Deserts, Driving and Derelicts–review

This is the second book in the Campers and Criminals series by well-known author Tonya Kappes. I always love her quirky Southern characters and the down home charm they always bring to the stories she writes. Mae and her friends are quickly becoming some of my favorite Southern characters.

My Goodreads review:

This was another super fun visit to Happy Trails Campground in Normal, KY. I love reading about Mae and all her friends. The Laundry Club is always a lot of fun, I really like all those ladies she’s made friends with. I had absolutely no idea who the killer was, boy was I surprised.

When Mae and a wealthy woman named Tammy Jo found Tammy Jo’s dog nanny dead in her husband’s office, Tammy was jailed for the murder, but Mae knew she couldn’t have done it. Tammy might have been strange enough to have her dog Fifi cloned and have its offspring insured, but she was no killer. In the meantime, Mae’s foster brother, Bobby Ray was in town. Her friend Dottie had a bad feeling about him being there. Mae found Tammy Jo’s expensive watch that had gone missing while plumbing out Bobby’s toilet, so he was arrested for robbery–but was he the killer instead–and were Dottie’s instincts about him correct?

Everything got wrapped up in a fairly quick but very cool showdown. Bobby proved his worth then and the real killer was hauled away. Mae was finally ready for that elusive date with Ty…will it ever happen? I still think I might like Hank for her instead even though Ty is sweet. I guess we’ll just have to keep reading!

Freshly Ground Murder–review

This is the third book in the Killer Coffee series by well-known author, Tonya Kappes. She has quite a few series she’s written, and they all take place in a small town in Kentucky, which I just love reading about. Her style is relaxed and lots of fun. This book made it feel like Christmas in August! (minus the snow, not ready for that yet!)

My Goodreads review:

Freshly Ground Murder (Killer Coffee #3)Freshly Ground Murder by Tonya Kappes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was such a good Christmas mystery! I could just picture this sweet little town at Christmas with a big tree and Patrick being Santa Claus. I just love visiting Honey Springs, KY! They sure know how to do Christmas right.

The town of Honey Springs was getting ready for the Christmas festival. At the official town tree lighting ceremony, a pair of feet and legs were sticking out from under the big tree. One of their own townspeople had been killed and placed under that tree. The lawyer in Roxy couldn’t help once more being part of the investigation, even though Spencer, the sheriff, wasn’t crazy about her interfering. This time when an attempt was made on her life, she backed off. Thanks to someone else, the police were informed, the arrest was made and Christmas continued as planned.

I really enjoy all these characters and it was pretty exciting that the series is going to have a couple of new characters as well. I always get a kick out of shop employee Bunny and Aunt Maxi fussing with each other–they’re really friends, but they like to pick at each other sometimes. Emily, the girl who was working for Roxy in the last book, got some really good news which made me happy too. I hope the next book is set in the spring and that it includes a wedding!

I didn’t pick out the killer till close to the end and I believe it was probably when we were supposed to be putting the clues together anyway. It was a great twist that really surprised me. I’m anxiously waiting for the next in this series and I can’t wait to attend the book discussion on this book!

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Cake and Punishment–review

This is the very first book in what I hope will be a long-running series by well-known and established author Tonya Kappes, writing under the pen name of Maymee Bell. I love the other series books I’ve read by Tonya so I knew this was going to be a fun series as well. I know that Tonya went all out to make this the really awesome book that it is. She even took cake decorating lessons so she would completely know what it’s like to bake and professionally decorate a cake like what Sophia does in her story. You will love this book!

My Goodreads review:

Cake and Punishment (A Southern Cake Baker Mystery #1)Cake and Punishment by Maymee Bell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I did not want this book to end, that’s how good it was! From the small town Southern setting to the amazing characters and their overall chemistry with one another, I loved everything there was about this mystery. I do admit that I was able to guess the killer but it was fun seeing how that person got caught. Retribution came swiftly to the killer at the end, but to me it was very satisfying.

Sophia Cummings was head pastry chef for The Manhattan, an exclusive New York restaurant, who, after finding her boyfriend Noah, their main chef, with the hostess, needed some time away to keep herself sane. She came back to her hometown of Rumford, KY where just about right away she found herself the cake baker for her good friend Charlotte’s wedding. The more word spread about Sophia’s amazing desserts, the more people just assumed she would be staying. Sophia even let herself dream about staying every so often when she saw that the local bakery had closed. Conveniently, her friend Madison was the listing agent for it as well as a very cute little cottage.

Sophia didn’t think there would ever be a murder in this small town but when the country club chef was found dead and Evelyn, the general manager became the main suspect, Sophia felt it was only right to clear her longtime friend who had given her her first job right there at the country club. Hopefully Sophia and her other friend Madison can figure out who the killer is before Sophia becomes the next one killed!

This book had so many fun and likable characters! Sophia’s mom, Bitsy, was a real trip! She had a way of getting her way all the time but everyone loved her for the kind person she was. I felt like any of the main characters would make for some really good friends especially Madison and Charlotte. At first I wasn’t sure whether to trust Charlotte’s fiance Brett or some of the other suspects to choose from. I did pick the correct one but I feel like the author helped a lot by planting clues that I picked up on.

I could totally picture this book as a TV mystery movie since it has everything they look for in a very sweet but compelling mystery. There was a wedding, a budding romance, a few tense or scary moments but the very happy ending that I always love when I read a cozy mystery. This book fit everything I have come to expect in a great cozy! I absolutely cannot wait for the next book!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance e-copy of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley.

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