Category: Cosy Murder/Mystery, Travel, Book Review
Recent divorcee Lana Hansen needs a break. Her luck has run sour for going on a decade, ever since she got fired from her favorite job as an investigative reporter. When her fresh start in Seattle doesn’t work out as planned, Lana ends up unemployed and penniless on Christmas Eve.
After losing the job she loved, not to mention her husband leaving her for his new assistant, Lana Hansen’s fresh start in Seattle isn’t working out as planned. Thank goodness for eccentric Dotty Thompson, her landlady and good friend.
Dotty persuades Lana to escort a tour group in Budapest, taking the place of an injured tour guide. Along with her property portfolio, Dotty also owned several small businesses, but Wanderlust Tours was her favourite and she wanted to make sure it stayed successful.
Lana really didn’t have a choice as her rent was due and she was broke. This offer of Dotty’s would certainly tide her over and meant that she wouldn’t be home alone over the New Year. Apart from that, it would be a free trip and she knew Dotty’s company specialised in high end travel.
Lana had originally envisioned Budapest as a city full of gray, Communist-era buildings. But the photos in Dotty’s guidebooks were of beautifully maintained neoclassical, baroque, medieval, Gothic, and rococo buildings. Driving through the heart of the city, Lana was glad to see Dotty’s books didn’t lie. The imposing statues, tiered fountains, captivating monuments, delicate spires, and majestic buildings decorated with snow and sparkly lights made Lana feel as if they were driving through a postcard.
Lana’s tour group is a mix of colourful, if not always likeable, characters and Lana has to diffuse more than one awkward situation. For Dotty’s sake, she was determined to do her best. The other tour guide, Carl, has troubles of his own and is finding it difficult to focus on his job, leaving Lana to cope much of the time. Then a body is found in the river, but was it an accident or something more sinister…not everyone in the group is who they seem and there are obvious hostilities rising to the surface.
Lana’s efforts to discover the truth throw up more questions than answers and her anticipation for the trip has turned into more of a nightmare. She’s trapped aboard the boat with a murderer and, as we learn more about the passengers, it seems several people might have a motive.
Along with the mystery are vivid descriptions of Budapest, picturesque scenery, wonderful Christmas markets and fascinating landmarks along the way. The mix of travel and murder make for a fun cosy mystery.
I chose to read and review Death on the Danube for Rosie Amber’s book review team, based on a digital copy from the author.
Hi! I am an American expat currently living in Amsterdam. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, and Central America, I moved to Darwin, Australia, before finally settling in the Netherlands. When not writing, you can find me in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning my next research trip. My love of travel, art, and culture inspires my award-winning Zelda Richardson Mystery series, Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mysteries, and standalone stories. The Lover’s Portrait (Book One) is a suspenseful whodunit about Nazi-looted artwork that transports readers to WWII and present-day Amsterdam. Art, religion, and anthropology collide in Rituals of the Dead (Book Two), a thrilling artifact mystery set in Papua New Guinea and the Netherlands. My pulse-pounding adventure set in the Netherlands, Croatia, Italy, and Turkey— Marked for Revenge (Book Three)—is a story about stolen art, the mafia, and a father’s vengeance. The Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mysteries are a funny new series featuring tour guide and amateur sleuth, Lana Hansen. Join Lana as she leads tourists and readers to fascinating cities around the globe on intriguing adventures that, unfortunately for Lana, often turn deadly. Book One— Death on the Danube —takes Lana to Budapest for a New Year’s trip. Can Lana figure out who murdered her fellow tour guide before she too ends up floating in the Danube? Death by Baguette: A Valentine’s Day Murder in Paris (Books Two) will be released in February 2020, and Book 3 in May 2020. I am also the author of Down and Out in Kathmandu , Holiday Gone Wrong , and Notes of a Naive Traveler .
I have also started a group for readers and writers of travel fiction and non-fiction – Travel By Book. We are a promotion and discussion group active on Facebook with a growing presence here on Goodreads. https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/…
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