Paddlers, Promises & Poison By Tonya Kappes: Review/Giveaway

Apr 3, 2021 | 2021 Articles, Kathleen Costa, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of Paddlers, Promises & Poison, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

Karma in a Camper!
Mae West has had quite the makeover in her life courtesy of Karma. After the tragic death of her family and years in care, she left vowing never to return…except, Karma had other ideas. Sure, she went off, met and married a very wealthy man, and enjoyed a luxurious New York lifestyle, but [Enter Karma], it as temporary since his Ponzi scheme put him in jail and her, in a yellow camper, heading back home as owner of Happy Trails Campground in Normal, Kentucky. [Karma winks!] Since those fortuitous turn of events, the campground has been transformed into a popular full-service destination, a flourishing business, and instrumental in reenergized the small community. Karma also introduced her to some eclectic friends turned family, perfect partners on many a mystery, but karma’s best was Detective Hank Sharp, sent to mend her broken heart and keep her out of trouble. Coming home was the last thing she wanted to do, but Karma always knows best!

Paddlers, Promises & Poison earns 5/5 Jugs of Sweet Tea…Entertaining Fun!
The new subdivision nestled on land in the Daniel Boone National Park will soon be filled with mega-buck homes, and despite any positive impact on the local economy, it continues to cause a kerfuffle among residents of Normal, Kentucky. Some see the influx of people with money just what the town needs, but others believe it puts the peaceful nature of this small community in jeopardy. Mae listens to the debate, and it seems there may be more to Blair Builders getting the land approved to build on than meets the eye, and when one of their realtors is found dead in the model home, she is compelled to look deeper into the situation. The sheriff’s department is struggling and rumors of downsizing and outsourcing may effect Hank jobs…so what if he, with a little support, solves this murder?

Perfect! Tonya Kappes has penned an exciting sixteenth mystery for Mae and her friends to solve with a well-developed murder mystery incorporating several issues with which many small communities struggle: corporations vs community, progress vs environment, and of course, the age-old conflict of politics vs individuals. All of these struggles make for fascinating motives for murder! But, on the lighter side readers enjoy a bit of female empowerment, friendships, family, relationships, fur friends, and paddling on the river. The murder occurred much earlier than in other books putting the mystery, investigation, and a few side issues front and center; that I liked. Over the series, readers have witnessed Mae’s impressive growth, self-reliance, and more jeans and hiking boots than couture and high heels attitude, and although she continues at times to struggle with confidence, she is enjoyable to follow. Tonya’s writing style is engaging with a first-person narrative from Mae’s perspective, descriptive language, fun banter, and little lessons on southernisms…although there might be a few too many quaint idioms that added a little “too much sugar to the tea” than I prefer, and I still look forward to a “No Smoking” here element. The murder does get resolved, but a few loose ends seem destined for the next book; fortunately, the wait is not very long.

Bonus! Adding to the delightful experience with this series is the unique “Recipe and Hack from Mae West.” Mae’s recipe proves “it’s” always better on a stick…enjoy an easy peasy Cinnamon Buns on a Stick. Mae’s camping hack deals with the “unwritten” ideas you learn along the way: choosing the right space at a campground, best star gazing practice, courtesy rules for noise, and just enjoy!

Alert! Three A Camper and Criminals Cozy books are on the horizon and are all on preorder on Amazon. Book seventeen, Insects, Ivy, & Investigations, will release in late April. A former foster of Mary Elizabeth’s shows up bruised and beaten, but she’s not the only mystery, so is the dead body over which she is found. Book eighteen, Outdoors, Oars, & Oaths, releasing in late June, and book nineteen, Wildlife, Warrants, & Weapons, releases in late July.

Be a Big Tonya Kappes Fan!
Nearing one hundred novels, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes is also one of my Top Ten favorite authors. With this sixteen-book Camper & Criminals Cozy series, she also has a five-book Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery along with exciting ghostly-, magical-, and caffeinated-themed series. For ghosts, she has the popular eight-book Ghostly Southern Mystery and seven-book Kenni Lowry series. Add some magic with the twelve-book Magical Cures Mystery and three-book Spies and Spells series. And finally, get a little caffeinated with her eight-book 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 an ebook of Paddlers, Promises & Poison, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “paddlers,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 10, 2021. US only, and must be 18 or older to enter. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out the first chapter of Tonya’s book Dead to the Last Drop was featured in a past podcast episode. You can check it out here, or in the player below:

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. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. A new episode went up this week week.

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

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. Sounds interesting! Count me in!

  2. Great series! Love Tonya’s books, looking forward to reading the latest in the series.

  3. Great review! Definitely want to read this book. Thanks for the chance!

  4. Love my fellow Kentuckian’s books!

  5. Sounds good! Count me in!

  6. Love Tonya’s books!! This is a great series.

  7. This sounds like an interesting story. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  8. Thanks for the opportunity

  9. I believe all of Tonya Kappes books are worth reading! I have read them all! Huge fan! I have about 3 of her books already on pre-order. The places Tonya takes you are always interesting. I try to put myself in the books as a bystander watching these mysteries unfold. Her Facebook page and Tonya doing live videos are worth looking into also! Reading Frothy Foul Play in the coffee series right now book 9. Great book! If you haven’t read her books give her a look! Everybody Take Care! From a huge fan ?

  10. Thanks for the info Kathleen. This is a fun series!

  11. I love Tonya’s books.

  12. We have a winner!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.