Calamity Jayne by Kathleen Bacus



Tressa Jayne Turner has had it up to here with the never ending string of dumb-blonde jokes and her longtime nickname that's harder to get rid of than the lint from a belly button. 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—and it's a matter of life and death, respect and reputation, love, happiness and the whole shebang. Tressa would tell you her momma never raised no dummies, but the jury's still out on that one. And as she learned in her work at the Dairee Freeze: Sometimes life hands you a big, sloppy ice cream cone.
You just have to know how to lick it.

Calamity Jayne is just pure fun. Once I started it, I couln't put it down and in fact, read and finished it the same day I bought it. And now I have to wait til the middle of the year to get the next book in the series. Woe is me.

It's told in the first person, but that fits since it reads a lot like a mystery. There's romance here, don't doubt that, but Calamity Jayne is the first in a series, a real series with continuing characters, and so the romance here is just budding. I actually didn't mind not getting into Rick's head, since not knowing made you feel just like Tressa—confused, bemused, and wondering just what was going on, yet definitely wanting more.

The mystery is good, and you really don't get the "dumb cop" aspect of some, since there really isn't much evidence that there's anything going on. And of course, there's Tressa's reputation.

Tressa's definitely a unique character. Her character fits that of a young woman working dead-end jobs in a small town where everyone knows everyone else. Hey, she even had dogs and horses. And they aren't forgotten about as the story progresses. It was a little thing, but I liked it. She just felt real to me.

The story is humorous, so that humor might not be for everyone, but I still definitely recommend this one. It's a lot of fun. Just remember that it is the first in a series, so don't expect declarations of love and marriage at the end. But it is a romance series, so you just know somewhere down the line...

So... Calamity Jayne by Kathleen Bacus. Go read it. It's fun.

Oh, and the author name on the cover? My print copy says Kathleen Bacus, not K.C. Must have been a last minute change since all the on-line places had K.C.


CindyS said...

Phew, it's so hard to know if others will like a book that you recommend! I liked the fact that Jayne was such a working girl and that her job didn't disappear for story line to take place. Hell, there were places where she would say, I have to go to work so I can't possibly go looking for clues right now. I also liked how she was portrayed in her job - in electronics and how she could watch TV while doing her job.

Yeah, I liked this book and look forward to her next.

Do you think she is K.C. now? My book said Kathleen also and I thought it was an error at the online sites.


Nicole said...

Well, the cover image at her site says Kathleen, so that's what I think is right. And the cover for the next book also has Kathleen. It was probably changed after some sites got ARCs.