Kickbacks, Kayaks, & Kidnapping By Tonya Kappes: Review/Giveaway

Sep 19, 2020 | 2020 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 Kickbacks, Kayaks, & Kidnapping, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

It’s a Different Normal in Normal!
Maybelline “Mae” West exchanged, not by choice, her New York normal of spa visits and weekends in the Hamptons for a Kentucky normal of campers and close friends. After her, now demised, ex-husband was sent to prison for financial crimes, Mae moved to Normal, Kentucky, to take ownership of Happy Trails Campground, the only asset left to her after the government confiscated everything else. Over the last few years, she spent time renovating and being a key figure in reenergizing the community that had fallen victim to her husband’s antics. Life is slower and more jeans and boots, then fast-paced in couture and designer heels, but Mae is happy…until all the accidental discoveries of dead bodies; she has a new calling, not by choice, as an amateur detective. It’s not a task she takes on alone. Her support includes a once-pedigreed poodle Fifi along with ex-forest ranger, now detective and boyfriend Hank Sharp, campground manager Dottie Swaggert, camp handyman Henry Bryan, and a quirky group of ladies dubbed the “Laundry Club.” Bring it on!

Kickbacks, Kayaks, & Kidnapping earns 5/5 Bon Jovi Tunes…Entertaining Fun!
Mae is always trying to make Happy Trails a full-service campground. This year she’s added a variety of water sports to the “things to do” since the local company that she counted on was forced to close down. Mae doesn’t have a lot of experience with kayaking, canoeing, white-water rafting, and fishing, so why not jump into the deep end of the pool with Paddle Fest, a weeklong summer festival, and to make it more exciting, she’s reintroducing the kayak competition with contestants arriving from all over the country which includes future Olympian Bryce Anderson. However, his agent, a disagreement, and his “divo (male diva)” attitude to get what he wants are just some of the queries when he ends up dead…“shot through the heart.” Murder, of course, is a tragedy and Mae and her Laundry Club gals will immediately start up an investigation, but it also puts in jeopardy the campground’s continued financial success, Mae’s efforts to win the “Campground Hospitality” award, and her desire to be the fifteenth seat on the Daniel Boone National Park Board. Lots of motivation to uncover the truth.

A Gold Medal Winner! Tonya Kappes’s A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery series is an outstanding read, and book twelve does not disappoint with some characters getting more story time. The drama is always tough to unravel as Tonya deftly combines multiple suspects and motives, plausible accusations and misdirection, and a bit of “Oh, no!” peril. Her writing style shares her personal southern flair with idioms, phrases, and manners along with bits of knowledge about small Kentucky communities and the environment in and around the Daniel Boone National Forest. Along with an engaging story, descriptive language, and clever banter, there’s a plethora of characters that I personally enjoy following: ladies of all ages, family, friends, and a variety of park visitors. Mae West is a delight, a good friend, and truly has her new community in her heart, but not without a few flaws to make her a realistic character. She’s found her niche embracing life as the owner of the Happy Trails Campground, romancing the local detective, and cherishing her friendships even when challenged by the aggressively ambitious local reporter Violet Rhinehammer. All around fun!

Bonus! Adding to the delightful experience with this series is the “Recipes and RV Hacks Advice from Mae West, Owner of Happy Trails Campground” for you culinary and lifestyle needs. The three hacks offer advice on storage, phones, and dealing with “stinky” things. The three recipes are great even if you’re just a backyard camper: Campfire Donuts, Campfire Hand Pies, and Insta Pot Lemon Butter Whole Chicken.

Alert! Get your clicker finger ready. The next four books are up on Amazon PREORDER. In late October, book thirteen, Gears, Grills, & Guns (HERE), will be released followed by book fourteen Eggnog, Extortion, and Evergreen in late November (HERE), book fifteen Ropes, Riddles, & Robberies in late December (HERE), and book sixteen Paddlers, Promises, & Poison in late January (HERE).

Be a Big Tonya Kappes Fan!
USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes is also one of my Top Ten favorite authors. With this, three-book Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery, she has a nine-book Camper & Criminals Cozy series 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

To enter to win an ebook of Kickbacks, Kayaks, & Kidnapping, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “kickbacks,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 26, 2020. US only, and must be 18 or older to enter. 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. Would love to read this. Thank you for this chance!!

  3. I love Tonya’s books! Every one of her series is great.

  4. Love Tonya’s books. Can’t wait to read the latest in the series.

  5. Love her books!

  6. I love these books.

  7. Sounds like a great read! Thanks for the chance!

  8. Love her camping series! Can’t wait for the new ones…

  9. Thank you for the opportunity to win this book!

  10. Even being out in the “wilds” doesn’t
    protect you from murder. Sounds
    like fun. thanks.

  11. Love Tonya’s books! Her characters are like old friends!

  12. I would love the chance to win

  13. I am looking forward to reading the books!!

  14. Great series – have not read this one. Thanks for the chance!

  15. I own one of the Ghostly series books. Tonya’s books are well written and always enjoyable. Yes please, enter me in the giveaway.

  16. We have a winner!


Leave a Reply

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