Side Trip to Kathmandu by Marie Moore

Side Trip to Kathmandu by Marie Moore
Publisher: Camel Press
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (188 Pages)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen

Sidney Marsh’s job as a New York travel agent is on the line. On her last two tours, she and her colleague Jay ended up smack in the middle of murder and mayhem. Their sleuthing sideline did not endear them to their employer, Itchy Feet Travel, so naturally they are relieved when their wealthy friend Brooke requests their presence on a no expense spared tour of India and Nepal. Another agency has made the arrangements, so all they need do is sit back and enjoy the ride.

Well, not quite all. Brooke has enlisted them to keep a sharp eye on their fellow travelers, all “friends” who have grown rich from the demise of others. After surviving an attempt on her life, Brooke is certain the culprit must be one of the five: a handsome Scotsman, a Bollywood actress, an investment banker, a Parisian filmmaker, or a twice widowed blonde. Many of the tour accommodations prove to be as dodgy as the reputations of the travelers themselves. After one of the members of the moving house party dies of an apparent heart attack, everyone’s nerves are on edge. Sidney can hardly be blamed for assuming a deadly game is afoot… or for falling for Adam, the doting Scotsman. Now, if only she can unmask the killer before the killer beats her to the punch.

Sydney Marsh sits in her boss’s office at Itchy Feet Travel and listens as he gives her the next assignment, one which she will share with her friend and fellow travel agent Jay Wilson. The thought of a luxury tour to India excites her until her boss tells her that this is her final chance. He goes on to say, “And I really mean it this time. Your last two trips were disasters.” Sidney tries to defend herself, saying that the murders which happened on her last trips were hardly her fault, but her boss won’t listen. He only tells Sidney that “on the trips you’ve been leading lately, stuff happens. Bad stuff. People die. It may be just bad luck, it may not be your fault, but somehow it happens. And if your luck doesn’t change—and I mean right now—you are out of a job.”

Sidney is a delightful young woman, and she and Jay work well together. They are very glad that their wealthy friend Brooke has insisted that Sidney and Jay lead this tour. The only problem is that once they are in India, they discover that all the arrangements have already been made and they aren’t needed at all. Instead, Brooke lets them know that she wants them to discover which of her friends is a murderer.

The descriptions of India and Nepal are fantastic, and the reader quickly becomes another member of a fantastic tour. The sights, sounds, smells, and even tastes of these countries is conveyed in a vivid and exciting way. And the characters on the tour are certainly very different and each seems to have secrets they don’t want to reveal. Mysteries abound in this exotic location, especially after one member of the tour dies.

This is a fun novel, but I do have to admit that I guessed the murderer early on, although I didn’t know all the details until the end. Personally, I would have preferred a bit more mystery and then, when the action did heat up quite dramatically, everything was resolved rather too quickly for my tastes. However, I learned a lot about countries I’ve never visited and the atmosphere was very well done.

Readers who enjoy a cozy mystery, especially one that takes them to new locations, are sure to find Side Trip to Kathmandu to be a delightful experience.