Thursday, July 14, 2016

Other People's Baggage: Three Interconnected Mystery Novellas

Author:  Kendel Lynn, Gigi Pandian, Diane Vallere
Genre:  Mystery

Hardcover; Paperback; Ebook
ISBN #:  9781940976860; 9781938383106
Henery Press
244 Pages
$31.95; $15.95; $2.99 Amazon
August 7, 2014

Five Stars

Baggage claim can be terminal when a computer glitch mislabels identical vintage suitcases.  This is what happened after three women with a knack for solving mysteries each grabbed the wrong bag. 

MIDNIGHT ICE by Diane Vallere, A Mad for Mod Mystery Novella (prequel to Pillow Stalk).  When interior decoration Madison Night crosses the country to distance herself from a recent breakup, she learns it's harder to escape her past than she thought, and diamonds are rarely a girl's best friend.

SWITCH BACK by Kendel Lynn, an Elliott Lisbon Mystery Novella (prequel to Board Stiff).  Ballantyne Foundation director Elliott Lisbon travels to Texas after inheriting an entire town, but when she learns the donor was murdered, she has to unlock the small town's big secrets or she'll never get out alive.

 FOOL'S GOLD by Gigi Pandian, a Jaya Jones Treasure Hunting Mystery (prequel to Artifact).  When a world-famous chess set is stolen from a locked room during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, historian Jaya Jones and her magician best friend must outwit actresses and alchemists to solve the baffling crime.

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What happens when three women who have never met each other discover they own the exact same suitcase?  And that they all have airline stopovers in Dallas, Texas?  Quite a bit as it turns out.  When Madison Night arrives in California she's on vacation recovering from a romantic breakup, which is hard enough.  But then she opens the suitcase and discovers that it's not hers, and it also leaves her with nothing to wear.  Just when she thinks it can't get any worse, she not only realizes the object of her recent breakup is at the same hotel, but she's inadvertently gotten involved in something that could put her in danger...

...meanwhile, when Elliott Lisbon arrives at her Texas destination, she finds that not only is the suitcase the wrong one, she's expected to attend a ball and is hoping that she can "borrow" something temporarily.  But there's no way these clothes will fit her - they're for a much shorter woman - and what she wore on the airplane won't do since the top has been wine-stained.  To add to matters, her friend Zibby, who is traveling with her, has asked her to help Zibby's friend Bea, who has been accused of the murder of her husband.  Sorting it all out while wearing a I 'heart' Texas t-shirt and dealing with hostile relatives of the deceased wasn't what she expected when she signed up for this rodeo...

...which leaves Jaya Jones, who is in Scotland with her friend Sanjay for the Endinburgh Fringe Festival when she finds she's received the wrong suitcase.  She also finds a true locked-room mystery, when her friend Daniella tells her that a valuable chess set has been stolen from her hotel suite, and only one of the four people staying in the suite could be guilty.  But is that true?  Enlisting illusionist Sanjay's help, Jaya knows she needs to find the truth before Daniella or one of her friends is accused of the crime...

As the title states, these are three interconnected mystery novellas.  Three quite lively and fun, and the connection between them is only the transposed suitcases.  But it is the perfect plot to begin with, and one that spawns three delightful stories of intrigue and deceit.  I love the main characters, and have from their books, but even in these short tales we are given quite a nice package in each, and the secondary characters are given enough teeth that they are enjoyable to read.  Since the stories are basically mini-books, I hesitate to give any more information on each, but take the time to read them.  If you don't know these women from their books, this is a good place to begin, as they are all prequels to their series; and if you have already read their books, I am sure you will enjoy visiting with them again.  Highly recommended.



More on Diane Vallere's books:  https://www.fantasticfiction.com/v/diane-vallere/

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