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Beaches, Bungalows, and Burglaries

(A Camper & Criminals Cozy #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  2,067 ratings  ·  400 reviews
Welcome to Normal, Kentucky~ where nothing is normal.

Mae West, a far cry from the Hollywood actress, has been thrown for a loop. Her plush lifestyle in the big city of New York comes to a screeching halt after the FBI raids her mansion and arrests her husband, Paul West, for a Ponzi scheme that rips people out of millions of dollars.

Mae finds herself homeless, friendle
Kindle Edition, 198 pages
Published May 25th 2018
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  2,067 ratings  ·  400 reviews

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Start your review of Beaches, Bungalows, and Burglaries (A Camper & Criminals Cozy #1)
Apr 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a cozy mystery, and this is the first book in A Camper and Criminals Cozy series. Mae West is a city good use to the finer things in life, but she lost everything excepted happy trail camp ground after her husband, Paul West, was arrests for a Ponzi scheme that rips people out of millions of dollars. She show up at Happy Trails and found a dump that needs to be fixes up. Right after she shows up at Happy Trails Paul West escapes out of jail and is found dead in a lake on Happy Trails. So ...more
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My first book by Tonya Kappes and a brand new series. I loved it. Camping and murder! - One of my most favourite combinations.

Mae West loses almost everything she has when her husband Paul is arrested for scamming people out of their savings. Her lawyer is able to prove that she is innocent but she has to leave her house in New York, give up her fancy sports car and all luxuries she has been used to in the past years. The only thing that is left is an old RV and a run down campground in Kentucky
Elle's Book Blog
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Release Date: May 25, 2018
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Actual Rating: 5 stars

Highly Recommended

After reading a couple of Tonya Kappes cozy mysteries I can officially say that she is now a TOP FAVORITE author. I need to buy all the books! Seriously though, Tonya brings these characters to life. She makes them become a part of you and makes you miss them when the book is finished. The way she describes the setting, in vivid detail, makes you feel like you are actually a part of the scenery. I now w
Sep 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Mae West is living a life of luxury with Paul, her older husband, whom she dearly loves, until he is arrested by the FBI for a Ponzi scheme. She has lost her money, nice car, and home, her husband is in prison, and her lawyer gives her the keys to a camper and set her on the road to a campground in Normal, Kentucky. The campground is in her name so it can't be taken by the FBI. What a shock when she arrived to find the place in ruins, nothing like the brochure her attorney gave her. But she is d ...more
Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, cozy, e-books
The cover is attractive and invites you to read the book but it is more about Mae West and the wrongs her ex-husband did. I got tired of reading Mae's feeling guilty about the actions of her ex-husband. Tonya Kappes quirky characters are present and the town of Normal is friendly and heartwarming. It needs a good editor. There seems to be a love triangle forming. I do plan on reading the next two books.
Mae West has been living a life of pleasure. The bubble burst when a
FBI raid and size everythi
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
I am really surprised by all the four- and five-star reviews of this book. I wanted to like this SO much. It started with such promise and humor and I loved the premise but I just could not get past the poor grammar. I should have flown through this quick read, but I found myself constantly rereading passages, trying to decipher run-on sentences, dangling modifiers, incorrect verb tense, and subject-verb disgreements. Then I started highlighting them all on my Kindle! For as prolific as Tonya Ka ...more
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-mystery
In this new series we are introduced to Mae West whose life goes from lavish to lacking over night. You see Mae's husband, now ex, had a huge Ponzi scheme going on until he got caught. Not only did he bilk a bunch of their friends but he also took Mae for everything. When Mae meets with their lawyer she soon learns that the only thing she has left is an RV and a Campground located in Normal, Kentucky. She decides to go to the campground and reevaluate her life before deciding on what she is goin ...more
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I bought Beaches, Bungalows & Burglaries by Tonya Kappes, actually I pre ordered it from and I was so excited for it to show up on my ipad to read this past weekend. A great first in what I am excitedly anticipating being a long running series. Based in Normal, Kentucky with a wonderful bunch of down to earth characters and a setting that was not seemingly to cozy to begin with but then as the story transforms so does the setting. I loved the grit, the comedy, the personalities and the ...more
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was such a fun start to a brand new series! I honestly couldn't put it down and pretty much read it straight through. I knew that a book by Tonya Kappes would be awesome since I've read others of hers and this book did not disappoint!

Mae West, a 30-year-old wife to a 61-year-old businessman thought life was pretty good until he was found running a Ponzi scheme and the FBI took everything away that she owned, lived in or drove. The only thing she now owned was a camper and a campground whic
Mark Baker
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, 2019
Mae West’s life has turned upside down. Unbeknownst to her, her husband Paul was running a Ponzi scheme. When the dust from the FBI raid settles, Mae is left with no money, no home, and no friends. All she has is an RV and a campground in Kentucky. She heads there, hoping to figure out what she wants to do next with her life while she sells the place. However, when she arrives, she finds the place has been neglected and needs a lot of work. Then Paul escapes from prison and turns up dead in the ...more
Cyndie Miller
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Atrocious Grammar

Love the wit and quirky antics. Storyline is pretty good too. I can even forgive the one-sided DNA results. But, oh, the grammar. If you paid for editing, you need to get your money back. You're for your? Up most for utmost? List is too long to name all: subject-verb disagreement, misleading modifiers, conditional phrases without a main clause . . I couldn't concentrate on the story for the want of a red pen.
Summer Fun

What an interesting start to a new series by one of my favorite authors. I love the down home feelings I get reading her books. This book did not disappoint me. I can't wait to read the next book in the series. In my opinion there isn't any reason why this book couldn't be read by teen readers or those who prefer not to read strong language.
Sarah {The Bookish Knitter}
3.5 Stars
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beaches, Bungalows and Burglaries by Tonya Kappes is the first tale in A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery series. Mae West’s (not the actress) life has been turned upside down. Her husband, Paul duped people into investing in his Ponzi scheme and Mae did not know until the FBI showed up at their house. She has lost her home, car and possessions. Her attorney, after he takes her car keys, states that there are two items that she owns and one of them could help her earn a living. For some reason, P ...more
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019
“Beaches, Bungalows, & Burglaries” earns 5/5 Ponzi Predicaments…Clever!

Serious Life Changes… Maybelline “Mae” Grant West, has found herself without means along with no New York condo, no Maserati, no Hampton’s escape, and no husband of two-years. Her now ex-husband’s busted Ponzi scheme and going-to-jail future also impacted her future, and although exonerated of any wrong doing since her signature was proven a forgery, she did enjoy the benefits of his ill-gotten gains with shopping, spa visits
Barbara Hackel
Jul 02, 2018 rated it liked it
I think this is a great idea for a book. So many chances to poke fun at Mae West, Normal and it's citizens. So many opportunities for laughter. So many missed opportunities.

I have been a fan of this author for years, and am used to a much higher quality of book. This series...well let me make a list of things for you to consider before you decide to spend time and money on the book.
1, The title has nothing to do with the story-although it is nice alliteration.
2. The characters in the story go fr
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
A brand new series from Tonya Kappes! New quirky characters to get to know but lots of the same Southern charm her books are known for!
Mae West has always believed that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade! The only problem is that she's left without even a lemon to her name once all of her assets are seized due to her (ex)husband's scheming misdeeds! The only bright side is that she eventually finds out that she is the (not so)proud owner of a dilapidated campground. Not only is s
I think this new series by Ms. Kappes is quickly become one of my favorites.
When Mae ends up going from riches to rags almost overnight, finding most people are hating her husband for leaving them in the same condition, she feels like she is left in a whirlwind. When her ex shows up dead Mae feels that she needs to help find the killer as their main suspect is someone that she has grown close to.
What I love about Mae is although she is at a loss, she has a small pity party then sucks it up and
Stormi (BMReviewsohmy)
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
In Beaches, Bungalows and Burglaries Mae West finds herself in a bit of a mess as her husband was involved in some ponzi skims that got him in a lot of trouble. She is no longer a rich lady but the owner of an RV and a RV park to go with it.She finds out that he didn't treat many people very good and some of those are at the RV park. When he is found dead at the park she has to keep herself and some of those at the park off the suspect list but with so many people he wronged that could be very h ...more
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
2.5 STARS - eAudiobooks make my drive to work (and my occasional insomnia) a lot easier to take. I usually prefer lighter fare (with the occasional memoir thrown in) because my mind wanders so cozy mysteries and light romances are typically what I listen to.

I found this book in my public library's digital library and it appealed to me because of its cute, bright and sassy cover. But as the story progressed, I thought it was an odd title choice since there is a brief mention of a small beach, th
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love the idea of this camping series! Can't wait to see what happens next. ...more
Mary Brown
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beaches, Bungalows, and Burglaries
A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery, Book #1
Tonya Kappes
5 Stars


Welcome to Normal, Kentucky~ where nothing is normal. A Campers and Criminal Mystery Series is another brainchild of USA Today Bestselling Author Tonya Kappes. If you love her quirky southern characters and small town charm with a mystery to solve, you're going to love her new cozy mystery series!

Mae West, a far cry from the Hollywood actress, has been thrown for a loop. Her plush lifestyle
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
First book in a new series. We meet Mae (the Protagonist) just as she finds out she lost everything except for a camper and an RV park. We get to witness how she tries to rejuvenate the park, make new friends, try to make amends to those her husband had wronged and try to figure out who killed him.

The characters are a hoot. The mystery isn't too complicated. The reveal is a surprise. There is no romance in this book (totally clean,) but there are hints of possibility for it in future books. Ther
Anna's Herding Cats
3.5 stars, 1 heat.

This was my first Kappes. I've heard such good things about her books. And it was a fun one. Not nearly as funny or light as I thought it would be but it was nice.

The Gist: Mae's husband was a real dunce and swindled millions from everyone he met. After he's been caught and she's been cleared she's got to start life over since everything she had is gone. Which lands her in a run down RV park dealing with the very people he swindled.

Oh Mae. I did like her. She's got what I'd
Karen Hollins-Stallman
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
To begin 2019 I decided to read Tonya's ~ A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery Series ~ I enjoy all her books and thought it was about time I read these books that have been on my kindle for quite awhile and I'm glad I did. I'm just about finished the second one!

A great first in what I am excitedly anticipating to be my new favourite series by Tonya. Based in Normal, Kentucky with a quirky bunch of down to earth characters and a setting which at first glance you would not think is cozy but in the
May 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Cute story and I really enjoyed the characters. The start of the story was intense - Mae was learning exactly what was left after her husband ripped off all his clients in a ponzi scheme leaving her with next to nothing but a camper, an RV park in KY and enough money for gas to get there.

Turns out all the folks in Normal, KY are down to earth, decent folks who happily accept her and take her in as one of her own.

It’s a nice story and I look forward to getting to know the characters better.

May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, cozy-mystery
Beaches, Bungalows and Burglaries by Tonya Kappes was one of those books that as soon I started it I was hooked.

Mae West is plucky, quirky and stubborn. All of which she will need now that she is living in Normal, KY. I absolutely loved the Laundry Club Girls and want to join as soon as I can find Normal, KY.

Mae seems to find her feet with the "girls" help and she's determined to find out who killed her husband after he escaped from prison. A plot that raced, plenty of twists, red herrings and
Janet Robel
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A perfect beach read! I loved this! The start of this new series is a hit. Quite a page-turner with the mystery starting off right away. I love Mae West and the people of Normal, Kentucky. The Happy Trails Campground is not what Mae was expecting when she first arrives. Hoping to fit in and make things right with the locals isn't gonna be easy. Mae is up for the challenge. I can't wait to read the next book. If you like cozy mysteries with a solid heroine and other fun characters, then you'll lo ...more
Sandy Bartles
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love this new series by Tonya Kappes! It shows friendship and people coming together to get things done. Unbeknownst to her, Mae West’s husband was running a Ponzi scheme and he got arrested and sent to prison. She is left with nothing but a rundown campground and a small RV to live in. I fell in love with the people of the small town of Normal, Kentucky. I can’t wait to read more about it! I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.
Yvonne Taylor
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great Book

I was very excited to hear about this new series, and it did not disappoint.
Mae West finds her life has been turned upside down when her husband is arrested for running a Ponzi scheme. She finds out she has nothing but her clothes, a used RV and she owns a RV park in Normal, Kentucky.
She has no plans of staying there. Fix it up and sell it so she can get out of there. Along the way she finds herself, and makes some amazing new friends!
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Tonya Kappes has written more than 80 southern cozy mysteries, all of which have graced numerous bestseller lists, including USA Today . Best known for stories charged with southern charm, emotion and humor and filled with flawed characters, her novels have garnered reader praise and glowing critical reviews.

Other books in the series

A Camper & Criminals Cozy (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Deserts, Driving, & Derelicts (A Camper & Criminals Cozy #2)
  • Forests, Fishing, & Forgery (A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery #3)
  • Christmas, Criminals, and Campers (A Camper & Criminals Cozy #4)
  • Motorhomes, Maps, & Murder (A Camper & Criminals Cozy #5)
  • Canyons, Caravans, & Cadavers (A Camper & Criminals Cozy #6)
  • Hitches, Hideouts, & Homicides (A Camper & Criminals Cozy #7)
  • Assailants, Asphalt & Alibis (A Camper & Criminals Cozy #8)
  • Valleys, Vehicles & Victims (A Camper & Criminals Cozy #9)
  • Sunsets, Sabbatical and Scandal (A Camper & Criminals Cozy #10)
  • Tents, Trails and Turmoil (A Camper & Criminals Cozy #11)

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