by Kathleen Costa
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win either an ebook or print copy of Assailants, Asphalt & Alibis, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.
A Campground Lifestyle to Die For…
Maybelline “Mae” Grant West, (yes, Mae West…deal with it!) no longer lives a luxurious life with a gold card and New York condo since her husband of two-years went to jail leaving her with nothing except for embarrassment in the tabloids, shunned by so-called friends, and a flamingo keychain to a small bright-yellow camper and title to a campground in her hometown of Normal, Kentucky. Embracing her Kentucky roots, she took ownership of Happy Trails Campground, and over the past year, she renovated, upgraded, and after some “mea culpa” with the residents and victims of her husband’s Ponzi scheme, she earned their respect and friendship, a dog and a detective beau, and a place to call home. She just worries the pesky murders that keep popping up challenge her idea of living a “normal” life.
Assailant, Asphalt & Alibis earns 5/5 Heirloom Pearl Necklaces…Fascinating Fun!
Happy Trails Campground is at full capacity with full-timers and tourists enjoying a campfire, s’mores, and stories of hidden treasure. The annual John Swift excursion entices everyone with treasure maps and a trove of silver yet undiscovered. One of the treasure hunters provided a dramatic tale about Swift and his counterfeiting efforts back in the late 1700s. All this excitement is hard to pass up, so Mae and the ladies of the Laundry Club along with Detective Hank’s grandmother decide to join the expedition in search of riches or at least a bit of weekend fun. So, with no cell reception or electricity, rumors of a curse, competitive exes, a bit of mutiny among the ranks, a theft, and a whole lot of greed, who would guess murder would join in? Well, everyone!
This eighth book in Tonya Kappes’s A Camper and Criminals Mystery series definitely is one of her best! Tonya’s writing style is always engaging with descriptive language to tempt the senses and dialogue that illustrates well the emotions, dialects, and personalities. Although her murder mystery follows the traditional cozy formula, she goes well beyond with well-developed characters (some quirky for humor’s sake), close relationships, interesting themes, an investigation with several suspects to consider, and lots of southernisms. The murder itself occurs further into the story than I like, but I enjoyed the journey with introductions to the new characters and their connections, banter between all the ladies, conflicts and threats, and the lead up that had me questioning who ultimately would be the victim…Karma had a few choices. The first-person narrative from Mae’s perspective is a main draw for me. She is intelligent, clever, and realistic in her approach, and whether through blood or not, family is very important, and her connection with the ladies, labeled the Laundry Club, makes it fun. However, she missed an obvious clue to a family connection. Too much going on, I guess. But, this book is delightful, and with references to background, it can be easily read by newbies. And look out for the shout out to cozy author Sue Ann Jaffarian!
BONUS! This series always includes a unique bonus: “Recipes and Cleaning Hacks From Mae West and the Women of Normal, Kentucky, and Happy Trails Campground.” For your next backyard camp out, Sunday picnic in the park, or RV vacation serve up Iron Skillet French Toast for breakfast, then lunch with Iron Skillet Hamburger Casserole, and end with dinner of Skillet Chicken Enchiladas. Although these are great for your next vacation, they’re also fun craft ideas: RV Hack #1 Acorn Whistle and RV Hack #2 Zipline for a “Fur” Friend. All fun!
Important! Many books include lists, prologues, introductions, and author notes that are often ignored by readers, but don’t skip the Author’s Notes provided at the beginning of this book. These notes offer some insights into one of Kentucky’s oldest legends about the John Swift Silver Mine and the ins and outs of the ginseng trade. Tonya remembers the tale being told to her as a child, and continuing the tradition, she told it to her own children. The ginseng trade is also quite fascinating with all its rules and regulations making it a ripe theme for…criminal activity. Both topics add an engaging “based on” storyline.
Audio, too! Several books in the series are in audiobook format narrated by Johanna Parker who “enriches the experience by going beyond a traditional reading out loud with a pleasant tone, engaging emotion, enjoyable and varied southern drawls, and fine male voices which often is hard to do for female narrators.” Audible – A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery series.
Be a Big Fan!
USA Today Bestselling Author Tonya Kappes is one of my Top Ten favorite authors with some exciting ghostly, magical, and caffeinated themed series to go along with her now eight-book A Camper & Criminals Cozy series…Alert! book nine Valleys, Vehicles & Victims is set to release on 9/27/19. For ghosts she has the popular eight-book Ghostly Southern Mystery and seven-book Kenni Lowry series…”I see dead people!” Add some magic with the twelve-book Magical Cures Mystery and three-book Spies and Spells series. Get a little caffeinated with her six-book Killer Coffee Mystery. There are five other series to check out along with the delightful two-book Southern Cake Baker Mystery she pens under the name Maymee Bell. Some series have easy-to-follow recipes, some not, and some with fun tips, but I guarantee always filled with southern charm!
To enter to win either an ebook or print copy of Assailants, Asphalt & Alibis, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “alibis,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 21, 2019. US only. If entering via comment please include your email address, if entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. AND BE SURE TO STATE IF YOU WANT PRINT OR EBOOK. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
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