Friday, June 26, 2020

A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones

Reviewed by Kristin

Sunshine Vicram is about to have a very bad day. It’s her first day as sheriff of her hometown of Del Sol, New Mexico, a post she didn’t even know she was running for until she won. Fifteen years away is a long time, but Sunshine’s criminal justice degree and fancy big city law enforcement career more than prepared her for the small town crime she’ll be facing now. Or did it? At least she got to pick the color of her uniform, and black pants are very slimming.

Neighbors accusing each other of stealing a chicken—(excuse me, a rooster, and his name is Puff Daddy)—is one thing, but when a teenage girl goes missing, Sunshine and her deputies rush into action. Deputy Quincy Cooper has been her best friend since elementary school, and while he can be a bit annoying, he always has her back. Sunshine’s teenage daughter Auri knows the missing girl too, and is ready and overly willing to jump into the investigation.

Sunshine has quite a back story that threatens to spill out at every turn, and while reading this I started to question whether I had missed an earlier book or two. Fortunately for me and my habit of at least trying to read things in order, A Bad Day for Sunshine is the first in the series. As I continued through the book, all the hints and foreshadowing became clearer, and most of the loose threads were tied up by the end. A few are left dangling, but that’s good because A Good Day for Chardonnay is expected to be published early next year.

One such thread is Sunshine’s bad boy/romantic interest Levi Ravinder. Their long-simmering and potentially steamy relationship makes her tingle in all the right places. Not to mention, she has a couple of other guys in her sights. Sunshine seems to be one of those women who can balance a career, a teenage daughter, aging parents in her backyard, and a man or three. This might be a recipe for disaster, but I bet the journey will be laugh out loud funny. I also hope that Sunshine’s mother’s book club continues their interfering ways as the women of a certain age who know everything in town, and who have their ways of making things happen.

Darynda Jones is also the New York Times bestselling author of the Charley Davidson series, another humorous foray into a world of private investigation with a supernatural twist.

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