by Marie Moore
Camel Press, ISBN 978-1603818742
April 1, 2012, 230 pages
Sidney's mom was not happy when she quit college to move to New York City, or with her career in a dying profession as a travel agent. So Sidney will not mention that a scary looking homeless man seems to be stalking her as she is about to start her cruise as the travel leader of a group of senior citizens..and a few others who may have chosen the wrong group. Or that as the cruise has barely started, one of the High Steppers has been found strangled in her cabin.
Perhaps just as upsetting for Sidney is the fact that everyone on the ship seems determined to say it was not a murder, including the very handsome Captain Vargos and the on-board medical doctor. But when a second body, another High Stepper is found naked and very dead in one of the ship's freezers, no one is going to be able to deny that something very bad is going on..and that Sidney herself may be the next intended victim.
"Look, Sidney, you are not a detective, or a trained investigator, or any of that stuff. You are a travel agent, not a cop, and you could get yourself in a whole lot of trouble messing around in all this..."Well, yes!
Why has no one thought of this before, an amateur sleuth who is a travel agent and the leader of travel group? Well, if anyone has, I has not read it and now, ex-travel agent Ms. Moore has done a very nice job at using this very good idea. I can hardly wait to see where future adventures will take us..not that this one, to London and a cruise through Scandinavia to Russia, is not good enough because it is. In fact, it is a trip that I would love to take myself in real life! Which is at least one reason that I enjoyed this book. But not the only one.
Ms. Moore has put together a nice case of characters, including Sidney, but also joined by her friend and co-worker Jay Wilson, a young man who is gay in every sense of the word and an interesting group in the High Steppers. By the way, if you read my rant recently about introducing too large a cast of characters all at once, thank you Ms. Moore for that sweet list Sidney made, early in the book, describing them all. Life saver! OK, maybe the dashing Captain Vargos is just a bit too good to be true, but I guess poor Sidney deserves a little fun after all the goings on this time around.
Throw in some great settings and more than a little bit of real travel advice and all together Shore Excursion is a very nice and very promising start to a new cozy mystery series, a fast, fun read. I know that I will be traveling along on the next adventure!
Tribute Book Blog Tour site. We are just about halfway through the tour, so there are links to lots more reviews there and a link to Ms. Moore's website.
Maybe she will give us a hint where the next book will take us!