by Kathleen Costa
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win either a copy of Fireworks in Paradise, and a link to purchase it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.
The Tj Jensen series has been around since 2013 opening with a Halloween favorite Pumpkins in Paradise, and in 2016 Henrey Press jumped on board reenergizing the series with a new set of book covers. Kathi Daley has penned a delightful set of eight books following Tj Jensen and her extended family of two half-sisters, her dad, her granddad, and a plethora of animals in Serenity, Nevada, with her signature engaging mysteries, clever and sometimes quirky characters, and realism that makes her work very popular. Immediately following book seven, Treasure in Paradise, Kathi Daley sends us right into another gripping murder mystery.
Tj Jensen’s relaxing vacation with family and friends is cut short, interrupted by a frantic phone message from Dr. Hunter about her father being in an accident. A devastating car crash has killed Judge Harper, a close family friend, and put her father in a coma. What a way to make this very personal and engaging for fans and newbies alike! The past twenty-seven hours have been the worst of Tj’s life, and Kyle, her hopeful romantic interest, has stepped up brilliantly to get her preferential treatment on a flight back home: delaying takeoff, first-class seat, disembarking before anyone else, but all she could think about was making it to the hospital in time. Tj will not be left out of this investigation despite her fears that her father might not regain consciousness. Deputy Fisher explains the evidence doesn’t prove ‘accident.’ The brake line on the judge’s car had been deliberately cut making it more obvious that Judge Harper was the intended victim and her father an innocent bystander. Tj is spurred into hunting down whoever did this, but a new deputy assigned to the station may not be so tolerant of civilians actively involved in police investigations.
A key part of Kathi Daley’s work is she continues to write a clever mystery along with a positive perspective on the importance of law enforcement having her characters, like Tj, working in tandem with, not circumventing, local authorities. Even though there are opportunities for Tj to go ‘rouge’ or partner with her friends and family, she has a unique talent recognized, not ignored, by the deputy in charge. Kathi’s style in her mysteries often provides a wide range of motives and ample suspects giving us readers the opportunity to channel our inner detective, although I’m always challenged to uncover the killer myself. Tj works through the clues knowing that even though retired Judge Harper must have some typical enemies from his time on the bench, he also was the mayor of the town which widens the suspect pool closer to home with disgruntled business owners and maybe even neighbors. “Wow!” There’s always a very clever solution capped with someone ending up in jeopardy!
This story is further complicated for Tj with Deputy Fisher with a new partner being assigned to the station. ‘She’ may not be so tolerant of a civilian actively ingratiating themselves into police investigations; Tj will need to rely on her ability to be subtle to avoid being shut out completely. Always playing in the background of Kathi’s work we find family issues, holiday or community events, and a bit of romance that itself has realistic ups and downs. In this story we continue to see the evolution of the Jensen family with a her father’s fiancé, the town prepping for the Fourth of July festivities, and in the wake of a very romantic kiss, Tj and Kyle are trying to navigate through a new relationship. Fireworks all around Paradise Lake, and I enjoyed every bit of it!
Fireworks in Paradise earns 5/5 Clever Mysteries and Wow Endings!
Check out other Henery Press mysteries on their website.
To enter to win a copy of Fireworks in Paradise, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “fireworks,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 11, 2017. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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