A Good Day for Chardonnay
by Darynda Jones
Narrated by Lorelei King
Series: Sunshine Vicram, Book 2
Pub Date 27 Jul 2021
Release date: 07-27-21
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Genre: Small Town & Rural Fiction, Women Sleuth Mysteries
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0 Overall; Content 4.25; Narration 4.25.
Running a small-town police force in the mountains of New Mexico should be a smooth, carefree kind of job. Sadly, full-time Sheriff--and even fuller-time coffee guzzler--Sunshine Vicram, didn't get that memo.
All Sunshine really wants is one easy-going day. You know, the kind that starts with coffee and a donut (or three) and ends with take-out pizza and a glass of chardonnay (or seven). Turns out, that's about as easy as switching to decaf. (What kind of people do that? And who hurt them?)
Before she can say iced mocha latte, Sunny's got a bar fight gone bad, a teenage daughter hunting a serial killer and, oh yes, the still unresolved mystery of her own abduction years prior. All evidence points to a local distiller, a dangerous bad boy named Levi Ravinder, but Sun knows he's not the villain of her story. Still, perhaps beneath it all, he possesses the keys to her disappearance. At the very least, beneath it all, he possesses a serious set of abs. She's seen it. Once. Accidentally.
Between policing a town her hunky chief deputy calls four cents short of a nickel, that pesky crush she has on Levi which seems to grow exponentially every day, and an irascible raccoon that just doesn't know when to quit, Sunny's life is about to rocket to a whole new level of crazy.
Yep, definitely a good day for chardonnay.
Sunshine is still trying to settle into her new job as sheriff, but events are giving her no time to relax and settle. As usual, she is juggling death, child-rearing, and a lingering childhood crush. And don’t forget the unresolved abduction and resulting murder from her own teenaged experience.
Sunshine’s teen crush, Levi, steps in to help a friend who is attacked at a local bar. Levi may have killed one of the assailants who take off after repeatedly stabbing his friend. Before the bad guys get away, they almost kill Levi. Sun has to arrest Levi to get him to the hospital rather than taking off after the villains, but they may not be enough to stop him.
While scrutinizing the crime scene and taped footage Sun finds a shocking surprise that will add to her list of cases. And in the background is a raucous raccoon terrorizing Sun’s deputy and best friend, Quincy. Add to all of this, Sun is beginning to get more flashbacks from her abduction which has been blocked by amnesia for years.
Meanwhile Sun’s daughter, Auri is convinced that their neighbor, a woman in her 80’s is a serial killer from years past. She recruits her friends, bestie, Sybil, and Auri’s teen crush, Cruz, to help her investigate by breaking into the woman’s house. Step by step this leads Auri to more trouble and danger behind her mother’s back.
This second book in the series has lots of threads, some of which have interesting ties. There is fun banter and interaction among the characters that I have grown to appreciate from the author. I felt frustrated knowing that Auri was heading into trouble, but it is a full thread that adds to the story. I enjoyed the community coming together to pull Sun into their secrets. I also appreciated the clear chemistry and romance between Sun and Levi although the culminating sex scene is a bit more vivid than I need.
I enjoy the full package which includes mystery, danger, humor and romance. There is some introduction, but I recommend reading the first book to get a better feel for the characters and history, then continue to enjoy the mystery and fun in this book.
Audio Notes: Lorelei King is just a wonderful narrator. As soon as she begins to read I get pulled into the characters. She provides clear voices and fitting emotion that enhances the story for me. If I get a choice, I will listen to this series rather than just read it.
Source: 2021 NetGalley Audio Book. This qualifies for 2021NetGalley and 2021Audiobook goals.