Monday, March 26, 2018

Dead as a Doornail (A Kenni Lowry Mystery Book 5)

Author:  Tonya Kappes
Genre:  Mystery

Trade Paperback; Audio CD; Digital Book
ISBN #:  9781635113341; 9781974907120
Henery Press Publishing
266 Pages
$15.95; $29.99; $4.99 Amazon
May 15, 2018

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Beauty is skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone.  And doesn't our Sheriff Kenni Lowry know that?  Well, she knows a lot of things.

Lucy Lowell takes great pride in writing negative reviews in the local newspaper for anything that does not go her way.  When Lucy is found dead, it appears to be from natural causes.

But Sheriff Kenni Lowry knows there is more to it because the ghost of her grandfather, the ex-sheriff, is standing over the body.

His presence can mean only one thing: Murder !

Since Kenni's relationship with Deputy Finn Vincent has heated up, Kenni is having trouble conducting the investigation without Finn questioning her every move.

Can Kenni unravel the mystery on her own or will she have to tell Finn the real reason she knows it was murder - the ghost of her poppa?

It's blowin' up a storm and only Kenni knows how it'll end.

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Kenni Lowry is sheriff in the small Kentucky town of Cottonwood.  She's taken over where her grandfather, Poppa, left off after he died.  Except he's not really dead, not to her: whenever there's a murder, he shows up to help her out.

Right now, Kenni has problems.  When she's given a gift certificate to a day spa from her boyfriend, Deputy Finn Vincent, she expects to have a relaxing afternoon getting a manicure and pedicure.  While it starts out that way, it sure doesn't end the same.  While there, local Lucy Ellen Lowell shows up demanding that Tina, owner of the spa, give her a color, manicure, and anything else her little heart desires.  Tina refuses, and her employee Cheree adds that Lucy keeps cancelling appointments, so they can't make time for her, especially since Polly Parker and her entire wedding party have shown up to get their nails done for a 'pre-wedding preview' of color.

Lucy isn't happy, and when she leaves she tells Tina she's going to write a review of her shop.  It seems Lucy is well known for writing her bad reviews, and has cost businesses customers by them.  In fact, it seems the only person who even likes Lucy is her husband Darnell.  So when Lucy is found murdered by Darnell, Kenni has a whole stack of suspects to sift through.

But it's not going to be easy, nor is it going to be comfortable.  It seems Kenni has been volunteered by her mother Vivian and best friend Tibbie to be the maid of honor in Polly's wedding after the original one backed out.  And Kenny - reluctant as she is - has pretty much figured out why.  It appears that Polly wants a Gone with the Wind-themed wedding, and the dress Kenni has to wear looks like the famous dark green curtain dress, and it is Ug-ly with a capital U. 

So now Kenni is juggling a murder investigation along with trying to avoid her mama at all costs.  Then things get even more heated when Finn asks her to come home to Chicago for Christmas, and she sure doesn't want to face her mama over that; and just when she thinks she has the murder all sewn up she knows it can't be right because Poppa hasn't left.  Yes, Kenni's in a whole heap of trouble, and she'll need all the help she can get to figure this one out...

Once again Tonya Kappes has written another delightful Kenni Lowry mystery.  This one is packed with plenty of action and Kenni wrestling with problems - like those mentioned above and also the fact that she knows she's going to have to come clean with Finn about her Poppa's ghost eventually.  It leaves her very little down time, and a multitude of suspects who may or may not be telling her the entire truth. 

It's a magnificent romp of a mystery that shows us Kenni has what it takes to be sheriff in this town full of looney characters, and one of the best books I've read this year.  I can't say enough about this series except that while this can be read as a stand alone, I hope that you'll start at the beginning to get the full effect of Kenni and the eccentric people of Cottonwood.  I loved every minute of it and look forward to the next installment.  Highly recommended.

https://www.amazon.com/Dead-As-Doornail-Tonya-Kappes/dp/1635113342/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2340488865

More on Tonya Kappes's Books:  https://www.fantasticfiction.com/k/tonya-kappes/

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