Expected publication: May 19th 2020
About the Book:
Traveling with your family can be murder.
One wedding party + one estranged mother = another vacation that goes array for Naomi.
Naomi is off on another international vacation. She thinks traveling with her mother will be the most difficult part of her trip until she meets the rest of the tour group—a wedding party. It only gets worse when she finds the groom dead. Everyone’s a suspect on her Icelandic tour of this stunning country.
Character Guest Post – Naomi Hanley
I stared at the yellow suitcase. I knew I had to use it. The snide comments, from my travel companion, would be more annoying than the stares I would endure. I mean, it was YELLOW. Part of me thought she chose yellow because she knew I would loathe it. But, I may have been giving her too much credit. It may have just been the one she grabbed.
I opened the suitcase. Open, it was far more hideous. I even thought it might have more packing space than my usual luggage, my father’s duffel bag.
For a trip to Iceland, even in the summer, I needed layers. I laid T-shirts, long sleeve shirts, thermal underwear, and pants on my bed. I rolled up my shirts and pants and placed them into the suitcase. I shoved my socks into my packed hiking shoes. I was pleased that I still had some space for souvenirs.
My budget rarely included space for something, anything non-essential but this time I saved a little more money. I read that the Blue Lagoon, the Icelandic geothermal spa we were visiting on day one, sold amazing products—masks, oils, lotions. I planned (hoped) I could make a purchase in Duty Free in the airport before our flight home.
I don’t think I had ever been on a vacation where I was looking forward to the departure even before I even departed. But that’s what you get when you travel with my mother.
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This is the second book in The Traveler Cozy Mystery series, but can easily be read as a standalone. After reading this one, I want to read the first in the series to find out about Naomi’s and Charlotte’s relationship as well as to go on a safari. Naomi was raised by her father and her sister and brother by her mother. In the previous book, she went a safari with her sister, Charlotte and they developed a sibling relationship. When she planned this trip to Iceland, her mother decided she would like to go with her and booked her own ticket to go with her. The problem is that she and her mother do not have a mother/daughter relationship, in fact they don’t have much of a relationship of any kind. They are part of a small tour group which includes a bride, her groom, the best man and maid of honor as well as the bride’s parents. When one of their tour group dies at their first activity, they are not allowed to leave until the police determine if it was an accident or foul play.
There are several things I enjoyed about this book. First, I loved the setting of Reykjavik, Iceland. The activities they participated in, the places they went, and the beauty of the land were so well described that I felt like I was there. Iceland was not a place I ever thought I would want to visit, but it is now. The second was the idea of a locked room type mystery. The victim was fine when they left the hotel and arrived at their destination, yet somehow he died with no apparent injuries. He was in good health and no one was near him prior to his death. The story revolved around Naomi, her mother and their small travel group. This is a relatively short story, but A.R. Kennedy does a good job developing the story and characters. I loved the banter between Naomi and her mother. Naomi definitely has some issues with her mother and I was hoping they would have an opportunity to sit down and work through them. As Naomi uncovers information, there are some red herrings, a few dead ends and some clues for the reader to pick up on. I thought I had the culprit figured out, but there was a bit of a twist that changed my mind. The final reveal wrapped up the story in a nice, tidy way. Overall, this was a well written and plotted mystery that also allowed me to get out of my house and take a tour of a country that has a lot to offer. I recommend this one to cozy mystery lovers with a bit of a side trip involved. I received a copy of this book upon request from the publisher. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
Purchase Link – Amazon
About the Author: A. R. Kennedy lives in Long Beach, New York, with her two pups. She works hard to put food on the floor for them. As her favorite T-shirt says, ‘I work so my dog can have a better life’. She’s an avid traveler. But don’t worry. While she’s away, her parents dote on their grand-puppies even more than she does. Her writing is a combination of her love of travel, animals, and the journey we all take to find ourselves.