Sunsets, Sabbatical and Scandals By Tonya Kappes: Review/Giveaway

Apr 25, 2020 | 2020 Articles

by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win either an ebook or print copy of Sunsets, Sabbatical and Scandals, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

Leaving Luxury for a Camper and…Criminals
May-bell-ine “Mae” Grant West, delightfully referred to as Mae West, was forced to leave behind a life of gold cards, spa visits, and lunches at the Plaza when her, now demised, husband’s Ponzi scheme splashed across the headlines. She wasn’t held legally liable, despite being a beneficiary of his ill-gotten gains, but what she walked away with was more valuable than her now extinct luxurious lifestyle. Moving back to Kentucky, where she grew up, included a camper, Happy Trails Campground, new friends, and new adventures…some murderous. Mae has become an integral member of the Normal community having been a key factor in the revitalization of the local businesses earning her a key to the town. Her support system includes an ex-forest ranger, now detective, and boyfriend Hank Sharp, adoptive mother Mary Elizabeth, campground manager Dottie Swaggert, camp handyman Henry Bryan, foster brother Bobby Ray, a plethora of Normal residents filled with real “southernness,” and a quirky group of ladies dubbed the “Laundry Club.” Mae, however accidentally, discovered she also has a new calling…amateur sleuth! With this comes a “love-hate” relationship with Violet Rhinehammer who’s always looking for the inside scoop that would catapult her local news anchor celebrity to national attention.

Sunsets, Sabbatical and Scandal earns 5/5 Hidden Clues…Engaging Fun!
There’s a wedding, several women are on a dating app, an old classmate hard to remember appears, the book club meeting is on, and the bank just called…life is busy! But, “Nothing is normal in Normal” when Trudy Bull, everyone’s favorite waitress, is found dead at the diner. The diner was closed and she was suppose to be at the wedding, so it’s curious why she was even there. Robbery doesn’t seem plausible since her wallet is in tact and the diner had little on site, but her phone, the one she was never without, is missing.

Hank knows all too well that Mae’s detecting abilities have in the past provided great support and successful results, including uncovering valuable details about her ex-husband’s murder, but the execution-style manner of death indicates the murder is more professional than a crime of passion. That makes this mystery appear much more dangerous, and he reminds her to stay out of it. But Ty, the owner of the diner, needs answers, so Mae and her “Laundry Club” girls are on the case charting suspects, listing questions, organizing facts, and creating theories on the whiteboard usually reserved for campground notices. Ok, start with…

Brilliant! Tonya Kappes’s tenth book in her Camper and Criminals Cozy is the best with a clever cozy murder, quirky characters (several of a certain mature age), realistic investigation journey, and an “I didn’t see that coming” ending. The murder, of course, takes center stage and is well-developed and steady paced, engaging and entertaining, twisty and turny with realistic reactions and responses. Using a first-person narrative from Mae’s perspective giving me a vicarious role, and Tonya follows the cozy formula I enjoy with the murder happening early, Mae cooperating most of the time with law enforcement (There is the commandeering of evidence and covert snooping.), and a reasonable motive, opportunity, and means explanation that unfolds nicely. I enjoy the “Laundry Club’s” input, Mae and Hank’s relationship, and the insights into Mae’s childhood, especially the family tragedy Mae has long held herself to blame. This series is sprinkled with a southern flair for which Tonya is known making it delightful, entertaining, and always a challenge for one’s inner Sherlock. Great escape!

Bonus! This series always includes “Recipes and Cleaning Hack from Mae West and the Women in Normal, Kentucky, and Happy Trails Campground” with easy-to-follow recipes for some delicious treats and a few RV or camping tips that can often be translated to anyone, with or without a camper. Enjoy Campfire French Dip Sandwiches and Campfire Veggies! Try Campfire Fire Bombs and instructions for Tick Spray.

Alert! Fans are excited that book eleven will release on April 28. Tents, Trails and Turmoil has Mae investigating the death of a local tour guide causing “turmoil for her and the “Laundry Club.” Preorder HERE.

Be a Big Tonya Kappes Fan!
USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has so many fan favorite series. She has several ghostly-, magical-, and caffeinated-themed series garnering a huge fan based. For ghosts, she has the popular eight-book Ghostly Southern Mystery and seven-book Kenni Lowry series. Add some magic with the thirteen-book Magical Cures Mystery and three-book Spies and Spells series. Get a little caffeinated with this eight-book Killer Coffee Mystery. She also pens the soon-to-be three-book Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery and a soon-to-be eleven-book Camper & Criminals Cozy series to round out the Kappes literary universe. She 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

To enter to win either an ebook or print copy of Sunsets, Sabbatical and Scandals, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “sunsets,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 2, 2020. US only, and must be 18 or older to enter. AND BE SURE TO STATE IF YOU WANT PRINT OR EBOOK. If entering via email and requesting a print copy be sure to include your mailing address in case you win-emails will be deleted when the contest is over. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

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 goes up next 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. I love Tonya’s books The Camper Series is my favorite I love the Laundry ladies they are a hoot. I would love a paperback thanks for the chance


  3. love Tonya’s books! email sent.

  4. I would love an ecopy

  5. I really want to read this series but my library doesn’t have it so thank you for the chance to own one of the books

  6. I love Tonya’s books and would love to win one. Thank you.

  7. Love Tonya’s books! I would love to read a print copy.

  8. If you need a chuckle with a southern twist, just pick up Tonya’s books and you will be guaranteed to enjoy. Thanks for the opportunity to enter the giveaway. My fingers are crossed.

  9. Yes please, I’d love to win a paper version of Tonya’s new book.

  10. I’d love to win a print copy of this book! Best wishes!

  11. Would enjoy this intriguing book greatly. Thanks.

  12. So much free time – need cleaning
    tips since I have to do it myself.
    Sounds like a fun read. thanks

  13. We have a winner!


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