Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Toured to Death (An Amy's Travel Mystery)

Author:  Hy Conrad
Genre:  Mystery

Four Stars

A mystery series featuring Amy and Fanny Abel, a spunky mother-and-daughter duo of travel agents who find their mystery tour becoming all too real. . .

While Fanny takes care of the business end of Amy's Travel in New York City, Amy is traipsing around Monte Carlo, managing their first mystery-themed excursion, a road rally in which guests compete to solve a fictional murder along the way. Amy still has reservations about partnering up with her mother. But both women, having lost the men in their lives, need a fresh beginning.

The trip starts off without a hitch. Clues quickly mount, the competition is lively, and just when the suspense is peaking, the writer they hired to script their made-up mystery is found murdered in his New York apartment. Suddenly, on top of running a new venture together, mother and daughter must solve a real-life case of foul play, while trying not to drive each other bonkers. But Amy and Fanny are ready, willing, and Abel to track down a clever killer with some serious emotional baggage, one who will go to any lengths to keep dark secrets from seeing the light of day.


Amy Abel has recently opened a travel agency, one specializing in mystery tours - the equivalent of a murder mystery evening but one that takes place through several locations in several countries - and caters to the rich.  This first time out, they will be travelling through Monte Carlo, Italy and France.  Each attendee is assigned a group, which represents one of the people in the play.  At the end of the tour, each group will make an announcement about who they think killed the missing person, and why.  When one of the guests is murdered for real, and another is arrested for the crime, it is up to Amy and her friends to figure out who really committed the murder.

I enjoyed the travel information, the description of places that were visited. I thought the main characters were well-drawn, (although if I myself had a mother like Fanny I'd probably run away from home.)

The book was basically sectioned off into two pieces:  the tour in Europe and the murder mystery tour and where the murder takes place, and then New York, after everyone returned home, and the solving of the murder.  Unlike others' reviews, I had no trouble keeping everyone straight throughout the book, and there were actually only a few main characters, so that helped quite a bit.

I began to be suspicious of a couple of people somewhere in the middle, and when the murderer was revealed, it was nice to know the killer was one of them.  The murder itself was well-thought out, and unusual in the fact that I don't think I have ever read a motive quite like this one.  All in all, a nice mystery for a rainy day.  Recommended.


Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1182468197

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