Christmas, Tonya Kappes-Style

Dec 11, 2021 | 2021 Articles, Kathleen Costa, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win ebook copies of Santa, Sunrises, & Suspicions and Spoonful of Murder and links to purchase them from Amazon.

Santa, Sunrises, & Suspicions and Spoonful of Murder By Tonya Kappes

“Southern Hospitality with a Smidgen of Homicide!”
These two series by Tonya Kappes are all-time personal favorites: A Camper & Criminals Cozy introduced in 2018 and Killer Coffee Mystery in 2017. I am quite invested in the diverse characters along with their love lives, friends and family, and methods used to solve a murder. Both series are set in tourist-friendly small towns in Kentucky, but one revolves around running a campground while the other a coffeehouse. Both have strong females who have suffered personal set backs, but have successfully reimagined their personal and professional lives, made great friends, and found true love…oh, picked up a few fur buddies, too. The cozy mysteries are always creative and intriguing with several possible conclusions to challenge any inner detective, but there’s enough angst and peril for drama and delightful sidekicks for comic relief. This Christmas season enjoy some Merry Mayhem, Tonya Kappes-style!

“A Camper and Criminals Cozy” Christmas
Mae West has gone from a Big Apple trophy wife with a platinum credit card to owner of a popular outdoor destination in Normal, Kentucky. The Happy Trails Campground may be miles away from glamour and glitz, but she’s found “there’s no place like home!” with a renewed family connection, dear friends, and a marvelous man by her side. Nothing will interfere with her happiness…not even a few pesky murders!

Santa, Sunrises, & Suspicions Earns 5/5 Ho, Ho, Ho-s…Entertaining Fun!
The Winter Festival is a favorite local event, one Mae always looks forward to, with the whole town decorated in garland and holly along with a tree contest, Christmas pageant, and a debate about Santa. Disruptions, of course, occur with a change in the weather and the dead body of Neva Hudson discovered among the poinsettia display. Despite Dottie, Laundry Club lady and Mae’s friend, having more than a casual motive, the victim’s journal points more than a few fingers at several people who took great exception to the victim’s blatant and damaging tall tales and pompous attitude. But, if it’s sticks and stones not words that hurt you, are Neva’s words enough to murder?

Tonya Kappes again creates a marvelously inviting world for outdoor enthusiasts with sensory-laden descriptions, multiple generations, a bit of romance, some dogs, some murder, and chain smoking Dottie with her quirky southernisms. She’s added the sparkle of the holiday season with a snow storm to make it white and good tidings with friends, but the added “off key” tone among the victim’s family and friends might lead Mae and her nosy Laundry Club ladies to the killer. However, it’s the characters that I enjoy the most from Mae’s strength and cleverness to Dottie’s snarky retorts, from the closeness of family to the “I got your back” friends…Excellent!

Bonus! Recipes and Camping Hacks from Mae West and the Laundry Club Ladies include easy-to-follow recipes for Instant Beef Stew, Graham Cracker Brownies, and No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie, and Camping Hacks for the winter (1) camping or hiking tips, (2) mosquito bite tips, and (3) ways to deal with the lower temperatures.

Next Book! Book twenty-four, Vistas, Vices, & Valentines, is currently on Amazon Preorder with a January 27, 2022 release date.

“A Killer Coffee” Christmas
Roxy Bloom booted an ex, shelved a law career, retrained as a master barista, and opened Honey Springs first, and only, coffeehouse, The Bean Hive. She also reunited with and is now married to her once summer fling Patrick Cane. Her mother Polly Bloom’s relocating to Honey Springs often causes some fireworks between her and Roxy’s Aunt Maxi. Although life in Honey Springs is sweet with dear friends and freshly brewed coffee, there have been a few “bitter” moments involving murder and mayhem!

Spoonful of Murder Earns 5/5 Spicy Cheeseballs…Engaging & Clever!
The Honey Springs community is very pet friendly especially during the holiday season with the Christmas PAW-rade highlighting local fur buddies, and, new this year, a Holiday Progressive Dinner fundraiser supporting the local SPCA. This unique event was Aunt Maxi’s vision to bring in off-season tourists and focus on a local shop during each of the four-course evening. An unfortunate accident is only the beginning…Low-retta Bebe injects herself into the event, Aunt Maxi tries to sabotage Loretta’s participation, Roxy’s ex-husband Kirk is back, and Loretta’s assistant is found dead making Aunt Maxi the prime suspect! The holidays are more felonious than fa la la la!

Tonya Kappes has brought all the tinsel and lights to this southern mystery adding a curious story about the Siefert family who used to host elaborate Christmas parties, rumors of suspicious family tragedies, an old barn filled with their unique family treasures, and of course, the long-time conflicts between Aunt Maxi and Loretta…really, everybody and Loretta. There are insights into mother/daughter dynamics along with navigating exes and spouses, exposing a few secrets, and lots of four-legged antics. Kappes always does well adding holiday fun into the story with a tree-lighting ceremony, vendor booths, Santa visits, and family fun! Excellent respite from holiday hassle.

Put the Pot On! Bring The Bean Hive home with you with Recipes straight from the Bean Hive Coffeehouse kitchen to add to any holiday party menu. Enjoy Kentucky Cowboy Casserole, Maple Cinnamon Latte, and Red Velvet Whoopi Pies. The gossip is extra!

Next Book!
Book eleven, Barista Bump-Off, is currently on Amazon Preorder set for a February 22, 2022 release.

Be a Big Tonya Kappes Fan!
USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes pens a variety of series. along with this eighteen-book Camper & Criminals Cozy series, she also has a six-book Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery along with exciting ghostly-, magical-, and caffeinated-themed series. For ghosts, she has an eight-book Ghostly Southern Mystery and seven-book Kenni Lowry series. Add some magic with a 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
YouTube — Tonya Kappes

To enter to win ebook of copies of both Christmas mysteries, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “tonya christmas,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 18, 2021. US only, and must be 18 or older to enter. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out the first chapter of Tonya’s book Dead to the Last Drop which was featured in a past podcast episode. You can listen here, or in the player below:

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 Christmas episode went up this week.

You can use these links to purchase these books 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. Love this series!

  2. Two good books in two good series! Count me in!

  3. I just started this series and I can’t stop reading!!!

  4. I love Tonyas books!! I can’t wait to read these!!

  5. Thanks for chance to win Tonya Kappas books. I’d take ebooks.

  6. Love Tonya’s books. Looking forward to reading.

  7. Love Tonya’s books!! Prayers for those in KY recovering from the tornado’s. Thanks for the contest.

  8. Tonya Kappes is a fine example of a sweet Southern belle and her books always promise a great read. Thanks for including her and her books to your blog.

  9. I just wated a YouTube interview and she has written 181 books!

    I just love the covers.

    One of these days I will get to read the insides.

    Happy Holidays to all.


  10. We have a winner!


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