Canyons, Caravans, & Cadavers by Tonya Kappes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I can’t get enough of this series! Ms Kappes has done a wonderful job creating a small town that mainly relies on tourist to keep it thriving. She formed a tight group of unique ladies who call themselves The Laundry Club. In the first book we met the main character and narrator, Mae West. She inherited Happy Trails, a run down campground in Normal, Kentucky located in the Daniel Boone National Park. People in Normal weren’t too happy to have her but she turned the campground around and won the hearts of the town’s people along with the Key to the City. There are lots of things going on, a number of murders and a lot of character driven world building in this series. You don’t have to read each book in order but for full enjoyment, I recommend that you do. The books are fast paced so you will catch up before you know it.
In this book, along with the key to the city, (an honor she shares with a certain pushy reporter), Mae is given the opportunity to conduct a six week class on economics and how she turned around the campground. She is excited and honored with this opportunity, but can she make an impact on the students? She grew up in Kentucky, a Commonwealth that hasn’t had much to offer since farming has been cut down and mines are shutting down. She knows what it is like to be in high school facing slim opportunities for the future unless you leave. Which is exactly what she had done only to return, where she became a success story. She knows she can do this but then she finds the dead body of a teacher/coach in one of her rental trailers. Now the body count is rising and the lead investigator is agreeing she can be “eyes and ears” at the school for him, not to mention there seems to be a possibility of some love competition!
The story is intriguing and fast paced. It is easy to get lost in the book and want to finish it in one sitting. It is possible to do this as time flies when you’re having fun. The mystery gets wrapped up in each book. There are background storylines that continue book to book. They aren’t so big, though, that you can’t follow the story if you haven’t read them all. Each book is written in a way that allows you to join in reading it regardless of the number of previous books and whether or not you read them all. My preference is to read them in order.
There are also camping hacks, tips and recipes at the end of each book. I normally try one or two before I write the review. This time I didn’t have ingredients on hand to whip one up and enjoy while reading. I do plan to make the cookies this week and possibly the chili. The pizza recipe is intriguing as I would love to make pizza outdoors!
I received an electronic ARC of the book. I voluntarily reviewed it because I love sharing book news and talking about books. Because it was an ARC some changes may be made with the official release of the book. I enjoyed this book and plan to purchase a copy of it to add to my series collection. I do recommend the book as well as the series.
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