Gear, Grills, & Guns By Tonya Kappes: Review/Giveaway

Nov 14, 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 Gear, Grills, & Guns, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

Karma Knows Best!
Looking back on Maybelline West’s life, she’s had a “180” degree lifestyle change: from an upscale New York apartment with weekends in the Hamptons to a yellow camper in Kentucky as a member of the working class. Her, now deceased, ex-husband’s financial crimes and FBI’s confiscation of marital assists precipitated Mae’s moved to Normal, Kentucky, to take ownership of Happy Trails Campground, an asset left in her name and outside government seizure. During the last few years, she created a premier full-service destination for visitors to enjoy the outdoors in and around Daniel Boone National Forest, made friends with those who were victims of her exes’ crimes, and reenergized the local community. Although she’s exchanged couture and designer heels for jeans and hiking boots, Mae is happy enjoying an honest and loving relationship with ex-forest ranger, now full-time detective Hank Sharp. Of course, that connection is very advantageous when Mae comes upon, often accidentally, a dead body. Her newest calling as an amateur detective is not a task she takes on alone or is not without conflict and personal peril, but adding to her law enforcement support, she has campground manager Dottie Swaggert, camp handyman Henry Bryan, her adoptive mother Mary, foster brother Bobby Ray, and a quirky group of ladies dubbed the “Laundry Club.” Life in Normal may not always be “normal,” but Karma has shined nicely on Mae!

Gears, Grills & Guns earns 5/5 Vintage Autos…Engaging & Clever!
Mae and her adoptive mother, Mary Elizabeth Moberly, have begun to heal their former tumultuous relationship, so Mae invites Mary to join her on a hike to check out the new trail set up by the Old Train Station Motel. However, Mary’s choice to be more fashionable than practical is problematic; she slips, falls, and winces in excruciating pain. Mae holds her tongue and the “I told you so-s,” but needless-to-say, the hike is cut short. What a way to start! But, a cranky mother, a hectic holiday season, and a car show are the least of the issues. With a full campground of vintage car show fanatics, a murder, a trailer fire, and another dead body will be the challenger for “best in show.”

Brilliant! Tonya Kappes has penned another great drama with the thirteenth book in her A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery series. The murder mystery once again taints the peaceful campground environment and Mae’s reputation, so capturing the attention of Mae and her “Laundry Club” is as much self preservation as it is truth and justice seeking. It is also great fun following their “nosy” detecting from the perspective of women with which I personally can identify. My inner Sherlock was challenged as I had a couple of my own reasonable theories of greed, jealousy, and a “truck,” and the final suspect and motive had briefly been on my radar, but I dismissed it…twice! Along with the investigation we get further insights into Mae’s past, her family, and the secrets that have slowly been addressed and exposed. Tonya’s writing style is engaging and has made me a long-time fan with her use of descriptive language, southern-rich sayings, clever dialogue, and vivid characters of varied ages and personalities. Fans, like me, are always treated to life with our literary friends: the ins and outs of managing and living at an RV campground, prepping for Halloween, drinking coffee and eating donuts, enjoying nature and good friends, and building a nice and realistic family dynamic. What the life! I do wish that Dottie’s smoking could be addressed in a more positive way. Whether she goes cold turkey or needs help, I’d like to see her quit for good.

Bonus! Adding to the delightful experience with this series is the unique “Recipes and RV Hacks Advice from Mae West, Owner of Happy Trails Campground” for your culinary and lifestyle needs. The hack offers advice to easily start a campfire and a way to easily get rid of used toilet paper rolls: Toilet Paper Fire Starter. The three recipes are great even if you’re just a backyard camper: Lemon Chicken Skillet Style, Campfire Cobbler, and Your Mama’s Biscuits and Gravy Dutch Oven Style.

Alert! Get your clicker finger ready. The next three books in Tonya’s A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery are up on Amazon PREORDER. In late November, book fourteen Eggnog, Extortion, and Evergreen is HERE, book fifteen Ropes, Riddles, & Robberies set for late December HERE, and book sixteen Paddlers, Promises, & Poison will release in late January HERE.

Be a Big Tonya Kappes Fan!
With over eighty-five novels, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes is also one of my Top Ten favorite authors. With this thirteen-book Camper & Criminals Cozy series, she has a five-book Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery 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 Gear, Grills, & Guns, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “gear,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 21, 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 went up this 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. Tonya writes some intriguing
    books. This one sounds like
    another fun read. thanks

  2. A 180 degree lifestyle change is sure to lead to some fun – for the reader!

  3. Sounds interesting! Count me in!

  4. Would love to win this wonderful book! Thank you for the great giveaway!!! The book sounds very good!!!

  5. I absolutely love this series and would love a copy!! Thank you for the chance.

  6. Me.

  7. Would really love to read. Love Tonya’s books. Thanks for the chance.

  8. In love Tonya Knappes and would love to win and read this book!I am actually just learning how to use a gun.It would be interesting!

  9. We have a winner!


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