Title: Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers (Jules Keene Glamping Mystery #1)
Author: Heather Weidner
Published on: 19 October 2022
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers is the first book in Heather Weidner’s Jules Keene Glamping Mystery series.
Jules Keene, owner of the posh Fern Valley Camping Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is thrust into the world of the Dark Web when one of her guests, Ira Perkins, is found murdered in the woods near her vintage trailers. Jules quickly discovers that the man who claimed to be on a writing retreat was not what he seemed, and someone will go to any length to find what he left at her resort. Jules, along with her Jack Russell Terrier sidekick Bijou, has to put the rest of the missing pieces of a blackmailing scheme together before her business is ruined.
The second book of this series, Film Crews and Rendezvous, is releasing later this month. I will be reviewing the book as a part of Lori’s Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. I requested and received Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers from Lori.
First things first, I loved the setting. A trailer and camper resort in the midst of Blue Ridge Mountains sounds like THE place for a vacay! Second, I loved the mystery. Though a first in the series, we have perfect combination of series scene setting, character introduction, and mystery.
Gosh, the mystery! Ira Perkins was a cranky man and claimed to be an author. He wished to spend some quiet time in the mountains to write his next bestseller. When a family of four (two kids) stays near his trailer, he creates a fuss. Aunt Roxanne admonishes him and tells him to behave properly, or else… The next day, Ira is found dead in the woods by two guests. The only piece of clothing on his body is a red thong.
The sheriff and his team take fingerprints and other articles of Ira from his trailer. When the cleaning ladies from the resort start to clean, they find something stuck behind the commode – a flash drive. Soon, Jules learns that Ira was not a writer. He had no laptop or papers in the trailer – nothing to suggest he was a writer. Jules asks her friend Pixel to decrypt the flash drive and what she finds shocks her.
Ira’s trailer is ransacked in the middle of the night. Jules and resort security person Jake re-do the trailer and once again, someone ransacks it. Two men claiming to be Ira’s nephews visit the resort. They wanted to take over Ira’s belongings. But Aunt Roxanne responded saying the Sheriff’s department took it away. It becomes quite clear that Ira had something to hide and there are people looking for it.
The mystery behind Ira’s secret life kept me guessing till the end. Jules, though an amateur sleuth, is really good at investigating the murder. In fact, she does a better job than the local Sheriff and the FBI Agent. Jules juggles between running the resort and finding Ira’s killer – and does a pretty good job at both.
The ending was mind-blowing. We have someone threatening Jules – subtly, at the beginning. But when they realize Jules has come across an incriminating evidence, they want her dead! But they can only try… Jules is a step ahead, and always aware of her surroundings.
Overall, Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers by Heather Weidner was an engrossing and completely entertaining mystery. I am looking forward to reading the next book.