A Bad Day for Sunshine
by Darynda Jones
File Size: 1957 KB
Print Length: 396 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250149444
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (April 7, 2020)
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Private Investigator
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0.
Sheriff Sunshine Vicram finds her cup o’ joe more than half full when the small village of Del Sol, New Mexico, becomes the center of national attention for a kidnapper on the loose.
Del Sol, New Mexico is known for three things: its fry-an-egg-on-the-cement summers, strong cups of coffee—and, now, a nationwide manhunt? Del Sol native Sunshine Vicram has returned to town as the elected sheriff—thanks to her adorably meddlesome parents who nominated her—and she expects her biggest crime wave to involve an elderly flasher named Doug. But a teenage girl is missing, a kidnapper is on the loose, and all of this is reminding Sunshine why she left Del Sol in the first place. Add to that the trouble at her daughter’s new school, plus and a kidnapped prized rooster named Puff Daddy, and, well, the forecast looks anything but sunny.
But even clouds have their silver linings. This one's got Levi, Sunshine's sexy, almost-old-flame, and a fiery-hot US Marshal. With temperatures rising everywhere she turns, Del Sol's normally cool-minded sheriff is finding herself knee-deep in drama and danger. Can Sunshine face the call of duty—and find the kidnapper who's terrorizing her beloved hometown—without falling head over high heels in love...or worse?
Sunshine Vicram has returned to her hometown as the new Sheriff after her parents managed to get her elected even in her absence. She has mixed feelings but is glad to bring her teen daughter, Auri, to be near her loving, if meddlesome, parents. At the Sheriff’s office she’s meeting and getting to know the team which includes her childhood and teen bestie, Quincy. He’s always been a hunk, but they never went beyond their inseparable friendship. The one she has trouble facing is Levi, a dark, tempting member of a local family with history and secrets.
Sunshine’s first day starts inauspiciously with a basket of muffins – a predictor of trouble. Before they finish the treats she is almost run over by a car through the front window. The driver is a panicked mother whose teen daughter is missing. This situation triggers memories of Sun’s own abduction when she was 17.
It takes a few interviews, and unsolicited help from Auri, before Sun finds clues that tie the girl to Levi’s family and reveal special details the parents didn’t disclose. Sun finds Levi and his clan, on one hand, antagonistic and on the other more than ready to step up to help with the tracking in their mountains.
Meanwhile, a handsome US Marshall has swooped into town hunting an escaped convict. He is intrigued by Sun and more than willing to work together in their investigations.
Auri continues to help in the investigation even though a certain group in school tries to bully and shame her into seclusion. She finds a surprising ally in a striking young man who takes no guff from anyone.
I was thrilled to enjoy the quick, snarky humor that Jones brought to her Charlie Davidson series. (I was quick to share several passages with my office staff who appreciate ‘snarky’.) I also liked a couple of elements that reappeared here including a hearing-impaired character and just a touch of psychic ability. The current day mystery interweaves with Sun’s own traumatic past. And the secrets involving Levi provide a sexy tension-filled interaction with Sun. There was a handful of bad words that I found unnecessary. Still, the combined strong characters, humor and suspense make this a wonderfully entertaining read and I look forward to continuing the series.
Source: NetGalley 2019. This qualifies for 2020TBR, 2020NetGalley and 2020Alphabet goals.