Camp Carter By Kathi Daley: Review/Giveaway/Guest Post

Aug 19, 2017 | 2017 Articles, Kathleen Costa, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Kathleen Costa
& Kathi Daley

This week we have a review of the latest Zoe Donovan mystery by Kathi Daley, and a fun camping related guest post by Kathi. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win either a print or kindle copy of Camp Carter, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

Camp Carter: A Zoe Donovan Mystery series By Kathi Daley
Review by Kathleen Costa

Well…the decision to go camping with a bunch of pre-teens is questionable, not having a bathroom close by is inconvenient, and being six-weeks pregnant with nausea is crazy, but, when Zoe heads off to the kitchen to get some saltines and club soda, and finds a dead body in the pantry? That’s just insane! To make matters worse the victim had a chance to call 911, and the police find Zoe covered in blood with the knife in her hands. She becomes a major ‘person of interest,’ despite her claim she was trying to resuscitate the victim, and now needs to find the killer to save herself and the camp full of sixth graders. book

Investigating is a bit of a challenge when pregnancy symptoms…ok chocolate cravings, require constant monitoring, but Zoe’s and Zak’s questions and research in the local newspaper archives reveal some interesting truths and Zoe’s “Zodar” starts buzzing. Additional deaths noted in history? All seem accidental… Some staff currently at Camp also were present with the other deaths. A pattern? Reluctant local police? Being out of their element without a cooperative law enforcement connection, makes this investigation difficult, but does that also mean it’s going to be dangerous, too? Yes, especially when an additional death is recorded.

Once again, as a big fan of Kathi Daley’s Zoe Donovan Mystery series, I am absolutely thrilled with “Camp Carter,” and being the twenty-fifth book…yes, twenty-five adventures, I am not tiring of it. Kathi Daley always seems to find a new engaging mystery for Zoe and Zak Zimmerman to uncover, and life goes on for our favorite characters with the finally revealed pregnancy that will offer all kinds of trials and tribulations in the future.

The setting change takes us to the mountains outside Ashton Falls, which adds some exciting challenges for our characters to overcome: Camping? Unfamiliar terrain? Hundreds of pre-teens? The series characters continue to be delightful and endearing, and the new characters all seem to have secrets that might well be motives for murder. The setting of Duck Lake and issues with Zoe’s Zoo play out in the background along with some wonderful recipes that would have been great ‘camp’ food: Tomato Cucumber Salad, Broiled Shrimp, Caramel Brownies, Grandma’s Old-fashioned Ice Cream Toppings. Ok, you’ve got the menu, you’ve got the book…head out into the wilderness and enjoy. I highly recommend the series at any point in the twenty-five escapades, but definitely put “Camp Carter” at the top of your list!

Camp Carter earns 5/5 Marshmallow Roasting Campfire Fun!

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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 a 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 her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.

Camping with Kathi Daley
By Kathi Daley

It was so much fun writing Camp Carter because it allowed me to take a walk down memory lane and revisit my days at camp when I was a child. The lakeside setting of Camp Carter, with the small cabins, community bathrooms, and cafeteria eating are exactly as I remember from my own experience. Of course, we didn’t have a murder at camp while I attended, but the rest of the drama—the counselor hookups and camper rivalries—were very much the same as what was depicted in the story.


Kathi Daley

The camp I attended as a child was set in the mountains on a beautiful lake perfect for swimming, canoeing, and other non-motorized water sports. I can remember waking up to an early morning hike, followed by breakfast, and then craft time. The afternoons were hot so everyone hung out down by the lake. My favorite part of the camping experience however, were the campfires every evening. Someone would bring a guitar, and we’d sing and toast marshmallows.

It’s been more than four decades since I last attended summer camp, but I find the memories live on and resurface each time I smell wood smoke from a campfire or read a book such as Camp Carter. I hope those of you who went to camp as a child can relive your own memories, and those of you who didn’t attend, can enjoy a virtual experience as Zak and Zoe toast marshmallows and track down a killer.

To enter to win either a print or kindle copy of Camp Carter, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “carter,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 26, 2017. U.S. residents only for the print copy. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address. PLEASE STATE IN ENTRY WHETHER YOU WANT PRINT OR KINDLE.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

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


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. I loved this book. Great review and insight in life at camp. I never went but can picture it well. I agree, 25 books of Zac and Zoe and I’m still not done with them either!

  2. Have never read anything by this author and looking forward to giving it a try, thanks for sharing so many wonderful books with all of us! Adore the puppy on the cover in the tent!

  3. Print please!!!

  4. Love all of Kathi Daley books, every book a new adventure.

    • Love all of Kathi Daley books, every book a new adventure.

  5. I love this series. I’ve never went to a real camp. I went to a bible day camp one summer. We had fun doing crafts, swimming, horseback riding and of course bible lessons. It was fun. I’d love to win a kindle copy of this book. Thanks for the chance.

  6. I would love to read a print copy as I have not read this and would love to heard so much about it!

  7. This must be a new one of Kathi’s I would love to read it. Please enter me. Sounds good.

  8. I love all of Kathi’s books. Would love to own a paper copy of any of her books. Ithat way I can share them with friends.

  9. I am so excited to read this Zoe Donovan. I prefer print utaker555(at)gmail(dot)com

  10. I have this on my to-read list. It would be great to win it in hardback.

  11. I really enjoy reading Kathi Daley’s books. Looking forward to reading “Camp Carter”.

  12. You had me on the first line in your review. How can you not find that comical and want to read more? 🙂 Then to rank a earns 5/5 Marshmallow Roasting Campfire Fun rating just means I have to read it!

    Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

  13. A fun mystery and recipes too, I’m all in! Thanks for the chance to win a print copy of Camp Carter. crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

  14. So excited for this camping cozy! Print preferred.
    mrsstarkent (at) gmail (dot) com

  15. I would love to win a print copy of this wonderful book for my library.

  16. Another book by Kathi Daley always makes me happy. Either form of book is fine by me. Thank you for the chance to win.

  17. Loved every book that kathi has wrote. I’m trying to get them all read but she keeps adding more .

  18. Love her books. They always entertain. sclickner at juno dot com

  19. I really want to read it, thank you

  20. I love the doggie on the cover. It’s adorable!!

    • Oops. forgot to say Print copy please if I win.

  21. Love Kathi Daley and her stories!

  22. I would love a print copy!

  23. Wow, this sounds interesting – anyone taking a bunch of adolescent girls anywhere, much less away from social media and private bathrooms deserves a medal, not an accusation! Would love to read this!

  24. I would love a PRINT copy. Thank you!

  25. I would love PRINT copy. Thanks for this giveaway.

  26. We have a winner!


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