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Calamity Jayne
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Calamity Jayne

4.1 464
by Kathleen Bacus

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Tressa Jayne Turner has had it up to here with the never-ending string of dumb-blonde jokes and her longtime nickname. Crowned "Calamity Jayne" by Iowa Department of Natural Resources officer Rick Townsend, Tressa’s out to gain a little hometown respect --or die trying. Unfortunately for Tressa, that may be the case. She’s just been handed the perfect opportunity to


Tressa Jayne Turner has had it up to here with the never-ending string of dumb-blonde jokes and her longtime nickname. Crowned "Calamity Jayne" by Iowa Department of Natural Resources officer Rick Townsend, Tressa’s out to gain a little hometown respect --or die trying. Unfortunately for Tressa, that may be the case. She’s just been handed the perfect opportunity to get "Ranger Rick," the doubting Don Juan of the DNR, and a skeptical citizenry to finally take her seriously. How? By solving a murder no one else believes happened...No one, that is, except the killer.

Yup, Calamity Jayne is in it up to her hot pink snakeskin cowgirl boots and matching rhinestone belt. Tressa would tell you her momma never raised no dummies, but the jury’s still out on that one.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bacus's riotous romantic suspense debut offers plenty of smalltown charm and oddball characters, notably ditzy blonde Tressa Jayne Turner, who has earned the moniker Calamity Jayne for the disastrous events that follow wherever she goes. One night after working the late shift at Bargain City in Granville, Iowa, Tressa mistakes another car for her own, and ends up on a dark country road with a flat tire. Instead of a spare, Tressa finds the town's drug-smuggling attorney dead in the trunk and an envelope of greenbacks in the glove compartment. In a panic, Tressa goes for help, but when she returns with Ranger Rick, her hunky nemesis from high school who turns up at all the right moments, the car has disappeared, dead body, cash and all. Naturally, no one believes the incident happened, except for the murderer, who's determined to recover the money he believes Tressa has snatched. Filled with dumb-blonde jokes, nonstop action and rapid-fire banter, this is a perfect read for chick-lit fans who enjoy a dash of mystery. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Review - Booklist Book
"Fans of Janet Evanovich will be glad to see that you don't always have to go to the burgh for mirthful murder and mayhem."
Reviews - RT Book
"Fun and lighthearted with an interesting mystery, a light touch of romance and some fascinating characters."
Review - Publishers' Weekly
"Filled with dumb-blonde jokes, nonstop action and rapid-fire banter, this is a perfect read for chick-lit fans who enjoy a dash of mystery."
Cafe - Chick Lit
"Throw in two parts Nancy Drew, one part Lucille Ball, add a dash of Stephanie Plum, shake it all up and you've got a one-of-a-kind amateur sleuth with a penchant for junk food and hot-pink snakeskin cowgirl boots. A word to the wise: if you're prone to laughing out loud when reading funny books, try not to read Calamity Jayne when you're sandwiched between two sleeping passengers on an airplane...sometimes we learn these things the hard way."
Publisher's Weekly - Publishers Weekly
"Bacus's riotous romantic suspense debut offers plenty of small-town charm and oddball characters...Filled with dumb-blonde jokes, nonstop action and rapid-fire banter, this is a perfect read for chick lit fans who enjoy a dash of mystery."

Product Details

Dorchester Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date:
Calamity Jayne Series , #1
Product dimensions:
4.40(w) x 6.88(h) x 0.96(d)

Read an Excerpt

Calamity Jayne

By Kathleen Bacus

Dorchester Publishing

Copyright © 2004 Dorchester Publishing
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-505-52665-4

Chapter One

"Where is he?" I shouted, almost an accusation. "Where's Peyton Palmer?"

"Probably at home in bed asleep like most normal folks," Townsend replied.

I stared at the trunk of the car. "I don't understand. He was there. All twisted up and grotesque looking, just staring at me." I grabbed Townsend's flashlight and examined every nook and cranny of the trunk. "This can't be. He was right here. Under a gray tarp. And he was dead as a doornail. I know dead when I see it. And he was most definitely DOA."

Townsend took the flashlight from me. "I'm sorry, Tressa, but you can see, there's nothing there."

"The money!" I grabbed the flashlight again and hurried to the front seat. "There was a ton of money in an envelope in the glove box, Townsend. Ten grand easy." I opened the glove box. "It was right here in a manila envelope." I put a hand in the glove compartment and pulled it back out. I pointed the flashlight at the palm of my hand, illuminating a handful of Trojans. I stared at the little squares trying to make sense of the incomprehensible. What were prophylactics doing in my glove box?

Above me Townsend coughed, and I closed my fist. "It's nice to see in some areas of your life, you come prepared," he remarked, a grin in his voice.

"Those are not mine! I've never seen them before!"

Townsend clicked his teeth. "Obviously, I was wrong about your Saturday nights, Calamity," he said.

"Go to the devil, Townsend!" I yelled frustrated that nothing was going the way it was supposed to. First, a dead body gets up and walks away when nobody is looking. Then I lose about a zillion dollars in cash, and in its place I find rubbers for a partner I don't even have.

I waited for the ridicule to begin, the laughter, the 'dur, dur, durring' to start, but to my utter amazement Townsend never said a word. Instead, he pulled me into his arms and whispered reassuring little nonsense words that meant nothing and everything.

I tried to process the radical change. This was a side of Rick Townsend I'd never seen. A soft, vulnerable side. A sensitive, caring side. A sexy as all-get-out side. I sniffled against his shirt. He smelled good. A rugged combination of outdoors, fresh country air, and man. My heart began to make those little pitter-patter beats against my rib cage again, but this time the fear I felt was very different from my fright of earlier. Confusion cluttered my thought processes. This was my childhood nemesis. The big H. The man who had made my adolescence intolerable. The boy who repeatedly asked me when I was going to grow boobs, once over the public address system at homecoming festivities. This was the man who had set me up to meet my high school heartthrob, Tommy Dawson, only to present me with Louie, 'The Stick', Parker. The man who coined the nickname 'Calamity' for general use. No. No, I couldn't have any tender feelings for the man who stole my bathing suit top at the church youth mixer. None. Zip. Zilch. Zero.

Shock, I reminded myself. Just shock. I moved away from Townsend.

Townsend's big hands cupped my shoulders and his thumbs made a circular motion that eased none of the stiffness out of my cardboard cutout stance. "You've had a helluva night, Calamity," he said, still close enough for me to feel his warm breath on my face.

"I don't understand any of this. I'm not crazy. I saw what I saw. I'm not crazy." I repeated that part just in case he'd missed it the first time around.

"The mind can play tricks on us, Tressa," Rick said, a tender edge to his voice that was so out of character that it was hard to believe it was coming from him, and even more unlikely, directed at me. "It could happen to anyone."

Yeah, right. Well, then why didn't it? Ever?

"I think I should know what I saw in my own trunk, for crying out loud. Give me a break."

Townsend sighed. A real loud sigh. A sigh that said, 'what am I gonna do with you?' That kind of sigh. He put a hand to the side of my face and stroked my cheek, his touch ever so soft and gentle. My lip quivered. I looked up at him, but couldn't see his face, which was probably a good thing considering he thought I was a craven little coward who had dark, deserted road-induced hallucinations.

"Listen, Tressa, I have something to tell you," Townsend said. "It's very important and you really need to hear it. This can't wait."

My breath caught at the serious tone of his voice. What could he have to tell me that was so vital, so crucial, I had to hear it now, in the middle of this personal crisis? I bit my lip and held my breath.

"Tressa?" Townsend now had both paws on either side of my face. I could feel my heart putt-putt-puttering like Uncle Frank's ancient outboard. I ran my tongue over lips as dry as our farm pond had been during the drought of ninety-seven.

"Yes?" I squeaked.

"This is not your car."


Excerpted from Calamity Jayne by Kathleen Bacus Copyright © 2004 by Dorchester Publishing. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

After taking a hiatus from writing to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice, Kathleen Bacus is currently working on multiple novels, including a police procedural with a strong, but flawed female protagonist as well as a paranormal thriller and a YA series. She is a finalist for the Golden Heart Award and Romantic Times American Title Contest. 

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Calamity Jayne 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 464 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tressa (Calamity) Jayne is a hoot! This isn't your typical romance nor is it a typical mystery but there are aspects of each in this fun and easy to read book. After I read Calamity Jayne, I lent the book to my 14 year old daughter who also got a kick out of it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, it kept my attention, I did not want to put it down. Her charaters were so real. You just wanted to know what was going to happen next. This was fresh new reading! What a great new author. I can't wait until her next book!!! GREAT READ!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was probably one of the most original and most well-written books I have read in a long time. The characters are very real, and the author has a voice all her own. I couldn't put it down, I actually stayed up until three in the morning to finish it!! I'm pretty sure I cracked a rib from laughing at the humorous way Tessa narrates her woes!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book - it made me laugh a lot! Reminds me a lot of the Janet Evanovich books and the Stephanie Plum character.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Anyone who lives in or near Granville, Iowa knows that the centerfold for Murphy¿s Law is Tressa ¿Calamity¿ Jayne Turner, who seems to land in the fire time after time. However, this time Calamity Jayne manages to make even Murphy look like an optimist with her latest bonehead blunder. Tired after working the late shift at Bargain City, Tressa takes a car that looks like hers, but is not hers. On the drive home on a remote road she has a flat. She opens the trunk to pull out the spare only to find the corpse of the town's drug-smuggling attorney and an envelope containing plenty of cash.............. Stunned Jane runs off to find Ranger Rick, but by the time they return to where she left the vehicle, the car with of course its body and loot is gone. Neither Rick nor anyone else believes Jane¿s story that is no one except the killer who believes she concocted a story to abscond with the money and whoever has the cash. The murderer wants his loot returned immediately to him or there will be one less dumb blond living in Iowa................ CALAMITY JANE is an amusing chick lit investigative tale with the emphasis on the heroine as the poster-child for dumb blond jokes. The dialogue between Rick and Jane is often amusing especially when she tries to persuade him that she is telling him the truth while he figures she is just doing one more stupid thing. Kathleen Bacus provides a lighthearted romp that stars simply a likable bud dumb blond................. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I laughed outloud so often it started to annoy my family. I truly enjoyed this book and definitely reccomend it! Cannot wait to read the rest of the series. I doubt they will be as good but if their even close I will be very pleased...cannot wait to laugh some more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a fun book. If you liked the stephine plumb books you will love this one. Cang wait to read more of these books. Hope you all like this book as much as i did
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldnt put down fast paced keeps you wondering great writting style!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was annoying not funny. I felt like the jokes were getting in the way of the actual story. It was ok but overall not too good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Caught my attention from the start & held it until the sixth book in the series! Couldn't get enough of Calamity Jayne & I really hope there's more to come!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this new author! Great book, kept my attention through every page. The characters were so real. I loved the story, I can't wait until she writes another book. I recommend this to everyone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Funny, funny in an intriguing way. Holds one's interest. Can't wait to continue reading the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Some snappy dialogue, some funny descriptions and situations, BUT the author seems to have been trying too hard to be cute. The "heroine" is way too ditzy and klutzy---it is totally unbelievable that any reasonably intelligent person would constantly do such stupid things. The "hero" bordered on unkind at times, hard to see the chemistry between them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book contains line after line after line of rambling about silly things from her past jobs and events that are so tiring i had to skip pages just to get to some actual dialogue. Her parents dont know anything about thebody she found in the trunk although they live in a small town.who would NOT tell their parents about somthing like THAT?.or that she was threatened by the killer who broke into her house and ransacked it looking for stolen money they think she took from them.. just too hard to wade thru the junk to find the meat of the story. And the language was getting a little rough .
Anonymous 3 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book. Haven't laughed that much in forever.
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kelly1966 More than 1 year ago
The book was a good read. I love Gemma Halliday's other series, so I just had to give this one a try. Not dissapointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
daisyTD More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this author! The banter between characters is hysterical! I found myself smiling and laughing. You should defintely read this book. You will NOT be disappointed.
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