“Fireworks in Paradise”

fireworks“Fireworks in Paradise” is the eighth book in Kathi Daley’s Paradise Lake Mystery series, but it is possible to enjoy this book without having read the previous books. The author provides quick background comments in the context of the storyline to fill in anything needed from the previous books. Since previous story lines are woven into this book, new readers might want to go back and pick up a couple of those previous books rather than spending a few chapters sorting out all the players.

All things are not happy in Paradise Lake. The upcoming Fourth of July should be a busy time at Maggie’s Hideaway Resort with the Star-Spangled Spectacular bringing visitors from all over, but the celebration has been darkened by a devastating car accident that killed Judge Harper and critically injured Tj Jensen’s father.  In fact, it was not an accident at all, but murder.


Tj and her friend Kyle Donovan are self-proclaimed “freelance consultants” trying to find out what happened, despite the reluctance of local law enforcement to accept their help. Their search uncovers possible injustices from the past that mighty point to the revenge killing of the Judge.

The story is written as a first person narrative, so we see everything though Tj’s eyes. We get to know the people around her as she knows them. Her search for the killer is intertwined with the day-to-day activities in Maggie’s Hideaway.  We agonize with Tj as she struggles with family and personal relationships. Clues to the murder slowly come together, piece by piece, but not without drama and trauma.

Strong, well-developed characters are a trademark of the entire Tj Jensen series.  We like Paradise Lake so much that we are willing to set aside its “history” of crime, something that would send us running and screaming from any other resort. Instead embrace the residents of Paradise Lake as if they lived next door.

Daily hints of things to come as Tj’s little sisters wonder how they fit into Tj’s life and are curious about the parade of boyfriends who used to come over but are no longer part of not only Tj’s live but theirs as well.

“We love Uncle Kyle,” Gracie added before I could answer.

“We would miss him if he stopped coming to see us.”

Will the future bring “A Wedding in Paradise”? Time will tell.

I received a copy of “Fireworks in Paradise” from Henery Press, Kathi Daley, and NetGalley in exchange for my impartial review. This is an entertaining book to read without any headache-producing stress. Everyone loves Paradise Lake and the people who live there.