by Darynda Jones
Series: Sunshine Vicram #1
Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Little Brown Book Group
Del Sol native Sunshine Vicram has returned to town as the elected sheriff, expecting nothing more than a quiet ride. But now a teenage girl is missing, a kidnapper is on the loose, and all of this is reminding Sunshine why she left Del Sol in the first place. Add to that the trouble at her daughter's new school, plus a kidnapped rooster named Puff Daddy, and, well, the forecast looks anything but sunny.
But even clouds have their silver linings. This one's got Levi, Sunshine's sexy, almost-old flame, and Quincy Cooper, a fiery-hot US Marshall. With temperatures rising everywhere she turns, Del Sol's normally cool-minded sheriff is finding herself knee-deep in drama and danger.
A long time fan of Jones’ writing, I was excited to hear about this new series after her Charlie Davidson series came to an end, but also hesitant, as the premise for this new series sounded like quite a departure in a lot of ways.
I needn’t have worried; A Bad Day for Sunshine has everything I loved in the Charlie Davidson series (save the outright paranormal plots), only slightly more polished. Where the snark and jokes in the CD series could sometimes be a tad overdone (naming ever in animate object), here it was perfectly balanced. The multiple plots were here too, without quite the manic pace, and the friendships and dialog were bang on perfect. Levi too is the version of Reyes one could take home to their more liberal parents. In many ways, as much as I loved the Charlie Davidson series, Sunshine Vicram feels more polished.
Plotwise, there are many different irons in the fire and all were good, though a few were telegraphed ahead of time to varying degrees. I knocked half a star off because the multi-book plot feels transparent. I still can’t say who did it, but I feel confident about who didn’t and what role the character played in the crime. Whether I’m right or not, it left me feeling frustrated with the lack of resolution at the end, and doubly so when I found out the next book doesn’t come out until July 2021. But A Good Day for Chardonnay will definitely be pre-ordered.