Review: Beaches, Bungalows, and Burglaries by: Tonya Kappes

by - Friday, April 17, 2020

Title: Beaches, Bungalows and Burglaries
Author: Tonya Kappes
Publisher: Createspace Independent
Series: A Camper & Criminals Cozy #1
Pages:  212
Format: kindle e-book
Source: Kindle Unlimited


Welcome to Normal, Kentucky~ where nothing is normal.

Mae West, a far cry from the Hollywood actress, has been thrown for a loop. Her plush lifestyle in the big city of New York comes to a screeching halt after the FBI raids her mansion and arrests her husband, Paul West, for a Ponzi scheme that rips people out of millions of dollars.

Mae finds herself homeless, friendless, and penniless. All hope isn't lost. . .the only thing Mae got to keep that the government didn't seize is a tourist camp ground, Happy Trails, in Normal, Kentucky and an RV to live in. One problem, Mae's idea of camping has room service.

By the look of the brochure, Happy Trails has plush Kentucky Bluegrass, a crystal clear lake, a beach chair with her name on it and thoughts of how much money it could bring her after she sells it. Mae figures she'll take a couple weeks vacation with her toes dipped in the lake. Things aren't always as they appear. The Kentucky Bluegrass is nothing but dirt and the crystal clue lake is murky with green slime on top.

Mae quickly find out that Happy Trails and the citizens of Normal were also victims of Paul's schemes, making her lower than the lake scum in the residents' eyes. Mae doesn't think things could get much worse, but as luck would have it, Paul West has escaped from prison and is found dead, murdered, floating in the Happy Trails mucky green lake.

Mae is the number one suspect on Detective Hank Sharp's short list. After all, Mae has the perfect motive as a kept wife who has been scorned to ashes, embarrassed to death, and seeking revenge.

Time is running out for Mae to prove that she's innocent and nothing like her husband. If only she could get someone to believe her and talk Detective Sharp into looking at other residents who've lost all their savings to Paul's Ponzie scheme before the curtain is closed on this Hollywood namesake. 

My Thoughts: 

This is the first book in the Campers and Criminals cozy series in it we find the heroine or amateur sleuth Mae West is having a very bad time.  When her ex-husband Paul West is in jail for a Ponzi scheme.  She has to give up the lifestyle Paul put her in and figure out where to go when everything is gone.  In this case with a camper to Normal Kentucky to Happy Trails the only thing left that Mae owns.  After looking at a brochure for the property Mae figures she can stay there long enough to sell the property.  What she didn't count on was the mess the property really was.  Happy Trails needs some massive TLC to make it even approachable by buyers.  

While assessing the property with the local handyman they stumble upon Paul West a very dead very escaped from jail Paul West.  The heat is turned up on Mae as to why Paul was here and if she had a hand in his demise.  Mae is determined to give Paul the justice he didn't give other people by finding out who killed him and why.

While sleuthing she also meets a group of women known as The Laundry Club who welcome her in. They make her one of their own and try to help her adjust to Normal.  Will Mae figure out who killed her husband and why?

I enjoyed this step into another series of Tonya Kappes.  She has an incredible ability to spin a story that pulls you in and you find the book a quick read which makes you want to continue the adventure with Mae and The Laundry Club.

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