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Sunshine Vicram #1

A Bad Day for Sunshine

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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, strong cups of coffee - and, now, a nationwide manhunt? Del Sol native Sunshine Vicram has returned to town as the elected sheriff - thanks to her adorably meddlesome parents who nominated her--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 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 and a kidnapped prized 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 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. Can Sunshine face the call of duty - and find the kidnapper who's terrorizing her beloved hometown - without falling head over high heels in love . . . or worse?

400 pages, Hardcover

First published April 7, 2020

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About the author

Darynda Jones

50 books15.6k followers
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, and her books have been translated into 17 languages. As a born storyteller, Darynda grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, certain they went away the better for it. She penned the international bestselling Charley Davidson series and is currently working on several beloved projects, most notably the Sunshine Vicram Mystery Series with St. Martin's Press and the Betwixt and Between Series of paranormal women's fiction. She lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.

Click here to read one of the more popular short stories by Darynda called The Monster:

She can be found at http://www.daryndajones.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,063 reviews
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,195 reviews40.6k followers
January 23, 2022
What a hilarious, entertaining, witty, thrilling ride from the fantastic author of Charley Davidson series (I devoured the six books of the series and I should create more time, sleeping less or multitasking like reading at the movie theatre, riding my spinning bike and eating my dinner at the same time! So I can finish more books. Another solution: I should get inserted special chips too my brain to read three books at the same time!)

I laughed so much during my read and I couldn’t leave this book. It was literally glued to my hands (thanks to one of my best friend Ashley’s prank. She avenged me for not listening to her boyfriend drama and got upset my devotion to this book.) I didn’t want to get my hands off! I kept laughing and laughing. I cried my eyes out and I laughed more. Then I realized I was sitting at dentist chair and breathed too much nitrous oxide a.k.a laughing gas!!! (Good news: my teeth look whiter like shark teeth and I didn’t suffer during my appointment, special thanks to this author!)

With this book, Darynda Sarcastic Queen of New Mexico stories introduces us a new series character: Sheriff Sunshine Vicram ( Interestingly Post Malone’s Sunflower song starts playing at my head as soon as I read her name) , another independent, tough, funny, sexy, smart, likable character. When you compare her with Charley, she deals with the mortal world demons and she has a big traumatic experience in her past defines her life choices and she is a good mother. But she is luckier from parental side. She is also flirty, confidant like Charley.
But I think her 14 year old daughter Auri stole my heart and she became my favorite character of the book. She is so smart, inherited her mother’s detective skills, sensitive, cool, friendly, so much likable character. A mother’s dream daughter!

And of course Levi Ravinder, hottest tracker, Sunshine’s oldest and gold-est flame ( “Sexy Back” keeps playing at my head when I read his name of the book. I keep chanting: “Dirty babe! You see the shackles, baby, I’m your slave!), one of the most charismatic characters of the book. ( Thankfully DJ gave us some delicious Reyes Farrow kind of hero/ devilish dream boyfriend!)

So Sunshine returns back to her hometown Del Sol, New Mexico, where she left as a young, pregnant woman and turned back as sheriff. As soon as she starts her first work day, a kidnapping case falls at her lap. There is so much resembling things with Sunshine’s own kidnapping experience she’d endured when she was nearly 17 and coincidentally or not her own daughter connected with the kidnapped girl, insisting to help her mother to solve the mystery.

In the meantime her never gets old flame Levi’s nephew gets lost at the mountains which could be connected to their case and bring two never friends-enemies- possibly gonna be lovers face to face to start their searching party.
I enjoyed the characters, witty, humorous writing, pacing, progression. Only thing I didn’t like and made me cut my one star is the mystery between Levi and Sunshine is soooo obvious and predictable. It shouldn’t be a cliffhanger of the first book. It should be revealed and we have to face with another intriguing, questionable cliffhanger. At some parts I really got angry of Sunshine and hot-ass Levi and I wanted to grab their heads and hit them against the wall for making them talk honestly with each other!! They could have saved us from too much sexual and emotional tension!

Well, it’s still great start for brand new series. I want to read more adventures of these characters and witness their enjoyable journeys, HEAs!

So much special thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for sharing this incredibly funny, well written book in exchange my honest review and of course so much thanks to Darynda Jones for not making us wait too much and gave us brand new, entertaining series.

Profile Image for Meredith (Slowly Catching Up).
792 reviews12.3k followers
February 4, 2020
Crazy Fun!

A Bad Day for Sunshine is part mystery, part family drama, and many parts wackadoodle!

The new sheriff of Del Sol, New Mexico, Sunshine Vicram, has her hands full her first day on the job: a distraught woman drives her car into the police station, a prisoner has escaped from jail and is hiding out in Del Sol, and a 14-year-old goes missing and leaves an eerie note behind detailing her demise. To make things even more stressful, the Mayor is keeping an eye on Sunshine as her methods for winning the Sheriff's election were less than conventional.

Sunshine is a single mom to 14-year-old Auri. The details surrounding Auri's creation are murky and become the secondary mystery of this story. When Sunshine was in high school she was abducted and has no memory of the incident. One of the reasons she moves back to Del Sol is to find and get revenge on the man who abducted her.

The narrative is split between Sunshine and Auri. Auri’s story revolves around the challenges of starting a new school, falling in love, as well as helping her mom solve the mystery behind the missing girl. Her storyline has a bit of a YA feel. While I am not a huge YA fan, Auri’s character is endearing and made her narrative enjoyable to read. Sunshine and Auri have a relationship I loved reading about. They are both quick-witted and intelligent. Their interactions and banter reminded me of Lorelei and Rory (Gilmore Girls) but on crack!

Another thread involves Sunshine’s attraction to reformed bad boy Levi--these two have amazing chemistry and I can’t wait to see how their relationship evolves in the next book.

This is a fun, entertaining read that had me laughing out loud. Similar to Jones’ Charley Davidson series, this book is filled with eccentric, sharp characters. The difference is there are no paranormal elements (at least not yet). This book is quirky and strange. It was a breath of fresh air! It also has a lot of heart. Sunshine and Auri’s quick wit kept me on my toes, and the mystery behind Sunshine's abduction and subsequent pregnancy has me intrigued. I absolutely adored this book and CANNOT wait to read the next book in the series.

I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway!
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,600 reviews24.8k followers
February 4, 2020
This is one long laugh out loud blend of heady comic entertainment with crime fiction, the first in a new series by Darynda Jones set in Del Sol, New Mexico, a place that teems with the strange and the bizarre. Sunshine Vicram has returned home with her beloved teenage daughter, Auri, after leaving a town where she experienced harrowing trauma. She is not sure how this all happened, her parents are behind her election as sheriff, which means she will be working with her best childhood buddy, Deputy Quincy Cooper. Her first day is one hell of an initiation, with a rooster, Puff Daddy, roaming free, resident local flasher Doug, a visit from Mayor Donna Lomas threatening to get to the bottom of her odd election as sheriff, an escaped fugitive at large, and a teenage girl, Sybil, has been abducted and the clock is ticking.

Oh and Auri's first day at the local school is no piece of cake either as she is branded a narc and is the target of some mean teens, led by Lynelle, although there is the cool and edgy Cruz, who just can't keep his eyes off Auri. Her hopes of meeting up with a girl, Sybil, she had met in the holidays crumbles to ashes when she becomes aware that Sybil has been kidnapped, and there is no way she is not going to investigate. Sunny finds herself still carrying her childhood heart stopping attraction to Levi Ravinder, now running a successful corn whiskey distillery and the best tracker in town, skills needed when his autistic nephew, his sister Hailey's son, Jimmy, goes missing. As Sunny finds family secrets spilling out, she turns to the Book Babes, a bookclub actually for gossip, socialising and drinking, for information, she finds herself surrounded by hot men, and puzzled why she cannot ever get hold of one Lieutenant Bobby 'Bo' Britton.

This is my first read of Darynda Jones, and I had a whale of a time acquainting myself with Sunny, Auri and the entire town of Del Sol with its quirky eccentric residents. This is a great novel to read if you are feeling even a hint of the blues and in need of a lift. The mother-daughter relationship of Sunny and Auri is a joy to behold, particularly as Sunny becomes aware of just how much Auri knows about her past. All in all, this is kooky, fun and entertaining crime fiction and for sure I will be returning to this series. Many thanks to St Martin's Press for an ARC.
Profile Image for Michael David (on hiatus).
625 reviews1,536 followers
December 11, 2021
Sunshine Vicram (yes, that’s her name) is the new sheriff of Del Sol, New Mexico...although she has no idea how her parents shenanigated (is that a word?) to get her elected.

Sunshine and her teenage daughter, Auri, move back home, and just as Sunshine gets started on her first day as sheriff, a sweet citizen brings blueberry muffins to the police department. These muffins usually mean trouble is on the way…

Before she knows it, Sunshine is dealing with a missing teenager, a missing rooster, and a traumatic event in her past that is bound to catch up to her. On top of all that, Sunshine has to deal with her unbearable attraction to moonshine maker Levi Ravinder, the guy with the brooding personality that has been on her mind since they met as teenagers.

She has her work cut out for her!

I finally decided to read this after seeing so many rave reviews. I enjoyed it, but there was definitely some ridiculousness and OTT moments…not that that’s always a bad thing. This sort of reminded me of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series…when it wasn’t quite at its peak anymore.

However, there were many bits and bobs -particularly towards the end- that I thought were really clever, and I was mostly satisfied by the end. It has the perfect amount of snarky one-liners. Oh, and the characters…The characters are phe-nom-en-al! I think I loved all of them (besides the bad ones we’re not supposed to like). Their interactions were the strongest part of the book for me, and really made it an enjoyable reading experience.

So even though it has some silly moments, I was engaged overall, and look forward to reading the next installment soon.

3.5 stars rounded up. Available on Kindle Unlimited.

Review also posted at: https://bonkersforthebooks.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Dorie  - Cats&Books :).
991 reviews2,762 followers
June 28, 2020
I was looking for a fast paced mystery, easy to listen to but with some interesting characters. “A Bad Day For Sunshine” fit the bill.

This is a lighter read for me but it was perfect as an audiobook. Sunshine Vicram returns to Del Sol, New Mexico after her parents somehow got her elected sheriff. Sunshine has a 14 y/o daughter Auri and the book is told from Sunshine and Auri's point of view.

Sunshine is a little unsure about her new job and her first day sure ends up to be an unexpected one! She is just getting acquainted with her new staff which includes her long time best friend, Quincy, when some delicious muffins are delivered. The staff is nervous, why??? Because something bad always seems to happen when they get muffins.

Things quickly escalate as a distraught woman drives her car into the front window of the police office. After settling down she admits that she is beside herself because her daughter is missing. She also has a note that her daughter wrote predicting that she will die on her 15th birthday, which is just days away. Sunshine and her team get on the case fast as there is little time to waste. Before long we find that there are two teens missing and an escaped prisoner. Wow this is one long day!

Along the way we have lots of romantic banter between Sunshine and an old flame that she left behind, Levi Ravinder. The story does get a bit rom/com for a while since it seems every man Sunshine meets is a sexy hunk, including the US Marshall who has come to help. But behind the sometimes silly banter there is still a good mystery.

An unexpected snowstorm adds to the tension in the search for the missing teens. They are now up against a timeline and a snowstorm in the mountains where they have to search.

Auri has her own problems trying to fit in at her new school. The banter between her and her mother kept me laughing many times. In the end it is Auri who helps to solve the case.

This isn’t great literary fiction but it is fast paced, fun and quirky. The characters are well developed and unique and I had a lot of fun with this book.

I would recommend this if you are in the mood for an easy listen with mystery and fun thrown in.
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,067 reviews3,608 followers
April 24, 2020
A positively refreshing read! Just exactly what I needed!🕺💃🏽

Listen up partner, there’s a new sheriff in town!

Sunshine Vicram has returned to her hometown, with her 14 year old daughter Auri in tow. Somewhat stunned, Sunshine has just been elected the new Sheriff for Del Sol New Mexico. She’s clueless how this happened, given the fact she never actually entered the race!?

It’s her first day on the job, and thanks to some cursed blueberry muffins she has her first case. A missing teen who warned everyone she’ll die on her fifteenth birthday. With only a few days left before the girls’ birthday, Sunshine has her back against the wall, with precious time ticking away. Can she find her before it’s too late? Will this journey lead her to unlocking some of her own secrets from the past?

The witty banter between Sunshine and her daughter will keep a big grin on your face from cover to cover. I was smiling and giggling throughout.

This book was so much fun! A thoroughly delightful read!

For those looking for a light mystery crime novel that will lift your spirits and keep you smiling, saddle-up and follow along with Sheriff Sunshine!

I cannot wait to see what Ms. Jones comes up with next! I believe this is just the beginning to what will be an extraordinary new series!

A buddy read with Susanne that we both enjoyed and kept us laughing throughout!

Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin's Press and Darynda Jones for an ARC to read and review
Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,121 reviews30.2k followers
May 17, 2020
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Love love love!

Full review:

Sunshine Vicram is the new sheriff in her hometown of Del Sol, only she didn’t run for election. Thank goodness she has a law enforcement background! She has a teen daughter named Auri, with whom she engages in witty and just plain adorable banter throughout the book (LOVE). She also has a best friend named Quincy, who is a deputy under her and pretty adorable himself along with their banter. There’s another mysterious guy from her past, a rooster named Puff Daddy, and several other townspeople you just have to meet and fall in love with, too. In a nutshell, at its heart, the characters shine, including Sunshine herself.

Then, there’s the investigations: two missing teenagers and an escaped prisoner... as well as the stolen rooster, Puff Daddy, and Sunny’s abduction from when she was a teenager. You read that right. She is now trying to solve the crime committed against her years ago.

There are some touches of humor, high readability (so easy), incredibly lovable characters, and overall, this book is so uniquely its own. I’ve read nothing like it. The best news of all? It’s a series, so more will be coming! Darynda Jones is some kind of magic, and I’ll be delving into her other books while I wait for #2!

I received a gifted copy. All opinions are my own.

Earlier review:
Oh my gosh. Everyone has told me this, but I am late to the game. Darynda Jones’ books are some kind of magic. Easy to read, full of twists and turns, characters I completely adored from the start... More thoughts to come, and I’m so grateful she has a backlist with an entire series I can read while I wait for the next one of these to come out!

I received a gifted copy. All opinions are my own.

Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader
Profile Image for Sandy.
873 reviews218 followers
November 27, 2019
I was a big fan of this author’s Charley Davidson series which was straight-up urban fantasy. Now she’s begun a new one featuring *gasp* humans. Yep, not a demon, ghoul or God in sight. Turns out she can also write entertaining mysteries featuring normal people. Wait….I may be using that term loosely.

Del Sol, New Mexico has always attracted the artistic, odd & eccentric. It’s the type of close knit community where everyone’s on a first name basis, even with the resident flasher (that would be Doug). It can be hard to keep a secret. But there’s one in particular that Sunshine (Sunny) Vicram would love to uncover.

Sunny grew up here but left after a horrible event that changed her life. Now she’s back with 14 year old daughter Auri in tow. She just got elected as the new sheriff which is great. But also a little confusing as she never applied for the job. Huh…probably best to just go with it.

Her first day reunites her with childhood BF Quincy, now her deputy & he brings her up to speed on current cases. Just the usual….they need to convince Doug to take a day off & someone has kidnapped Puff Daddy, a much loved rooster.

Meanwhile, Auri is trying to survive the hazing ritual that comes with being the new girl at school. A pack of mean girls have her in their sights. Then things go from bad to worse when the one friend she made during the summer disappears.

So much for easing into the job. Sunny & her team have a serious case to crack. And before it’s over, she’ll discover some startling information about the event that made her leave town.

I’ll come clean & admit the first couple of chapters had me worried. One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about Jones’ writing is her snarky sense of humour but initially I found it laid on a bit thick. If every second line is a zinger, it can be hard to find the story. Fortunately, this soon settled down so I could appreciate the witty dialogue & truly funny situations that are interspersed with more dramatic scenes.

From then on it became an entertaining & fast paced read. We learn Sunny’s history & the lingering effects of what she endured. The search for the teenager triggers memories of a time when she was another missing girl. But on the upside, her return also gives her a chance to reconnect with her parents, neighbours, Quincy & one Levi Ravinder. Oh, didn’t I mentioned him? He’s a handsome, enigmatic guy who once knew Sunny well (is it hot in here? feels hot in here *fans face*). All I’ll say is I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how that develops.

The crimes, high school drama & appearance of dangerous muffins ensures you’ll keep turning the pages but it’s the characters that hold it all together. Quincy in particular is a hoot & I loved the relationship between Sunny & Auri. You have to appreciate a mother who counsels her daughter to think “WWLSD” when faced with a tough situation. These people may have their quirks but there is genuine warmth between them & a sense they’ll always have each other’s back. There are a couple of running gags that pop up at the strangest times that always made me laugh.

I really enjoyed this & happily, the ending makes it clear there is much more to come. While waiting for book #2, please join me in sending our thoughts & prayers to Puff Daddy.
Profile Image for Terrie  Robinson.
396 reviews591 followers
November 29, 2021
"A Bad Day for Sunshine" by Darynda Jones is Small Town Fiction & Mystery, at its best!

Del Sol, New Mexico native, Sunshine Vicram, is the new sheriff in town and she swears she never entered herself in the election! How does that happen?

The mayor is fuming and wondering the same thing. Perhaps it has something to do with certain parents wanting to get their daughter & granddaughter back to Del Sol.

Sunshine's first day on the job is also her teenage daughter, Auri's first day at her new school. Auri is quickly labeled a narc by other students because her mom's the new sheriff. Unfortunately, the bullying begins!

For Sunshine, the day is non-stop action:
- Puff Daddy, a prized rooster, is nowhere to be found...
- Doug, the town flasher is out and about, so to speak...
- A distraught mother drives into the police station...
- A teenage girl is missing...
- An escaped prisoner is believed to be in the area...

Do you think it's the dreaded blueberry muffins causing the sudden spike in crime?

This is such a fun story full of small town humor, quirky characters with mystery mixed in. It's a light read that's packed with the strength of socially relevant topics peppered through the book.

Both Sunshine and Auri have equal time narrating chapters, each sharing their personal experience in moving back to Del Sol. The best part of this book is the relationship between mother & daughter and how it steers their lives!

I listened to the audiobook narrated by Lorelei King who does an amazing job delivering serious dialog, upbeat & humorous moments with gender appropriate voicing. It was an awesome listen with just the right amount of 'snark'!

This is my first book from this author and already I can't wait to read book 2 in this series. There's a mystery that lingers at the end of this one and it sounds like A Good Day for Chardonnay (Sunshine Vicram, #2) by Darynda Jones picks right back up where this one left off!

I highly recommend!
Profile Image for Berit Talks Books.
2,019 reviews15.7k followers
September 28, 2020
Move over Charley Davidson there’s a new sheriff in town and her name is Sunshine!

Wow this was fun! Darynda Jones is the queen when it comes to spinning stories filled with Snark, humor, banter, quirky characters, and hot men. I was a huge fan of the Charley Davidson series and sad to see it end, but I think I found a new favorite. Sunshine Vicram has returned to small town Del Sol, New Mexico. She is the newly elected Sheriff and that is slightly problematic seeing though she didn’t even run for the position? But Sunshine is a big girl now, it is time to face her past and what could possibly go wrong in this sleepy small town? Loved Sunshine! She was smart, strong, savvy, and sassy. She is also a single mother to 14-year-old Aury. Aury was a tremendously likable character as well definitely her mother‘s daughter, but perhaps with a little more common sense and tact. I loved how we got both of these characters perspectives, really giving the story a refreshing feel. And ladies there are some men in this book that will give Reyes a run for his money. Sunshine’s BFF and new coworker Quincy as well as her long lost crush Levi. Aury also gets her very own crush in a young sweet mysterious boy named Cruise. A kidnapping, an escaped prisoner, missing pieces of the past, secrets, attraction, laughs, and heart. And oh yeah, a cliffhanger that will leave you wanting more. My only complaint... the second book isnt already out.

This book in emojis ☀️ ☕️ 📓 ✉️ 🐓 🚔 ⛰

*** Big thank you to St. Martin’s Press for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,484 reviews29.4k followers
May 29, 2020
4.5 stars.

A Bad Day for Sunshine is a fun, slightly wacky mystery with a great set of characters I can’t wait to see again!

Although it’s the last thing she really wanted to do, Sunshine Vicram returns to her crazy hometown of Del Sol, New Mexico with her teenage daughter, Auri, in tow. She didn’t have much of a choice, really, because her parents somehow got her elected sheriff, which doesn’t sit too well with the mayor or the incumbent she defeated, since Sunshine never actually expressed interest in being sheriff in the first place).

She figures the sheriff gig can’t be all that bad, so she’ll stick around long enough to find those responsible for the reason she left town years ago. And apart from two neighbors fighting over a rooster named Puff Daddy, all is calm—for a few minutes. Then a friend of her mother's sends over a basket of her famous muffins and all hell breaks loose. (This apparently happens every time Ruby sends muffins.)

The next thing Sun knows, a teenage girl has been abducted, a fugitive is on the loose, a boy with autism is lost in the snowy mountains, and Auri is getting seriously bullied at her new high school.

Sun is going to have to confront some painful memories, some truths will need to be revealed, and she’ll come face to face with the boy who broke her heart who turned into a man who is as sexy as hell, whose family can't stand Sun, to put it mildly. She's never quite been able to get him out of her system, family hatred or not. (Oh, and she has a bunch of crimes to solve.)

I really enjoyed this book. These characters were so much fun and there’s still so much history between them that Darynda Jones hasn’t even touched on, so I can’t wait for what she'll put in a second book.

At times the book got a tiny bit too silly for me—there’s humor and then there’s farce. One recurring joke, while it all revealed itself in the end to be for a purpose, annoyed me a bit. But in the end, this is a fun book with a badass female character I loved and one I'll eagerly await the chance to see again.

Check out my list of the best books I read in 2019 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2019.html.

Check out my list of the best books of the decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html.

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.

Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
Profile Image for Liz.
2,018 reviews2,518 followers
April 1, 2020
This is another book that immediately grabbed me. Like with the first paragraph. Sunshine Vicram is the new sheriff of a town “even the locals call The Psych Ward”. A town that ��held more secrets than a politician’s wife.” Oh, and that sheriff position? She won, even though she never entered the race.
Meanwhile, Sun’s daughter, Aurora, is not having an easy time adjusting to her new school. The popular kids have it in for her.
This is a fairly lighthearted book. There’s great banter, wild escapades, and hunky men (of all ages). There’s a missing teenager and an escaped prisoner. And the police blotter excerpts and signs at the beginning of each chapter are just spot on perfect.
This book is the perfect escape from these trying times. It even manages to be a decent mystery. Consider it a quirky cozy mystery. It highlights the importance of good friends and loving family with lots of love to go around.
It ends with a hell of a cliff hanger, so there better be a book two!
My thanks to netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advance copy of this book.
Profile Image for Carolyn.
2,171 reviews615 followers
March 22, 2020
Darynda Jones has introduced a light hearted new series featuring newly elected Sheriff Sunshine Vicram. After moving away from her home town, Del Sol in New Mexico, single mother Sunshine is back with her fourteen year old daughter Auri. Her first day on the job throws her straight in at the deep end with the abduction of a teenage girl. It looks like she may have to call in her old teenage crush, a sizzling hot tracker by the name of Levi Ravinder, someone she has been trying to avoid since returning. US marshals have also arrived to hunt for an escaped prisoner reported in the area and a rooster called Puff Daddy has been reported stolen. Meanwhile her daughter is having a really bad day at her new school.

This novel was a lot of fun. It lacks the paranormal element of the author's much loved Charley Davidson series but with a feisty, sassy Sheriff, a touch of quirky humour and sparks of sexual tension flying between Sunshine and Levi is bound to become a favourite series.

With many thanks to St Martin's Press and Netgalley for a copy to read
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,159 reviews36.8k followers
April 18, 2020
4 Stars

A Sarcastic, Sassy, & Smart Read! In short, “A Bad Day for Sunshine” has it all!

Del Sol, New Mexico has a new Sheriff. Her name is Sunshine Vicram and she is bad a$$. Sarcastic, smart as a whip and sassy to boot. She and her teenage daughter Auri are quite the pair. Let’s just say that their relationship is the bomb. They are quirky, hysterically funny and their witty banter makes them the envy of friends and foe.

Sunshine and Auri make a great team as well, which is an asset when a teenage girl who has befriended Auri goes missing. Then it’s all hands on deck. Good thing the Sheriff works with her trusted best friend Quincy, who is good for laughs as well as for being a brilliant detective.

Then there’s Levi Ravinder. He’s the best tracker in Del Sol who gives Sunshine heart palpitations. If anyone can find the missing teen, it’s Levi. Unfortunately for Sunshine, she’s had a crush on him forever and now she has to work with the guy.

From start to finish, “A Bad Day for Sunshine” by Darynda Jones was brilliant. The witty back and forth banter between Sunshine and Auri brought an instant smile to my face. I adored this mother and daughter pair and thought to myself: If only all mothers and daughters were like this! The sarcastic humor laced throughout the novel often made me laugh hysterically, whether it was between Sunshine and Auri, Sunshine and Quincy or any other characters in this novel. You can tell that the author crafted the relationships very carefully and they worked beautifully. Even though Sunshine has had a crush on Ravinder for a long time, other potential relationships were explored and each one was scintillating! I was hooked! Having loved both Sunshine and Auri I must say that I can’t wait for the next novel in this series to be published and will be waiting with bated breath for its release!

This was a fabulous buddy read with Kaceey!

Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Darynda Jones for the arc.

Published on Goodreads on 4.18.20.
Profile Image for Sandra Hoover.
1,176 reviews188 followers
March 1, 2020
Newly elected Sheriff Sunshine Vicram rolls back into Del Sol, New Mexico with her fourteen year old daughter Auri and a suitcase full of bad memories and karma. She'd left this whimsical little town in her rearview at age seventeen - running from a traumatic, life-altering experience and a broken heart with no intention of ever returning to the scene of the crime. And yet, here she is having won an election she didn't enter. Is that even legal? One's thing for sure, the most action this place ever sees is from resident flasher Doug, an escape artist rooster called Puff Daddy, or a group of eccentric old ladies called The Book Babes. Piece of cake, right? lol Think again. On Sunshine's first day on the job, all hell breaks loose when a girl is reported missing and an escaped convict is spotted around the outskirts of town. Sunshine and Deputy Quincy Cooper, a childhood friend, begin their investigation and, of course, one of the first people they need to interview is Sunshine's ole flame Levi Ravinder . . . one of THE Ravinders. And no surprise that nothing's changed between them as sparks, flames, and ugly, hurtful words fly. What is his problem?! Buckle up y'all - you're in for one hell of a ride!

A Bad Day For Sunshine is told through two points of view - that of Sunshine and her daughter Auri. The results are alternating chapters and intertwining dual plotlines that will keep readers on their toes. Auri is faced with her own drama from being bullied at school plus she's a wanna-be sleuth with a tendency to jump in the deep in without a backup plan. Strangely enough, it's often Levi that rides in on a white horse to rescue her. Yes, there's a story there too.

Multiple plot lines and muti-dimensional characters help set a fast pace in A Bad Day For Sunshine. It's an entertaining read with lots of witty banter, quirky characters, and one-liners. I will say that all the snark had me concerned early on as it was spread a bit thick. I found myself searching for the plot line and thinking is this all there is? No need for concern as the story soon settles in, and I quickly became immersed in hunting for clues to the kidnapper's identity and a link I felt I was missing. Character-driven stories such as this one with a star support cast generating a great deal of suspense are among my favorites. Jones trademark wit is evident throughout creating laugh out loud scenes even in the midst of a kidnapping investigation. I did feel at times as though the urgency of the case was sacrificed to the humor as main characters meandered off course frequently, but in her usual magical manner this author makes it work. There's an overall story arc that obviously continues into the next book, and I'm looking forward to seeing where it leads these characters and readers.` All in all, A Bad Day For Sunshine is a great start to a fascinating new series by the beloved Darynda Jones. Highly Recommended!

*A special thank you to St. Martin's Press for an arc of this book via Netgalley.
**Reviewed at: Cross My Heart Reviews
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,444 reviews7,531 followers
February 19, 2020
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

100% honesty. I requested this as soon as I saw the cover. C’mon, it’s soooooo good . . . . .

Then I noticed who the author was and I read a few of her Charley Davidson books waaaaaaaaay back in the day. My previous experience along with the title indicating “Sunshine” might not be a great thing had my brain thinking this was going to be the story of a vampire Sheriff . . . . .

Don’t you judge me. Charley was a dang grim reaper so it wasn’t that much of a stretch. However, turns out Sunshine is a regular gal, not a supe. My second thought was this was going to be another love triangle that made me want to kill things, but I turned out to be 0 for 2 on my predictions because one (Quincy) was simply her BFF and the other (Levi) will absolutely end up being the target of some sort of hot/cold/on/off thing in books to come. Another dude did a drive-by of sorts in order to satisfy all of us perverted housewives, but it wasn’t anything worth putting your good underpants on for. The crime to be solved here was about a missing 14-year old girl and three days to find her. There were also other things to deal with like the local flasher and a possible custody battle of sorts regarding a rooster named Puff Daddy.

Ugh this boooooooooook . . . .

Since I absolutely cannot wait for the second one to come out that should say pretty much all that needs to be said to my friends. (Spoiler Alert to those who don’t know me: Homegirl generally don’t read past #1 in a series.) That being said, this book certainly did plenty to irritate me. The “secret” that was hinted about for eternity before finally being revealed was super obvious to pretty much anyone who has ever read a book before so that sure as heck shouldn't have dragged on forever. Also, I get that it’s Darynda Jones’ calling card of sorts to have sassy dialogue, but enough is enough at some point. I mean, this was supposed to be about a potential kidnapping, I could have lived without the Lenny Bruce impersonation. And without spoiling the ending . . . . .

There is a chance that I will have to set things on fire if the story goes in the direction that is clearly being hinted at. It’s gotta be a bait and switch, right? Please???????? I’m going with 3 Stars since I maintain hope this series will be a winner.

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!
Profile Image for Holly.
1,430 reviews983 followers
May 16, 2020
3.5 stars

I can only best describe this as what it would be like if there was an alternate world version of Gilmore Girls in book form. Only in this version Lorelei is named ‘Sunshine’ (no, really) and is the sheriff of ‘Stars Hollow’ so there are mysteries, murders, and kidnappers mixed in with the nearly constant light-hearted banter. It’s a little weird and quirky, and perhaps feels like it’s trying too hard at times, but yet oddly is captivating.

This was a pleasant surprise because I didn’t particularly care for this author’s paranormal series, Charley Davidson, because the humor just wasn’t to my personal taste. This series hits a much better note with me and I’ll continue on with it.
Profile Image for Lucy.
430 reviews74 followers
August 23, 2021
After seeing so many reviews for A Good Day for Chardonnay (Book 2), I figured I'd read Book 1 immediately. I'd never read anything by this author before, but this seemed like a fun series; one I'd probably love. Turns out, I didn't like Book 1 as much as I thought I would.

I was expecting a fun and entertaining mystery, but unfortunately it fell short. The humor in this book didn't quite work for me. Towards the end, I just wanted all the shenanigans to wrap up, not quite caring what the outcome would be. The banter between Sunshine and Auri was probably the best part of the story. Their mother/daughter relationship is reminiscent of Lorelai and Rory's in Gilmore Girls.

Will I read Book 2? Who knows. If curiosity gets the best of me, I might give the next book a try eventually.
Profile Image for Madison Warner Fairbanks.
2,234 reviews302 followers
April 8, 2020
A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones

Police Mystery suspense with a female protagonist. First book in the Sunshine Viacram series. A bit of mystery, suspense and snark.
Alternating view points of Sunshine and daughter Aurora. The two have a close and caring relationship that is wonderful to be a part of.
There are multiple storylines and not all are fully resolved by the end of the book. Certainly not a cliffhanger, but more the beginning of a deep relationship you will want to follow and feel.

An engaging story and mystery that will win your heart.

Sunshine Viacram returns with her daughter to Del Sol, New Mexico as the newly elected sheriff. Her parents have built her a house in their backyard. They made sure Sunshine won the election for sheriff. Best friend and deputy Quincy knows most of Sun’s secrets. He’s glad to have her expertise in the office. It’s a quiet town with some eccentricity and surprises around the neighborhood.

I’m rounding this up from 4.5 because I enjoyed the relationships but had a bit of confusion in sometimes knowing which perspective I was in at the time. Minor issue that may have been me not paying enough attention.

I received a copy of this from NetGalley. I also purchased a copy to share and reread.
Profile Image for Toni.
515 reviews
August 9, 2021
A Bad Day for Sunshine is the first book in Darynda Jones's Sunshine Vicram series, set in a small town of Del Sol, New Mexico. Fast-paced, entertaining, full of laugh-out-loud witty comebacks and Darynda's trademark quirky characters, the book is fun, fun, fun to read from the beginning to the end. If anything, it grew on me as I kept reading and getting to know better Sunshine, her family, friends and enemies.

Sunshine Vicaram unexpectedly (for her) becomes the sheriff of her home town of Del Sol without any recollection of having entered the election. Clearly, her parents had something to do with it, but Sun is a bit reluctant to look into this particular mystery. She is more than qualifed to do a great job in this position, having a degree in Criminal Justice and a stellar career in Santa Fe Police Department. Most of the book covers Sunshine's first day at work,parallel to her 14-year-old daughter Auri's firstday at Del Sol High. Fifteen years ago Sunshine fled Del Sol following a traumatic abduction which landedher in hospital in a coma. She doesn't remember much of her ordeal or the month prior to the events, but Sun has never stopped investigating her own case.

It seems that the worst crime she will have to deal with is the disappearance of a locally famous rooster Puff Daddy, when the news of a teenage girl missing turns everything upside down and the clock countdown to save her life begins.

Sunshine is such a likeable character! Darynda Jones has a very peculiar, quite snarky sense of humour, but you can't deny that Sunshine's witty retorts and chapter sub-headings/ fictional notices on Del Sol's various businesses are absolutely hilarious. There's much more to Sun than that- she is strong, independent, a caring mother and a loyal friend. Loved her bestie-Chief Deputy Quincy Cooper and, of course, Aurora Dawn Vicram a.k.a. Auri a.k.a. bean sprout. If you were (or still are!) a fan of Gilmore Girls, you know the formula- a single mother doing her best to raise a super smart, cool teenager. Auri's efforts in investigating Sybil's case will prove indispensable in solving the case.

Did I mention the romantic tension between Levi Ravinder, Sunshine's old (and current) crush? Levi's a classic boy from the wrong side of the tracks who's been trying to make his semi-criminal family walk on straight and narrow. There's also a very handsome US Marshal in the town, trying to capture a fugitive (another entertaining plotline with a great twist in the end).

This was one of the most enjoyable reads for quite a long time. There is a thin line between being sassy and trying too hard, and I have to say Darynda Jones manages to stay on the right side. There is a great balance of funny and touching and funny again. Sunshine' is vulnerable, strong and capable at the same time, doted with great empathy and an infallible gut instinct, and yet she works hard to do her homework and follow through on every single lead. All of this being a (very) single mother of a teenager which is an art in itself.

Can't wait to read the next book in the series!
Profile Image for Sheyla ✎.
1,813 reviews474 followers
March 28, 2020

I thought Charley Davidson was a funny and interesting female character to follow. Yet, I must confess that I didn’t finish the series and I'm not sure why except that sometimes life interferes with my reading. I do plan to go back to it at some point.

However, when I learned a new book by Darynda Jones was coming out, I was super excited about it. I've always liked her writing style. As luck would have it, I was given a complimentary copy by the publisher and I couldn't be happier.

I can’t say enough about how entertaining this book was. It has so many good one-liners. The right amount of fun, drama, and mystery to keep me entertained on a Saturday afternoon.

The plot:

Sunshine Vicram has not been home in fifteen years. She’s back with her fourteen-year-old daughter Auri. Currently, she’s living in a remodeled guesthouse behind her parent's (Cyrus and Elaine Freyr) home. She’s not clear how she got the job, but she’s the new sheriff the Del Sol county in New Mexico.

Her best friend Quincy is a deputy and her lost love Levi Ravinder lives here too. Levi has made his family business legit. His corn whiskey distillery is wold-famous.

Multiple things are happening simultaneously:

*A young girl, a classmate of Auri's, Sybil St. Aubin has been abducted. Levi’s nephew, Jimmy has disappeared at the same time.

*A man, Ramses Rojas has escaped prison.

*A neighbor's dispute between Mrs. Sorenson and Mr. Madrid about a rooster named P. Diddy.

*Sunshine is trying to remember the details of her own abduction. When she was 17, she was taken and held captive. She had a traumatic brain injury with a month in a coma and with a sequela of retrograde amnesia. Although, lately she has been having some glimpses of her time as a prisoner.

Soon thereafter, her town will have U.S. Marshal Vincent Deleon and Special Agent Carter Fields helping with the investigations. Both are nice to look at. Although, Sunshine's heart belongs to Levi.

As if this was not enough for Sunshine, she also has to deal with Donna, the Major. She wants to know who the Dangerous Daughters are. The Dangerous Daughters are thought to be a myth but maybe they're real.

If you like Darynda Jones' prior work, you're going to love this one. I was dying to get to the second book in this series right away. I have a desperate need to learn more about Levi and the secrets he keeps.

Cliffhanger: No

5/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by St. Martin's Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,164 followers
May 22, 2020
I didn't realize this book was going to switch back and forth between the MC's POV and a 14-yr old girl's POV in a middle school angsty crisis. I may come back to it, but I doubt it.

November 25, 2019
4.5 stars

Having never read a book by Darynda Jones, and hearing wonderful things, I accepted the offer by NetGalley to read this story and I am thrilled I did. I have not laughed out loud at a book in quite some time, but his book is often hilarious, uproarious, and rollicking.

Sunshine Vicram is a terrific character, a young woman who mysteriously wins an election in a small town called Del Sol, in New Mexico. She has no idea how she won or even more amazingly how she did not know she was running for this office. The fun starts as Sunshine and her daughter, Auri return to a town she vowed never to return to, and we are treated to an engaging story of Sunshine, Auri, her terrific yet quirky parents, two drop dead gorgeous men, a best friend deputy, and a town that seems to have a bit of magic and whimsy.

All is not Sunshine and rainbows, as our heroine assumes the job, back again in a town she swore never to return to, and on the first day of the job a young girl goes missing. She is a friend of Auri's, an adorable young character who has her mother's eye and nose for mystery solving, and so the two ladies are on it trying to save this young girl. Along the way we are introduced to the very appealing, ultimately sexy man, Levi Ravinder, of the Ravinder clan, a family that has had over time various nefarious dealings and scares half the town. Levi is the love of Sunshine's life until a gorgeous federal marshal makes an appearance and Sunshine is bewitched. Can you love two men? Easy when they both are like these two.

"Welcome to Del Sol, a town full of sunshine, fresh air, and friendly faces, (Barring three or four old grouches.)"

With the mix of quirky lovable characters Ms Jones has created the beginning of a series that was not only fun to read, but also hilarious at times. Introducing each chapter with witticisms from her town, we are thrown into the fray while getting to know this town as it trends toward the unconventional side. Point me in this town's direction for I would love to live there. Poor Sunshine, whose only concern she thought, would be the town flasher, Doug, and a rooster named Puff Daddy. She in for some weird, wacky, and unusual happenings, while along the way we learn more about Sunshine and a terrible event of her past.

I am giving this book high marks on the fun side and of course recommending it most assuredly for just that along with some really adorable characters. If you are looking for a book that will lighten your spirits but has enough mystery to get you engaged, then rush to get this one. I will be back for more of this series as well as picking up a few more books written by this talented author.

Thank you to Darynda Jones, St Martin's Press, and NetGalley for a copy of this extremely entertaining book due out April 7, 2020.

Profile Image for Heather~ Nature.books.and.coffee.
624 reviews158 followers
November 6, 2019
Wow guys!! I have never read a book by Darynda Jones before, in fact I've never even heard of her. Netgalley sent me an email saying this was available to read now for only 2 days so I grabbed it!! I'm so happy I did! I LOVED this book! I loved these characters and was pulled into this story right from the start! These characters are fun, I loved the mystery, and I even laughed in parts. The suspense was great. I'm definitely going to be reading more books by this author no doubt!!
Profile Image for Tucker.
385 reviews106 followers
June 22, 2020
I’m not aware of many authors who can successfully combine crime fiction with zany humor, but that’s exactly what Darynda Jones has done in “A Bad Day for Sunshine.” Sunshine Vicram has surprisingly found herself the new sheriff of the quaint New Mexico town of Del Sol. She anticipates her days will be filled with minor crimes and neighborly disputes. But all hell breaks loose when an escaped convict is believed to be in the area and a teenage girl and autistic boy go missing. Besides Sunshine, Jones introduces some delightful characters with intriguing backstories and I’m eagerly anticipating the next book in this series.

Here’s a little taste of the humor from a business sign posted in Del Sol. “Autocorrect has become our own worst enema.” —SIGN AT DEL SOL CELLULAR
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,962 reviews293k followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
August 30, 2021
I think I gave this a fair shot but it's not interesting me at all. The humour is falling a bit flat, none of the guys are appealing to me as potential love interests for Sunshine or Auri, and the mystery... I just don't care.
Profile Image for Nancy.
384 reviews131 followers
July 23, 2021
A Bad Day for Sunshine is my first book by Darynda Jones and it was a real treat. The small town vibe of Del Sol is clearly written, its quirky characters are both interesting and entertaining and the chapter titles are hilarious.

My favorite line from the book is when Sunshine’s daughter Auri says WWLSD (what would Lisbeth Salander do). Pure genius! This book has a little bit of everything. It is a light mystery that moves at a fast pace, it’s witty and funny, and has a sprinkling of romance. I’m a sucker for fun banter and this book had a lot of it which made me like it even more.

I had a lot of fun reading this one and it kept me entertained throughout. I’m so glad the next book in the series is already out. I can’t wait to read A Good Day for Chardonnay. 4 stars.
Profile Image for Meggie V.
80 reviews57 followers
April 9, 2020
Even if this book was solely about Doug the flasher, I would still read it and enjoy it.

Because Darynda Jones wrote it. That is all.

Profile Image for Corina.
756 reviews2,127 followers
June 28, 2020
3.5 stars

I'll come straight out and admit that I had a hard time getting into this book. I actually tried both, first the eARC and then the audiobook, both gave me trouble, but I persevered. Especially when I saw all these amazing reviews coming in. Because it was clear that I was missing something.

The tide turned when I got to the halfway point. Around 50%, the novel picked up. I started connecting with characters, really caring about the outcome, and enjoying the banter between certain best friends, excitedly expecting the hot sexual tension between the heroine and her love interest, and really loving her daughters own teenage love story – swoon, just saying!


✍︎ The book was quite funny, thanks to the awesome banter between Sunshine and her long time best friend Quincy. They had history, and a rapport that only comes with a life long friendship.

✍︎ Sunshine and her daughter were wonderful together. They had such a great mother/daughter relationship. And Auri, her daughter, had this teenage crush on bad boy Cruz, which was ADORABLE. I can’t wait to read more about them.

✍︎ Sunshine and Levy – wowzer! The air sizzled whenever they were in the same room. Their “whatever they had” relationship felt like forbidden fruit to me, an attraction that apparently started in high school – oooooh – and hasn’t diminished at all since then!!! I’m officially hooked, and can’t wait to see where they are going from here – because this is exactly my cup of tea!

I was also surprised by the mystery aspect of the book, and the different subplots that kept me guessing and wanting answers. Some where revealed at the end. Others are still open. But the overall execution of plot, and characters was well done.

This is definitely one of the books that finished stronger than it started for me. I’m super glad I didn’t give up on it, because the way I felt at the end – wanting to read the second book ASAP – that’s just an awesome way to end a book.


I received a copy of this book from the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. My opinions have not been influenced by the publisher or the author.

Find more reviews and book recommendations on my blog.
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Profile Image for Judy.
1,093 reviews
March 3, 2020
This was a lot of fun. Quirky characters, humor, mystery, all wrapped up in great writing. This is my first read of a Darynda Jones novel and I will likely be reading more because I truly enjoyed it. When it starts out, Sunshine Vicram and her daughter Auri have returned to their hometown. Sunshine has been elected Sheriff - but she didn't even enter the race. Sunshine had left Del Sol, New Mexico after having a horribly traumatic experience there. Now she wants to find the perpetrator. There are many events on Sunshine's first day as Sheriff, but the main one is a child abduction, and the main storyline centers on finding this child.

I loved the humor. The conversations between Sunshine and Auri are wonderful and these characters are all great. Cruz and Levi (swoon) are both great characters too. I would recommend this to anyone who likes a mystery and enjoys a sense of humor.

Thanks to Darynda Jones and St. Martin's Press through NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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