"Zoning, Zealots, & Ziplines" By Tonya Kappes: Review/Giveaway

Review by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

Life is Good … Sans the Dead Body!

Mae West can hardly remember life before Normal, Kentucky. New York and her privileged lifestyle ended abruptly by court order leaving only a beat up old trailer and deed to the rundown Happy Trails Campground. There she found her bliss! Reinventing the campground as a popular destination, helping boost the local economy, acquiring some dear friends, and saying yes, after a few break ups, to marrying local PI Hank Sharp. But, with the good comes the bad in the form of a few dead bodies. It, however, caused a riff between Mae and law enforcement that later worked itself out, brought friends together dubbed the Laundry Ladies, built her reputation as a competent amateur detective, and put more than a few criminals in jail or in the ground. So, you see New York is history, and this Normal life is a perfect match!

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Zoning, Zealots, & Ziplines
Earns 5/5 Orion’s Stars … Clever & Engaging Gem!

 “Ladies, our boring spell is over. There’s been a murder …” —Mae’s Text to the Laundry Ladies

Mae’s success with Happy Trails Campground facility and bringing in several popular outdoor activities and experiences to the area made her a perfect candidate for the National Park Committee. Today the committee is looking at two groups vying to be part of the activities offered in the area, and Gab Hemmer, the committee chair, finalized the on-site inspections with Lloyd checking out Zip Line Adventures and Mae the Star Gazer. Of course, Mae’s disappointed about her assignment preferring a more adventurous activity, but that’s what happens when you’re not paying attention. So, being the team player she is, it’s stargazing tonight.

Both Neil Lipman, who runs the zip line company, and Claire Patton, who runs the Star Gazer experience, are having a serious disagreement. There’s plenty of room for both activities, but it seems the ridge they share that offers the best views for exploring the night sky is also the best place for night flying through the trees on a zip line. The lights on the zip lines, unfortunately, interfere with Claire’s optimal viewing needs. When Mae arrived for the night’s event, she had to admit Claire was prepared, knowledgeable, and captured the attention of the invited guests. But, Claire’s sudden burst of anger and a strange sight through the telescope had Mae dialing the authorities. There’s a body hanging from the zip line … It’s Neil, dead!

Whew! Tonya Kappes is “keeping it fresh” and entertaining with the thirtieth book in her popular series. There’s another murder in Normal and, of course, Mae is in the middle of it. The business conflict between Neil and Claire starts at the center of the investigation, but Mae and her crack team of busy bodies and gossips, this time sanctioned by the park ranger, have several intriguing options to explore from zoning rules and business conflicts to marriage issues and even possible corruption. All these and more lead to an engaging puzzle that arm-chair detectives, like me, love to decipher. Despite a surprise ending, there’s also a cliffhanger! Running the campground, navigating wedding plans, dealing with Betts’ good deeds list, handling a sleuthing rival, and trying to avoid the antics of her future in-laws only added a fascinating realism making a true fan of this reader!  

Camping Treats & Ideas! This series always has some tasty treats and helpful ideas for any level of camper whether you’re in a national park or the backyard: Recipes and Camping Hacks from Mae West and the Laundry Club Ladies at Happy Trails Campground. Enjoy (1) Campfire Beer Cheese, (2) Camping Mac-N-Cheese, and (3) Camping Gnocchi Kababs. Use these Camping Hacks for ideas on (1) hand washing stations and (2) oranges as candles.

Recipes on Demand! Check out Tonya’s ACamper and Criminals Cozy Mystery Campfire Cookbook! “This cookbook includes over 50 recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert that are perfect for your next camping trip. From classic favorites like s'mores and hot dogs to gourmet dishes like chili, grilled salmon, and grilled vegetables. With easy-to-follow instructions and helpful tips for cooking in the wilderness, RV or cabin, this cookbook is the perfect companion for any camping enthusiast. So grab your tent and your appetite, and let Mae West along with the Laundry Club Ladies guide you on a culinary journey.”

Be a Big Tonya Kappes Fan!

Southern Hospitality with a Smidgen of Homicide! Tonya Kappes, USA Today bestselling author, pens a variety of series. along with this Camper & Criminals Cozy series, she also has a Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery and Holiday Cozy Mystery series along with some exciting ghostly-, magical-, and caffeinated-themed series. For ghosts, there’s the Ghostly Southern Mystery and Kenni Lowry series. Add some magic with Magical Cures Mystery and Spies and Spells series. Finally, get a little caffeinated with her Killer Coffee Mystery. She also has an enjoyable online presence and various events enticing fans to gather to talk, share, and partake in the fun!

Facebook: Author Tonya Kappes

Join the “Cozy Krew”

Website: Tonya Kappes

YouTube — Tonya Kappes

Don’t Miss This Special FREEBIE! Tonya Kappes joins several popular authors offering a book thru Prolific Work’s sixty-book Twisty Tales & Cozy Crimes giveaway. Tonya Kappes’s book, Brides, Bribes, & Binoculars, from her A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery, is available for download. The books are claimed thru Prolific Works as an ePub, mobi, or pdf file. Pick up one, two, or all sixty books, including joining Mae and her friends for a spa bachelorette party!

To enter to win either an ebook or print copy of Zoning, Zealots, & Ziplines (Winner's choice), simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "zoning,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen March 18, 2023. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. BE SURE TO STATE IF YOU WANT PRINT OR EBOOK. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.  

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode went up last week.

You can use this link to purchase the book or click here. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Sounds interesting! Count me in!

  2. Love Tonya's books. Always fun reads. I prefer a print copy.

  3. Sounds good, count me in! tWarner419@aol.com

  4. would love to win, read and review this book. print would be my choice.

  5. Thank you so much for the chance. Love Tonya’s books, they never disappoint!

  6. This would be a great birthday gift (3/18). Print, please!

  7. We love Kathi Daley's books. Thank you for your giveaway and the chance to win. I would love an email copy. jerrybruce50@yahoo.com

  8. So sorry, I forgot to pick print or ebook & email address. Woodstock216(@)gmail(.)com Print please.

  9. Tonya is one of my favorite authors and I love this fun series and all the Laundry Club ladies.

  10. Thanks for the info Kathleen! This is a great book cover! lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com

  11. Thank You for the amazing giveaway I Love the print copies

  12. Thank You for sharing Print book please Sarahbaby601973(at)gmail(dot)com

  13. Print please, thanks for chance, these books are addicting!

  14. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham


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