Hammocks, Handguns, & Hearsay By Tonya Kappes: Review/Giveaway

Apr 29, 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.

What a Difference a Few Years Make!
Mae West escaped life in Kentucky at the stroke of midnight on her eighteenth birthday, and later, found herself enjoying a privileged lifestyle in New York. Until it all came crashing down courtesy of a federal indictment. Her husband went to jail, later died, and she took possession of the only remaining assets: a beat up old trailer and deed to the rundown Happy Trails Campground. She spent the next few years turning the campground into a success, helping boost the local economy, and becoming a member of the Daniel Boone National Park committee. Personally, she reunited with family, gained a posse of great friends, and despite a few break ups, is set to marry local PI Hank Sharp. Added to her various skills is one that has built her reputation as a competent amateur detective … she is great at solving murders. Along with an eclectic group of friends, dubbed the Laundry Ladies, she’s put more than a few criminals in jail or in the ground.

Hammocks, Handguns, & Hearsay Earns 5/5 Wet Dogs … Clever Cozy Fun!
It seems that even when carrying out a mundane chore, like taking Hank’s dog Chester to the groomer, life can go to “hell in a hand basket.” Mae walked into Smelly Dog Groomers only to be greeted by Orlene Roth screaming, then fainting, and Chester’s barking alerted her to the dead body of Colt Lincoln, a popular television bounty hunter. The most curious evidence is the pink sponge curler in his grasp … Dottie Swaggert’s curler? Dottie had casually dated Colt, but his true motives caused her to kick him to the curb, but of course, not before Dottie publicly trashed his reputation. With this high-profile murder, Normal, Kentucky, is going to be flooded with every tabloid snoop looking for a big story about the murder, but there’s also a bunch of bikers rolling into town for a big gathering. Has anyone seen Dottie?

Revving Up Fun! Tonya Kappes sure keeps each book in her A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery series fresh and entertaining, and with this thirty-first book, a popular television personality becomes Normal, Kentucky’s newest casualty. A bounty hunter may be the perfect victim considering all the criminals he’s nabbed on national television, not to mention he said he was following a “skip,” one he’s been searching a long time for, worthy of a big payday, and perfect as the season’s opening episode. But, there are hidden agendas, ulterior motives, and even organized crime that complicates the investigation. Closer to home, Dottie is considered a possible woman scorned, so why is she missing and her trailer, as well as Colt’s, searched and not by the sheriff? It gets “can’t put down” complex, intriguing in its varied scenarios, and filled with some creative investigating and undercover work putting Mae and her Laundry Ladies in jeopardy. Add to the drama a motorcycle convention, wedding planning, Kappes’ signature humor and southernisms, plenty of friends’ and family’s and fur friend’s antics, and a shocking, perilous arrest for a fun, clever read!

As a series addict, I’ve greatly enjoyed the rural setting, camping environment, and southern flair inherent in the characters, the businesses, and the activities. I’ve enjoyed Mae’s realistic evolution from a selfish, entitled trophy wife to a caring, loyal daughter, friend, and fiancée. She’s strong-willed, clever, and self-sufficient, but values the connections she has with her family, friends, and Hank. Her adoptive mother is a bit pushy about the wedding plans, sometimes forgetting all of Mae’s responsibles, the Laundry Ladies are an entertaining diverse group, and Dottie is still the comic relief, but all together I enjoy popping in!

Camping Treats & Ideas! This series always has some tasty treats and helpful ideas for any level of camper whether you’re in a national park or the backyard: Recipes and Camping Hacks from Mae West and the Laundry Club Ladies at Happy Trails Campground. Enjoy (1) Cinnamon and Blueberry Campfire Bread and (2) Ham and Bean Soup Over the Campfire. And check out a couple of Camping Hacks to make life easier, convenient, or earth friendly.

Preorder Alert! There’s two more books on the horizon. The thirty-second book, Questions, Quarrels, & Quandary, will be released on July 27, and on October 26, the thirty-third book, Witness, Woods, & Wedding, is released.

Recipes on Demand! Check out Tonya’s A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery Campfire Cookbook! “This cookbook includes over 50 recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert that are perfect for your next camping trip. With easy-to-follow instructions and helpful tips for cooking in the wilderness, RV or cabin, this cookbook is the perfect companion for any camping enthusiast. So grab your tent and your appetite, and let Mae West along with the Laundry Club Ladies guide you on a culinary journey.”

Be a Big Tonya Kappes Fan!
Southern Hospitality with a Smidgen of Homicide! Tonya Kappes, USA Today bestselling author, pens a variety of series. along with this Camper & Criminals Cozy series, she also has a Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery and Holiday Cozy Mystery series along with some exciting ghostly-, magical-, and caffeinated-themed series. For ghosts, there’s the Ghostly Southern Mystery and Kenni Lowry series. Add some magic with Magical Cures Mystery and Spies and Spells series. 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

Don’t Miss This Special FREEBIE!
Tonya Kappes joins several popular authors offering a book thru Prolific Work’s sixty-book Twisty Tales & Cozy Crimes giveaway. Tonya Kappes’s book, Brides, Bribes, & Binoculars, from her A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery, is available for download. The books are claimed thru Prolific Works as an ePub, mobi, or pdf file. Pick up one, two, or all sixty books, including joining Mae and her friends for a spa bachelorette party!

Enter to win a choice of either a print or eBook copy of Hammocks, Handguns, & Hearsay by Tonya Kappes by making a comment below about you and the great outdoors: (1) your favorite camping spot, (2) a favorite outdoor activity, or (3) are you a s’mores fan or not?, or simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “hammocks,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 13, 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 goes up next 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. Count me as a S’mores fan!

  2. I love s’mores but I’m not really a fan of the outdoors because of my health. The book sounds interesting

  3. Heard a lot about this author, clearly I need to get reading. Would like a print copy. Haven’t been camping but I like s’mores.

  4. My favorite camping spot is Donner Lake memorial park, my favorite outdoor activity is hiking or swimming and I LOVE s’mores.

  5. Thanks for the opportunity!

  6. Love Tonya’s books! Always a fun read. I’m not much on camping, but I do like bonfires and stores. I prefer a print copy.

  7. I love this series! Thanks for the chance. Print copy if I’m lucky enough to win. Woodstock216 (at)gmail(dot)com

  8. My whole family love s’mores. My husband and I love Tonya’s books and I would love to have a Kindle copy. Thank you for the chance to win.

  9. Love this series

  10. This is my favorite series by Tonya! I plan on using some of the camping recipes this summer!

  11. My favorite outdoor activity is sitting by a fire and making s’mores, mountain pies and talking to friends and family.

  12. I live camping along the ocean in Calif. my favorite is to sit beside the campfire in the evening listening to the tide rolling in. Love this series.

  13. I live s’mores! My son has a fire pit in his yard and often makes s’mores when we visit. Fun!

  14. Love this series. Not a fan of tent camping. I could probably handle a RV. Thank goodness you can make s’mores around a fire in the backyard. I do like to walk outdoors. Our favorite park is right on the lake and the views of the water make the walk very enjoyable.

  15. Love this series. Not a fan of tent camping. I could probably handle a RV. Thank goodness you can make s’mores around a fire in the backyard. I do like to walk outdoors. Our favorite park is right on the lake and the views of the water make the walk very enjoyable. I would like an e book if I’m lucky enough to win. Thanks!

    • I love camping and s’mores! My favorite place to camp is a private little place on the outer banks of NC. I really enjoyed hiking in West Virginia, caves are amazing!! To ya Kappes is an amazing author, you will love her books!!! A print copy would be amazing, would be happy with either. Thank you for the chance!

  16. I love to glam. We always do s’mores. Great family time.

  17. S’mores are okay but I am not a big chocolate fan. I prefer just the marshmallows cooked over the fire.

  18. My favorite outdoor activity is swimming and I do like s’mores. I enjoy reading Tonya’s books and would love to win a print copy of Hammocks, Handguns, and Hearsay.

  19. I can’t remember if it was the Girl Scouts or my parents who first brought s’mores into my life…. so I’ll just be thankful to all of them! There’s nothing like graham crackers + the sweetness of gooey marshmallows + melty milk chocolate on a cool night. Great memories – fantastic flavors. If I were lucky enough to win, I’d love a print copy to hold in my hands & enjoy, after the s’mores were thoroughly washed off, of course. Good luck to all!

  20. I’ve loved s’mores ever since the first time I had them at a Girl Scout campout. My scout leader was unique because she would offer either Hershey chocolate bars for the chocolate part or a Reese peanut butter cup.

  21. I love camping! When i was a kid we use to camp every weekend, boating, fishing and sitting by the camp fire making Smores and pizza pies in the Iron pie makers. When i had a family of mine own we got a popup camper and did the same camping that i Learned as a kid. Now my Daughter and her family have a camper and we still go camping. We are into the 3rd generation Camping family!!

  22. I love camping and S’mores! I would love a Large Print Book , Thank you for chance to win!

  23. My family camped a lot when I was younger but now my tastes have changed and I like glamping so much better.

  24. Used to camp with the boy scouts. My mattress kept deflating, so an uncomfortable night.

    Also camped with the Girl Scouts, in a 3 sided enclosure, it poured the whole weekend and we were soaked.

    Camping does not like me.


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