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Review: A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones

Title: A Bad Day for Sunshine

Author: Darynda Jones
Year published: 2021
Category: Adult fiction (mystery)
Pages: 416 pages
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location: (my 2023 Google Reading map)USA (NM)

SummarySheriff 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?

Review: What a totally fun book! And, yes, I realize that is a strange way to describe a mystery. While there are serious events and issues at hand in this novel, the wry sense of humor is a strong point and I think it really made the book.

Sunshine ("Sun") and her daughter Aurora ("Auri") have a wonderful relationship; they are respectful, have fun, but also manage to get sh*t done when they need to. Likewise for Sun's best friend Quincy, her parents, and her deputies. Of course there are rivals in the mix and they are also good characters. I feel like I got a really good sense of the town and its inhabintants.

There are actually a few mysteries and issues that Sun deals with, all of which are interesting on their own, but together make for an even better storyline. Abductions (past and present), hidden relationships, local heros, rape (there are references, but no descriptions), and various illegal activities both large and small make this novel a real page turner.

There are now two more books in this series and I plan to read them both: A Good Day for Chardonnay and A Hard Day for A Hangover.

Challenges for which this counts: none

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