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Santa, Sunrises, and Suspicions by Tonya Kappes takes us back to Normal, Kentucky where gossipmonger, Neva Hudson is found dead inside the Normal Baptist Church (let’s just say the poinsettia tree display is not going to be the same). Neva’s daughter asks the Laundry Club ladies to investigate, and Dottie Swaggert is quick to agree. Dottie is afraid is she at the top of the suspect list since it was well-known, she was not a fan of the victims. Mae exchanges her Santa hat for her sleuthing cap and digs into the case. Mae and the Laundry Club ladies with help from Hank work to solve the case before Santa rides into town on his sleigh. Santa, Sunrises, and Suspicions is twenty-third A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery. It can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series, but you will be missing out on Mae and the gangs’ antics. I like the author’s writing style. The best way to describe it is that it is like talking to a friend. There is plenty of Southern charm and colloquialisms. Some of Dottie’s phrases had me chuckling. Christmas is approaching and the Winter Festival is taking place in Normal, Kentucky. It is Mae West’s favorite time of year. Weather in Kentucky is mercurial. Mae and the ladies begin their day in warm weather gear and end it shivering when snow starts rapidly falling. The death of Neva Hudson provides a multitude of suspects for Mae and the Laundry Club ladies to question. There are good clues to help readers solve the crime before the reveal. Mae must also negotiate Christmas dinner plans with Mary Elizabeth. Hank’s parents invited Hank and Mae to their home but that would put Mary Elizabeth in a tizzy. This should be an interesting Christmas for Mae and Hank. Santa, Sunrises, and Suspicions is merry Southern tale with a choir calamity, poinsettia pandemonium, frosty snow, a Santa snag, a comfy fire, and hopefully a Happy Holiday!
As usual Tonya Kappes wrote any funny cozy mystery. The Camper Series has not disappointed me yet. I get the opportunity to leave the stresses of the day, week and sometimes month when I read her books. Tonya is great for an adventure that will make you wonder, suspect and laugh. Dottie by far is great for a good hoot and holler. She has some of the best sayings for example there isn’t enough make up to cover all that crazy.
Mae and Hank continue to partner in solving cases along with the other laundry club ladies. The last Murder has happened in the church and with many possible suspects. They find Neva the community gossip and known to tell a lie all the time under the Christmas dead. Betts had to pull them all together as the choir. Because she didn’t have enough people to help out with the Christmas pageant. This is somewhat personal to Abby as it’s her good friends mother who has been found Murder under the tree. She has just come home to visit for the holidays.
But then there is Mae and Hank? Are they back on or is this temporary. Hank had some many hang up with Mae sticking her nose into things. Is he truest when he says he wants her help now. He is also, undecided if he should go back into law enforcement.
I am a volunteer advance copy reader and these are my personal thoughts.
" There ain't enough makeup to hide crazy. Not even a Christmas star perched up on top of her head is gonna work." "She's so crooked that if she swallowed a nail she'd spit up a corkscrew." I love Dottie even more with each book!!! Christmas pageant and holiday festivities have begun. Snow is falling, what could be better. Neve is singing the solo, everyone in town knows she is a liar. Well, she was singing the solo. Found dead by the poinsettias. Time for Mae and The Laundry Club Ladies to get snooping and solve this murder. Great mystery and was surprised by the ending.
I received an ARC prior to publication and decided to voluntarily review it.
This latest book in the Camper & Criminals series is perfect for a few chuckles along with a great mystery. The characters and the setting of Normal, Kentucky are anything but normal. It’s Winter Festival time and the town is getting ready for the church Christmas play. Not only is there a beautiful poinsettia Christmas tree display, but the town’s biggest gossip/liar is lying dead in it. Her daughter asks the Laundry Club Ladies to find out who killed her and wait until you find out who it is. It was a great mystery full of twists and turns and before I knew it, the book was done. I really enjoy immersing myself in this crazy world for a short time. Now back to reality.
Of course Christmas in Normal is anything but. The landscape is beautiful but the snow falling makes it perfect for Christmas. Everyone is getting ready for the festival. But then there’s a murder. Can the Laundry Club Ladies solve in time to save the Christmas Festival? Another winner for Tonya’s camper series.
Even during the Christmas season when everyone should be happy there has to be one bad egg. This time its during the Christmas pagent rehersal. Tiny a Kappes writes her books so that you can be part of the action and mystery. This is one of my go to series and I can't wait for the next one to come out.
This story is a fun on its own, or as a part of the series. Normal is a small town with a lot of character. The Laundry Club Ladies would be wonderful friends to have. They are always up for solving a murder,so of course they are ready to jump in when there is a murder at the church. With a suspect list from the spouse to Santa they start working on the case hoping to get it solved in time to enjoy the holidays.
I loved my Christmas trip to Normal Kentucky. There were great characters, just the right amount of humor, snark and a lot of fun! I loved the setting and the great twisty mystery. Look forward to reading the next book in the series!!!
Once again this series just makes you happy with sadness sprinkled in and around. Southern charm is something only a southerner can write about so perfectly. Love this series but every series by this author shouldn't be passed by.