On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
Deserts, Driving, and Derelicts (A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery Series)
2nd in Series
Setting – Kentucky
Independently published (June 26, 2018)
Hardcover : 192 pages
ISBN-13 : 979-8746786456
Paperback : 196 pages
ISBN-10 : 1723010863
ISBN-13 : 978-1723010866
Kindle ASIN : B07CJK17LS
SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY WITH A SMIDGEN OF HOMICIDE
USA Today Bestselling author Tonya Kappes brings you southern and quirky characters in her mystery series. Her stories are charged with humor, friendship, family, and life in small southern towns.
Welcome to Normal, Kentucky where NOTHING is normal.
Mae West is getting settled into the RV lifestyle as the owner of a campground in Normal, Kentucky.
Happy Trails Campground, located in Daniel Boone National Park, has started to attract late summer vacationing families who love to hike, swim, fish, and enjoy being outdoors.
Betts Hager, owner of several small businesses, is swamped with work and desperate for help with her cleaning business. Mae offers her services, happy about the prospect of a little extra cash. Heiress Tammy Jo Bentley’s mansion is the first one on her schedule.
Mae makes sure Tammy Jo’s house is spotless because the Kentucky Kennel Association’s annual meeting is going to be held at the mansion. Fifi, Tammy Jo’s high pedigree, insured poodle, is going to be on display and Tammy Jo will be evaluating potential suitors to sire Fifi’s offspring.
Before the annual meeting, Camille Braun, Fifi’s nanny, is stabbed to death.
Everyone knows that Camille would put her life on the line *or* lay down her life for Fifi and, apparently, she did.
Mae tries her best to stay out of it. Tammy Jo begs Mae to help her; after all, she did find the last killer in Normal. Plus, it’s not good for business – or Normal’s revived economy – when a murderer is on the loose.
Mae has grown to love her RV community and now that she’s found a place to call home, she’s not going to let anybody ruin it. Mae throws all of her heart and amateur sleuthing skills into bringing the real killer to justice.
We are back in Normal, Kentucky. Mae West has done a lot to get the Happy Trails Campground back on track while repaying those her ex-husband scammed. She gets a little blast from the past when Bobby Ray Bond shows up at the campground. He is her foster brother that helped her move to New York for a fresh start 12 years ago. Now it may be her turn to help him out.
Mae is also helping Betts Hager with her cleaning business. The extra cash she will earn always comes in handy. Her first assignment takes her to Tammy Jo Bentley’s mansion to make sure the place is immaculate for the annual meeting of the Kentucky Kennel Association. Tammy Jo dotes on her prize pup and is hoping to find a perfect sire for the poodle.
Realizing she forgot to get payment for her services, Mae returns to the mansion for the check. Instead, she makes a ghastly discovery. She finds the pampered pooch’s nanny has been stabbed to death. Tammy Jo is taken into custody and she is reminded that Mae caught the town’s last killer. She begs Mae to do the same for her. Mae agrees because a murderer on the loose isn’t good for business and she isn’t going to let a pesky killer ruin all the progress she has made.
The characters in this series are so much fun. They are quirky and genuine and full of charm. Mae has been accepted now as everyone sees she is trying hard to right the wrongs done by her ex. She has also grown so much as a person in just two books. She seems always ready to help anyone she can whether it be helping them find a job, lend a sympathetic ear, or sleuth out a killer.
The mystery this time had me stumped the entire way. Ms. Kappes entangled some nice red herrings to misdirect and I think I fell for all of them. I really enjoy the humor she includes heavily within her stories. It makes the characters and their situations feel more real. At under 200 pages, the pace is quick but everything is well detailed.
I really enjoy the way Mae pursues the truth while juggling everything else going on in her life. She has two romantic interests, a campground to run, odd jobs here and there, a foster brother showing up out of blue, and a new house guest, all as she tries to solve a murder case. I envy all of her energy.
Deserts, Driving, and Derelicts is a wonderful cozy mystery filled with fantastic characters and Southern charm. The Laundry Club ladies always crack me up. The gossip runs wild and I love it!
I know I am way behind on this series so I hope to visit again soon.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”