A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones
Narrator: Lorelei King
Series: Sunshine Vicram #1
Published by Macmillan Audio on April 7, 2020
Source: Purchased
Genres: Mystery
Length: 11 hrs 40 mins
Format: Audiobook
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four-stars

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.

Sunshine Vicram, new sheriff of Del Sol, more than has her hands full. It’s her first day on the job and the cursed muffins arrive, the ones that always come before something majorly bad happens in town. There a few hints of the paranormal, a psychic, some prophetic dreams, but nothing that takes it into fantasy territory. This time around the muffins presage a kidnapping and an escaped convict being seen in town.

This is the first in the series and there are a lot of people to meet: Sunshine and her team; her daughter Auri and the kids at her school; Sunshine’s parents; the townspeople, including Levi, Sunshine’s crush; a U.S. marshall and some other lawn enforcement guy who there to help with the cases. It’s a lot of characters. They weren’t necessarily confusing but it was hard to keep track of them all.

I like Sunshine. She’s funny and sarcastic and competent, but I wish she wouldn’t drool over every attractive man that crosses her path. I loved that she is loyal to her friends and willing to change her mind about people. I didn’t like her and Levi’s relationship. Obviously they have some history, but it’s one of those where I feel some honesty would go a long way. Maybe we’ll get it in a later book. Sunshine is a great mom. She and Auri have a fabulous relationship. Usually I don’t like kids in mysteries, but Auri’s 15-ish and it worked for me. I do question some of Sunshine’s decisions regarding Auri’s safety, but in a book like this you kind of have to let it go. Auri’s almost boyfriend, Cruz, is way more self-possessed and cool than anyone in my high school ever was. He’s a great character, but a little over the top.

The main mystery, the kidnapping, was well-done. We’ve got several suspects and a few clues, but I did not guess who the culprit was. There are a few twists and turns and some tense moments.

I enjoyed this visit to Del Sol and am looking forward to the next one.

About Darynda Jones

NYTimes and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work, including a prestigious RITA, a Golden Heart, and a Daphne du Maurier. As a born storyteller, she grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike. Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband of more than 25 years and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.

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