PUMPKINS IN PARADISE

PUMPKINS IN PARADISE

by Kathi Daley

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Overview

“Daley’s characters come to life on the page. Her novels are filled with a little mystery and a little romance which makes for a murderous adventure.” – Tonya Kappes, USA Today Bestselling Author of Fixin’ To Die


“Daley’s mysteries offer as much sizzle and pop as fireworks on a hot summer’s day.” – Mary Kennedy, Author of The Dream Club Mysteries


“Intriguing, likeable characters, keep-you-guessing mysteries, and settings that literally transport you to Paradise…Daley’s stories draw you in and keep you glued until the very last page.” – Tracy Weber, Agatha-Nominated Author of the Downward Dog Mysteries


“I’m a huge fan of Kathi’s books. I think I’ve read every one. Without a doubt, she’s a gifted cozy mystery author and I eagerly await each new release!” – Dianne Harman, Author of the High Desert Cozy Mysteries


“Daley really knows how to write a top-notch cozy.” – MJB Reviewers


“Kathi Daley writes a story with a puzzling cold-case mystery while highlighting…the love of home, family, and good friends.” – Chatting About Cozies


Between volunteering for the annual pumpkin festival and coaching her girls to the state soccer finals, high school teacher Tj Jensen finds her good friend Zachary Collins dead in his favorite chair. When the handsome new deputy closes the case without so much as a “why” or “how,” Tj turns her attention from chili cook-offs and pumpkin carving to complex puzzles, prophetic riddles, and a decades-old secret she seems destined to unravel.


Related subjects include: cozy mysteries, women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), humorous murder mysteries, book club recommendations, amateur sleuth books, small town.


Books in the Tj Jensen Mystery Series:



  • PUMPKINS IN PARADISE (#1)
  • SNOWMEN IN PARADISE (#2)
  • BIKINIS IN PARADISE (#3)
  • CHRISTMAS IN PARADISE (#4)
  • PUPPIES IN PARADISE (#5)
  • HALLOWEEN IN PARADISE (#6)
  • TREASURE IN PARADISE (#7) April 2017


Part of the Henery Press Mystery Series Collection, if you like one, you'll probably like them all…


Author Bio:


Kathi Daley lives with her husband, kids, grandkids, and Bernese mountain dogs in beautiful Lake Tahoe. When she isn’t writing, she likes to read (preferably at the beach or by the fire), cook (preferably something with chocolate or cheese), and garden (planting and planning, not weeding). She also enjoys spending time in the water, hiking, biking, and snowshoeing. Kathi uses the mountain setting in which she lives, along with the animals (wild and domestic) that share her home, as inspiration for her five cozy mystery series: Zoe Donovan, Whales and Tails Island, Tj Jensen, Sand and Sea Hawaiian, and Seacliff High Teen.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635110890
Publisher: Henery Press
Publication date: 09/06/2016
Series: Tj Jensen Series , #1
Pages: 234
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Friday, October 22

Tj Jensen carefully parallel parked her 4Runner on Lake Front Road in front of Tiz the Season, the retail store where she'd brought her half- sisters, Ashley and Gracie, to buy their Halloween costumes. The entire downtown section of the lakefront community of Serenity, Nevada was decorated for the upcoming Halloween festivities. Bright yellow aspen trees lining the sidewalks were draped with orange and white twinkle lights, while hundreds of scarecrows and huge orange pumpkins were displayed in front of brightly lit shops inviting the casual passerby in from the crisp fall air.

"Oh, look," Gracie gasped as she climbed out of the vehicle and noticed the huge fall village, complete with an operating train, in the front window. Ashley and Gracie trotted over to watch as the small train chugged, tooted, and smoked its way through the miniature town square. The store's owner added to the village each season. This year a delightful traveling carnival with a revolving Ferris wheel and a brightly painted merry-go-round were prominently displayed alongside the charming Main Street.

"Okay, we're in, we're out," Tj warned as she locked the car door and slung her purse over her shoulder. "You need to be at dance in half an hour."

"There is no dance," Gracie informed her.

Tj turned to look directly at the brown-haired, brown-eyed kindergartener while Ashley walked around the edge of the building to get a closer look at the miniature village. "It's Friday. You always have dance on Friday."

"Miss Marsha sent a note. I gave it to you on Monday." Gracie's ringlets bounced as she shuffled impatiently.

Tj did remember something about a note.

"She had to go to the dynocologist to get a baby," Gracie informed her.

Marsha and her husband of four years had been trying to conceive for a while, but Tj was surprised she'd told her students as much. "She told you she was going to the gynecologist?"

"No. She said she had a pointment, but Bethany said she was getting a baby from a dynocologist 'cause she needed to get fertilizer for her eggs." Bethany Sherwood was a precocious five-year-old who, in Tj's opinion, was a bit too informed for her age. "Dance is going to be on lasterday."

"Lasterday isn't a word," corrected red-haired, green-eyed Ashley as she returned from the window. "Dance class has been rescheduled to tomorrow. Can we go in now?" she asked impatiently. "The place is packed. All the good stuff will be gone."

"There's plenty of good stuff." Tj grabbed each of her sisters' hands and opened the front door to deafening noise as excited children ran up and down crowded aisles in search of the perfect costume. Picking up a bright orange hand basket, she pushed her way into the throng.

"Mom said that last year when I wanted to be Hannah Montana, and I had to be Strawberry Shortcake. Do you know how many seven-year-olds went trick-or- treating as Strawberry Shortcake? One," Ashley continued without waiting for Tj to answer. "My social life was totally ruined."

"What social life?" Tj teased. "You were seven."

Ashley sighed loudly and rolled her eyes, but Tj noticed a teary glaze to which her independent sister would never admit. While Gracie would curl up in her lap and cry herself to sleep if she was feeling sad, Ashley hid her feelings behind a mask of mature indifference that Tj had rarely been able to crack. Tj paused and reconsidered her hurried approach to the errand. Despite her best intentions, she'd made many mistakes with Ashley in the three months since her mother died and the courts had appointed her legal guardian of two half-sisters she barely knew.

"You're right," Tj apologized, blue eyes locking with pale green ones. "I'm sorry I didn't have the chance to bring you earlier in the month. I'm sure there will be plenty of good stuff, but if there's not, we'll try another store."

"Okay," Ashley conceded, turning to wipe away a tear before anyone noticed.

"How about witches?" Tj suggested as she tried to lighten the mood by holding a mask with a huge wart on the nose in front of her face.

Ashley placed a crown from a nearby table on her head. "I want to be a princess."

"I want to be Belle," Gracie insisted.

"Belle's too provincial," replied Ashley. "I want to be Jasmine."

Provincial? Tj watched as her intellectually advanced but socially awkward sister skipped down the aisle toward a table overflowing with dresses and accessories of all colors and sizes. Hurrying to catch up, she pulled a blue dress from the pile. "This looks like your size."

"That's Sleeping Beauty," Ashley complained. "I really want to be Jasmine."

"Okay." Tj set her purse on the floor and dug through the disorganized pile of costumes throngs of shoppers had tried on and discarded. At one point, Tj figured, the delicate outfits, which the sign on the wall promised came with dress, crown, and plastic shoes, had been neatly packaged and organized by princess and size. Today, however, the clothes were piled onto a table in total disarray. "How about this?" She held up a dress and a pair of shoes in front of Gracie.

"Shoes are right, but that's Cinderella's dress," Gracie whined. "I want to be Belle."

Wasn't one princess the same as any other? Fancy dress, high-heeled slippers, and sparkly crown? Tj set down the pair of shoes on the floor next to her purse, texted an SOS to her best friend, Jenna Elston, and waited for a reply. Tj attributed her lack of knowledge of anything princess to the fact that her mother had deserted her when she was only three years old, subjecting her to an upbringing in an all-male household. Tj conveniently blamed her mom's desertion for most, if not all, of her feminine deficiencies.

But, if she was honest with herself, they were probably more genetic than environmental. Most days Tj wore her tomboyishness as a badge of honor. She could outhike, outski, and outrun most of the men in town of a comparable age. But today, waist deep in princess dresses, she really could use Jenna's help.

Tj's phone beeped when Jenna texted back: yellow dress, dark hair, B & B.

"B and B?" Tj said out loud.

"Beauty and the Beast," Gracie informed her as she tossed a bag of Snickers into their basket.

Tj didn't know how she would have managed when her mother and her third husband died in a car accident three months earlier if it weren't for Jenna and her unwavering support. It helped that Jenna had two young daughters about the same age as her sisters. Unfortunately, Tj'd had to call on Jenna during the past few months more often than she cared to confess.

"Excuse me." Tj turned and grabbed the upper arm of the high school-aged clerk. "I'm looking for a Belle costume."

"There's more Disney stuff at the end of aisle twelve."

"Thanks." Tj grabbed Gracie's hand and turned to change direction.

"Do you have Jasmine costumes?" Ashley asked before the clerk could walk away.

"I think we're out of Jasmine, but we have a few Snow Whites left."

"Snow White is for babies. I want to be Jasmine," Ashley insisted.

"Sorry. You should have come in earlier. Just a week until Halloween, you know."

Ashley put her hands on her hips and shot Tj a glance that said I told you so.

"Besides," he added, "you really should be Ariel. Ariel has beautiful red hair like you. I think I might have a costume that will fit you in the back."

"Really?" Ashley beamed.

"Yeah, I'll check. Just wait right here."

"He said I was beautiful," Ashley gushed as the clerk went in search of the costume. "He said I looked just like Ariel."

"You do honey, you do."

"What about Belle?" Gracie started to dance around in that special I-gotta-go way.

"As soon as the clerk gets back with Ashley's costume."

Tj watched as a woman with a crying infant strapped to her chest, a toddler in her arms, and a preschooler on each side schlepped an armload of princess separates up to the mile-long line at the checkout stand. Tj loved Halloween, but sometimes she wondered what had happened to homemade costumes like the ones she'd worn as a child. Toss a sheet over your head, cut out a couple of eyeholes, and you were good to go. No wading through piles of dresses or spending a month's mad money on an outfit the girls would wear only once.

"Here we go." The clerk had returned from the storage room. "An Ariel costume for my redheaded princess and a Belle costume for my dark-haired princess." Both girls screamed in delight as the clerk handed them complete unopened sets of the princesses of their choice. Dress, shoes, crown, all matching, in exactly the right size.

"Anything else?" he asked.

"Thanks, but I'll just take the princess costumes for now." Tj grabbed Gracie's hand and headed toward the long line that awaited her at the checkout stand.

CHAPTER 2

Fifty minutes later, Tj sat behind the registration desk of Maggie's Hideaway, waiting for the last of the weekend arrivals to check in. Echo, her hundred-and-thirty-pound mountain dog, was lying on the rug next to her, sound asleep except for the occasional whimper as he actively participated in what must be a rollicking doggy dream. After the mayhem of the day, the world once again seemed balanced and serene.

Huge picture windows lined the back wall, transporting the beauty of the lake and surrounding forest into the interior of the mountain lodge. It was a perfect fall day, cool but sunny, with just a few clouds hinting at the storm she knew was brewing over the summit. A lone coyote walked along the now-deserted beach as squirrels scurried across the wooden deck gathering pine nuts for the long winter ahead. Pouring herself a cup of coffee from the sideboard, Tj selected several ginger snaps from the tray, then wandered over to the desk to check the reservation sheet. There were three guests who hadn't checked in yet. She hoped they'd all arrive in a timely fashion, since Jenna and her daughters, Kristi and Kari, were coming for dinner and movie night. Jenna's husband Dennis, a firefighter for the Serenity Fire Department, was on duty for an overnight shift.

"Seen your dad?" Grandpa Ben walked up behind her. A mountain of a man, well over six feet with broad shoulders and a deep baritone voice. He filled the room with his presence. Dressed in dirt-stained work jeans and sturdy boots, Ben looked much younger than his sixty-eight years in spite of his head of thick white hair.

"I think he was moving boats. Why?"

"Headin' over to The Grill to help decorate for the Halloween Party next week, but we can't seem to find that box of decorations we used last year."

"Did you check the attic space above the garage?" Tj asked. "I think I saw some stuff up there. I've been meaning to get it down and decorate the house. The staff did a good job with the rest of the resort."

"Yeah, it looks real nice." The decorating crew had gone all out this year, with a pumpkin patch on the front lawn, an old-fashioned horse-drawn wagon filled with bales of hay near the resort's entrance, and brightly dressed scarecrows scattered throughout. The lobby featured garlands of brightly colored fall leaves, wreaths, and festive bouquets of seasonal flowers. "Guess I'll head over to the house and see if I can find the decorations. I'll put the stuff for the house in the mud room."

"Thanks, Grandpa."

"By the way," Ben added, "Bookman wanted me to tell you he can't make dinner this week since his agent will be in town and next Monday doesn't look good either. Guess there's a town council meeting that night. Wanted to know if we could do it another night."

Ben's friend Bookman, a.k.a. bestselling author R. L. Hellerman, was one of the five elected citizens who sat on Serenity's town council. "I thought the council meeting wasn't for another three weeks."

"It's not. At least the normal monthly town meeting isn't. There's a special session on November first to discuss the permit Lloyd Benson applied for. I guess there's some urgency for reasons of which I'm not privy, and Lloyd didn't want to wait until the regular town meeting."

"What's he tearing down now?" Tj sighed.

"He's not tearing anything down this time," Ben informed her. "He reapplied for a permit for those condos down by the lake he's been trying to build for the past couple of years."

Tj frowned. "How is he going to do that? I thought the whole thing was a no-go if he didn't have Zachary's land as an access point."

Ben shrugged. "I really don't know. Maybe Zachary finally sold."

"He wouldn't do that," Tj insisted. "He was adamant about not wanting people traipsing through his property. There must be more to the story."

Ben shrugged. "Guess you can ask Zachary about it."

Tj frowned. "Yeah, I'll stop by tomorrow." Zachary Collins was an eighty-six- year-old recluse who valued his privacy and would never sell access to his land. Would he? Surely he hadn't sold out to Lloyd after all these years.

"Guess I'll head on over to the house. What do you want me to do with the pile of pumpkins on the dining-room table?"

Tj groaned. In a moment of temporary insanity, she'd volunteered to carve twenty-five pumpkins for the annual pumpkin festival. "Sorry. I totally forgot those were being delivered today."

"I'll move them into the mud room for now," Ben volunteered.

"Thanks, Grandpa."

After Ben left, Tj greeted a pair of identical-looking sexagenarians, each carrying two bags of identical size and color. "Welcome to Maggie's Hideaway. Are you checking in?" During the summer the lobby of Maggie's Hideaway was crowded with guests checking in and out every day of the week. But during the slower shoulder seasons, roughly the three months between summer and ski season, and then again between the end of ski season and the beginning of summer, most arrivals and departures were limited to a few weekend visitors.

"Maude and Millie Morrison," the twin on the right answered.

"We won an all-expense-paid trip," the twin on the left added.

"That's great. Radio contest?" Tj smiled at the pair, each of whom looked a lot like Aunt Bea from The Andy Griffith Show. Tj hadn't even been born when the show first aired, but her Grandma Maggie used to watch the reruns on cable before she passed away.

"No," Maude answered. "We received a letter in the mail informing us we'd been chosen to receive a ten-day trip. We don't remember entering a contest, but at our age we usually can't remember what we had for breakfast."

"This isn't a time-share, is it?" Millie asked.

"No, I can assure you the trip wasn't sponsored by Maggie's Hideaway." Tj glanced at the computer screen. "The reservation simply states the cabin was prepaid in full. Perhaps the trip was sponsored by one of the casinos? They sometimes offer special incentives to seniors."

"We're not here to gamble," Maude assured her.

"We're here to meet men," Millie added.

"Well, I'll be sure to keep my eyes open for good catches." Tj smiled. "I see you're staying in cabin twelve. It's one of our nicer two-bedrooms. Right on the beach, in an isolated cove surrounded by old growth pines with its own deck and hot tub. Very private for entertaining." Tj waved over a dark-haired teenager who had wandered in while she was speaking to the women. "This is Emily," she introduced her to the sisters. "She'll show you to your cabin and answer any questions you have along the way."

"Oh, aren't you adorable," Maude gushed. Emily possessed a petite doll-like figure, huge blue eyes framed with thick dark lashes, and fistfuls of thick curly hair.

"Love your shoes," Emily complimented the two women on their shiny white Sketchers as she reached down to pick up one of their bags, causing a book to fall from the top in the process. "Twenty-five Ways to Please a Man," Emily read aloud as she picked up the book.

"Sister and I figured we were a bit late out of the starting gate so could use some advice," Maude explained.

"Just read the first five," Millie joined in. "Figured you really only need the first two, but we brought the book along just in case."

Tj and Emily looked at each other, trying not to laugh.

"Still that thing with the whipped cream sounded fun," Maude reminded her sister. "Maybe we should have brought some."

"If you decide you need it just let me know and I'll have some brought to your cabin," Tj promised.

Tj watched the group walk away. She certainly didn't want to be Maude and Millie's age and still looking for a man. After her mom died and her sisters came to live with her, she and her ex-boyfriend Tyler had parted ways. Tj knew he wasn't looking for anything serious, but it hurt that he'd tossed her aside like yesterday's laundry once it had become apparent that carefree and unencumbered were things of the past.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Pumpkins In Paradise"
by .
Copyright © 2016 Kathi Daley.
Excerpted by permission of Henery Press.
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.

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Pumpkins in Paradise 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read great small town love story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written and easy to read. Good plot and interaction between characters. If you enjoy cozy mysteries. This author is for you.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Pumpkins In Paradise - TJ Jensen Paradise Lake Mystery Book 1 Author: Kathi Daley Publisher: Henery Press Published: 9-6-2016 ISBN: 13: 9781635110890 E-Book ASIN: B01GQPYU8U Pages: 286 Genre: Mystery; Thrillers & Suspense Sub-Genre: Amateur Sleuths; Cozy Mystery; Women Sleuths; Reviewed For: NetGalley Rating: 4.75 Stars I was given a copy of Pumpkins in Paradise in exchange for my honest review. This is the type of book cozy lovers look for. It has a warm and likable heroine who steps up to solve the mystery when all are telling her there isn't one. Tj returns to Serenity following the death of her mother. She assumes guardianship of her two younger sisters. She moves into the family's resort, Maggie's Hideaway, to take advantage of the support offered by her father and grandfather. She has a wide variety of friends, one of whom is an elderly man by the name of Zachary. When she goes to visit him one day she finds him dead in his chair. The coroner and the police believe it is a natural death, but Tj is not convinced. When no one else will look into her suspicions she decides to do so herself. Danger soon comes knocking on Tj's door as she checks out the new guest at the resort and a few of the town residents that might have reason to want her old friend silenced. You will fall in love with Tj and the other residents in the fast moving story. The characters as so well develop you will find it hard to believe they are not real people. The town of Serenity is described to the extent you will be able to envision it in your minds eye. By the time you finish Pumpkins In Paradise you will be wanting to make vacation plans to visit it yourself. Perhaps if you are lucky there may be a vacancy available at Maggie's Hideaway and you can meet Tj while you are there. This is the first in the Lake Paradise series and as such is a stand alone, but I am already looking forward to opening Christmas Crazy to discover what happens to Tj and the town of Serenity next. Remember the name Kathi Daley if you do not know it already. Her talent with the written word will have you adding her to your list of favorite authors very quickly. My rating of "Pumpkins in Paradise" is 4.75 out of 5 stars.
KimHeniadis More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful start to a new (to me) cozy series. And since it’s fall here in Wisconsin, the timing to read this one couldn’t have been more perfect. Tj (not sure if this is her actual first name, or first and second name initials, like Tracy Jo), is a teacher and coach at the local high school, who is also raising her two younger sisters because her estranged mother has died in a car accident. I really enjoy this family dynamic, and it’s not one that I can think of seeing in other cozy mysteries. Since being a teacher, and raising two young girls is not cheap, she is living in at the family resort with her father and grandfather. Now I definitely know I’ve not seen this dynamic before in a cozy, and I can see a lot of potential in future books because of it. There is also the relationship between Tj and an elderly man named Zachary. She met him years ago on a dare to go into his spooky house. She became friends with the town recluse, and over the years enjoyed a relationship with him built around their love of puzzles and codes. When Tj finds him dead, she is of course crushed. And when the new deputy does not even entertain the idea that it could be foul play, Tj ends up investigating herself. No here’s the part that I find a little tricky. In many cozies the main character has a job or owns a business where she can easily take off at a moment’s notice to track down clues. But with Tj being a teacher, coach, and caretaker to two small girls, I really don’t see her having any extra time to investigate. Besides trying to track down who killed Zachary, there is another mystery as to the four people who are staying at the family resort. This side mystery reminded me of The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin, which is one of the books that got me into mysteries when I was a kid. I am excited to see where Kathi Daley goes with these characters in future books, especially the twins. All in all a good mystery, with characters that are being developed really nicely, and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series, Snowmen in Paradise.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kathi Daley was a new author to me. But after reading Pumpkins In Paradise, I'm hooked. I love reading about TJ, her family and the people in the town. This was a fantastic cozy mystery. There were some laughs and a little sadness with the possibility of a love interest. Kathi did a great job in weaving the story do you didn't really know who the murderer was until the end. Can't wait to read the next ones in the series.
TessT More than 1 year ago
This is the 1st book in Kathi Daley's T.J. Jensen's Mysteries, originally published in 2013. This is a very entertaining series, with a total of 6 books. Kathi is a busy, busy lady, with over 40 books written. Kathi's books are great cozies, grab a book, grab a cup of, grab a comfy chair and a warm blanket, if needed. What a great way to spend an afternoon. FTC Full Disclosure - A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
debforb56 More than 1 year ago
Pumpkins in Paradise (A Tj Jensen Mystery Book 1) by [Daley, Kathi] What a delightful, fun and great mystery is found in Pumpkins in Paradise A TJ Jensen Mystery by Kathi Daley. It is a great cozy mystery with fun believable characters and the best setting in a small town and lake resort in the mountains. TJ helps her Dad run the resort while teaching school and being the ski coach as well as raising her two younger half sisters. The setting is perfect with the lake, cabins and resort. It is somewhere you really would love to go and relax especially if you like the outdoors. The small town with its interesting people and the pumpkin festival, along with a few quirky characters, a new Deputy, and some a past that is full of intrigue and you have a good mystery with many suspects, a little romance and a special friendship that is ended by murder. All of this equals to a good book that you won't want to put down. TJ has a friendship with old Zachary Collins, a recluse she would visit and on those visits they would talk and Zachary would have puzzles and riddles for TJ to figure out. TJ's visits were a highlight to his days since he never left his house. So when TJ finds him dead in his chair and things don't seem right to her, she has to convince the new Deputy that this is a murder and not just a death of an old man. Can she convince him and find out why Zachary was murdered and who the murderer is? Will Zachary's past and his murder be the last puzzle and riddle that TJ has to solve? I won't spoil it and tell you, but you will want to find out by reading this book. This is the first book in the TJ Jensen series and well worth the reading. I think that when you can picture yourself in the town, or can relate to the characters it makes the book more fun to read and this book is like that. There is believable suspects and more than just one so that it makes you read to the end to figure out who the culprit is and why they commit the murder. You have just a enough romance to make it interesting and some emotional situations that add to the book. This is one of those books that you pick up and want to read straight through because you get so caught up in it. I highly recommend this book and series. If you are a fan of the outdoors, romance, a good mystery and puzzle, with very relatable characters you will enjoy this book and series. If you would like to buy this book you can at: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pumpkins-in-paradise-kathi-daley/1119920536?ean=9781635110890 If you want to know more about the author Kathi Daley or her books check out these sites: http://www.kathidaley.com/ http://www.kathidaley.com/henery-press If you would like to follow Kathi Daley you can at https://www.facebook.com/kathidaleybooks/ https://twitter.com/kathidaley https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7278377.Kathi_Daley I hope you will pick this book up and read it. I think you will enjoy this book and the series. The next book in the series is Snowmen in Paradise.
Jarina More than 1 year ago
Pumpkins in Paradise is the first book in Kathi Daley's Tj Jensen Mystery series. Tj is a coach and teacher at Serenity High School. Four months before the beginning of this story, Tj became guardian to her two young half sisters when her mother and her third husband were killed in an auto accident. When this happened, she moved back to her childhood home to live with her dad and grandfather at Maggie's Hideaway, a lakeside resort. It is late October and the small town is abuzz getting ready for the yearly Pumpkin Festival. The Hideaway is also busy with many late season guests checking in. But the festivities take back seat when Tj discovers her elderly friend Zachary Collins dead in his chair with too many clues to ignore regarding the cause of his death. Tj and new deputy Dylan Caine work with each other piecing together clues steeped in mystery and puzzles needing to be solved. With Tj's perseverance, age old secrets come to light and she gets a new understanding of her reclusive friend. The pieces come together on the day of Zachary's funeral. Using herself as bait, Tj bravely lures the prime suspect into a trap seeded with greed. Well written with engaging characters, this first book of the series is a winner that makes you look forward to the rest of the series. I do recommend this book.
Jarina More than 1 year ago
Pumpkins in Paradise is the first book in Kathi Daley's Tj Jensen Mystery series. Tj is a coach and teacher at Serenity High School. Four months before the beginning of this story, Tj became guardian to her two young half sisters when her mother and her third husband were killed in an auto accident. When this happened, she moved back to her childhood home to live with her dad and grandfather at Maggie's Hideaway, a lakeside resort. It is late October and the small town is abuzz getting ready for the yearly Pumpkin Festival. The Hideaway is also busy with many late season guests checking in. But the festivities take back seat when Tj discovers her elderly friend Zachary Collins dead in his chair with too many clues to ignore regarding the cause of his death. Tj and new deputy Dylan Caine work with each other piecing together clues steeped in mystery and puzzles needing to be solved. With Tj's perseverance, age old secrets come to light and she gets a new understanding of her reclusive friend. The pieces come together on the day of Zachary's funeral. Using herself as bait, Tj bravely lures the prime suspect into a trap seeded with greed. Well written with engaging characters, this first book of the series is a winner that makes you look forward to the rest of the series. I do recommend this book.
JerseyGirlBookReviews More than 1 year ago
In Pumpkins In Paradise, the first book in the Tj Jensen Mystery series, author Kathi Daley weaves an intriguing cozy mystery tale that follows the amateur sleuth adventures of high school teacher Tj Jensen, as she tries to solve the murder of her friend Zachary Collins. Set in the lakefront resort town of Serenity, Nevada, Tj utilizes logical puzzle clues that her elderly reclusive friend Zachary had taught her in order to search for the identity of his murderer and solve the mystery behind his untimely death. Pumpkins In Paradise is an intriguing whodunit tale that has a wonderful fall theme, and enough quirky characters, witty banter and humor, drama, secrets, a growing list of suspects, and surprising twists and turns, that will easily keep you guessing the identity of the murderer. You can't help but get caught up in the drama and calamity that ensues as Tj tries to solve her friend's murder. Tj's amateur investigative adventure unfolds with a wonderful balance of comedy, drama, suspense, and sweet romance that easily kept me guessing, and left me wanting more. I would be remiss if I didn't mention how much I really enjoyed the author's rich description of the lakeside paradise town of Serenity and it's colorful townsfolk. You can't help but feel the resort's peacefulness and wish that you could visit this charming lakeside resort town. Pumpkins In Paradise is an entertaining cozy murder mystery that will engage you to join in the crazy adventures and trials and tribulations that occur in Serenity, while providing you with a nice dose of charm and humor. Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review.
weluvdopey More than 1 year ago
This is a great book; this is the first book in the Tj Jensen Paradise Lake Mystery series written by Kathi Daley. Kathi Daley is one of my favorite authors so I was really excited to be able to review this book. Tj Jensen is a high school teacher who lives in Serenity, Nevada. She has been busy shopping for Halloween costumes and volunteering for the annual pumpkin festival. When she finds her longtime friend Zachary Collins dead in his chair, she is shocked. When the new deputy closes the case due to natural causes, Tj decides to put her sleuthing skills to the test to find out what really happened to her friend. This is a great book with a wonderful story and well developed characters. This book will keep you reading long into the night and you will not want to put this book down until you finish. This was such a great read and full of surprises. I am looking forward to reading the next book by this great author. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
LGHudson More than 1 year ago
This was a great Cozy Mystery! I was able to read it in one day. Daley created a very believable set of characters that made you feel like they were your friends. The plot is intriguing and keeps you guessing. This story has all the essentials of a good read -- family, friends, murder, mystery after mystery, new relationships, old secrets in new light, guilt and recompense and the potential for new love. I'm looking forward to all the books in this series! I was provided an advanced copy by Henery Press and NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
NikkiND More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. The characters were memorable, the town was one I'd want to live in, and I really loved the riddles and puzzles that were provided as clues. I've first read another series this author writes and loved it so decided to give this series a try. Now I don't know which series I actually like better.
mijoyco More than 1 year ago
I loved this first book of this series. Even though it is a fall themed book with a pumpkin festival and high school soccer, I did not find it until this spring and still enjoyed it. The main character Tj is one of the smartest and funniest heroines in a cozy series. She loses her elderly friend Zachary and the police think it is a natural death, Tj disagrees and investigates it herself. My most favorite part was the riddles and logic puzzles Zachary left for her to solve. I also loved the descriptions of the local of Paradise Lake. You will meet Tj's best friends and her family also and will want to learn more of their stories. The mystery in this book had a twist I did not see coming. Try this series, I know will love it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This cozy is not bad, but I did find it too bland. The mystery was weak. I figured out the "who" and the "why" as soon as the character was introduced. The pacing was uneven. The story would just start to gain momentum and then it would lag. The author did this repeatedly. Also, occasionally, she got too bogged down with unessential details. Still, it's not a bad book. The main character wasn't a dimwit, and most of the cops weren't arrogant jerks. The town does sound lovely and the characters feel real. I will not purchase any more books in this series, but if someone lent me a copy, or some such situation, and, if I'd nothing else to read, I would give another one a try.