes, either make a comment below about your Easter traditions: (1) family gathering, (2) must have in your Easter basket, or (3) Peeps or not. (winner’s choice), or simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “bunny,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 8, 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.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode went up this week.

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the Amazon link. You can also click here to purchase the book.

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying year 2 of retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband of 26+ years.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. No peeps for me, I prefer Cadbury Chocolate Eggs!

    • I do like peeps and chocolate bunnies ? . My husband likes white chocolate. I like milk chocolate. My daughter really likes peeps. My favorite past activity has been playing Easter Bunny for those less fortunate. If I win I’ll take a real book to share with others so they will learn about Tanya’s fun stories.

      • I love the peeps in dark chocolate. I love to enlarge the peeps in the microwave! My favorite Easter candy is dark chocolate mini Cadbury eggs! Happy Easter!

    • I LOVE Peeps dipped in dark chocolate…Yummy! also great for making S’mores.

    • I can take or leave Peeps. Although, I hear they have Dr Pepper Peeps, so I might like them. My basket always had Sarris wrapped chocolate eggs, a cashew meltaway egg and a large chocolate bunny. I always like milk chocolate. My sisters and I also got a game to share.

  2. When my boys were little we had Easter Egg hunts at grandma’s. Hid the baskets and of course church. Thank you for the chance to win a book in print

  3. We always have a family gathering with an egg hunt for my granddaughter. I prefer print. Thanks for the chance.

    • I LOVE Peeps. Also gotta have jelly beans and chocolate marshmallow bunnies at least once during Easter season. Would like a print copy of this.

  4. The Easter Bunny brought baskets of candy and toys on Easter morning. There was always a big holiday meal as well. I prefer a print copy

  5. Oh this would be a great one to read! Depending on where we’re living at the time, we’ll do Easter with ourselves or extended family. We’ll usually have my husband’s Mac and cheese. This year I want to make the marshmallow yam casserole. It’s just so tasty. I’ll be doing baskets for the kids again this year, but no peeps. We all prefer chocolate. If someone were giving me an Easter basket I’d love Nespresso pods and cozy mysteries! I would prefer print. Thank you for the chance.

  6. Love Tonya’s books, always a great read. I like Peeps, wouldn’t be Easter without Peeps. I prefer a print copy.

  7. when the kids were little, we had the Easter egg
    hunt and a big meal (that I cooked). Now that
    they’re grown, we go out to eat and no colored
    eggs. Sounds like a fun story. thanks

  8. I enjoy holiday theme books and am looking forward to reading this one. Thank you for the contest and I prefer print books.

  9. I’m not a fan of peeps. I like robin eggs, Reese’s eggs. Must haves in the basket would be a chocolate bunny, Reese’s eggs and Reese’s pieces, robin eggs.

  10. Almost forgot, I prefer a print copy please. Thank you for the chance!

  11. Growing up, oh so many years ago, my Easter basket was filled with chocolates from a local chocolate candy factory. At the center, side by side, we’re a cross and a huge bunny. If it was in my basket, it was all mine! And I made sure that my sister didn’t steal any by putting my teeth marks everywhere!

  12. Solid chocolate bunnies are a must have in our Easter baskets.

  13. Love bunnies. Favorite candy is malted milk balls in the shape of eggs in my Easter basket.

  14. Our Easter tradition includes easter baskets for my big kids (25 and 29) and their significant others, baskets and an egg hunt for the little kids and black jelly beans and peeps for me.

  15. I am on the Mother’s Day book now and absolutely love this series. Violet and her mama are a hoot!
    I can handle some peeps in my basket but also need lots of Starburst Jelly beans and a big chocolate bunny

  16. I love Tonya’s books!! They are so entertaining!! Every Easter we kick off the weekend by having an Easter Egg Hunt in my tiny town at the City Park. My children and I have sponsored the event for 19 years, even as adults they still help me stuff and hide eggs for the kids in town. The rest of the weekend is spent eating ham, potatoes (mashed and sweet) along with cream corn, green bean casserole, dinner rolls and pie! Yummy! I love a good lemon cake at Easter as well! We always watch the traditional here comes Peter Cottontail special as well as the Charlie Brown Easter Beagle. This book will be a perfect holiday cozy to add to my growing collection. As far as peeps go… yes they are a family favorite!! 🙂

    • I would prefer a print copy thank you! 🙂

  17. I don’t care for peeps but would love a print copy!

  18. Aw man, I love Easter because peeps are my jam ? ?

  19. I love peeps!! Leave them sitting out to harden up some and they’re perfect.

  20. No Peeps please buy love Cadbury eggs. Would prefer a print copy.
    Thanks for the chance to win ! ?

  21. Peeps, no Thank you! Although it is fun to make play dough out of them. But I can’t get enough of the starburst jellybeans, especially the fav red ones!

    • If you gave it 5/5 then it should be a great read. I would love to win a print copy!

  22. I must hide plastic eggs with candy for my 2 kids – age 24 & 20! Also, Easter bingo where there is huge competition for the Peeps!

  23. I like peeps. I let a few out of the package to get hard for later. And I love chocolate, I start with the ears And finish with some starburst jelly beans.

  24. No peeps for me. Too sweet!

  25. No peeps for our family. If I win, a print book please.

  26. We have a winner!


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