Vacations Can Be Murder by Jane DiLucchio
A Diega DelValle Mystery, #3
Publisher: Quest Books/ Regal Crest Enterprises
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (133 pages)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe
When Diega DelValle and three of her friends go on an impromptu vacation in Talkeetna, Alaska, Diega envisions an enjoyable summer break from teaching along with time to heal from a break-up.
However, even before the friends arrive, this small town on the edge of Denali National Park becomes a less than idyllic vacation spot. Gail, a Talkeetna native, dies on the mountain. Melissa, Gail’s cousin and a former student of Diega’s, arrives in Talkeetna and raises doubts about the death being accidental.
Due to Melissa’s pleas for help, Diega and her friends are thrust into an investigation of a small town and its inhabitants-an unsavory pastime that turns deadly.
Not every vacation is necessarily relaxing.
All of the characters were incredibly interesting . I haven’t read the other books in this series yet, but I didn’t have any trouble figuring out who was who. Every one of them was so unique that I quickly formed mental images of them in my mind. From flirtatious to stoic, all of their personalities were delightful in their own ways. I also felt like I got to know several of the secondary characters nearly as well I did Diega herself which was wonderful.
There were pacing issues in the beginning. It took a while to introduce all of the characters and get them settled into the roles. While I enjoyed getting to know everyone so well, I would have liked to have at least a few clues about the murder early on. There was a lot of information to unpack in this case, and this reader would have preferred having more time to try to piece it all together before the plot thickened.
The dialogue felt natural. I liked the way the conversations flowed between Diego and her friends in particular. There were many references to things they’d done together in the past as well as to new developments in their personal lives. This made it easy to imagine that I was eavesdropping on a group of old friends as they chatted. I enjoyed that quite a bit.
I’d recommend Vacations Can Be Murder to anyone who is in the mood for a mystery that asks its audience to put in some work in order to solve the case.