Eggnog, Extortion & Evergreens By Tonya Kappes: Review/Giveaway

Dec 12, 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 Eggnog, Extortion & Evergreens, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

Rising From the Ashes! Falling into Clover!
Maybelline Grant West, known less formally as Mae West, had a treasured life in New York with a penthouse, couture fashion, and weekends in the Hamptons. But that burned up in a Ponzi explosion sending her now ex-husband to jail and Mae clinging to a life preserver: a yellow camper! She was able to keep a campground in Normal, Kentucky, from the feds because it wasn’t part of the martial asserts being seized. Over the past few years, she renovated, updated, and created a premier full-service destination for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy in and around Daniel Boone National Forest. Happy Trails Campground is her home, her business, and source of her greatest happiness. Hank Sharp, ex-forest ranger, now full-time detective, has offered an honest, loving relationship and a positive law enforcement connection. A connection that comes in handy when various felonies invade Normal. Her newest calling as an amateur detective is also supported by 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.” From the “ashes” of scandal, Mae has fallen into the “clover” of love and friendships…and the occasional murder mystery!

Eggnogs, Extortion & Evergreens earns 5/5 Eavesdroppers…Engaging Entertainment!
Mae heard the voices, the pleas of “open your eyes,” and words like steering wheel, brain scan, and…coma. She couldn’t see and couldn’t respond, but albeit foggy, she could hear much of what was happening around her. Hank’s loving concern. Dottie’s encouragement. The doctor’s diagnosis. The two strangers’ whispers. Did she hear them correctly…murder? No, couldn’t be. Her mind is all mixed up with confusing thoughts about what happened, why she was here, and old memories flooding in about the fire that took her family. After what the doctor described as a three-hour “concussion nap,” he releases Mae with strict instructions to rest. She’s pleased to spend quiet time in her little camper, despite the many mother hens who are sure to hover, but Hank calls to beg off adding his “nursing” skills…a suspicious death. The autopsy on the man who’d been next to her in the ER shows death by suspicious circumstances. Oh, what was it she heard?

Brilliant! Tonya Kappes continues to entertain with the fourteenth book in her A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery series with a tense first chapter, eavesdropping in the ER, and another murder. This well-written series has become one of my favorites with sensory-laden description painting the Kentucky setting, laid-back small town community, realistic characters, and Christmas holidays with true southern flair. Her fun banter gives insights into personalities and sets a dramatic, sometimes comedic, tone. This dramedy is quite compelling starting with a unique manner of eavesdropping that might not be admissible in court, but still totally intriguing with several suspects, misdirection, and a “Wow!” reveal. One of the ongoing mysteries in the series is linked to Mae’s childhood and the death of her immediate family in a tragic fire; her repressed memories are slowly bubbling up into another compelling storyline. I love Mae, and Tonya has surrounded her with many enjoyable and quirky friends and family. She’s left the memory of her ex-life and ex-husband behind embracing a nicely-depicted loving relationship with whom she can also collaborate on investigations of “suspicious deaths.” Then, to round out her circle, there’re people of varying ages, skills, and involvement making this book and series great reading. Normal, Kentucky, is always a favorite literary destination, and it’s residents, entertaining literary friends!

I still raise concerns about Dottie’s smoking and her “disregard for rules” and the health of herself and others. She could still be the colorful character without a “cigarette dangling from the corner of her mouth.” Just imagine the humorous mood swings while she’s trying to quit!

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 three recipes are great even if you’re just a “stay at home” camper: Slow Cooker 2 Bean Chili, Perfect Toasted Cheese, and Kentucky Eggnog (Oh, my favorite holiday cheer!) with a Campfire Cobbler courtesy of Maker’s Mark Whisky. The hack offers ideas on conserving your water supply, advice about the Grey Tank, and Camper Tips for Fifi.

Alert! The next two books in Tonya’s A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery are on PREORDER on Amazon. In late December, book fifteen Ropes, Riddles, & Robberies will be released 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 Eggnog, Extortion & Evergreens, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “eggnog,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 19, 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 Christmas episode went up this week, and another one 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. Love Tonya’s books. Would really love to read.

  3. Always enjoy Tonya’s books!
    Would love to win!!

  4. Sounds intriguing

  5. We have a winner!


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