Book Review: Dead as a Doornail by Tonya Kappes

Posted May 16, 2018 by meezcarrie in contemporary, cozy mystery, mystery/suspense, Tonya Kappes / 1 Comment

about the book

SERIES: Kenni Lowry #5
GENRE: Southern Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Henery Press
RELEASE DATE: May 15, 2018
PAGES: 266

Beauty is skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone. And doesn’t our Sheriff Kenni Lowry know that? Well, she knows a lot of things.

Lucy Lowell takes great pride in writing negative reviews in the local newspaper for anything that does not go her way. When Lucy is found dead, it appears to be from natural causes.

But Sheriff Kenni Lowry knows there is more to it because the ghost of her grandfather, the ex-sheriff, is standing over the body.

His presence can only mean one thing: Murder!

Since Kenni’s relationship with Deputy Finn Vincent has heated up, Kenni is having trouble conducting the investigation without Finn questioning her every move.

Can Kenni unravel the mystery on her own or will she have to tell Finn the real reason she knows it was murder—the ghost of her poppa?

It’s blowin’ up a storm and only Kenni knows how it’ll end.

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Other Books In This Series

Kenni Lowry’s adventures as sheriff in a small Kentucky town continue to be entertaining and hilariously endearing. Solving crimes is one thing, but dodging an overzealous Mama and the town’s gossip mill is where all the delightful sass comes to the surface. Making it even better in my book is the delicious romance between Kenni and her swoony deputy Finn Vincent – a northerner who fits in pretty darn well despite his Yankee roots.

I love everything about this series – from the sweetly-snarky-Southern asides to the familiar-to-me setting to the quirky characters that sum up life in a small Kentucky town to a T. The mystery is very well-plotted and layered, and the sassy humor is delightful. Kenni’s ghostly assistant (her late Poppa, formerly the sheriff of Cottonwood) is a wonderfully creative technique that allows us (and Kenni) to see behind closed doors and investigate two places at once. And, of course, who doesn’t love Duke the dog!

In Dead as a Doornail, the quirky characters are out in full force – and it kicks off in a beauty shop where of course all kinds of trouble is just waiting to happen. On top of trying to solve a murder, Kenni is wrangled into being the maid of honor for a bride she barely tolerates, thanks to her Mama’s scheming. Between the two incidents – the murder and the wedding – is a whole passel of both hilarious and touching moments as well as the kind of moments that make you grit your teeth in one of those painfully awkward grins on Kenni’s behalf. Kappes’ writing voice is stellar, as always, with just the right amount of sweetened-up snark and wry observations.

Bottom Line: Small town Southern sass meets a feisty sheriff determined to prove herself to her hometown, even if that means secretly accepting help from her deceased Poppa who used to hold the job. The continued subplot with her Poppa adds affection, humor, and clever case-solving to the mix – and now that it’s beginning to intersect with Kenni’s romance subplot with Finn it adds even more layers to the story’s flavor. Cottonwood KY comes brilliantly to life with Kappes’ talented pen, and I can’t wait for more adventures with Kenni, Finn, Poppa, Duke, Betty, Mama and the whole gang!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4.5 stars / Love it!

KissingBook Level: 3 / May forget to breathe on occasion

Reviewer’s Note: Readers may want to be aware that there are some scattered curse words throughout this book.

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about the author

For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been publishing numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plot lines and quirky characters but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.

Sign up for her newsletter on her website at

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Other Books by Tonya Kappes

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What about you? Is there anything quirky about where you live?

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One response to “Book Review: Dead as a Doornail by Tonya Kappes

  1. Kay Garrett

    Thanks for being part of the book tour for “Dead as a Doornail” by Tonya Kappes. I’d LOVE the opportunity to read this book.

    Don’t know if it’s quirky or not but our small down of less than 3000 population has some sort of event or festival – mostly dealing with music in one form or other but not all – just about every week between April and the end of October. There is everything from the thumbpicking events this weekend to the outhouse races in October. There’s always tons to do and see if you so choose to. With all this, we still have that small town feeling where people stop and visit on the courthouse square and you feel safe from harm if you walk the streets at night like going to the jam sessions in pickin’ park. 🙂

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