Fun in Beaches, Bungalows & Burglaries

P.D. Workman

October 12, 2021

October is my bookiversary, head on over to my bookiversary blog post, where you can download some free first-in-series ebooks so you can test out a new series!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules and more teasers at The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along.

It probably doesn’t surprise you that I read a good number of cozy mysteries. They’re fun, easy to read, and keep me thinking about new plots for my own. You see a lot of similar plots and situations across cozy mystery series. Readers like the tropes. I just read Beaches, Bungalows & Burglaries by Tonya Kappes, and she has inverted one of the usual tropes with great results.

Many cozy mystery series begin with the sleuth inheriting a store or home, sometimes from a previously unknown relative, so that she is able to fulfill her dream of opening a book store, bakery, bed and breakfast, etc. In Beaches, Bungalows & Burglaries, the opposite happens. Protagonist Mae West’s husband has defrauded people out of millions of dollars. He is in prison and the FBI have ceased all of his assets, so that all Mae is left with is a camper and a little RV park that she never knew about. And… spoiler alert… it is not in the kind of shape it was back in its heyday.

Everyone in the new town knows that Mae is wife to the man who stole their money and let the RV park go to rack and ruin, so they are not well-disposed toward her. Mae does manage to make friends with the women at the laundromat, and gradually starts to earn the respect of some of the townspeople. But of course, this is not a relationship book, this is a murder mystery…

“And the house is gone.” Stanley’s jaw set. “I’m going to need the keys to your car and trade you for these.” He dangled a very small key from a flamingo key chain in the air.

Tonya Kappes, Beaches, Bungalows & Burglaries

Hi. I’m Mae West. No. Not the actress.

If you would’ve told me year ago that I was going to be broke and penniless after my husband took everyone to the cleaners after he pulled off one of the biggest Ponzi schemes, leaving me a run down campground, a set of camper keys, before he escaped prison and when the FBI came to the campground to see if I helped him escape, then the no good you know what floated up to the top of the lake in that campground making me the number one suspect, I’d said you were lying.


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