For those fans of Charley Davidson you will find another heroine to enjoy with Darynda Jones’ new series, Sunshine Vicram with
A Bad Day for Sunshine
Sunshine Vicram is the new sheriff in the little town of Del Sol, New Mexico. Rather a surprise for her as she didn’t run in the election, didn’t participate in the debates, and had little interest in returning to the town she grew up in – but here we are. With a new apartment for she and her daughter Auri, that just happens to have been built by her parents, a new school for Auri, the same ‘bad characters’ in the Ravinder clan and the never-ending saga surrounding the rooster Puff Daddy, his owner and next door neighbor, things certainly aren’t quiet when she arrives to ‘take charge’. Fortunately her best friend Quincy is also a deputy, and a breath of calm in what is quickly a very tumultuous series of circumstances.
Unlike Charley, Sunshine is simply a human doing the best she can to keep things safe for Auri, the town orderly, and manage her own worries that her ‘secrets’ will come out – a secondary mystery that winds through everything that is to follow. Sarcastic, loving, with a great sense of the absurd (fortunately as absurdities abound, as do friends) she and Auri have a great relationship, and use knock-knock jokes, references to the heroine of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Sunshine’s history in town combined with her determination to do well, and the well-meaning (she hopes) management from her mother and her friends in their “book club”. But with a delivery of “disaster muffins’ to the station, things are soon busier than one could expect – on two fronts. Auri has, from the instant she appeared at the school, been a target of a ‘mean girl’ that is enhanced by her being noticed by the ‘it boy’ in school, and the fact that the ‘super-secret’ New Year’s eve party (that has been an institution for years) was interrupted when Quincy and other deputies arrived, removed the keg and sent everyone on their way, leaving whispers about Auri’s ‘narcing them out”. But, not long after this party, a girl that befriended Auri disappears and a fugitive that escaped from a prison transport is also reportedly in the area. If a missing 14 year old with a premonition of her own murder before she reaches her 15th birthday (in 3 days), the US Marshalls in searching their fugitive, one of her mother’s friends acting ‘strangely’, and the sudden but not unexpected sighting of Sunny’s first (and hardest) crush in Levi Ravinder, now proprietor of a legal and very successful distillery there’s plenty happening and we are simply along for the ride.
Those familiar with Jones’ storytelling will find the progression familiar: we meet Sunshine, Auri and Quincy as fully-complete characters and they give us bits of past, current and hopes as the story moves on. With her past history and a mystery surrounding her ‘escaping’ the town, and then discovering that Auri has a whole series of her own secrets, then another teen disappears, and just happens to be Levi’s nephew and son of Sunny’s arch-nemesis Hayley, as well as the repeated sightings of supposedly kidnapped rooster Puff Daddy, constantly being followed by his “kidnapper”, covered in bandages and looking more harried each time – things have to center on finding the teenaged girl, with help from unexpected sources, more information / memories returning to Sunny about her own last years in Del Sol, a flirtation with not one, but two of the visiting law enforcement officers and Auri’s own new romance and secrets being unearthed – there is a TON to unpack, plenty of ways you THINK that Jones has led you in, and a cliffhanger that arrives just as new questions pop up after answers have arrived. This is, what I’ve come to see, is Classic Darynda Jones: laugh out loud moments, snappy dialogue, clever twists always adding in emotion and true camaraderie, as well as the family secrets that are unearthed, new struggles to come and plenty to love. If you, like me, were missing something to just take you away and leave you with a smile, lots of questions, plenty of possibilities and a need for more- this is your book.
Title: A Bad Day for Sunshine
Author: Darynda Jones
Series: Sunshine Vicram #1
Genre: Contemporary Mystery, Dual Narration, Family Saga, Friendship, Humor elements, Multi-Cultural, Murder, Romantic Elements, Setting: American, Small Town, Suspense Elements
Published by: St. Martin's Press
Published on: 7 April, 2020
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 11 Hours: 40 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
Sheriff 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, its strong cups of coffee—and a nationwide manhunt? Del Sol native Sunshine Vicram has returned to town as the elected sheriff--an election her adorably meddlesome parents entered her in--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 it's reminding Sunny why she left Del Sol in the first place. Add to that trouble at her daughter’s new school and a kidnapped prized rooster named Puff Daddy, and Sunshine has her hands full.
Enter sexy almost-old-flame Levi Ravinder and a hunky US Marshall, both elevens on a scale of one to blazing inferno, and the normally savvy sheriff is quickly in over her head. Now it’s up to Sunshine to juggle a few good hunky men, a not-so-nice kidnapping miscreant, and Doug the ever-pesky flasher. And they said coming home would be drama-free.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.